Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Tomato soup

I haven't blogged for a while (a month to be precise) as quite frankly I'm totally and utterly bored of talking about and dealing with my health and my stupid stomach. I'm bored of feeling sick, bored of doctors, hospitals, not being able to train or ride my lovely new bike, bored of not being able to eat and mostly I'm bored of putting my entire life on hold.

My family is bored of it, my friends are bored of it and when anyone asks 'How are you?' It's a toss up between boring them to tears with the truth and watch them glaze over (and I honestly don't blame them), or just replying 'yeah, you know, okay thanks' and swiftly move the conversation on. My dad died of heart failure back in 2005 and in his latter years he really suffered. I used to ask him 'How are you today Dad?' and he'd snap back 'I'm fine.. why are you bloody asking me that again?'.. at the time I used to get upset, but I totally get it now. He just wanted to be fine even though he wasn't.

Reading back on my last few posts is really interesting (see I knew this blog would come in handy one day) as it's easy to forget quite how long things have been going on. Last week I had a really rough patch with an obstruction and got admitted to the local hospital for observation and CT scan (my 6th) and just a few days prior to that had a consultation with my surgeon. Both surgeons who examined me felt that my stoma (the bit of bowel which sticks out of my stomach) had become narrowed or kinked in some way and this would probably require.. guess what!?.. more surgery.  

They could make this diagnosis because of a technical and scientific examination - readers of a sensitive nature should skip this bit - where they both got me to take the bag off and stuck their finger in my stoma. Neither of them could get their finger in properly, so the problem probably lies with a narrowing of the stoma where output basically can't get out. So every time I try to eat solid food, I get some sort of partial obstruction. The answer in the short term, or until it can be surgically fixed, is to stick to liquids.

It isn't meant to be like this. I was meant to be better by now. Back to running marathons, training for triathlons and taking my kids out to fun places and more to the point, having the energy to do it all. My stoma wasn't going to stop me. Well it seems that it is.

My surgeon is conveniently on holiday at the moment, so I can do nothing but wait for him to come back, fit me into his manic schedule full of other far more ill people, wave his magic wand, get his scalpel out and fix me... hopefully before I turn into a crazy woman or jump off Beachy Head. In the mean time, I'm enjoying a diet of sports drink, jelly, yoghurt, For Goodness Shakes recovery shakes and heinz tomato soup all washed down with sachets of dioralyte. Yum.  How anyone does those 'liquid diets' for weight loss though is beyond me.. I'm wrecked and in the rare moments when I feel hungry, would give anything for a the texture of a crunchy salad or apple.
Me and my boys with 'Savannah' the baby African Eagle Owl

I'm managing to slowly potter about though, even though I'm feeling pretty rubbish most of the time. Like many knackered mothers, I have this innate ability to slap on my 'game face' when needed and carry on like everything is okay (remember Emma Thompson in 'Love Actually'?) and I managed to find the energy to take my son out for his 13th Birthday last weekend. We had an awesome day flying some birds of prey and then went out for ribs and fries afterwards - well everyone else did, I had a bowl of tomato soup.


  1. Oh Sarah, I'm so sorry to read all that. I hope you're finding a few moments of fun among it all. Hang in there, you're such a hero. Julia B xx

  2. Sarah. I too was admitted to hospital last week. More parallels too. Will send you a Facebook message. But you are a hero - an inspiration to us all. Bless you and try to keep cheerful. Rx

  3. Hi Sarah,
    My name is Paul. I found your blog via http://gutlesscyclist.blogspot.com. I am sorry to hear the latest.
    5 weeks ago I had a colectomy with an ileostomy. I am hoping to get back on the bike next weekend and could use some advice on how to best deal with the bag.
    If you are up to a brief chat, I'd really appreciate it.
    paulgerb(at) gmail

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