On television’s “Good Morning America”, this morning, the hosts congratulated a brilliant 16-year-old actress who starred in an award taking remake called “The Invisible Man” I haven’t seen it yet, but it’ll be on my list after the theatre run.
Sometimes I  am blessed with the exciting launch of a new epic adventure. Last week my wife and I flew with our daughter and fiancé to South Padre Island for a brief respite from the cold Michigan winter. It was cooler than we planned, but we got a bit of color on our cheeks. We fished with guides and caught enough fish to bring to chefs at two different restaurants, two nights in a row, so they would prepare a feast. Blackened, deep-fried, Parmesan, and grilled: we felt special like rock stars!!

Sometimes I am consumed with fear. On the return flight from Texas, my guts started cramping in a crescendo to an estimated 8 on a “Richter” scale that only goes up to 10! When we arrived at home, I changed into PJ’s; then I spent 5-6 hours rolling around in colicky sweaty frustration, unable to find a comfortable place on the carpeted floor, and with throw-up bucket within reach. No rockstar feelings at that point, but my wife, my partner, loaded up the Jeep and drove me to the hospital. Then she waited beside me, helping with the story, holding my hand, daring anybody to step out of line!!

Of course, everyone; nursing students, PAs, ER doctors, RN’s, and radiologic techs, had to press on my distended abdomen to evoke a squeal of pain and nausea… reaching for that bucket. I had my belly checked every few minutes to find the source of pain, to look for hernias, to check my ostomy appliance contents for blood, etc. these brief exposures brought home many compliments on my StomaCloak. The story I relayed actually diverted my acute attention away from the cramps at times. The surgeons were not at all excited to operate for fear of making the plumbing worse. Instead, we waited it out. A new experience from this visit was the NGT! An NG Tube gets passed via your best nostril. As the placing nurse passed the tube, I had to try to keep swallowing to draw that firm plastic evil invention of pain down into my stomach. When it got down there, a sudden hiss and gurgle released the built-up pressure, and I wanted to kiss the nurse! (she later admitted to me that it was her second attempt!

The TV at the bedside, “squeezers” on my legs so as to avoid blood clots in my calves, nose hose running up to the canister on the wall, IV in my left arm; I was pinned down in a “starfish”  position with a tether on each appendage! Nurses ran to demands of treatment and encouragement, carrying from the front lines, occasional delicious nibbles of ice cubes, and home support (my wife’s presence was a huge morale booster! We made it through 4 days with blood draws repeated x-rays and lots of worthy opinions. Sometime I’d like to be exciting like that actress! Right now, I’m happy they are allowing me a blenderized form of chicken noodle. Always a bit more comfortable in my StomaCloak!

By Dr. Joseph Salisz, MD A urologist with an ostomy Visit us on Twitter and Facebook

 

 

 

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