In ano absentia

When Mood Music
2010-06-24 16:54:00 varies from optimistic to well pissed off Ring Of Fire – Johnny Cash

It’s possible that I’ve been conspicuously absent from LJ since the end of May. Whether or not I’m being big-headed here is for readers to comment on. However, here are my reasons and excuses, in as near to chronological order as I can manage. Some of the following is rather gross and personal.

    • March to May
      I was almost permanently thirsty. The amount I was drinking caused me to wake frequently during the night to urinate. You can guess what was coming, can’t you?
    • 3 May
      I realised I had thrush. Over the counter medication (Canestan Duo) didn’t shift it and the thirst/urination-interrupted sleep was still present, so I eventually decided to check with my GP.
    • Monday 24 May, 4pm
      My GP prescribed stronger antibiotics and topical cream for the thrush.
    • Thursday 27 May, 3pm
      A blood sample was taken.
    • 28-31 May
      My hostess and I were in Worcester, clearing my mountain of stuff from my parents’ loft. I was reunited with my vinyl, my books, more old mac kit than I realised I had and clothing I’d not seen or worn for at least 5 years. Yeehah!
    • Monday 31 May
      This is the bit that must never reach my parents: Having a blood sugar reading of 17 mmol per litre, I had officially joined the ranks of diabetics. Because my mother had become diabetic at around the age I am now, I’d been vaguely expecting it. I recall that at the time I wasn’t upset – I had an explanation for the thirst and urination, even the thrush. (Diabetics are more prone to skin infections anyway, and the amount of sugar in my urine must have provided an ideal home for the yeast!) I just had a condition that needed to be managed with diet and possibly some pills.
    • Later the same day
      It felt as if I’d strained a sphincter muscle during a bowel movement. If only …!
    • Tuesday 1 June
      The pain in my backside remained but I went to work as normal.
    • Wednesday 2 June
      The pain in my backside had increased to the point of near immobility. My GP told me that I had an abcess on the inside of my right cheek. I was prescribed antibiotics (amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid) and told to provide a fresh blood sample the next day.
    • Later the same day
      My hostess and I learned that I dear friend had died today. No further comment is possible just now.
    • Thursday 3 June
      Between bouts of physical pain and sadness, I completed my sister’s tax return on-line. In the afternoon, my cuddly pig and I staggered to the phlebotomist through a haze of pre-phlebotomy fasting and feverishness. I’d booked a taxi but managed to sleep through the doorbell-ring.
    • Later the same day
      Other friends announce ‘Alice Jean was born today She is a beauty!!!!’
    • Friday 4 June to Monday 7 June
      Bouts of pain interspersed with lucidity and co-codamol-induced dizziness. In the middle of Monday morning, I woke from nurofen-sleep to find the pain had gone – the abcess had burst, leaving a few teaspoons of cold runny custard in my underwear. I went to an appointment with my GP (originally arranged to discuss my diabetes) but was told that I needed to go to hospital to get the wound investigated.
    • Monday 7 June to Wednesday 9 June
      Examination under general anaesthetic, morphine dreams, hospital food totally unsuitable for a diabetic vegan, even though my dietary preferences and needs had been asked about! Blood sugar in mid-20s, but apparently surgical wards don’t worry about this. (That’s what I was told!)
    • Tuesday 15 June to Saturday 19 June
      Back to relatively normal routine, including work, apart from not cycling and having the wound redressed daily by the practice nurse for the first few days.
    • Sunday 20 June
      Pain in my backside recurred. I assumed it was just the would sealing itself up so, with my GP’s tentative agreement, I went to work on Monday.
    • Monday 21 June
      After a couple of hours at work, I felt dampness down below. It turned out I was bleeding. I took myself back to the Western General Hospital and learned that I most likely had a fistula. This was confirmed during another examination under anesthetic, so the surgeons put in a seton suture. During that afternoon after the surgery, my blood sugar became crazily high (over 27 units at one point) so I was attached to an insulin pump. Hourly blood-sugar readings, pain and weakness that prevented me from moving to a less on comfortable position made Monday night the low-point of this period of my life. Hospital food was much more suitable this time around.
    • Tuesday 22nd June
      Discharged in the early evening with gliclazide and paracetamol and a suture that is to remain in my arse for at least 6 weeks

I need to say here that life could be a huge amount worse. Colleagues, friends and my hostess have been incredibly supportive and of course I’ve benefitted from modern medicine and the NHS. So here’s looking forward to the end of my arse-invasion, learning how to manage my diabetes (diabetes-school starts on 7th July) and being as near to my version normal as can be managed.

One more thing… I’m not telling my parents about my diabetes because they don’t need the extra worry. They have health problems and other worries, so they just don’t need anything else to worry about, especially when they can’t do anything about it. They couldn’t help but hear about my abcess- and fistula-induced hospital visits but that’s enough.

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