Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"A Medical Condition"

Just prior to Christmas and right smack in the middle of our move, I had to go into hospital for minor surgery. It really was no big deal, I've had it done a few times in the past and by the looks of it, will be having it done a few more times before 2010 is out. I had intended to insert a picture that illustrates where my strictures are, however, Photoshop hates me and I have chosen to keep my sanity rather than argue with it anymore. I have a stricture around the ileum and one lower in the rectum.

The surgery involves dilating a stricture, or essentially stretching out the narrowed bit of intestine. Normally this is nothing major, but sadly in my case one of the stricture's is very low down the large intestine towards the rectum and there is a real danger of tearing it open completely. In fact the surgeon who dilated the ileum stricture back in November refused to do the lower one because he said it was too tricky. They called in the expert. It was funny, when I met him prior to it I said "Just tell me it's going to be shit easy and I won't wake up with a bag." He smiled and winked at me and said "It's going to be shit easy and you 99.99% won't wake up with a bag." good enough for me.

As I was going into theatre, the anaesthetist asked me what kind of pain killers worked for me. By this point I'd already been given the initial 'light sedative' and was happily giggling away at the fuzzy shiny things in the operating room. The next thing I was aware of was being awoken afterwards.

"How'd it go?" I asked the surgeon, who gave me the thumbs up and said "We got it, it went well but don't be surprised if there's a lot of bleeding." With that he gave me another thumbs up and left. Um... ok?

Next someone else came over to me and said "I'm just going to give you something for the pain." Then she injected something into my IV line and within seconds I was feeling all warm and fuzzy and giggly again. "How do you feel?" She asked. "Really quite pleasant" I replied and she laughed. For whatever reason she decided to give me a little more and I fell asleep very soon after that.

In recovery, the pharmacist came and gave me a cocktail of painkillers, which scared the crap out of me. What exactly did they do in there??? Especially when you consider my GP and specialist just refuse to prescribe anything for pain. I was given five different pain killers. Interestingly enough, I had very little pain at all in the days that followed. It's either feast or famine.

Now at least four or five times during this process I'd asked for a medical certificate. My boss had made it quite clear to everyone, that given the holiday period and that fact that we were short staffed, all sick leave was to be accompanied by a medical certificate, as per HR's policy. In recovery, waiting to be discharged I asked after the medical certificate and was told they hadn't left me one. I somehow managed to keep my cool and politely remind her that I needed one for work and that I had asked five times now. She went off and tracked down a doctor.

A few days later as I was filling in my time sheet and preparing to fax off the medical certificate I noticed that the doctor had given me a week off, instead of just the one day which basically meant I either had to take the week off or abandon the medical certificate. To make matter's worse, in the spot where they usually just write "a medical condition" he had written "having an EUA & dilation of a stricture in the anus with probable heavy bleeding for several days post surgery" Jesus buddy, why not just attach my friggin file. He doesn't need my life story!

Sometimes less really is more.



  1. Aw, the dreaded bag! I think that's the common terrifying denominator for all us with Crohn's!

  2. amen to kathryn's note...

    and tattered -- what an uncalled for christmas blessing. on the bright side, you'll be forced to rest over the remainder of the holiday. best wishes.