Apr 20, 2011 - 12:10 pm
(Elton John reference, for a friend)
I am not exactly sure what to say. Nearly a month since the dilation, which at the time and in the first week after seemed like a great thing, and now I am sort of worried about me.
I do not usually confess such things, but this is real life and it is early in the morning and I have been up all night talking to people about cancer and trees and roses and babies and food and music, and, well, I try to keep my worries to myself, or at least between myself and a few select others.
I generally feel like at this point in my journey it is my place, if I have one, to provide comfort and solace to others, if you will, to give Hope and Humor. I have known, I do know, others like me, who when they are in dire straits or think they might be, simply leave this site because they do not want to be bearers of bad news.
I have done that. As I said, I know lots of others who have done the same.
But it is not all good news, and we cannot pretend that it is, else everyone is walking around in clouds of happiness and hope right before mom bites the dust.
It doesn't always end happily.
So far, my story has been a rather remarkable and successful one. That is another reason, really, not to even talk about any side issues or minor issues: WHAT A WHINER!
But, as I have mentioned in the past, this is my story, and I will tell it my way, and right now, three, four weeks, after a dilation, I have had a stabbing pain in what I called my stomach, but what my wife the nurse calls my upper intestine, for roughly the number of days since the dilation, minus maybe four.
I am getting ahead of the story, such as it is, to tell you that I had no idea where my appendix was (it is on your right side, I have been told since), and so, with that stabbing pain on my lower left side, I considered that perhaps my appendix was about to explode. My true companion, that night, dissuaded me from that notion, and it is always nice to have one thing less to worry about, while at the same time giving me an anatomy lesson: my stomach was pretty much up where that tube used to be and where that little dimple now was; the area I was poking at was called an intestine, aka a colon.
To go back, following the dilation, all was good. I woke up, always a good thing, and even felt comfortable enough to want to go back to sleep, which they did not permit.
There was no pain in the throat to speak of, at least that I could remember (they DO give you some drugs, after all) and along the way home my wife bought me a milkshake and I think something else that was highly improbable but perhaps on her bucket list. I managed the milkshake with ease, and felt no pain. Again, there is nothing like a bit of morphine in the morning to brighten your day (or whatever they gave me, Demerol, I think).
They told my wife while I was still in Never-Never Land that they were quite pleased with the dilation, that they got another 12 mm (and I still don't know if that is diameter or circumfrance: I should ask although I still won't know the true significance), and that they were confident this would help a lot.
Scar tissue, they may have been talking. I don't know. I wasn't there.
Once at home and beyond the milkshake, perhaps a day later (Demerol lasts awhile), I made a pot of chicken noodle soup, the kind that comes out of the can. Prior to this dilation these two things, at least, were true: I could only eat a few noodles at a time, and I avoided even THOSE little bitty chicken bits for the most part for textural and swallow reasons.
On this day, however, and don't ask me why: I am likely to tell you the truth, that I am a dumbass who always pushes the limits, and that will sound funny to anyone who ever considered that eating chicken noodle soup could be pushing the limits. It's funny to me. But I was: I wrapped up such a large um, wrapping, of noodles on the fork that it would have been impossible two days earlier. And down it went. Easily. Chicken bits: down they went. Easily.
I was ecstatic! I ate the whole thing (I WAs starving, after all), despite the fact it is at least a two serving meal, maybe three. (Okay, men will laugh, again: any soup in a can is a one-man meal. Period.)
Eventually, all good things must come to an end. I do not even recall what else I might have eaten during this spree. I just know that at some point it felt like my stomach was going to explode. It was bloated, it was cramping, and eventually there was this aforementioned stabbing pain in the lower left of my upper extremities, what my wife refers to as my intestine.
The stabbing pain comes and goes, and seems to be assuaged by eating. Eating, on the other hand, seems to lead to this feeling of bloating (the cramping has disappeared completely, so I am not suffering from some menstrual problem, which is REALLY good for me!)
My wife seems not all that worried, although she is amping up GastroPod for a quicker date than the one he says he can make for me. So, there is some worry, I guess, on her part, if minimal.
I only worry when that stabbing pain starts again and I want to call all of my semi-colon friends and ask how they first knew they had some issues. I only start worrying when those stabbing pains start again and I think, how could I have avoided colonoscopy all these years only to get one now for no perfectly good reason?
You see, as I write this, I am feeling fine. Ate some mac and cheese (mustard really does enhance the power of the cheese). Drank some ginger ale. I am feeling fine.
The Good Wife suspects an ulcer, and I would not be surprised. Having seen the entrance of my esophagus in living color, having seen same for the other end of it, I would not be surprised if the beginning of my intestine is not also rather beaten by the abuse of a life lived hard and well. And, to be more honest with myself and you, I would not be surprised if the ulcer is not the real culprit, a product of these last several years of excitement and worry and, especially, odd eating arrangments.
NEVER, my friends, eat the whole pot of chicken noodle soup.