Friday, January 20, 2006


Well I've had better weeks. Have literally been in bed since Monday with horrible flu-type lurgy and nasty cough. Plus the abscess has been playing up, and now the ingrowing toenail is back!

It is my birthday today and I am 43. My body is clearly 44.

I am also obviously not cut out for work any more - 4 days of something even approaching work last week and the result is that I have to go to bed for a week. That's a net loss.

So the TH and I went off to the hospital yesterday for my appointment with the surgeon. It's really not so very different to the UK, other than everything costs a lot here and there are carpets in the waiting rooms. I still had to wait a month to get the appointment in the first place, and I still had to wait a good hour and a half to see the surgeon yesterday. Had a very thorough history & examination by the nurse. Then had a very thorough history & examination by the intern. Then had a 5 second examination by the surgeon, who like all bosses in every field, then proceeded to totally ignore all the field work done by his very thorough staff and jump to his own conclusion based on very little evidence whatsoever. (Incidentally, since giving up smoking I now have high blood pressure for the first time in my life, to which the surgeon usefully commented 'It's worse for your body to give up than to carry on if you've been smoking for as long as you have. Too much of a shock to your system'. )

Having said all that, everyone was very nice, and because you're paying (and because people like me now spend way more time in cyberspace than in kitchens or offices....or those other places normal people go occasionally), the surgeon is then obliged to spend the next half hour listening to your side of the story whilst you question their judgment and years of experience. Which is exactly what I did. And we actually had a very good chat and got on very well. I am of course a total expert on all things fistular now, having spent the last 4 weeks reading 5 million pages about said topic on the internet.

So the deal is that he thinks that my symptoms all point to the possibility of Crohn's disease, but I think it's unlikely. He thinks that my abscess has a low tract (and will hence be a relatively easy op) and I think it has a high tract (because I have been living with it for several months now, and can FEEL where it is), and that will mean a relatively difficult op. Anyway, he won't operate at all until he's done a colonoscopy to see what's going on and checked for the cause, which could be a myriad of things - Crohns, cancer, polyps, missing CD's (you know, the ones that are mysteriously not in their cases) etc...
In the meantime, we have very amicably agreed to disagree, and I very nearly challenged him to one of my well known 5,000 dollar bets, until I realised that that would be like totally shooting myself in the foot, as he'd be the one actually finding out who was right whilst I was under, so he could MAKE UP the result in order to appear right, and I would be none the wiser. Unless I got the whole thing video'd of course.....but that seems a little extreme.....

So I now have to wait another month, as his first colonoscopy appointment isn't until....wait for it.....Valentine's Day. Terrific. Still, I suppose it saves the TH from having to buy two lots of flowers.

The most embarrassing moment of the day (far more embarrassing than stripping off in front of a selection of strangers) was when I was given the instructions for what seems like days of preparation before the colonoscopy. I had a quick look and was alarmed to read that the whole of the day before, I'm only allowed a 'clear liquid diet'. This apparently includes 'clear juices, black coffee, jello (wtf?), popsicles (what a fabulous word) and BEER!'
And so, sadly I was that person asking at reception whether or not white wine counted as a clear liquid. My question got shouted around the office (as nobody was quite sure of the answer) in full hearing of the entire waiting room. Someone went to ask someone. They came back saying nobody knew for sure but they'd find out and call me..........
But no, I didn't leave it at that....even though the eyes of the whole waiting room were on me - I just had to go one step further.
My parting words at the hospital were:
' Do you have a pen....? Right, whilst you're finding that out, would you mind also asking about gin and tonic.....and vodka....and errrrr sambuca and.....'.


Blogger jimbobwoof said...

Nothing says I love you like a long piece of tubing up your jacksy

10:54 AM, January 20, 2006  
Blogger codenameLizzy said...


4:47 PM, January 20, 2006  
Blogger jazzshark said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:27 PM, January 21, 2006  

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