Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cyborg integration fail

It never ceases to astound me just how fast and radically the body - or its invaders - can react.

Also, how some days you just wake up to find shit has happened.

And then, over the course of the day, you see reflected all around you, in everyone you meet, variations on your theme for the day.

What happened, is that when I woke up this morning, my stoma (the hole through which my g-tube enters my body) was quite sore.  this is unusual, but has happened a few times before.  Usually it means I've yanked it (snigger) or done something odd in my sleep and it's fine after a few hours.  I even remember dreaming I was sleeping on my stomach - which I've not been able to do since well before the tube and certainly not with it - so I though maybe I had managed to roll on it in the corporeal world.

Had my morning feed, noticed it wouldn't rotate like it should.  Forced it a bit, as you do.  Hurt, but worked.  No redness, but a little bit of a bump on the 'uphill' side of the obturator.

I should explain.  Tubes go straight in, but as I 'wear' mine with the feeding end tucked up near my sternum under an elastic band around my chest, and clothes push down on the loose 12 inches of tube, mine has developed a sideways entry point.  Meaning of course, that the bit inside that stops it falling out (the obturator) pushes up a bit on one side. 

So anyway, I wondered if it might be a bit of 'buried bumper' syndrome, where the obturator gets stuck into the stomach wall and starts to migrate out of the body.  But then it did spin around OK so.....

Cut to the next feed, 3 hours or so later.  Meeta has a look.  It's a bit red.  Much sorer too.  Feed.  Flush.  OMG WTF???  There's leakage from the site, like, blood and water!!!!

A tiny moment of all that, before calm descended again.

Meeta looks again after a wee mop-up.  Now, very suddenly, there's swelling and much redness.  Ah, infection, my old friend.  Bacteria come to donate some new DNA and jostle my interesting (some say compromised) immune system about again some more.  Well, OK.  No chance at my GP.  Off to the hospital.

I shall spare you the story of that.  In the end, we're just training the artillery (antibiotics) on it, and have sent some swabs to the lab for fun in petri dishes.  Mm, agar agar.

As comfortable as I am with my tubing, as everyday a part of me it is, I am reminded that in some ways it will always be not me.  Thus, my body from time to time attempts to either digest or reject it.  However, I do have the choice to accept it consciously, I'm sure.  Today it stands as a cipher for those things I cannot change, and perhaps moreso for the things I am changing, but whose outcomes I can never predict - like everything in life.  Healing is a direction, a journey, not a quest for some specific goal.  That sort of quest is called a fight.

I have no quarrel (ungghh, pun) with those who face life's vicissitudes as a fight - after all, the whole of our society phrases it as such.  A battle with cancer.  The war on drugs.  But it's not my way.  I know it to be an untrue way for me now. 

So I shall be gentle, and accept the moment - artillery and all.


  1. I have to say Aadhaar, apart from the given "hope you knock that on the head soon", which I do, your unfaltering acceptance and humour is giving people faith that there is a place to go, even when life has appeared to almost take away all choices. No stagefright here mate I see, as you so strangly and deeply know that there is no misplaced thoughts, phrases or stumblings here. I think its beautiful.