All posts filed under: Have a Laugh

The Soundtrack of Life – and Surgery

Most moments in life have a soundtrack, if you think about it.  From iconic movie moments like Judd Nelson raising his fist in the air as the sound of “Don’t You Forget About Me” plays while the credits begin to roll in The Breakfast Club to Matthew Broderick lip synching “Twist and Shout” in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, music recalls a specific time, place or moment for many of us, good or bad. Music has been used in medicinal arenas going back thousands of years, when ancient Greeks identified Apollo as the God of both Healing and Music.  One of its more recent proponents, Dr. Evan O’Neill Kane, supported the use of music in the operating room, as he felt it helped “to calm and distract the patient from the horror of the situation”.  And he should know.  This man operated on himself not once, not twice, but three times, in order to better understand the experience of surgery from the perspective of the patient.  In 1919, he performed a self-amputation of one of his …

A Little Holiday Laugh

My first holiday season after having my total colectomy wasn’t a fun one.  By the time the holiday rolled around, I had only had my ileostomy for less than two months, and I was still working out the kinks with it.  There were leaks, and I vividly remember having a “blowout” at my stepmom’s house during a family dinner and bursting into tears.  She brought me into her bathroom and helped me clean up, reassuring me that it was no big deal.  That was such a difficult holiday – everything that was happening to me was still so new and unfamiliar.  I didn’t really feel human. One of my other memories from that first holiday season was a visit from my best friend, Nicole.  Many of my friends had kind of vanished over the last really bad year with the disease, but she still came to visit me, undeterred, whether it was in the hospital or while I was recovering at my mom’s.  True friends are hard to come by, and I’m proud to say …

Dealing with Unsolicited Advice

First, let’s just get this out of the way now. At some point along your journey, you will likely be confronted by some ignorant douchebag that is convinced that he or she can cure your IBD with a particular protein shake, a vitamin supplement, or by eliminating some major food group from your diet.  How you choose to respond is entirely up to you; while I can’t condone violence as the answer, I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t my instinctual response 99.9% of the time.  Instead, I typically take a more passive-aggressive approach, which both allows me to feel as though I’ve given a verbal sucker punch to the face while the recipient is made aware that I find his or her unsolicited bullshit rather offensive, which in my mind lowers the odds that they will make this vile mistake again. Recently, my husband and I were lounging by our community pool one afternoon, a day or two after I had been discharged from the hospital for a bowel obstruction. One …

Holiday Eating

Whether we accept it or not, the holidays are fast approaching, and with them come the temptations of foods we don’t normally eat.  I’m not talking about the extra servings of desserts that add that comfy padding to our hips, or the dozens of “coffee” drinks that appear this time of year that contain more shit than they do actual coffee.  No, I’m talking about the appearance of things that you know you really can’t have, at least not without a trip to the ER. The infamous coconut macaroon incident of Christmas Eve 2011.  I remember it well, and it has kept me on a fairly straight path ever since, mostly because, as many of you know, the pain of an obstruction is something that I can only compare to that scene from The Princess Bride when Wesley is stretched out on that death machine after being captured by Prince Humperdinck’s men.  (Not that I’ve seen the movie a lot or anything…)  Remember that scene when Humperdinck runs in and cranks the machine up to ten and …

A Laugh for Today

So I know I need a laugh today, as yesterday I had an awful day, spending a large part of it at the radiology clinic downtown chugging gag-inducing amounts of barium down and then spending the next three and a half hours having pictures taken every 20 minutes so they can try and pinpoint where the narrowing in my small intestine is, as I’m considering the possibility of a surgical option to correct this.  Seriously, how in the hell is it possible that medical advances have come far enough along that we can use the heart of a baboon in a human’s body, yet no one has come up with a way to make that god awful chalky barium nightmare taste any better???  Anyway, thank god that is over, and in the spirit of having a better day today, I thought I’d share an experience I had with my ostomy right after I was cleared to eat what I wanted from my surgeon after the colectomy in 2006.  Those of you whom have suffered for …