A bit like a Mum who doesn't want to tell her kids Xmas has been cancelled until Santa actually confirms it himself I've been putting this post off.
Most of you know I've been in hospital for 4 weeks so far and though I've gone into great detail about the patient care and various other aspects of NHS life, I've stayed intentionally quiet about what's going on with me.
I'm afraid the news isn't good. In fact news doesn't get much worse for a bowel disease patient. My sulky bowel has finally given up the ghost almost entirely. The metre or so left has gathered in a clumpy mess, never to be prised apart. If they tried, I would almost certainly perforate in several places, leading to sepsis and even death. The surgeon just wouldn't be able to guarantee he'd spot all the leaks. Bits that should squeeze have gone to sleep and bits that should sleep try to squeeze. Some bits are all narrow and impenetrable, others all distended with the pressure of blockages.
If I wasn't experiencing symptoms, they may have just left it to it's clumpy recalcitrance, but as I'm pretty much in permanent writhe mode, and have qualified to represent GB in the vomit Olympics, it's just going to have to go. Next Tuesday.
Normally, they'd cut the chunk out and join up the ends, but, well, I've run out of ends. There won't be anything much left to join TO. What's left of my colon isn't in bad shape which is something, but the slightly more crucial ileum will be no more.
So, that means a permanent stoma and being fed into my vein for the rest of my life. My medics seem to think there is an outside chance that enough ileum will be left to reverse the stoma at some point, but my surgeon was less optimistic, and let's face it, he's the guy with the scalpel. My medics also hope that the IV feed (TPN or Total Parenteral Nutrition - we might as well all start getting used to the term) may not have to be permanent or at least, I may get away with a few hours at night or even every other night.
I can imagine it's hard to believe that I've met this news fairly calmly. I have this feeling most of you reading this will be much more upset for me than I am for myself. But to be honest, the pain had become so constant and intolerable and the vomiting so grueling, I'd probably offer an arm too if they told me it might make it stop. It's not like I haven't lived with the knowledge for years that a stoma would be on the cards at some point, and I've known for a long time that the next chunk to go would probably tip me into "not viable," that cold term I'd tried for so many years not to ask about.
So don't cry for me lovely reader, the truth is I'll soon be freer.
This might give me a chance to get rid of all the pain - with a bit of luck and a following wind, maybe even for a long time. It should stop the vomiting and I certainly should be able to put on weight at long last with the IV nutrition - that might mean I even get a chance to get stronger.
A chance to climb trees again with my boys, play frisbee in the park, climb to holiday adventures on sunny mediterranean hilltops.
And if all of that doesn't cheer you up, if I've managed to make Ian Duncan-Smith's life this miserable at death's door, just imagine what I can do with a new lease of life.