Sunday, July 15, 2007

No man is an island?

I’ve been watching a series on telly recently called Coast. In it a tirelessly enthusiastic presenter with rubbish hair takes the viewer on a journey around Britain’s ever shifting coastline. He shows us where whole swathes of our island have been reclaimed by the unrelenting sea. Bit by bit the tide is redrawing the map of Britain. The Ordinance Survey mapmakers must be hard pushed to keep up. Pretty much as soon as they finish a map it’s out of date. Anyway, I was lying in the bath the other day, surrounded by water, a bit like an island, when it occurred to me that if I were to take a journey around the ‘coastline’ of my body I’d find it too had changed shape. My beer belly has gone for a start, mercilessly eroded by the ulcerative colitis. Journeying further north to my neck and face, any podge there once was has also gone. Venture south and we discover my bum has all but disappeared. Imagine Britain with Norfolk lopped off and that’s what I’m like at the back now. Straight up and down. The ulcerative colitis has caused the entire ‘coastline’ of my body to shrink. But it hasn’t all been take, take, take. Oh no, in a remote and isolated region of my body an interesting new feature has appeared on the horizon. Hanging out of my bottom I now have a flap of skin. A small outcrop of flesh about the size of your thumbnail presumably squeezed out during all those bouts of diarrhoea. Three different doctors have perused my skin flap and all three agree it isn’t anything to be concerned about. So I’m not concerned. There may be something attached to my backside that wasn’t there before, but that’s absolutely fine, nothing to worry about. It’s just a silly bit of skin, dangling there, not doing anyone any harm. A bit of my stuffing has come out. Some of my insides are now on the outside. No cause for alarm, it’s all hunky-dory, no need to panic. My ‘coastline’ has just been altered a tad, that’s all.