Archive for February, 2011

all the seconds and the minutes and the hours and the days…

February 22, 2011

my follow-up appointment with my surgeon went well last friday. i will have one more appointment with him in the spring. my wound is healing well, is almost completely closed over now, which also means i won’t have to go to the clinic anymore after one or two more appointments. my body is reacting well. there’s still some swelling, but no infection and my bowels are behaving themselves.

for the next few months, i will have to watch what i eat carefully, avoiding foods that cause diahrrea, which seems pretty much what everyone should do. i am slowly introducing fresh fruits and vegetables back into my diet. in a few months, my small intestine will adapt and take over for my missing colon. i am starting to attend events once more. i feel my recuperation period is over.

i will continue to pace myself and won’t overtire, but i feel strong and healthy and happy. this was a close call. i am relieved to see the end of it. and so, i think, dear readers, that i will bid a farewell to this blog. i’m not going to close it, but i don’t see a need to write more entries on the theme of my recovery because i will have no news. hurray!

so thank you for reading and also thank you to those of you who have shared your stories of health crises and recovery with me. i have learned so much about the indomitable human spirit since November, 2009. i am very lucky to have a great love  and wonderful, caring friends. for those who are fortunate to be in good health, remember to help those who are in need, your friends, your families. it makes a difference.

 i especially thank the health care workers, my surgeon Dr. Eric Poulin and his staff who saved my life and continued to care for me through all this; the homecare nurses who came to teach me how to change my ileostomy bag and helped me through a scary time, the nurses at the Billings Bridge We Care clinic, who have carefully tended my former stoma site and my midline incision. i have to admit, i was kind of freaked out to have this gaping hole that was packed with gauze. they have taken care of me and eased my worries; my husband Charles who has dealt with my vomit, diahrrea, tears and nightmares through all this, changed my bag, my bandages, helped me shower, cooked and cleaned and given me his love. i am so damn lucky.

and to switch to a literary note, if anyone wants to read a sort of fictionalized account of my delusions and some other fine, dark tales, i urge you to purchase a copy of the recently published Postscripts to Darkness, edited by Sean Moreland and Dominik Parisien.  You can buy a copy for $10 by contacting postscripts2darkness at gmail dot com or through Allbooks on Rideau St. and Invisible Cinema on Lisgar.

 some of my impressions and the tone of what happened to me have worked their way into my creative endeavours somewhat. i’m hoping to start a project on ekphrastic poetry about death in art, when i have the time. i’m busy going out to readings, spending time with friends, my dear love, Charles and enjoying the cold winter air. Winter has never been so beautiful. To life!

 ps- you can keep up with my shenanigans on my literary blog amandaearl.blogspot.com and my website: amandaearl.com. along with twitter: KikiFolle and Facebook…or perhaps we can share a cocktail together on a fine spring afternoon…see you then.

february: the month of the lunatic itch

February 10, 2011

i have a rash on my stomach thanks to the tape that had been used for the dressings on my mid-line incision. i just asked the nurse at the clinic today for advice and she suggested hydrocortozone cream. let’s hope it works. pray for me…

and in the land of too much information…since my colon was removed i have been going steadily mad from dryness, including vaginal external labial dryness and itching. i believe the problem is that since my body doesn’t absorb water anymore it tends to get dry. i use moisturizer on the affected areas and have a humidifier in the bedroom. but the vaginal itching will not go away.

i spoke to one medical professional about it and she suggested it was my age. annoying response indeed and not very helpful. it made me shy away from asking anyone else. i’ve been moisturizing in that area whenever the outbreak occurs. finally out of desperation today i asked a nurse at the clinic. she has suggested that it may be a yeast infection.

now i am prone to yeast infections, particularly after anti-biotics and i did receive anti-bios in the hospital in major strong doses back in 2009 and then again a wee bit this time around, so maybe she’s right. she says it can’t hurt to try Canasten anyway, so i’m going to follow her advice. although the itch is external and not really internal, so i don’t hold out much hope that this will cure me, especially because i’ve tried to alleviate the problem this same way back in 09…

for the last few nights i have been unable to sleep, so insistent and skin crawling has the itch been both on my stomach and nether regions. this is a form of hell that goes beyond anything else i’ve had to endure since the great colon crisis of 09.

i speak only for myself when i say that pain is not as bad as this horrid itching. the most relief i’ve found is sitting on the cold metal bench at the Rideau Centre Transitway stop on the Mackenzie Bridge. life is so weird and at times, unbearable. egad.

Looking forward to…

February 7, 2011

reading on Feb 18 at Collected Works with Gabrielle McIntire and rob mclennan

since i’ve been sick i’ve had to turn down a few invitations and now i’m mostly just not getting invited to read any more. i’m looking forward to the opportunity to read once again to audiences and interact with them afterward;

 a day trip to Montreal to spend time with a dear friend who will take me to some of  her favourite haunts;

 a trip to the National Gallery with another dear friend;

 regular  gustatory extravaganzas with another dear friend;

 all kinds of food: nuts, legumes, popcorn, toffee, raw vegetables

 a bonfire by the beach; a picnic by the lake;

going to concerts, especially outdoor concerts;

 a long train trip  (ideally with readings en route).

Recuperating gives me time to think about what i’d like to do when i’m 100% better and have all my reserves. i’m doing well but am still exhausted by 9pm…