So, when you get older, and you happen to look like me, an overweight, fat old fuck that missed his community bus stop for the “Orchard Lane Retirement Home” three miles back, people tend NOT to assume that you are a former CIA Operative, Professional Athlete or retired Seal Team member. You are just an old Hippie dude who still thinks he looks 15 years younger. Especially when a young woman smiles at you in the produce aisle because you are holding up a 10″ cucumber at that exact moment. However, you really don’t know if she’s smiling because she likes you, or she’s laughing, because she thinks you’re going to shove that cucumber up your ass when you get home.
First lesson as an example, when you are meeting strangers at your daughters’ boyfriends’, birthday party, you don’t openly mention all the physical ailments you have recently suffered from. The fact is, you ARE an old fart, who has to take nine different medicines, for your heart, your stomach, your brain, and most of your other internal organs. Forget about it! Keep it to yourself, unless you happen to be having a seizure at the moment, or during a mild stroke while taking a bite of your Creme Brule.
What is really difficult at first, is to think you will have complete control over this insanely uncontrollable passing of gas, not through your rectum, cause it’s been disconnected, but through this large hole in your stomach, where the surgeon has reconnected your large descending colon (intestine for you medical students), with the sole purpose of redirecting your raw shit (feces for you educated folk) directly out said hole into a convenient little plastic bag that is held in place by a snap-on “appliance”. Mostly held in place on your stomach with a whole lot of surgical tape. This is called an “Ostomy”.
This has saved your life if yours was as bad as mine was. The cause or disease is called DIVERTICULITUS. In extreme cases like mine, it’s as if you swallowed a tiny bomb, and it blew a huge hole in your intestine, allowing whatever was/is in your intestine to outflow into and amongst all your other internal organs, like Kidneys, Liver, etcetera’s.
Many people are operated on for minor cases, and survive without the need for an ostomy procedure, i.e., disconnecting your asshole. Unless of course they are being treated at a hospital (like in my case), that has surgeons that specialize in Ostomy procedures, and love doing them. Not the Mayo by the way.
In my case, it was life-threatening to the point that my children were told to “stick around because your father may not make it through the night”. I was in a coma for 7 days. They call it a “medically induced” coma. I say BULLSHIT! It was what George Carlin would call, a “Morphine Induced” coma………meant to place your body in complete control of the medical professionals trying to save your life. Your brain is completely shut down, like you’re dead. That’s why it’s called “Comatose”.
For sure, you don’t shit yourself internally, and just walk out of the hospital the next day. Coming out of a seven-day coma, you find out that they have basically flushed your entrails out and vacuumed up most of the shitty liquid, but you still have a tiny bit that causes internal infections. Plus there is some random bleeding, etcetera’s.
When you awaken out of your coma, you also experience the worst pain in your life as a nurse counts to three, and “RIPS” out the catheter that they were supposed to replace on a daily basis. When you leave a catheter in for a week, what happens is that ANY lubrication that originally was there, is gone, and the catheter has “welded” itself to your urethra, inside your penis. I peed blood for several days.
Getting back to the post coma rediscovery of your body. While comatose, you are not being fed other than intravenously, but once you are finally awake………very spooky by the way, slowly coming out of your Morphine coma, i.e., coming “Down” from the drug, and “Waking”, “Coming alive again” out of the coma itself, like being “resurrected”…….Anyway, awake you eventually begin to slowly discover the dramatic change that has been made to your body, understanding how embarrassing and depressing it is when certain parts of your anatomy functions uncontrollably, and feeling very relieved that you haven’t sprouted devil’s horns.
By the way, do you know why hospital food is semi-tasteless at first, but gradually changes to really crappy tasting, to finally tolerable? Slowly coming off of all the drugs they had you on. When you first come out of your coma, it’s not too long before they have to feed you, in order to see if all the re-plumbing functions properly.
Months later, your new plumbing is still working just as someone is blowing out the candle on his little restaurant birthday cake in the booth nearest to your table of seven people.
“Pbff…..ffhhfffffffftt..pbrrrrrrrtttttttttttttt” Puttering and gurgling, puttering, gurgling.
That stomach fart as I called it, lasted for a least a good full minute, loud enough for people to hear across the dining room. “What the hell was that”, someone said. Embarrassment and a brief explanation, since there are people still eating their desert at your table?
I survived. I lived with that horrible ostomy for three years. The wonderful doctors at the Mayo Clinic all in one day, reversed/removed the ostomy, reattached my anus, basically re-plumbing me, and corrected, got rid of the horrendously huge Peristomal Hernia, (google it).
I chose to share this as I found it rather amusing, and might give hope to other ostomy buddies. My ostomy was just as embarrassing and inconvenient for my kids as it was for me. Ask them.
Having strokes (actually three), and trying to recover, has been much more complicated, and has caused me to be aware/unaware of the effect of my mental condition on other people, especially family. Last stroke was in July of 2015, and serious enough for hospitalization. Drove myself to the ER (Mayo), and after a series of tests, they admitted me for further testing and study. That’s when they found the previous two strokes, and the brain aneurysm that still remains behind my right eye, another whole story, which I have written about.
When I found out about the previous strokes, I was able to effectively look back at the misdiagnosis of the 2nd stroke four years earlier, just outside the Statute of Limitations. Besides the physical damage from the strokes, the neurological damage has been much harder to deal with. I think because of the lack of earlier detection and prognosis for the first two strokes, I was certain to have stroke #3.
So, it was the July 30, 2015, stroke #3, which enabled me to look back upon stroke #2 and it’s symptoms and the timing of it’s occurrence. I feel certain that had the hospital in Hutchinson, Minnesota used proper procedures, they would not have declared that 2nd stroke as just a really bad migraine. I had been suffering all my life with migraines. I knew what they were. This “happening” in the early summer of 2011 was different.
I suspected much worse and went in to the ER. After doing a Cat-Scan, the ER doctor said migraine and gave me some pills. Had they performed the proper tests, which would have meant at least a 24 hour stay and doing an MRI instead of a Cat-Scan, they potentially would have found strokes #1 and #2. Had that been the case, they would have prescribed treatment and medicine to prevent stroke number three.
Let me take this moment to say, this is not a pity party. I am not looking for pity or sympathy. I am writing this because it IS therapy for me to write, okay? I also feel that people, especially family and friends, need to be educated, so they can better understand the who, what and why. That’s where THEIR natural compassion and understanding should probably kick in. That’s why I recommend writing to people who are suffering from mental conditions like depression, PTSD, Bi-Polar and other manias.
I think back to the possible time-frame of stroke number one, I had been living in the beach house on Silverstrand Beach, so it was a long time ago. I can almost pin down the year I had the first stroke, I’m thinking 1999. Of course, some would suggest that I’m being just a little too over-analytical (over-anal) at this point in my life, but when you begin to discover things in your life that have been negatively causative and had a negative impact on your life, you begin to heal yourself, and help people who are close to you, to heal as well.
I could have written this narrative tonight as a “pity party”, or as a display of anger or resentment towards other people, i.e., people I have innocently hurt. How can you innocently hurt someone you ask? Just ask my kids. Instead, I am just sharing my thoughts and discovery along the way. You, the reader can take it for whatever you want it to be. For the majority who read this, it’s sort of, a “who gives a shit about your physical and mental trials and tribulations”. For some, I hope it helps them to begin to understand their own mental and physical health in a healing, positive way.
So, physically, I feel great that I have had the opportunity to have normal body functions again. I’ve lost 50 pounds. I still fart, but at least not uncontrollably now. I love my sphincter muscle. The strokes? Much tougher battle, but I feel that I am gaining on it. You are probably wondering, so I will tell you that the strokes DID have a negative impact, and contribute to my overall mental condition. Ask my kids. Depression? Yes. Bi-Polar? Yes. Hypomania? Yes. Did my strokes physiologically contribute to my mental prognosis? Definitely, that’s what the medical folks told me.
I am still here, and I am learning new things every day. Do I still tell inappropriate jokes in a mixed crowd? Not as much anymore, getting a handle on my moral compass again. I am sorry for saying stupid things without first thinking that it could possibly hurt or offend someone. Some of the utterances that have come out of my mouth over the years have been downright fucked up.
If you are amongst the small number of people that I have offended over the years, and you are reading this, I am deeply and genuinely sorry.
I started writing this tonight remembering the uncontrollably loud ostomy farts what I called my belly farts, especially the ones that occurred in public places, at friends’ houses, grocery store, etcetera’s, thinking I could use my ostomy experience as part of a stand-up routine. Trust me, people have laughed when one of the uncontrollably loud emissions escaped while standing in a check-out line at the local Walmart. The ostomy bag was meant to hold your shit, but NOT to hold back the sound or smell.
Experiment, get an ostomy bag, fill it with your smelliest shit, and tape it to your stomach. Trust me, you CAN smell it. Raise your hand if you have an ostomy device taped to your belly. Ask the person sitting next to you, if they can smell anything. If there is no smell, congratulations, you’ve got an empty bag.
I think it’s more embarrassing when it happens in a crowded waiting room in the doctor’s office. Certainly breaks the silence doesn’t it? What does it sound like you ask? Imagine a cross between the sound of somebody shitting in their pants uncontrollably, and a large in-human, animal farting sound. In a store, you can sorta push that frontal expelled sound AND the odor with your belly leaning against your shopping cart as you walk along.
You just can’t do that when you are waiting in check-out line number nine at Safeway’s. Point is, the ostomy bag doesn’t diminish the sound of the emission or take the smell away, just the ability to be discrete. Hahahahaha. Velociraptor? Yes, that’s what I sound like now, with some discretion. I could do sound effects for another Jurassic Park movie.
With my ostomy, there was zero control over the timing, the sound AND the smell. Having lived with an ostomy for three years, I can attest to the fact that my ostomy was, in itself, depressing, so once the wonderful surgeons at the Mayo reversed it, hooked up my anus, and fixed the huge Peristomal Hernia, I was on top of my world, sort of. I still had to deal with the effect of the strokes however. Strokes will be the next post, and how Cannabis has helped me.
Strain: BushKush1, harvested July 3rd, 2017
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