Skip if you are squeamish

For those of you who, like me, are interested in anemones, cunjevois and other invertebrate sea creatures, here is a fascinating and extraordinary fact (but skip if you are squeamish): The ileum (part of the small intestine) is a flexible tube and the stoma is the open end, stitched securely to my belly. A prolapse means that a length of the tube has escaped by turning inside out, telescoping, like a sock. (I’m sure there’s a marine coelenterate with similarities.) Therefore the protruding bit is 2 layers thick and when it gets swollen, it can be very difficult to poke back in.

I have been getting hints from medical people over the phone including conflicting advice such as ‘leave it out’ versus ‘poke it in’. I left it out for 3 days but it was really uncomfortable and when it went purple I decided I’d better do something. Armed with honey, I bravely tackled it and after quite a struggle, I won! When I had it inside I TAPED IT DOWN! I couldn’t get anyone in authority to endorse this idea so here I am experimenting on myself out of sheer desperation. When one lives in the bush and when there are 2 long weekends in a row so experts aren’t available by phone, well, you end up having to improvise. When in doubt try duck tape! (Actually I have some special skin-friendly security strips.) It seems to work and what a relief to now have a hands-free kit!

So that’s the latest, and on Monday I seem to have come up with enough white blood cells to qualify for another trip to the poisoner (Phew!) I flew back to Brisbane yesterday and the adventure continues. IV chemo went OK today. I wonder how I will cope with the intraperitoneal fluid (2 litres) tomorrow! First I have an appointment with the specialist so I’m looking forward to hearing what he can tell me. Meanwhile how lovely I am spending this 10 days with my Mum who has come up from Sydney to be with me!

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