19 March 2011

Only when I laugh

This week, lets dip into the BoomingBack mailbox and take some questions from you, our loyal readers*.

Here’s one from 'déprimé_vert2011', who writes, “Unkie Dave, you haven’t posted for two weeks now. Normally that means that you have been on some fantastic voyage in a far away land. Tell us where, oh where have you been and what wonders of the world both ancient and modern have you seen?”

Before we answer that lets take another one, from 'nomoregogo' in Dublin, who writes, “Unkie Dave, I worry for your health sometimes. How can someone continuously produce such informative and well-written wrath and bile-filled blog posts on a regular basis without your body suffering some form of consequences? Truly sir, you are a superman!”

Ah, 'nomoregogo', if only that were true, for of late I have been all to conscious of the person riding behind me in the chariot whispering, “Remember, thou art but a man.”

For you see these last two weeks I have mostly been, in excruciating pain.

Twelve days ago I awoke with an incredible fire in my belly, and not the normal "must go out and right the wrongs of the world while still sitting comfortably in my chair drinking a caffeinated beverage" type. No my friends, this was of the more unfortunate, "damn, that hurts" variety, and a quick trip to the doctor left me with a diagnosis of Duodenitis (an inflammation of the duodenum), a few pills and a one-way ticket back to bed.

As I clutched my stomach in pain I was plagued by a raft of questions, questions along the lines of "why is my stomach heading towards my mouth?" and "what is that abominable sound, like a cat speaking Hungarian on a roller coaster, and why does it sound like its coming from right beside me?". Things did not improved from there, and after three nights of no sleep and a new-found inability to keep anything down for longer than 15 minutes, I decided to go to the doctor again. It was quite serious, he agreed, and suggested I go to the hospital. Yay!

So after a quick round of pokes, prods and an CT Scan I discovered that I did not have an inflamed duodenum (Yay!), rather I had an inflamed pancreas (poo!), specifically acute Pancreatitis. This confused the doctors as the majority of cases are caused by long-term alcohol abuse, but my <10 units of alcohol/month doesn't even count as drinking in a nation where the Irish Heart Foundation suggests men shouldn't really have more than 21 units/week. An ultrasound later ruled out the second most common cause, gallstones, and so I was left with the cheery news that I was one of those lucky 20% of cases whose causes may never be known, "stuff happens" as the consultant said.

In between being admitted to hospital and that oh-so-helpful prognosis came a week in hospital focused on bringing down the inflammation (my waist swelled from its normal svelte and caribou-like 34" to somewhere north of 38" according to the emergency non-elasticated pyjama bottoms the Very Understanding Girlfriend got for me), combating the massive internal infection that accompanied it, rehydrating me to a level that plants now snake towards me as I walk by (which was a good thing as I hadn't really been able to drink anything for four days at that stage) and dealing with the worst pain I have ever experienced. It took me another three days before I was able to eat again (still quite difficult to be honest), and on Wednesday morning I was packed off home with a thoroughly moral-boosting, "well, you don't have a clean bill of health but there's nothing more that can be done here for you. Cheer up, there's only a 20% chance you'll be back here in a week".

I'm slowly knitting myself back together now, it'll be another few days yet before I'm properly back on my feet, but I'm left with the same feeling I had after being diagnosed with high cholesterol. I've been a vegetarian for eleven years now, I've never smoked, am an occasional drinker at best and thanks to DublinBikes am in the best cardio-vascular shape of the last ten years. When the consultant asked do I have a stressful job I laughed and said that I did, but got rid of it three years ago. And yet this is the second medical issue that I've been hit with since leaving work normally associated with a life of bacchanalian excess.

The universe is obviously having a big laugh at my expense.

Anyway, expect intermittent service here while I get back on my feet, and huge thanks to Ms Snag Breac for the amazing knitted Pancreas above, life-size and almost certainly anatomically correct, that awaited me on my return home. Do not underestimate the therapeutic value of holding in your hands a soft facsimile of the organ that has caused you so much grief.

I'd stick pins in it, but I know that couldn't possibly work out well for me.

* these may not be actual questions from actual readers. In fact, the only mail I've got into the BoomingBack mailbox in the last week has been from Alina, in Delhi, who writes:
"I am Alina, Web Development Manager.

We are online marketing firm based in out of Delhi –India.

I was surfing through site from your domain and came across yours Website: “www.boomingback.org” I have been observing various changes in trends in the industry and the types of sites other players in your domain are using.

The field has grown since you last updated your website as per available records in Domain tools. There are a lot more advanced and user friendly websites which appeal to the consumer.

A website determines the brand of a firm in the online world.

We have some special offers in this season.

Do let me know if you are willing to discuss a possible redesigning/redevelopment of your website and I can send you more details on the packages/action."
Talk abut kicking me when I'm down, "sorry to hear you're in hospital, but the internets move quickly and while you've been sick everything has changed. Bottom line: your website sucks".

Thanks Alina. Thanks a lot.



At 8:27 pm, Anonymous Niall said...

Take it easy honey. We're thinking of you.

At 12:58 am, Anonymous inessentials said...

I may be one of the few people who can say, "I feel your pain." Well, perhaps a nearby pain, up and a little to the left.

However, I must retract above statement, because my fellow philosophers would have me believe that pains are not multiply instantiated so no person could literally feel another person's pain; thus my above statement is necessarily false. Damn you, ten years of Ivy League education!


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