Fell ill the last couple of weeks with stomach pain, bleeding, and other unpleasantries common with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Going in for a colonoscopy in the next two to check for cancer in the large intestine. Doctors have a hunch I've got it, but want to be sure so that if there is any, they can get it out before it spreads. Now that being sick is the new normal, I can't wish I wasn't sick anymore. But I do wish I don't have cancer, and that it's something that can be taken care of with medication, bed rest, and a short leave of absence at work (I've got hundreds of sick hours because I rarely call in). It's not just about the prospect of dying; I've always known this was a possibility and am prepared for one such eventuality. It's that I haven't been able to DO ANYTHING but lie in bed. When the gut funk hits, life gets put on hold, and there's clay samples to mail out, waxes to experiment with...It's frustrating when you have to play the waiting game with your own body and hope for permission from it to do what you enjoy. It would be nice to not just be a statistic and be able to make a difference/handprints in the cement, so to speak.

I had just moved recently and got a nice garage to shoot in with the perfect height for a stop-mo stage. Before moving in, I didn't even know about the garage and already wanted the place (the lady was nice and the house spoke to me), so that was an awesome bonus. Nothing I can do but keep looking forward to the day that I'll be able to play in there. The worst part is the gnawing upper GI pain that I don't have anything for. Tried Tums, Pepto, and Imodium AD. It's this ever-present burning, cramping. Walking around is agony. I don't think most people realize how many abdominal muscles we use to stabilize ourselves when walking).

Whether or not there is cancer in there, I'm looking at sulfa, steroids, and possible surgery. Also getting a social worker. I don't need a counseler for this. All I need is a way to tell my body that I'm not stressed out.  As silly as it sounds, this is an emotional disease and since getting impersonated on a forum I've been really hard on myself.

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Hope it's good news, Don, and you get on the mend soon. I've been feeling pretty ill myself lately, with not too dissimilar symptoms (though, by the sound of it, not quite as bad). It's frustrating that you just want to get on with things (many, many things) but your body says 'no'.

I've been suffering a few weeks now, so I'll be heading to the doctors soon. It'll be my 2nd visit in 6 months and before that was 20 years ago. I thought I was gonna decay gradually once I hit 30, but so far it's been a sheer drop.

Anyway, all the best, my sick brother. Here's to our health! 

I obviously can't feel your physical pain but your mental anguish is not hard to understand. When someone has to think of their (useful) time left on the planet in terms of years rather than decades it has a tendency to focus the mind.  I can relate to that.  I'm not at all a religious person so I can only wish you good luck.  And that I do sincerely.

Dennis 

Thanks Dennis. 

Dean- don't let it go for so long! Even a few years can see a progression of the illness. I was supposed to go in 2009 for a colonoscopy but it was out of network and therefore not covered by insurance. This time I'm going in having applied for hardship. If I'd had the money, I would have had this done sooner. Never good to gamble on your health. Its all you've got...

Best wishes. 

Having had to deal with chronic illness myself, I know the effect it can have on aspects of your life you'd never think could be affected. 

Take care, Stranger-Who is a Brother in Stop-mo.

Sounds rough, hope you feel better soon!

Thanks Buckner. 

Hey Grecodan, I didn't know you had a chronic illness. Is it something similar? You don't have to say. No fun though, that's for sure. The stomach cramps are the WORST!


Indeed.


Donald Carlson said:

No fun though, that's for sure. The stomach cramps are the WORST!

I'm looking for something to help with the pain. Candidates include Tylenol, mint tea... So far, that's all I've got. Hopefully one of them will work. Peppermint is supposed to be a great natural pain relieve in general and is especially good for the stomach. We shall soon see!

Diet was my biggest saviour. Cut out almost all sugar, started eating Greek yogurt, and generally just avoid as much junk as possible. Tough to do, this time of year. 


Donald Carlson said:

I'm looking for something to help with the pain. Candidates include Tylenol, mint tea... So far, that's all I've got. Hopefully one of them will work. Peppermint is supposed to be a great natural pain relieve in general and is especially good for the stomach. We shall soon see!

Gah, makes me cry to think of what kind of food I'll have to give up. Already missed Thanksgiving. My housemate made me some nice mashed potatoes and gravy, though. :)

Good luck with everything Don!  I hope they can work out exactly what is going on, and get started with an effective treatment.  I can only echo what Dennis had to say.

I don't really understand the health system in the US - here, you would go in for treatment whether you had money or private health insurance or not.   You don't have to plead hardship or prove you are a homeless beggar to be eligible.  And while the public system is a bit overloaded, you would get looked after for anything serious.   That doesn't completely stop a lot of people (men, mostly) from putting off going to the doctor until things get really acute though, I guess that's the way we are.  

I've only been homeless once, 15 years ago (I left to escape a volatile domestic situation with a violent criminal who had sublet his apartment under the pretense that he was an ex-con). But in the U.S., the way I understand it, if you have insurance, you generally have to pay for ER visits or any medical care you receive. So in that sense, it seems that homeless people get better care (if that only means that they're not paying for it). There is a great deal of ballyhoo and controversy about "Mexican immigrants getting free health care" over here, but I talked to a hospital tech and she said that in her 15 years of doing this, there were more entitled white people asking for free health care- or, rather, demanding it- and going into the Emergency Room for things like a stubbed toe. She said that Mexican immigrants only went when they really needed to- in order to deliver a baby or treat a life-threatening wound. I thought that was a refreshing viewpoint.

But yeah, hopefully the hardship thing will cover most expenses. 

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