Monday, July 9, 2007

The Big One

Buttocks clenched I raced into the office like an Olympic speed walker. Instead of turning left out of the lift I darted right and into the toilets, urgent fingers fumbling at my belt. No time to unbutton my winter coat, so I flicked the tails up behind me, very much in the style of a concert pianist taking his seat. My bum cheeks had barely touched the toilet seat and it was bombs away. It was late February and my third flare up had begun. My mouth became a snake pit of ulcers. Acne the like of which I haven’t experienced since Wham! were last at number one erupted all over my face. I spent enough time on the loo to read the collected works of Dickens. Cramps grabbed my insides with an arm wrestler’s grip. My clothes were getting baggier. I had night sweats. My bones ached. I had no energy. Going to work was a no no. The previously miracle working Mesalazine had little effect. A hefty course of steroids were prescribed. Calcium and iron tablets followed. I think I was popping something like twelve pills for breakfast. The strain of moving my bowels ten plus times a day made it feel like my bum was being ripped out. My poor derriere was in a very sorry state indeed. Life was put on hold, my body had grounded me indefinitely. I decided I needed some home comforts. If the Mesalazine don’t work, maybe mum will. The person my mum opened the door to was grey skinned and weak and there was two stone less of him. For the first time I Googled ulcerative colitis. Diet apparently didn’t play much of a part, but fish was good, so I ate a lot of fish. I found out tomatoes were bad and peas were evil. I switched to soya milk. I didn’t budge from the sofa except for the obvious. Despite the home cooking and rest the pain and discomfort continued. I was writhing on the sofa when my dad decided I should see a doctor. No longer having a doctor in my home town the only alternative was Accident & Emergency. The nurse nodded and jotted in her folder as I explained how I came to be sitting opposite her. Half an hour later I was rattling along in an ambulance on my way to another hospital twelve miles away in Coventry. It was 24th April and everything was all getting rather silly.