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Tips and advice FOR me or BY me

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blog-0987923001377293063.jpgHi Guys/ Ladies,

The pic was so cute I had to post "Devil Eyes", my Sister/Hubby's brand new baby goat, only a week old, Ain't he Cute-- but those eyes !!! He plays with her dogs and thinks he IS a dog!! So funny LOL.

My brother had to have a temporary Ileo last Jan and still has it .His Colon was perforated during a routine scope. He has Colitis but was not having any trouble , just routine. His meds( Sulfalazine works really well for him. He had Diverticulitis and was perforated during removal of a Polyp.

He was released from the day ward although his belly was swollen with pain.

Got peritonitis and spent nearly four months total in hosp. He was released too soon after a month and back in after ten days because he couldn't swallow food,He had a paralyzed muscle in the Pharynx which took weeks to come back to life. After a DVT and a clot in the lung he almost died a couple of times .

Now the poor guy is back in for an Aortic Valve replacement.They knew about the heart problem last year and left it until aweek before his Reversal surgery to do an Angiogram, now he is stuck with the Ileo for probably another year!! The op was done two days ago and he came through it still breathing, happily . Now I discover he has MRSA. They say it was found in a nasal swab but with the Ileo and the large chest sutures I'm worried it will spread.

I've had major surgery in an Irish hospital three or four times and had no complaints about anything at all except for one really Nasty nurse .

His experience was Terrible . There was a such lack of attention and communication both between the Medical personnel themselves and with myself as the family contact that I had to go to the hospital almost every day to make sure he was taken care of . As an Irish person I don't like to go overboard about a single case but I would never allow myself-- or him to be treated there again. Just a litany of failures. Without my intervention , at least twice he would almost certainly have died. I had some horrible treatment in SF when I first got sick and wound up with less than a 50 / 50 chance because I was turned away from Kaiser , telling me I had hemorrhoids even after I told them that the toilet was full of blood every time I used the bathroom, could not eat, visibly emaciated, and was in extreme pain . I went to three different hospitals and saw four doctors !!! all the same result, they gave me a packet of powdered Gatorade and said " you'll be fine " . A private Gastroenterologist diagnosed me in about FIVE minutes and wrote a letter to get me into Kaiser. I stayed on a gurney for more than 12 hours , all night by myself in a hallway !!! before they did Anything for me !! My two brothers had to intervene to keep me alive.

What comes around goes around. Now its my turn and he is still alive and kicking , going to see him tomorrow.We will see.

Well the moral of the story is . No matter what hospital or country you are in you always need a " Wingman/woman" to keep an eye on things if you cannot do it yourself !!

Don't get me wrong , 99% of the medical people I've dealt with were excellent, empathetic and great people but all it takes is one bad one to kill you.

Nurses are my favorite people, my sister is a nurse in Washington and a great source of great advice when I need it .

Good to be posting again. Sorry that my first new post is one long rant, except of course for the "Devil eyed goat"-- bouncing around like a wind up toy, so cute!!

Love Y'all Magoo :)



Hi Guys,

I've been quiet for a while now so I thought it was time I added a short piece.

I'm in Navan, Ireland at the moment. I had a scope a couple of weeks ago and my rear end looked like chopped liver inside. It's been giving me a lot of trouble recently. I'm using Flagyl and Colifoam, a steroid foam that squirts in there with a syringe type gadget and they seem to be working.

I have another scopoe tomorrow and hopefully it will look better. I'm going to San Francisco in the last week of August and tomorrows scope will let me know if its safe to go . My brother and his two sons are coming in Sept and I will be in SF while he is here . His wife is not in good shape and I will be keeping an eye on things while he is here. She is in a wheelchair now and has fallen a lot of times because of a bad knee and back. Nobody seems to know how to help her . The America's Cup yacht race is being held in the bay this Aug and Sept so I will catch some of that , hopefully. I'm staying at my brothers house just outside Dublin for a few days..

We had summer her for a couple of weeks and it was so nice . This country is just magic when the weather is nice. The temp went up to 85 for a few days!!! . Its been 20 years since Ireland had two weeks of this kind of weather. My pics are on my computer at home , I'll post when I get back. I was swimming every day for two weeks in a nearby lake, it felt so good, I had no ' accidents; , got no funny looks. In fact I met some beautiful young ladies who gave me no funny looks even with my shirt off !!! Really hepled my confidence.There were visitors from all over the planet swimming at the small sandy lake beaches. Irish women seem to have have become better looking in recent years,!!! very impressive, they look after themselves better in general and they look fantastic. People are so much more pleasent when the weather is good, they smile and are much more pleasent in the shops . Weather makes such a difference to peoples attitude, how they get through the day . When the weather is bad, as it usually is people always look so miserable ( for good reason ) . The weather is still pretty good so people will be smiling for a while longer.

Gotta go.

Later guys Magoo55


Hi there ALL my Ostomyland friends .

Well its been a while , I've been remiss . I'm still in Ireland but I'll be heading back to US in late August .

Our summer finally arrived in this cold, wet land . The farmers are all out cutting their hay and there is a beautiful smell of freshly cut grass everywhere . Meeting the huge tractors on these tiny roads will give you a bit of a trrill !!!! they don't slow down when they approach , they assume that you know the roads -- beware .

If this country had this weather all the time nobody would ever leave . The countryside looks uninhabited here in the West , the grass is still " forty shades of green ' ( Not Grey!!! ) , the beaches with their sugary sand and the local lake is warm enough to swim in . The water at the beaches ( Enniscrone ) on the Atlantic is still very cold to swim in so I've been going to the local lake to get some swimming in . The lake near my house ( Lough Conn ) is spectacular when the weather is nice and its little sandy beaches arealmost deserted . The scene is framed by a circle of mountains not very far away . We've had about 75 - 80 degrees for about two weeks now !!! - unheard off . It must be 20 years since we had weather like this for more than a couple of days . Our Atlantic High Pressure system is sitting right where we like it - right over the whole country .

I can't get enough of it . It effects the people here so much when we get this weather .Everyone is smiling , they say " have a great day " in the local shops and they actually SMILE . It is like a different country when the sun shines like this . The drivers are allhappy and polite with all their windows open - " we can actually drive with the windows open " !!!

I had my Pouchoscopy in dublin a couple of weeks ago and it looked pretty horrible in there . The passage is very narrow and looked a bit like chopped meat !!!! I got no anesthetic so I'm surprised that you guys in the US didn't hear my screams !! it was very painful , think double sided dagger being shoved in there . I'm using Colifoam / Proctofoam and Flagyl . These have relieved the swelling and pain so it is much better now . Going backon August first for another look .

I'm heading back to NY and the San Francisco in the last weekl of August . My brothers wife is now in a wheel chair in SF because of her knee and back problems . She seems to be mentally confused also , possibly wrong meds or too much meds . Herr husband ( my brother ) is taking their kids and one fiancee here to Ireland in Sept and he cannot go and leave his wife alone so that's where I come in . I would have loved to be here when they get here and take loads of photos but ... So I will go and stay with his wife while he and the boys are here and the brother from NY .I'll miss the family gathering but all in a good cause . My poor brother was a nervous wreck when he came last time and his wifw was walking then , badly but still walking , now she is in the wheelchair with a $5,000 brace on her leg . The brace is no good if she doesn't exercise the leg . I'll try to get her out of the chair and walking if she will cooperate . I wanted to photograph the America's Cup in San Francisco Bay in Sept , unfortunately that is the week they are coming and I will be looking after Janet . I'll catch the practice races so that's OK .

My brother here in Ballina had his Colon punctured ( has Colitis , DD, and Ankilozing Spondalitis ( Spelling ??). during a Colonoscopy over a year ago and he was supposed to get it reversed this week . This has been postponed now for at least a month . The economy here is really having a bad effect on hostitals and tests and operations are postponed all the time . So we have to drive to Galway next Monday to have a Cardiac Cath to check something they found in his heart . They knew about this heart thing last year and waited until the week before the surgery to do something about it and of course the hospitals are swamped with patients .A lot of hospitals were closed so the big hospitals have way too many patients to deal with .

I've been trying to write some stuff like short stories and posting on a writers site .I got a lot of reads and they seem to be very popular but I'm not ready for prime time yet . I'll put up a link when I figure I won't be too embarrassed letting you guys see it . I haven't been doing a lot on my building project . My butt has been troublesome and kept me from heavy work .I do a bit when things feel better but not nearly enough . I can't really afford to get a crew in to do it but It will eventually get done , thats my motto .

I saw a great poster on the internet of Jack Nicholson .His hair is sticking up crazily and he has several days of stubble , crazy grin on his face and the caption says .

" Life got a hell of a lot easier since I stopped giving a F...K "

Thats the attitude I've decided to adopt . " don't Stress and you won't be stressed ." You can only change the things you control so don't worry about the things you cannot change " , recognize that ??

Well I'm going off to the lake for a swim and then to my sisters for barbecue . A barbecue in Ireland -- that is one for the record books !!!

I got a new TV and it has WI-FI built in . For you techie gadget people out there it actually works !!!! often they don't do what they say they will . With Netflix its great . I turned off my Satelite service , saving about 60 Euros ( about $90 ) a month . You know what ,I don't even miss the service ( Sky ) I get everything from thei nternet .

OK enough for now .


blog-0262238001355791314.jpgI saw this Clown in a window in Chinatown in San Francisco made entirely of glass .

The sadness of his look made me include it here

This is the final chapter in Helen's life , the saddest chapter .

Helen wa old and feeble , loved by nobody , missed by nobody , and visited in death by a nephew who never visited in life . For many years she had no connection to the outside world . Her first encounter with the world outside her apartment door was ( as described in my last entry ) when her apartment had to be stripped and cleaned with new carpets and drapes installed . The poor lady was terrified that someone would see her in her weakened condition . We kept the incident under wraps and Helen's privacy was maintained . This was her only interaction with other people in more than ten years and she wanted no more of it .

She was still an angry , frightened and bitter person but we understood her a little better .

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody sees or hears it does it really matter that the tree ever existed , one tree among millions .Does it make a difference to the world or to the forest that the tree will soon be erased from memory , that it will become nourishment for the soil from which it sprung .

It matters ! The tree provided a living and a home for the creatures of the forest , the tree is part of a network , a recursive system which feeds on itself .The hundreds of seedlings which came from that tree will not all survive but some of them will . The birds that call the tree home will come back every year to nurture their young , this is what these trees contribute to the world .

Helen had been a nurse in her life and devoted her life to helping others .Towards the end of her days she was so embarrassed and ashamed of how she looked that she would never venture outside to see a doctor or a hairdresser and had no friends . As her isolation became more pronounced her bitterness towards her own life became bitterness towards the world . Nobody had seen Helen's face in many years , anything she wanted or needed was delivered and left outside her apartment door after she buzzed in the delivery person .

The reader would be surprised and totally amazed at the conditions lurking behind the doors of many " respectable looking , well dressed " people . When you have to deal with people's privacy rights and their right to live as they please you must not get too peronal people will become very defensive very quickly , you cannot interfere with the lives of tenants or comment on their private lives , this may open a messy can of worms ( trying to Fix people) ..

A young doctor lived in the apartment next door . This doctor was an intern at a big city hospiital and like all interns she was so overworked that her apartment looked like a bomb had gone off in there !!! For a long time she would not let anyone into her apartment and never asked for repairs until her kitchen sink backed up and she had no choice . She just told me to let the plumber in and I did not see her again for about seven days , she avoided me because she was embarrassed by the messy condition of the apartment . Many tenants were just disasters as far as housekeeping was concerned so it was not unusual for people to keep a low profile and not let anyone in their apartment unless it was an emergency . Some people were simply so overworked that they could barely function .

Example . The doctor came to my door at about 5:30 AM , literally screaming at me and asking what I had done to her car ?? I eventually calmed her down and was able to get a word in . I asked her where and when she had seen her car last . I drove it into the garage and someone must have stolen it . The garage had mostly Porches Mercedes , BMW - all the big ones , she drove a piece of junk so I tactfully informed her that it was highly unlikely that someone had stolen it from a locked garage with security cameras . I asked her again where she had seen her car , Had she visited the corner store when she came in at 1 AM ?. She thought for a minute and sheepishly said -- yes . Problem solved . She forgot she had driven to the store and walked the two blocks home with the milk she picked up for her morning coffee . This was a doctor who was going into a hospital treating patients !!!! This is why her apartment was a mess , she couldn't remember what day of the week it was .

I am trying to explain how Helen got to be the way she was and to explain thet she had been a good person who cared for others all her life and just did not know how to ask for help until it was almost too late for anyone to hear .

The Doctor I spoke of earlier lived in the apartment next door to Helen and neither tenant ever complained about the other .

At about 6 AM one morning the doctor came to my door again but not screaming at me on this occaision . She looked a little puzzled and I asked what the problem was . She said that she heard a noise in the vicinity of her apartment that sounded like a cat or a small animal of some kind . The building had a no-pets policy so there were no animals that I knew of . We went back to her apartment and stood inside and listened , there were no strange noises . She said that it was like a whining sound . I thought that soneone may have a cat without approval or the Doctor imagined it all .

When the Doctor returned home from work at maybe 2 AM she again knocked on my door . She heard this noise again and it sounded more persistent and steady . I went to her apartment and immediately knew what the sound was . After knocking and getting no response except for the very low moan or squeaking like a mouse I used my key to open the door . Helen always kept her chain on the door and these chains cannot be easily forced or broken . Luckily I had a large bolt cutter in the basement and went to get it while the Doctor reassured Helen that we knew she needed help . I returned and cut the chain . The doctor waited while I looked inside . The apartment looked clean and neat , thanks to the regular visits by the lady who cleaned the building once a week . I quickly saw that Helen was on the floor between the bed and the wall . As I rushed over ( I wore just socks ) I stepped in something soft and aquishy and it soaked my foot . I leaned down to see how bad she was and she whispered that she was ok and just needed help to get up I sather on the bed and told her that the lady next door was a doctor and wanted to help , she went ballistic and just kept saying " No " . I asked her if she had medication that she needed and she said no but there was something she wanted , just ask , I said . The poor woman could barely talk and I saw that she was dehydrated so I offered her water . No , No she said , in the drawer over there there is a pack of cigaretted and a little bottle of brandy . I told her that I could not give her a cigarette and she protested so much and panicked so badly that I lit one and gave it to her . The light was off and it was still dark in the apartment except for the streetlights . I lit the lighter and almost dropped it on the floor .Helen was so pale and her face was so thin that her skin looked like a plastic sheet drawn tight to her skull , her hair was a mess and I thought that she could die any minute . As I got up to tell the Doctor that I would call 911 and get Helen some help she came around the bed and saw Helen's face and stopped in her tracks , turning white herself , poor Helen looked so scary . The Doctor left and I turned on a lamp .

I sat on the bed and put my arm around her shoulder and poured her a little brandy . We both knew she would not survive this and the brandy calmed her , until I mentioned Paramedics . She started to shake and said No repeatedly . I quietly said that I would have to call someone , and she said , later . I hugged her and told her everything would be OK , This was probably the first time she had been hugged in many years , I thought of my own Mom

So we chatted as much as she could manage . She said she had been on the floor since Friday morning , this was Monday morning . She told me that she had decided to just stay there and die alone on the floor , that she hated her life and wanted it to end . She did not know why she had started calling for help , I think it was lasting longer than she thought it would and did not want to suffer . I told her that she did the right thing and as soon as she felt ready to go I would call the Paramedics . Her only demand was that she would not be taken to the closest hospital because she used to work there when she was younger . .

A couple of days later we went to see Helen and she was in a coma , all the time she was on the floor had taken its toll and Helen would only survive for about five days . She was hooked up to many machines which kept her alive , technically .

Helen finally died warm and comfortable and well taken care off and if you can't actually save a life this is the next best thing .

Her nephew came by the building after the cremation but had very little to say . He did say that she was very difficult to deal with and

just did not want anyone , I don't know how hard he tried but who am I to judge .

If you got this far Thank You , that was a very difficult day . Magoo .


blog-0552409001355191991.jpgThe window looks out on the site of the Destroyed Twin Towers of the Trade Ctr in New York .

A lot can happen in the world when you are inside looking out , and your view from inside will

be distorted .

Hi there Fellow Ostomates and Slainte ( sla - n - te ) Galelic for Health .

I've had quite a few challenges which showed me the power of the human survival instinct . even when we think we have had enough and want it to end there is an instinct for survival which often keeps the fight going .

After getting my J-Pouch I needed to do something that would minimize my stress levels .. I got raised eyebrows when I mentioned

my reasoning on this subject . Many people would think your stress levels would be increased to an intolerable level by babysitting

60 or 70 people as an apartment Manager .

In New York the manager is called The Super(intendant) . . This species is an angry , stressed branch of the family tree , simply because they have to deal with a lot of careless people and children who never follow any rules - " the Super will clean it up " .

In Manhattan , the Manager has a whole crew to supervise , the money is great but the stress would be intolerable . Deferential behavior

is a requirement and the kissing ass aspect of the position would be a step too far for me .

In San Francisco I had a place in Pacific Heights . Pacific Heights is the pinnacle of " Old Money " in San Francisco , well one of the

pinnacles along with Nob Hill , Sea Cliff ( BIG Bucks ) and several other wealthy enclaves which seem to be insulated from the everyday existance of the City . Pacific avenue or Broadway ( next Street ) is like a different world compared to any other street in the vicinity .

If you live and work on that street you never have to encounter City Life , no tourists , no homeless people , no street people , no liquor stores with noisy stoned people outside and I might add , very few people who are not some shade of white in skin colour . I have never been able to fully and convincingly explain the last statement but that is a dfifferent conversation . One thing I will say is that I gave out no more than five or six applications to non-white American people out of thousands of applications . I simply had a sign hanging outside the door for anyone to see .

Anyway . This was a relatively young building , maybe constructed the 60's so in relatively good shape . The Plumbing was modern , the Electrical system was modern , appliances etc . There was no central boiler for heating , or system for Air Conditioning . All these factors meant that the building almost ran itself with very little intervention required . The achilles heel of this type of the situation is the Tenants , they can destroy your life and make life not worth living if you allow it .. Control has to be established from the beginning , for your sanity .

People in this type of area , whether they have money or not , may think they are special - strictly because the are residents of this neighbourhood . Many do not " have a pot to piss in " but they have some nice clothes , maybe even a nice car . Every penny they make goes for the car and the rent and the few " special " outfits . They might live on beans and toast , if they can afford the beans , but they play at being special . The point is that no-one is special, even if they do have money , this is the required attitude in this atmosphere . People are generally nice and quite pleasent if that is what they are confronted with , People will generally be as nice to you as you are towards them but I did develop great patience .

Repairs or jobs could be done by me or I could call someone in to do it , often I would do it myself to make some extra money .

There were a few tenants who would never be seen , except by the manager .when some repair was required . I shared the duties with my brother who was finishing lawschool . . I liked this whole situation because the most important thing to me - at the time - was time for myself and I had plenty of it in this job . I rode my Mountain Bike for many hours every day . I enjoyed every day in this beautiful city . Often getting a whole cooked crab at Fisherman's wharf and eating it under the Golden Gate bridge and watching the surfers and sailboarders dodging the ships , riding on the wake waves and even the Bow Waves , almost certain death if the person falls !!

I was staying healthy and feeling really good crossing the Golden Gate into the Marin Headlands almost every day .

There were a few older tenants wo we would have to keep an eye on to make sure they were OK and didn't burn the building down while baking cookies . One of the older ladies set her stove on fire while making cookies , I got it in time . We had smoke detectors and heat( flame detectors ) so we were safe enough . We never had trouble getting the rent on time , 58 out of the 60 named tenants were never a problem so life was pretty nice , all things considered .

One of the two questionable tenants was on older lady , maybe in her late 70's . The previous Manager said she would throw her Christmas tree out the third floor window when Christmas was over !!!! By my time she was too fragile to continue this practice , relief !! The strange thing was that I never saw her . I never had a problem which would bring me into the apt and she would only open it on the chain to speak to me . I would make up a reason to knock on her door just to make sure she was OK .

One time we were having a problem with cockroaches and we never had bugs of any kind before . We had a pest control company who sprayed and inspected every month for rodents or bugs . With the pest control guy we pinned down the problem slowly . There was one apt that appeared to be at the centre of the problem and all the apts around had various degrees of problems with roaches . The problem appeared to emanate from apartment of the old lady with the Christmas tree problem . To get into the apartment I had to threaten to call the city health authorities and they would not be very polite about the whole thing . She relented eventually and opened the chain on the door . I wanted to see the apt with my brother first before the pest control guy , I recoiled in horror as the door opened . . The Manager cannot enter a tenants apt without permission so if something bad is happening in there it may take quite some time for it to come to light . People have a right to their privacy and we knew the lady had a nephew wh visited sometimes .

The apartment was black as night with Blackout Curtains . I walked to the window to open the drapes and I heard crunching under my feet . From the door being opened I knew there were bugs , I saw them in the light from the door . When I opened the drapes and let the light in I just froze . This little old lady was sitting in her chair looking skeletal and pale . Cockroaches were everywhere , on the bed , on the floor, the stove and they were not running away as they normally would . . My brother and I knew we had a problem but we knew the lady had a nephew who visited sometimes. If people do not wish to interact or ask for help then they cannot be forced , only if their problem becomes a problem for the other tenants or the safety of the building can the manager insist on a face to face conversation about the problem or the authorities will be called .

We knew we had to tackle this problem ourselves once we got inside the apartment . The owners would want to evict the old lady from her home of 35 years and to be honest our image of control in the building might be severely compromised and the respect the tenants have for you is what allows you to have some authority when discussing probelms with other tenants and getting their cooperation in addressing various problems .

The solution was to move the lady into another apartment and strip her apartment of everything in it , including carpet and drapes .

We bought disposable work suits and Bug Bombs ( many) . We got rid of the bugs first and then got our cleaning lady to come in and do a major top-to-bottom cleanup of the apartment. we had all her clothes washed and cleaned . About two weeks later we got the poor old lady moved back into her own apartment and she cried with relief. She had been terrified that if she asked for help then she would lose her home and end up in a nursing home at the mercy of strangers . . Her nephew really had little interest in her and she had no other relatives . I guess our motivation in helping her get through this as easily as possible was the thought of our own mother and how we would like her to be treated by others and how scared she would be in this situation .

The lady was home but she would not cook and she would probably starve if we could not figure out some way to help her . The answer was Meals On Wheels . She said she did not want it , she protested loudly at the suggestion . Once again we told her she could wind up in a nursing home if she did not cooperate and eat regularly , she was still dangerously thin . The cleaning lady , a real gem, saw her every week and did some cleaning in her apt . This was part of the agreement that would keep her at home . She had to eat and the apt had to be cleaned .

This lady used to be a nurse at a nearby hospital and probably had a pretty good pension and good health care . The only thing she lacked was human contact with someone who cared . Before the roach incident she would open the door just a crack and give monosyllabic answers to any question and the answer to everything was usually NO - a very vehement NO followed by GO AWAY .

There was no way to get through to her and through whatever bitterness was making her act this way . She always struck me as a very bitter woman who resented deeply getting old and weak and losing control . As long as that door remained closed she maintained control as she percieved it , even if it was choas inside that apartment she felt that it was HER chaos , as her chaos she had control over it . She could choose to get someone in to clean up the mess and she could choose Not to so I guess in her own mind she thought this was control . The only thing that got through to her was the mention of a nursing home . This represents a total loss of what little control she had .

She was ashamed and embarrassed at how she looked and how physically broken she had become and these feelings had made her feel huge bitterness towards the whole world and prompted her refusal to interact with the world , at any level . She smoked virtually non-stop and our fear was that she would cause a fire .

There were several other ladies similar in age to Helen and neither knew the other existed although they had lived down the hall from each other for 20 - 25 years !!! Tenants would often ask me if anyone actually lived in that apartment .

We had a few very eccentric tenants , some quite strange and the strange ones were not always old , certainly not as old as Helen .

Helen's story got better for a couple of years and the apartment remained bug-free and clean and she ate just enough to stay alive but not enough to thrive . She did Not get any friendlier or any less bitter . She had thanked us for our help and for allowing her to remain in her home without informing the owners . None of our work efforts or the replacement of the unusable fixtures etc( stove , curtains , carpet ) was charged to Helen , she got no bills . She smoked non-stop so the white walls had turned a dirty brown colour and had to be painted three times . We recovered some money- most actually - form thebuilding repair fund but Helen never contributed anything . We only wanted the problem solved and it was and we figured out a way that the building would pay for it . We had no idea of the state of Helen's finances but we assumed that she had very little .

After her passing the nephew did show up once at the apt .

The circumstances of her passing was a really an emotional and enlightening experience for me . When you are in the daily lives of at least sixty people you inevitably have interesting experiences , some of these inevitably involve the death of those tenants when they have no one else , nobody who will knock on their door to see if they are alive or dead , or even to call them on the phione .

It is too much to include here but Helen's last few days and nights in that apartment was a lesson in the human instinct to go on , even in the face of total despair .

Later , Magoo.


blog-0579842001354488147.jpgMy Veggie Photo was for a veggie website in Ireland ,

they used my strawberries but this

group makes a great veggie smoothie !! Eat Healthy and Stay Healthy .

Hi there my Friends and fellow Ostomates ,

I am back yet again to steal another few minutes of your valuable time . I am really happy that people are reading my rambling missives and even happier that some are leaving comments . I try to make my pieces relevant to the Ostomy world or to people

dealing with the brave new world of medicine .

My diseased Colon was removed in the course of my first emergency surgery and therefore I really have no memory of having had a full Colonoscopy . There was an investigation of my Colon when I was first admitted to hospital and they may have attempted to perform a Colonoscopy at that time but I'm sure they did not get too far because the Colon was in such bad condition . ( If you haven't seen my history , a short note . The Ulcerative Colitis had a very rapid onset and destroyed my Colon in less than 2 months ). For this reason I have never experienced recovery from a full Colonoscopy of the entire Colon .

I did have a J-Pouch created after a few years and any scopes following this surgery would have been a Pouchoscopy or a Sigmoidoscopy which always hurt like hell during and after . When I needed to have a scope my J-Pouch would have been inflamed and very tender , I always had pain and abdominal swelling afterwards , a good deal of discomfort was guaranteed . My brother John who lives in Ireland also has uc . His disease is a less severe form than my own and is usually kept under control with medication . John has a Colonoscopy periodically to check for polyps or signs of Colon Cancer . In January 2012 was scheduled for a routine Colonoscopy in a town about 40 miles away .

I drove him to the hospital at about 8 AM on the day of the appointment and dropped him off telling him to call or have the nurse call me when he was released . At about 3:30 I got the call from the nurse and drove to the hospital . As I parked at the patient pickup area I called John and he soon walked out to the car without help . He was as I expected , tired , groggy and he was having the normal belly pain that feels like gas . Air is pumped into the Colon during the Scope procedure to expand the Colon ( for the camera ) and

this process causes abdominal pain and discomfort following the procedure . When he was seated in the car , seatbelt fastened , I gave him the quiz , was he dizzy or lightheaded , did he feel as if he might vomit , how much pain was he in and finally I put my hand on his abdomen to see just how distended it was . Everything appeared within an acceptable range . He said he just wanted to go home and go to bed . We got to his home without incident and his condition seemed no different , he just wanted to sleep . I left him stretched on his couch in front of a nice hot fire with his wife sitting beside him and he seemed quite comfortable but still having a little belly pain . I told his wife to call me if there was any problem or if he became distressed in any way , I was only ten minutes away .

I waited until about 9:30 AM to call and enquire how the patient was doing . His wife said she was very worried because he was in a lot of pain and his abdomen seemed very distended and hard I immediately drove to their house . He was in bed upstairs and in a great deal of pain , his abdomen was very distended and he was moaning , not able to respond coherently to my questions . His wife had called their doctor's office an hour earlier and had received no response . I called the same number and reached the doctor . I explained the previous days events and requested that he send an ambulance to the house . I rold him that I was assuming that my brother had a perforated Colon as a result of the Colonoscopy and he agreed that this appeared to be the case . The doctor and the ambulance arrived in about fifteen minutes and prepared my brother for the trip to the hospital . I explained to the paramedics what the problem appeared to be and they took notes which I saw them writing .and the doctor wrote a note to be given to the ER doctor by the paramedics . His wife made some calls to family members and I then drove her to the hospital , getting there about a half hour after the ambulance . There were a couple of nurses and a doctor in the cubicle with John so I let them get on with their work without interference .

The doctor emerged after about ten minutes looking a little puzzled and spoke to the wife . I thought I heard the doctor use the term " stroke " and became concerned . My brother suffered partial facial paralysis during minor exploratory surgery when he was a child , muscles were irrepairably damaged in the right hand side of his face . I got the doctors attention and immediately informed him that the facial paralysis had nothing to do with his ongoing emergency , that this had happened in childhood in this very hospital .. He looked surprised and simply said " oooh , I see " and was now simply puzzled . I asked if he knew that my brother had a Colonoscopy in the same hospital the day before . To my amazement and utter horror he said " no " . I said , how can you NOT know that ! , he just asked me to explain , which I very quickly did . No information had been passed to him about my brothers condition and he was working on the assumption that John had a stroke ., for which he would have been given blood thinner . This could eeasily have been a fatal mistake if we had not arrived at the hospital when we did .. The Gastric surgeon who had attended the Colonoscopy just happened to be in the hospital that day and was asked to come to the ER . He immediately knew what happened and prepared for emergency surgery . The surgeon was already familiar with my brothers medical condition so he did not have a steep learning curve . He said there was no point sitting around the hospital , that we should go home and rest . We got a call after many hours reporting that the surgery was completed and John was in the ICU resting comfortably . As I expected John had to have a temporary Ileostomy to allow his Colon to heal , I assumed this would be the case and had informed his wife of this probability .

The next day we went back to the hospital to check on my brother's condition and found him in the ICU looking very ill indeed . .

Upon speaking to the surgeon we learned that John had a bad case of Diverticulitis and a weakened area had been torn by the scope . He said that the whole Colon , the Ascending , Transverse and the Decending Colon were all scoped initially although the patient had serious DD . I did some research on this scenario and it is usually not a wise course of action .to continue past the decending Colon with active Ulcerative Colitis especially when DD is present and flaring up .

What started out as a routine procedure became three months in hospital for my brother and three

months of stress and grief for his family .I could detail the litany of problems and infections etc but this would occupy way more space and time than we can spend here . It will suffice to say that a Pulmonery Embolism due to Deep Vein

Thrombosis started a downhill roll which almost ended in disaster . The NG tube and the Vent, tube had caused a muscle in his

throat to spasm and prevent food passing through his throat , he could drink but he could not eat for a couple of weeks and was on TPN during this period . The outcome was that he could not or would not eat for weeks and lost weight steadily . This is the main reason for his three month hospital stay . He went home for ten days and had to be admitted again because he could not swallow properly .

I learned some lessons in the past from my personal hospital experiences in California , I've had some very bad experiences , I've seen careless errors and poor nursing practices . Most of my experiences and most of the nedical professionals I encountered were excellent however and I owe my own life to the good work and dedication of many people . Hospitals depend on communication for smooth safe operation and communication with the patient is often less than adequate , this was a problem in the Irish hospital . I myself , as a very complicated patient , had only good experiences in Irish hospitals , my nightmares occured in California hospitals .

What matters in my experience is the People , the Medical Professionals themselves , Not the hospital Not the country . The nature of the people caring for you when you are ill , this is the most important factor . Virtually all the accidents and incidents ( one of which ended in death for the patient in the next bed ) were caused by avoidable mistakes and careless practices by careless or uncaring people , not by malfunctioning equipment .

Happily , virtually All the medical professionals I dealt with in All my hospital experiences were dedicated , caring , wonderful people and I am not fearfull when entering hospital , I am simply well informed and I am my own best advocate .

Rules to live by .

Always have a wingman / woman

Simple procedures are not always simple .

Routine is never routine .

Never assume your doctor knows what you know about your case unless you tell him yourself - yet again.

If you got this far without falling asleep , thank you . Magoo


blog-0135064001353830556.jpgHi there fellow double-baggers . While on the phone with my sister last week we were talking about the discomfort her patients experience following surgery and the pain meds used to alleviate it . I suddenly had what I would call an epiphany . The memory of one brief moment when I felt so good I find it hard to describe and struggle put it into words . A single thought blossomed in my brain It does not come to me as a memory of the place although I remember the place vividly also , it comes as a feeling deep in my brain , a

feeling of ultimate comfort and goodness and well being . I can imagine doing anything and I mean anything to recreate that feeling . When I hear people describing how they died and were revived they sometimes describe a feeling of warmth and goodness and total security which mirrors exactly the feelings I had while wrapped and coddled in the ICU .

We were talking about drug addiction and speculating as to what people were looking for when they use narcotics , legal or illegal , Heroin or Crack or Oxycontin or Vicodin . I said that it was very obvious to me what they are looking for . Only if you have used narcotics for an extended period can you begin to understand the risk / reward system involved in the use of narcotics . My sister who is a nurse had a male friend who was also a nurse . He had made his career in nursing and was dedicated to his work . He was very methodically and using all the tricks of the trade was stealing and shooting Demerol and Morphine . None of his colleagues would have suspected it but the pharmacy was tracking the supplies and eventually tracked the losses to him . My sister could not understand how he could throw away his life like this . He lost his licence and went to jail for a short but painfully traumatic period and had a criminal record which spells the end of your normal life if you live in the US . He was not stealing drugs to sell , he was stealing them to use . The reward for him was so much greater than the risk that he could not stop himself , his brain made him do it .

When you are suffering agony , physical or mental , and this agony is somehow relieved your psyche remembers with great fondness the thing or action which relieved this agony . This sense of relief creates a sort of a break point in your existence , such a powerfully tranquil feeling of peace that for the rest of your life you will try to recreate this feeling by any means necessary . I had a great deal of agonizing pain and when I was given a shot of Demerol for this pain the feeling of relief was so great and I felt so good it is hard to put into words .

Vicoden after discharge was a poor substitute but it cut my 20 visits a day down to 2 or 3 .

I had been in my cocoon for weeks , wrapped up like a newborn in blankets and pillows , floating on a cloud of Demerol and

muscle relaxants . I dreamed the dreams of peace and tranquillity . I was close to death a couple of times but had no dreams of heaven or hell , no bright , white lights , no tunnel with relatives reaching out to me .

When I try to picture that period in my mind's eye , those weeks in intensive care , all I can see is white , not the white of a bright light but the white texture of big puffy white clouds of an Irish summer sky , a Cumulonimbus day and as with this type of cloud there

is danger lurking in the seeming purity of the scene .

I have no certainty of the time sequence as the months blended together .

I was turned several times a day in order that bed sores would not develop . I just remember the nurses rolling me on either side and reassuring me that everything was going as expected .From time to time two nurses would come into the room with their full protective gear on , caps , gowns , double gloves and booties and the ever-present red " bio-hazard bags " . Everything left the room in the red plastic bags when my Ileostomy bag was changed . I already had Peritonitis from my ruptured Colon and was at great risk of further possibly fatal infections . On one occasion when the bag was changed only one nurse was present . I was quite aware of my

situation and my surroundings but I really did not understand why this thing was attached to my belly . I knew it was collecting my waste but did not really understand the whole thing . The reader may find it hard to believe but I distinctly remember the nurse's comments as she peeled the old bag off my skin . The nurse said she had never changed one of these before and wasn't quite sure of the proper procedure and asked me about what the other nurses had done . I said that I didn't really know as I had never even heard of

an Ostomy . Well she completed the bag change and helped me roll over on my right side side .

As usual the nurse and a colleague came back several times to turn me from one side to the other . The next day or possibly

two days later when the bag had to be changed the two nurses came in with all their gear on and unwrapped me from pillows and blankets . At some point during the process I heard the nurse gasp audibly and I followed her gaze to the unfamiliar appendage stuck to my belly . I could see a stream of brown liquid flowing down from the bag which made a puddle on the bed . The bandage covering my wound was soaked in the brown liquid . I had been told that the staples would be removed soon and I would be on the way home soon thereafter . Even in my condition I knew that this situation could be really bad for me and my prospects for going home . Every time I had been rolled onto my left side the bag had leaked into my incision .

After a day or two my surgeon came to see me . He said that I was being given a new round of antibiotics to battle the infection remaining from the peritonitis and the staples would be removed soon .

The very next day the surgeon was back in my room saying that he would be removing the staples from my wound but not in

this room , he would be moving me into a nearby sterile room for the procedure . I was simply amazed that I had a line of enormous staples holding my belly together , they looked just like the heavy duty staples that might be used in construction . Every time the nurses removed my bandage I just stared at the fairly straight line going from my breastbone down as far as it could go and stopping just where my Penis began ( "that was close ", I thought ) . Two nurses came in and this time they had a gurney with them . They unwrapped me from my comfortable , cozy pillows and blankets and then they lifted me onto the other bed which was smaller . They then wheeled me into another room and said the surgeon would be right in , I remember the room was very cold and bare with a sink and a small worktop but not much else , maybe a few cabinets .

The surgeon soon came in with a young nurse , a small skinny young lady . The surgeon told her to get some towels and lay them on the gurney on either side of me . My back opening gown was still on covering the bandage and wound . The nurse helped me lean forward and remove the gown so that I was completely naked . When I looked down at my naked body I was shocked . I could count all my ribs , with the skin sunken into the curvature between the ribs , looking almost shrink wrapped . My arm and leg bones were simply that , bones without the meat , my pelvic bones were all standing out in relief . However my belly was different . I was reminded of the starving children I had seen on the tv news . My belly appeared to be bulging , not in a really frightening way but much more than it should have been , Even in my weakened condition I felt a distinct sense of Impending Doom !!! but I was not worried at all . I was in a hospital with a surgeon in the room , what could go wrong ??

The nurse removed the gauze bandage from the wound an she was taken aback by what she saw . The line of the wound curved around my bellybutton ( still use that term ) which was slightly offset from centre . The line of the incision varied in colour from dark red to purple and bulged along the incision . This was the first time I had seen the incision with this clarity with the rest of my skeleton-like body for context . There was something really wrong here .

The surgeon took the staple remover from the nurse and removed the staples very slowly , one at a time . I could see little seeps of reddish black material coming from the now unsecured incision . The last staple was finally removed and I remember thinking , " if I sneezed right now my guts would probably hit the ceiling in a big splash of red and black !!"

The poor nurse was starting to look a little pale as she observed the liquid oozing from the whole length of the wound . The surgeon started to delicately poke the incision with his double gloved finger from the bottom to the top . The nurse lined along my sides with the white towels . As he reached the middle of the incision the wound suddenly opened and his finger disappeared into my belly . At this moment a stream of black/reddish liquid shot straight up out of me and I'm pretty sure it did splash the ceiling . The whole length of my belly split open in front of my eyes and all the black congealed blood and pus just poured out both sides and onto the towels . If the reader has made a slice in a sausage and put it onto a hot frying pan , this describes exactly what I saw happening to my belly . The opening made by his finger spread North and South and my guts were confined only by the lowermost few centimetres of flesh .

I had seen the so-called " Psychic Surgeons " who claim to reach in and take tumours right out of someone's abdomen . Well this looked just like that but this was real life , my real life :unsure:

I just thought , " how can this be , I'm still alive ??" As the blood was washed away with saline I was amazed to see just how thick my belly was , several inches . The final stitches at the lowest level is what held the incision closed , to the extent that it was closed .

The nurse , already quite pale . turned a deathly white and stepped back . The surgeon was unshakable , telling her , and me , to relax that everything was under control . He said that there was a bad infection present which he would continue to treat with antibiotics .

The nurse recovered her composure and started to clean up the bloody towels and into the red bags they went . Cleaning the wound with saline .

Back into ICU I went , for how long I couldn't really say but it was beginning to feel like my permanent home !!! My brothers and sister in law had to dress in the disposable gear when visiting which was very restricted . They were not sure if I would recover from this infection on top of the peritonitis it would be a pretty steep uphill battle .

The thing that shocked me and scared me the most was the announcement that the incision would not be closed again by the surgeon , " how is it going to close ?? " that was question . I was told that it would close by itself eventually . The nurse debrided the wound regularly and packed gauze in there . Then one day she took me to the shower and stood beside me while I had a - sort of - shower . My first shower with a woman :rolleyes: but not as pleasent an experience as one might wish , I hasten to add . :blink:Today I couldn't get a woman into a shower to save my life . She gave me a wash cloth and said I should start cleaning the wound for myself - now I really freaked - myself ? I can't do that . Yes you can she said and you will because you are going home soon .

At least I was going to live .

I stayed with my brother and his wife and their 3 year old son and they showed infinite patience with me and kindness towards me .

I was still incredulous every time I looked in the mirror when I saw the huge gash . I walked clutching a pillow everywhere I went afraid my guts , what was left of them , were going to fall out on the ground in a bloody pile .

This was only the beginning of my odyssey , only the first hurdle in a long eventful race .


blog-0305835001353471365.jpgStarting over again in California was not easy . Continuing with College would have to wait a while .

I was always a nervous wreck , well not always actually , only when I had to deal with a new person or group of people . College in New York meant dealing with a huge group of people and the most stressful time i can ever remember , and yet I got through two years and did very well . Sitting in class I was relatively comfortable . I did not have to interact with anyone if I chose not to . Asking questions in class was just not an option for me , the question I formulated in my head would exit ny nouth as gibberish if I actually got it out at all . I kept my mouth shut and my ears open and was a prolific notetaker . If I got a B I struggled and studied until I got an A , I was a very concientious student . I vividly remember sitting at my desk at one AM with sweat dripping onto the English paper I was writing .

The Bronx is very hot in the summer with no air conditioner .

I've heard it said that there is a " Colitis Personality " Does anyone have any thoughts on this ????

In Ireland I studied Latin , Gaelic , French , Math , History , Geography , Economics . The methods of teaching were rather harsh and that is being generous to the teaching profession of the day as a whole . The philosophy seemed to dictate that knowledge had to be imparted to the student by force , that they had no inherent desire to learn .. Fear was the mechanism of learning in most high schools . Physical punishment and even abuse was common in all schools . Children would often piss their pants in fear if asked a question . They would piss their pants rather than interrupt the teacher and ask to go to the bathroom .

I will not make this a diatribe against the Irish school system , better people than I have taken up that cause . Ireland was not unique in this regard . Educators were not very enlightened , unfortunately .

This history may hold the roots of my lifelong struggle with nervous anxiety , I just do not know .

I made the Dean's list in The Bronx ( - in a GOOD way ) in my major which was English .

California was going to be a new life . After a couple of years of working in the San francisco area in construction I decided to get back into College and finish what I started in New York . My brother convinced me it was time and eventually I overcame the terror this thought instilled in me , applied and was accepted . . I would Major in Computer Science and Minor in Geology .

It was tough going trying to work construction and go to college , taking extra credits in the Summer session .

I was staying healthy and doing 10 or 15 miles a day on my bike and swimming so my health was pretty good in general . .

The first hint that something was going wrong with my health came almost two years after going back to College .

I was stricken for the first time while doing research in the school library . I got a stabbing , agonizing pain in my gut as if I had been stabbed . I fell to my knees and rolled to the ground unable to utter a sound . I was alone in the stacks and soon recovered and made my way home . Next time , also in school , I used the bathroom and when I looked in the toilet I nearly passed out again . The water was bright red as if I poured a bucket of blood in there . I just stood and stared , not knowing what to do or what to think . . I guess my

first thought was " I'm dying , I must be , I must have Cancer " . I got my head together and when the cramps subsided I left the bathroom , not knowing quite how to proceed . As I walked to the parking lot I saw the campus medical clinic .and decided I would ask the on-call doctor what this sudden appearence of this volume of blood might mean . The doctor was honest and said that he only dealt with cuts and colds and did not have the expertise to deal with this type of problem . He advised me to see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible .

The HMO I was insured with has several hospitals in the Bay Area and the name begins with K . . I went straight to the emergency room , as the doctor had advised me . After waitibg several hours I fanally got to see a doctor . I explained that I had extremely painful cramps for several days and that I was passing large amounts of blood through my Rectum . He poked a little , prodded a little felt my pulse and proclaimed , you must have hemmorhoids , that's your problem . Red blood indicates hemmorhoids he declared .They must be huge , I said , because the toilet is full of blood every time I go and why would I have cramps under my ribs. " referred pain " he said . Drink plenty of water , he said . , bye now , he said . Off I went , knowing he was full of shit .

More nights of agony curled up in the fetal position on my couch . More hours on the toilet feeling like I was turning inside out , expecting to see my guts in the bowl when I finished .

Next time I called and made an appointment . This appointment appears to be a mechanism to keep people out of the actual hospital until they are in fear for their very lives . The doctor had an upper class English accent , I had an obvious Irish accent ( not saying that means anything but there could have been a stereotype problem ) . I explained my case and told my story . I was working all the hours I could in construction and taking a full load of course credits in College . He asked me if I drank . I said not much because I'm in College and working , I neither had the money nor the time to be partying and drinking ., which was the truth . He made some notes poked and prodded my abdomen , I don't think he looked at my rear , scratched his learned chin and proclaimed , " you are dehydrated and you probably have hemmorhoids , drink lots of fluids " , He took a little plastic packet out of his desk and said to mix it with water and drink it .

By the way he said try to cut down on the beer . I'm Irish , therefore My problem was from drinling . Another big waste of time .

At a later point in my life I ( overly )self-medicated with wine to ease my pain and get some sleep . Wine became a bad habit that got out of hand many years later .

More agonizing cramp nights on the couch , more buckets of blood .

Next time I decided I would try a different hospital - that might work ???? I called the branch in Millbrae ( south of SF ) and made an appointment , another four days of cramping agony , more gallons of blood . I was starting to get rather pale at this point and was beginning to feel a loss of energy . I thought I was dying for sure . Every day I could feel the life pouring out of my Rectum into the toilet bowl . Eating had now become impossible . I was much weaker and still had no answers . I had not eaten a decent meal in several weeks so I was looking pretty skinny and noticed my ribs showing when I showered .

A new tactic was required and I decided to go back to the scene of the crime , the labrary . I spent hours looking up medical books and Journals . There were not that many conditions which would produce these symptoms exactly as I was feeling them . My belly was not swelling yet so I was sure there had been no Perforation yet . I knew , however , that this could occur at any time without warning .

The only condition that matched the symptoms was Colitis , or possibly Cancer , I took the more positive choice , Colitis .

I decided to visit a third branch of this hospital , this one in Redwood City . Once again I called and made an appointment . This first appointment is basically a screener to keep admissions to a minimum , Once again my belly was poked and prodded ,my temperature checked , my pulse talen . Once again I had hemmorhoids !! and I needed to drink plenty of water , I was dehydrated !! . Maybe that was because I was losing pints of blood . I was too weak at this point to fight with anyone or argue my case anymore . I thought I would just keel over any minute and die . My brother was in Law school and I had not been bothering him with this little drama going on in my life . I had gone to this last doctor with my own diagnosis in mind , Colitis !!!! The doctor of course discounted this for some obscure reason , probably because of the fact that I had suggested it .

At this point all my faith in this medical corporation was gone . I suggested to my brother that I needed to see a private Gastroenterologist to confirm what I suspected and to force this hospital to admit me . He cantacted my other brother and explained the seriousness of the situation and he drove his station wagon to pick me up . At this point I was getting very weak and struggled not to faint as I went to see this final doctor . . He took one look at me , asked me a few questions , asked about the bleeding and inside fifteen minutes confirmed what I knew . He added the term Ulcerative to my Colitis diagnosis and explained what was happening . He said that my immune system was eating holes in my Colon , thinking it was a foreign body . He told me that he suspected that the ulcers on my Colon were at risk of imminent rupture and if that happened I could die a very painful death , If the infection was severe enough . He wrote me a letter to present to the hospital and sent me on my way . All I remember after that is laying stretched in the back of the station wagon with the back window down , everything was a little fuzzy and blurry and it was raining heavily , thunder showers . My hand was stretched out the back window as I caught raindrops and touched my lips to wet them , I thought again I was dying and I wouldn't make it to the hospital .

With the help of the letter it was agreed that I would be admitted . Tests were carried out , Xrays were performed , specialists were

consulted on all the relevant issues , IVs were started. and fluids administered . This all took place in the ER . My Sister-in-law and my two brothers left for home around 11 and were assured that I was going upstairs shortly . I remember nothing after this , I passed out from the pain . I woke up the next morning with my sister-in-law standing over me . I was on a gurney , in a hallway , alone . My sister-in-law went ballistic and demanded that I be attended to . All this occured when they knew I could perforate any minute .

When I eventually got my bed I was in a room with three other people which was fine with me . There are only two things I remember about my time in that room . Number 1 . Out of frustration at being ignored by nurses I took a full jug of water and using my last ounce of energy I threw it across the room at the door . This got me some attention and help . Number 2 . I was there for about ten days and I got nothing for pain for most of that time . I vaguely remember going into the bathroom . The next thing I remember is falling off the toilet with blood pouring from my rectum , as I fell I slammed a big red emergency button on the wall with my hand . I remember nothing for several weeks after that .

When I next woke up I felt like I may have been in " Heaven " floating on a big soft cushon or cloud . I seemed to be enclosed in a cocoon of white cotton balls floating in mid air with no defineable pressure points that I could feel , it was surreal . I was awake but I couldn't move . I could hear what sounded like breathing and I thought " that must be me " , but I was still puzzled .

I could not move and I could feel nothing , my vision was just a blur . My throat felt funny , as if there was something stuck in there but I couldn't cough . I couldn't remember anything about anything basically , nothing . I just was and that was that but I didn't care . I didn't have a worry in the world , I felt fine , I just knew Nothing and didn't really care .

The whooshing noise seemed to have something to do with me but I didn't know what . I was finally able to turn my head slightly and I remember seeing a black round object that was slowly going up and down in unison with the noise .




My chest moved as the black round object moved . I tried to breathe but I couldn't .

A figure dressed in white approached and I heard a voice " do not try to breathe , just relax and go back to sleep " .

I did .


blog-0383852001353450522.jpgThe accompanying photograph is of the River Moy . A famous Salmon River in County Mayo , Ireland . This is where I swam and fished as a child . In the foreground are the " boxes" where salmon were trapped to be sold for the export market . In the right background is the church where myself and my siblings were baptised , where my parents were married and also where their coffins were placed when they passed away , probably where my coffin will be placed when I have run my course and die . In the left background there is a tall building( the tallest one you can see ) . This is the birthplace of Mary Robinson , the former president of Ireland . She was the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights . When my Mother finally did have a regular doctor he was Dr Aubrey Burke , Mary Robinson's father . My mother was a hairdresser and cut Mary Robinsons hair regularly when she was a child .

Click the Pic to Enlarge .

I always thought it would be easy for a doctor to recognize when a patient , even a new patient , was in the midst of a life and death struggle . Even if some of the proof for this crisis is to some degree subjective for the patient , not to a great degree I might add . The attending doctor must ask questions or at a minimum listen to and process information oferred by the patient or potential patient . We may assume that this minimum level of attentiveness would be displayed by a medical professional as a matter of course , my own personal experience would suggest that this is not the case .

I never had a single medical problem requiring hospitalization . I did have a little bit of a traumatic incident when I was just a little

guy , maybe 5 or 6 years old . My brother was sawing a piece of wood and of course I proceeded to shove my hand into the saw blade to help !!! The result was two fingers chopped off in a jagged slash of torn skin , blood spurting everywhere , much screaming and roaring ensued . My poor Mother almost having a stroke or a heart attack . Being a mother of ten little lunatics my mother was a remarkable person , the patience of a saint , the wisdom of Solomon and the financial abilities of an accountant . We, the kids, were always having some kind of close call , risking life and limb .

Every green field we could see from the back window of our house was our playground , summer and winter . The green fields stretched to the Ox mountains in the distance , the only boundry we knew was the river Moy . We would catch little fish in our nets and keep them in jam jars . In the summer we left the house in the morning and did not return until darkness was about to fall . Our parents never worried , seemed not to worry ? , about us or our safety . We looked out for each other while on our adventures , making sure none were ever left behind in the darkening fields or among the deep cold bog holes . We took care of ourselves and the children of our neighbours as they in turn took care of us . Our adventures were never limited by fear , fear of strangers or even of injury or accident , we were truly fearless and we learned our limits .

I was chased by angry cows and bulls through the countryside , chased more than once by an angry , curmudgeon farmer with a big stick , an Ash Plant they called it . Most farmers were ok but some were just bitter old guys who never found a woman , or the right woman to put up with their curmudgeon ways and habits . They were probably not bad people , just people who felt that nobody loved or even liked them so they forgot how to relate to people and especially how to treat children . They had forgotten their own days in the bog , bringing the tea to the turf cutters , in a glass milk bottle with a plug made from rolled up newspaper and soggy sandwiches . Often half the sandwiches would not arrive and half the milky sweet tea might have simply evaporated through the newspaper plug - the Curmudgeon as the child had his fill and Daddy was not a happy man - a clip round the ear might be in order or a glancing swift boot in the bog hole :blink: History was repeating in a harmless way .

The Ocean is seven miles from the house in which I was born , we were all , all 10 , born in that house , I mean IN the house , I now sleep in the room in which I was born . My Mother never gave birth in a hospital !! Women would be horrified today at the thought of this but there was not the socially concious healthcare in Ireland then as there is now . My family simply could not afford the care of a doctor or a stay in hospital . The woman would have her baby and be home the same day in many cases and be out scrubbing floors the next , either her own floor or the floors of the more affluent people of the town . In my mothers case it was our own floors and our laundry , scrubbed by hand on a scrubbing board . Most women developed terribly painful arthritis from the cold water , the bending and scrubbing , it was a very hard existence .

My Dad Was forced to travel to England in search of work for many years when the Irish economy was in very bad shape . My mother therefore had to run the household and take care of ten children on her own for quite a lot of the time while my father , a wonderful man , sent home the money to feed and cloth us all and keep the roof over our heads . I do not know how they managed to keep body and soul together during some of the worst years . My Dad was very skilled in Brick and stonework and building blocks .

Supply was much greater than demand and so the money was not great but enough to survive on and send some money home .

In this environment health was much more valued than wealth . My mother was a very religious women who got to Mass most mornings of her life , she sincerely held her beliefs and practiced her religion but if something went wrong she did not blame God . People were very accepting of hardship , fatalism was a prominent pillar of faith , things happen and you cannot control everything in fact people had little control over their lives , things just happened and people dealt with them . For my eldest brother a relatively surmountable birth defect became a disaster which threatened to destroy his life . For another brother our neighbours Collie dog changed his life forever when it turned on him and bit his nose off . These were the greatest medical/health challenges and since those early days all of us were relative healthy .

My Mother never blamed God for anything but simply trusted that if she and her family were good people and lived a good and decent life , helped people we could help and were kind to strangers and friends alike then Karma would be on our side and things would never get intolerable in our lives .

Being critically ill and close to death was not something I could have even imagined . Other than my fingers being chopped off I had never been in a hospital as a patient , only as a visitor . My wakeup call came as a total surprise .

My Mom and he friends from Church prayed non-stop for my survival and recovery . My parents were in Ireland and I don't think they really knew how bad it was until it was all over . I'm pretty sure that my being in hospital was enough to warrant 2 Masses per day .

Ulcerative Colitis is an Autoimmune disease and I always had it . Running in those fields and being chased by bulls , swimming in the dangerous waves of Enniscrone beach and risking life and limb climbing rocky crags , my mother thought these were the dangers in my young life but the most dangerous thing in my life was actually living inside my own body all that time and until I was about 24 years old Colitis was waiting to attack . I always wondered why it waited so long to rear its ugly little head .

It could have been Cancer or Multiple Sclerosis or God knows what but I can only consider myself lucky it was Ulcerative Colitis and that it spared me for all those early years which I enjoyed so much . my mother was spared the grief of dealing with this disease in a child . .

When my luck finally ran out it was a pretty dramatic experience for me and the drama has been on and off sporadically ever since .

My medical knowledge has grown with every step in the journey but at quite a cost .

My first visit to a doctors office in 25 years is in my next installment .


blog-0498939001352944500.jpgHi , Fellow shitbags - sorry I mean Ostomates ,

So true ,just a horrible shock when shit happens . I have a funny story to give us all a laugh !!

Listening to an Irish radio station before i came here the guy was doing interviews with young ladies ( ?? ) who

had embarassing stories to tell about dates they were on . This one girl , 18--19 , said she was out drinking and partying ,

a lot of partying !!! Well she met a guy and went home with him and they wound up in bed . She said she & he had a great

night of passion and both eventually fell asleep . Then she says , Well I woke up and it was just getting bright and something felt funny ,

just not right . Then I realized the bed was wet and thought , shit , I must have spilled the beer in the bed . Then she says , I reached

down to pull the clothes off me and my hand grabbed a handful of mushy stuff :blink: . Oh Jasus he shit his pants . (Can you guess the punchline??)

She says , When I got out of bed my panties were full of shit , it was ME who shit the bed . She said she wiped off fast put her coat on and ran out the door . The interviewer asked her if she felt guilty that this poor guy would be terrified to show his face in public in case he saw her again ... thinkingthat HE had shit all over HER !!! She laughed so hard she nearly shit her panties again and said NO !

Do you think that might work for us ??? The only solution is for us abnormals to stick together , that way we each get a turn at some point .Ha Ha Ha :wacko:

Sounds like a plan n'esc pas .

I hope that made you laugh and remember Mel Brooks Movies , Blazing Saddles - the Beans scene ??

Hugs and Good Health to all Magoo


blog-0829694001352427538.jpgEarly morning in the Marin Headlands is so peaceful . . Riding a bike in the morning sillence hearing only the slight hum of the well oiled gears and the birds in the throes of the dawn chorus its as if you are the only person on the planet . Speeding down Hawk Hill , head down , wheels turning too fast to pedal is exhilirating beyond description . There is no traffic coming up the hill but if a tire blows then very serious injury or death will ensue !!! as there is a very steep cliff on the right and a rocky hillside to the left . Going up might take half an hour , going down takes less than a minute . The last section is very steep with a sharp right turn , front and back brakes have to be balanced just right to make the turn without crashing over the steep embankment and down a nasty hill . To get to the other side of the bridge there is a walkway under the roadbed with a steep stairs at either end , carry the bike down one side and up the other and there is Vista Point .

Finally I can get off the bike and give my ass and legs a break . This is a good spot for a rest among the early bird tourists . I always thought " they only get to come here once , I get to come here every day " . The view is so perfect , better than any postcard or photograph could ever convey . . I always carry my camera just in case something unusual appears . Sometimes big puffs of fog will burst up out of the hill opposite the Vista Point and linger for a few seconds before disappearing into the warm air , " is that a fire ? " , I heard the tourists say .

Time to hit the road again to be back by nine . The first section of the bridge , to the North Tower , is pretty steep but after the exhilirating ride down Hawk Hill it is an easy push , I can still feel my heart pounding in my chest from the dangerous thrill of the fast , steep run . From the North Tower to the middle gets easier as you go , the curve of the bridge surface goes flat as you reach the middle . The huge cables reach the bridge railing and this is a good place to take another break and enjoy the view . The city is glowing white in the morning sun , there is not a breath of wind so there are no sailboats out yet to challenge the raging current that runs like a river between the towers and eddies in miniature whirlpools around the base of the towers . The tide is just turning so the flow is not as fast as it is when in full flow . The run to the South Tower is fast and quiet . Today is Sunday so traffic on the bridge is very light , just one or two cars pass as I cross . As I ride around the South Tower on the East side I slow to accomodate the curves and as I come out of the curve I catch a long wisp of blond hair being blown up by the updraft of wind which swirls around the side of the tower from the water far below . I thought this was a very strange sight and I almost shrugged it off as being a bridge worker . There is a narrow gauge train track-like structure on the outsude of the railing which runs the length of the bridge . The painters and maintenance workers travel along this track in a buggy when working on the structure and beyond the outer track the water is about 250 feet below . I stopped and got off my bike . The blond hair was still blowing up vertically . To my amazement there was a person on the other side of the railing . One hand gripped a piece of red railing and the person was just staring ou at the city and then down at the water . It was a young woman . She wore a long heavy wollen type overcoat which was blowing wildly in the updraft . I did not know what to think , I just stared for some seconds and went closer with my arms over the railing . At first the reality of it did not register in my brain . I said to her " its pretty windy out there that is a strong updraft , the view isn't that good " . Her head turned just slightly but her hair obscured her face and I still wasn't sure if it was a man or a woman . I called to her several times but got no response . Then , after maybe a couple of minutes , It sunk into my brain what was happening . This may make me sound dense but it is just hard to believe when you see it in front of you . I looked over the rail at the water and said , " that sure is a scary long way down , can you give me your hand ?" . Again there was no response , she just stared down at the water . At this point she was about two feet away and I could have reached out and grabbed her but the coat was in the way . I thought that if she wasn't actually a jumper I might actually knock her off the rail . I turned towards the tolll booths and waved , there are cameras at several locations on the bridge , I thought they might get the idea . I saw no patrol car , saw no lights .but there was a woman approaching on a bike . I turned back to the woman and now her two feet were on the outer rail as she held on with one hand . Again I asked for her hand but again there was no response . Finally she let go of the railing with her hand and balanced on the train track for what seemed like minutes but had to be seconds , she just stood there looking at the city . Then she looked straight down at the water and jumped straight out feet first , she held her arms and legs out straight and was flat on her back looking up , The coat swirled around her body , as did her blond hair , I still could not see her face . It seemed to take forever for her to reach the water . She landed near the concrete base of the tower with a huge splash . As the splash subsided the biker reached me and I told her to get the bridge police that someone had just jumped . I told her I would watch to see where the current took the person . I stayed and watched until the coastguard cutter picked her up , they got there very quickly .

I walked slowly with my bike to the bridge police office . I found the relevant officer and said that I had witnessed the person jumping from the bridge and I thought I should leave my contact details . He seemed only moderately interested and told me to have a seat . I gave him the relevant information and he said that the CHP might contact me at some point . The next day the Highway Patrol did call to confirm with me that the person had acted voluntarily . He said the person was female and had arrempted suicide before , I believe she was in her 30's . I told Him she was an arms length away and he reassured me that I did the right thing by not touching her . He informed me that the unfortunate woman had survived the fall and did not drown , as usually happens ,due to the quick response . She survived until the next day when she died of internal injuries . From that height a body hits the water at 75 miles per hour with the obvious results .

When I got home I just sat there thinking for a long time . What struck me about the whole event was the silence . There was no traffic so the bridge noise was minimal . I heard no crying or sobbing , no expressions of regret or despair , nothing that would predict this final desperate act . I thought that the sheer terror of standing 250 feet above the water and leaping off would elicit an involuntary response in the form of a scream . Nothing . As if she offered herself to some merciful God . Some people would characterize the act as courageous , some would insist that it is the act of a coward with no consideration for those left behind . I think that these concepts are irrelevant in this context . Despair is not governed by any logic , " the dark night of the Soul " is real and is terrifying . I would imagine that many people on this site have had some experience with it , I know I have . Not being able to sleep for days at a time , pain that just will not stop , a Stoma that rejects every wafer you stick to it , waking up covered in shit . so exhausted you just want to throw a towel on the bed and let the shit come if you can only get some rest .. With me it was stomach acid burning the inside and the outside of my butt constantly causing intense , indescribable pain These are issues we have to confront ourselves but no longer by ourselves ,with the help of the people on this site we can confront them ond overcome them so that none of us has to resort to the solution this woman felt compelled to subject herself to .

I could not tell anyone how deep my despair was , not even family and we are a very close family . If I felt like that today this site and all you wonderful people would be there for me . I was ashamed to tell family members how weak and powerless I felt when I thought they were all so strong . A few simple words to any one of them would have saved me so much anguish . Now I feel like I have two families . You guys are not a secret , I've told them all about you . :D

Wishing you Peace of mind Love and Good Health always Eamon

I hope you do not find this depressing it is just a Cautionary Tale told exactly as I experienced it .


blog-0860690001352334628.jpgHi There Fellow Survivors ,

My Brother in San Francisco is an attorney and he would call the following Prologue " A Long Road To a Small House " . You know how lawyers are - " get to the point , time is money " { not really , he is a great guy and a really good lawyer } Well my forte was always with the English language and a story needs to be told properly , the scene for the event has to be laid bare before you for you to step into it and experience it . I assure you it's not a "small house " .{ I'm no Oscar Wilde but I do my best }

It is another beautiful day in Cal , like the middle of summer out there .

I have a beautiful photo of a white Cactus I was going to put on the heading but I settled for the Lotus flower . I took this in the Conservatory

of Flowers in Golden Gate Park where there is a beautiful collection of living tropical plants and frees , a must see if you are in San Francisco . GG Park is a real gem .

Early on a beautiful summer morning ( good about 7 am ) you can leave Fillmore Street in blinding Sunlight with your light T shirt and shorts , on a bike preferably , much more fun ., and head West . Up the pretty steep hill on Haight St , a bit of a challenge for the uninitiated , exhilirating for the rest . You start the uphill push sitting lightly , then as you continue your butt gets a little higher off the seat , your legs pushing a little harder . The sun is on your back and there is a lot of heat in it already at this time of day . Your shirt starts to stick to your back under the weight of the backpack ( you have to have a backpack ) . Towards the top you are standing on the pedals , getting into a lower gear at every intersection until you've cycled through all 21 gears by the time you get to the top . When you do hit the top you will feel like a Tour De France winner ( without the Steroids , no , the other Steroids ) .

Now comes the really good bit :D All the way to the beach ( Ocean Beach ) is downhill . Hiaght Street starts to become interesting when you start downhill . The big Grand old Victorians line both sides of the street but after a few blocks small storefronts start to appear . Every block you see more storefronts and they get more colorful and esoteric looking . The Smoke Shops , the Tie Dye shops just starting to come alive . The tourists have not arrived yet - or the homeless . The tourists are snug in their hotel rooms , the homeless are under their blankets and sleeping bags in the park . This corner of GG Park , just across from McDonalds is the home of the homeless , they can stay in their corner of the park if they are good and do not annoy the tourists too much or start fights and not be bothered by the police . You could spend several days walkiing Haight Street , Haight / Ashbury being ground zero for the Flower child generation . Later in the day the scene will be reminiscent of that period , the strong smell of the Weed wafting in the air , the long haired , fresh faced kids sitting on the sidewalk wearing sandals , some smoking joints , some playing guitar etc hoping for some change , some just staring into space - the bloom gone off the rose :( At this point you enter the weather Twilight Zone , actually a few blocks before McDonalds . . Very often in this area ( The Panhandle or Haight / Ashbury ) you will encounter a wall of fog that rises like a grey cold barrier through which you can't see the other side of the street , literally !!! You turn around and look East , back to the city and the Sun is shining , you can see the heat haze forming from hot air rising off the pavement , SF has several areas with distinct microclimates . Looking towards the beach the pitch black cloud looks like a huge thunderstorm , it can sometimes border on the surreal .

You enter GG Park across from McDonalds and a different world awaits . Under the bushes or beside tree trunks , in the small pedestrian underpass or lying on folded cardboard boxes the invisible unwashed and unwanted make their first stirrings of the day , still wrapped tightly in their blankets or sleeping bags .. Often a shopping cart is nearby overflowing with all their earthly possessions ., rags , toys , bits of bicycles , all kinds of random stuff that nobody else wants , like themselves , stuff thrown away by society . The one thing they all have in common , generally , is the ever-oresent dog giving unconditional love .

The fog is swirling in the cold Pacific air and it may be 20 degrees colder than just two blocks away . This is why you have a backpack, for your change of clothes . A dry T-shirt , to replace the now freezing sweaty one you are wearing , one more bigger long Tshirt ( for layering ) and finally a sweatshirt with a hood and a zipper ..Also a pair of sweatpants in case the wind picks up , even colder . This is what these people wake up to every morning and what they go to sleep with every night . . Many appear to have some type of mental problem , many are out of control drug / alcahol addicts who have burned all their bridges with friends and relatives and then there are the countless runaways , teenagers who can no longer live at home or cannot put up with abuse happening at home . I guess in the 60's the kids came here for the excitement and the drugs and the " free love " , today it is to escape , often from their own families .

I am not a parent but it must be equally hard for the parent as for the teenager when the hormones kick in and things get crazy . I had just started life in a new country at that age and I know it was a little bit of a crazy time for me .but I had family to keep me balanced .

I often wondered what became of the people I saw coming out from the bushes shaking off the cold of the night and the foggy mist droplets off their clothes , a person can only live like this for so long before you run out of luck .or time .

I think I got an answer on one of those beautifully perfect San Francisco blue sky days when you can really believe there is not a single unhappy person , that everythhing is right with the world , I don't think there was even a major war going on in the world . I never felt happier or more alive and my J-Pouch was working so well I could spend 3 hours on my bike every morning . I would leave my building at about six thirty in the morning , cross the Golden Gate and into the Marin Headlands , a blissful piece of the world , especially early in the morning . Ie was September when there is no fog in the city or in the Marin Headlands and the air is so calm the smoke from the big ships went almost vertically into the blue sky as they approach the bridge .

All these feelings of peace and total harmony was shattered for me while making my way back over the GG Bridge .

I think there are very few people who have had this experience on this iconic bridge .. I want to sleep on it and finish tomorrow .


blog-0547290001351633889.jpgHi there everyone ,

Its is I , back again to annoy and bore as many as possible . The photograph is from the America's Cup qualifying races in San Francisco two weeks ago .

I'm not really into sailing but the photo opportunities were great . This is the New Zealand Catamaran and the American one ( Oracle) . The Oracle boat was destroyed a few days later just beside the Golden Gate Bridge( they have two ) .It rolled over in very high winds and broke apart , 8 to 10 million dollars . The actual America's cup race will be held in the bay next year 2013 , I'll be there to get more photos .

I have made several new friends on the site in such a short time , this is a great site !!!! I found one particular member who has a story almost identical to

my own and we have have had some great conversations by email . I think it is very helpful to find someone who has so much in common . We get our Ostomies for a whole range of different reasons , some are lucky enough to have a temporary Ostomy . It has opened my eyes to the many people who are and have been worse off than myself , who have long term fatal conditions to deal with as well as an Ostomy . It makes me a little more tolerant of the situation I have to put up with.

This does not mean that I'm not pissed off , I am and probably always will be , but if my bag breaks or leaks all over my bed I can be a bit more tolerant and take it in stride .

I mentioned earlier about the time my full ( very watery , smelly bag ) burst at San Francisco Airport as I joined the security line !!

My Sister and her husband were on the trip of a lifetime to America - literally . My sisters husband has a brain tumor which grows slowly and at that time he could still travel and enjoy life . Their son and his fiancee were determined to get married in New York and did . Everyone flew to New York and stayed at my brother's house there . Everything was fantastic and a great success . My three nephews and the newly married couple went home to Ireland and my sister and her husband and myself flew on to Washington DC to spend time with my other sister . After a week in Washington we all flew to San Francisco for a visit with two more Brothers , there are ten of us . To make a long story short , virtually impossible for an Irish person telling a story !!! I'm trying here OK !!

As the visit in San Francisco drew to an end we all packed up and got ready to end a fantastic trip , everyone was sad the visit with family was over . I got up before everyone else at four thirty in the morning , thinking I would prepare properly and have no leaks or problems . I performed my usual ritual . I cut the hole in the wafer and cut a seond one and then a third one to put in my backpack ., I put one of everything in my backpack , just in case . Then I laid out a change of clothes which could be easily put on in an emergency and put them in the backpack, jeans underwear , socks , shirt , everything !!! I took off my bag and started my shower . I very carefully cleaned the area as required and carefully shaved my belly and the lads hanging underneath , if you know what I mean ( very important for quick and easy cleanup !! I carefully put on the Micropore tape , multiple layers . I stood back and looked in the mirror and was proud of the wonderful job i did . I put on my one size too big pants with suspenders - check , my brownish shirt - get the significance of the color ??

Before anyone else even got up I was ready and packed and very happy with my preparations . I checked and rechecked the wafer , the tape etc etc . I case I got a leak out my rear end I did a little padding back there too ( funny underwear story for later ) . At the appointed time our Little Blue Bus ( SFO service ) arrived and we were all ready as required . We got to the airport more than two hours before boarding time , all was good . One sister ( the Nurse ) and my brother in law

walked ahead and I lost them but my other sister waited at the security line for me . As usual I had my backpack with my camera and supplies and the change of clothes - this never leaves my side . As I got into the line I got that familiar warm feeling in my underpants , the front - not the back . It could potentially be several things considering where it emanated from !! but I instantly knew what it was . The two cups of coffee I had were suddenly prosessed by my insides in the space of about two minutes and the bag suddenly balloned with digested coffee plus God knows what else . Almost instantly I felt that warm feeling . I had a small wheeled bag and the backpack . I slowly got on one knee and put the leg of my pants into my sock ( right side ) , the worst thing to do is panic , right ? I simply said to my sister " gotta go , now " and ran to the bathroom which was fairly close by , very lucky . I left a little brown trail on the carpet behind me but the flood was held at bay as the bag just seperated from my skin completely !! There was an empty stall , lucky again , and I ran to it . There was someone in the next stall and he must have been really puzzled . I let out a stream of obscenities non-stop for five minutes . The F word ( I'll save the censor some time ) plus some other choice phrases were uttered continuously . I hung my bag from the door and stripped everything off , everything . As my clothes were piling on the floor and the smell started to fill the room my neighbours must have contemplated calling the police . My clothes sort of overflowed my floor into the next stall and the feet started to pull back away from me . There was a rushed pulling up of pants next door , and the person seemed to run out the door !! I had put a wad of paper towels into my emergency pack , the toilet paper at airports is useless . I spent five minutes cleaning . It had splashed up into my shirt and undershirt and everywhere else . Having shaved The Lads ( in England known as The Meat and two Veg - love that phrase ) the cleanup was much easier . Did you ever , sure you have , try to clean shit out of hair and get the smell out . No short and curleys -- no sticky smell , no problem !! That felt better :D but I was balls naked in the stall , still had to get dressed . I threw on my clothes in record time , my shoes caught a bit but stuffing the pants into the socks worked very well to keep my sneakers clean. An Ileostomy can be very messy , very liquid stuff .

So finally I rolled up my clothes in a big ball and stuffed them into the garbage can . My sister was ( husband has tumor ) still there , she figured out what happened and was worried . I gave her a hug and said , thanks you saved my life and said , " lets go " . The rest of the trip was a great success with no more disasters .

The point is . I was travelling with a man who has a little alien monster living inside his head which is eating pieces of his brain all the time , every day . Without warning at any time this little fucker ( sorry to censor ) may take a bite and paralyze him , or take away his speech , his sight , his ability to reason or recognize his family or all of the above . I was F'ing and blinding about a little shitty mess , his wife was holding my case and all she was worried about was me at that moment .

Her husband could have dropped dead on the spot at any time during that trip , that is stress !!!

Unfortunately Mr T as I call him had a brain bleed shortly after arriving home and will never travel again . He is paralyzed on one side and his speech is badly affected . Yet any time I see him he has a smile on his face , he has his bad days like all of us but he is an inspiration . My sister , his wife is just an amazing person who babies me if she sees I'm feeling down or not feeling well and works 24 hours a day to make Mr T happy and comfortable , she is truely an inspiration .to me .

I hope this gives someone a laugh and the pants in socks tip can save your shoes .

Next time you are F'ing and cursing your shitty belly --- It could be worse . ( If it is worse for you I just hope it gets a bit better )

Wishing all Love , Peace and Joy and as little shit on your shorts as possible . Eamon


blog-0527937001351133487.jpgHi there all you beautiful people ,

Here I am Imposing myself on you again . I noticed I got a few people who read it last time but only got one comment .Once again Mandy .thank you for your kind words and pleasent critique . I do ramble on but I guess I needed to Vent !! Come on people I know you looked !! tell me I suck or I'm an idiot say something !!! I have lots of interesting stories ..

I do have a large close family but although I love every one dearly I cannot impose my sometimes dark or depressing thoughts on them - that's what you guys are for :p I am number 7 in a family of ten , 7 boys , 3 girls . My Mom was about 5 feet tall , a tiny lovely saint of a woman with patience and love to match , my Dad was about 6 feet 6 , built like a brick shithouse :blink: . He worked very hard , as did my Mom to take care of us all . Having a large family in Ireland in the 50's and 60's was tough going . Much of the time he was away in England or Scotland working in construction , brick, block and a master at stonework . We always had enough and enjoyed the freedom of the Irish countryside .

I never had any major illness or medical problems growing up nor did any other family members . We had the normal childhood stuff ,

like two of my fingers being cut off by a hand saw when I was about 6 :wacko: .My brother was sawing wood and of course I stuck my little hand right under the saw blade !!!! Well they sewed them back -- sort of !! not perfect but close enough and it was my left hand so - life goes on . I had no symptoms of intestinal problems until I was about 24 .

I always had a stomach like a steel drum ! I could and would eat almost any kind of food . When I got to New York , the Bronx , Valentine Ave near Fordham Road , I was amazed and delighted by all the wonderful foods , the smells and the tastes , Black barbecue joints , Puerto Rican , Chinese ,Japanese , and of course the Italian food ,any kind of food or flavor you could imagine at any time of the day or night !! It was like a different planet after the little town in The West of Ireland . I never had a problem in NYC . I moved to San Francisco in the early 80"s and was fine for about 4 years . I worked in construction while going to College . I used to use a flask for coffee and of course the flask would be bounced around quite a bit in my car and on the job . This was the type of flask with the glass insert inside a metal casing . One day at lunch I was finishing the last of the coffee and when I poured out the last cup of coffee and had almost empyied the cup I saw a pile of really small fragments of glass in the bottom of the cup . I am sure I had swallowed some of the glass fragments which had some kind of insulating material on the outside . It was shortly , maybe six months after this that I started getting pain and discomfort . I had totally forgotten about the glass . I was trying to work full time and go to College at night ( rent has always been high in SF ) and take classes in the summer . I never had any health problems so I tended to disregard pains and aches . We partied on weekends so I might have thought , cut down on the beer . I was not big on drinking , I would rather smoke a little ganja to relax - nothing more than that . Eventually only about a month after I noticed any discomfort I was on an operating table without a Colon . They said Ulcerative Colitis had eaten a huge hole in my Colon , Peritonitis etc on the verge of death , just barely made it !! I was shocked and terrified when I woke up and wondered where I was and what happened . They Saved My Life , that is what happened . When I bitch and moan about the bag and all it entails this is the thing I try to keep in mind , whatever else I may feel , I am alive today . I can walk on a beach on my own two legs , I can swim in the Ocean with my arms pulling me along , I can see a beautiful sunset with my two eyes . my brain allows me to compose the text on this screen . This is what is important . I had many years of pain when I could not see any light at the end of the tunnel ( bad surgeries , failed operations etc etc ) . I have struggled with addiction to Codeine , and later with Alcahol , used as a pain killer and "sleeping medicine ", and also Cigarettes . I have defeated them all . I no longer drink , smoke or take any pain meds unless I am in hospital , none going home !! I feel healthier than I have in years , so I really should not complain about anything , especially after reading some of the messages and crys of desperation on this wonderful site . I admit I sometimes smoke a little ganja If I can get a little uncontaminated stuff . I think humans have to have something to relax the mind , meditation doesn't do it for everyone . If I try to meditate I just start making up things to worry about in my head !!!

I will always wonder if the glass in the flask may have been a catalyst in triggering my Colitis ???

If you read this Mandy They Saved my Life is right from the heart .

Enough - probably too much

Bye for now Love Ya'll Eamon


blog-0116786001350955087.jpgHi all ,

I've never done any kind of blog before so I hope someone finds it interesting ??

The sailboat in the pic is not mine , it just shows my favorite place - San Francisco Bay . All the giant crabs you can eat , water clean enough to swim in but chilly , downright cold actually .and dangerous , very dangerous if you venture a swim at the wrong beach . You have to be adventurous to enjoy life . We all have been close to death , Ostomy people I mean !! so.. no big deal !

First my big TIP for the day , MICROPORE SURGICAL TAPE by 3M . Takes a kicking and keeps on sticking ( hey that's a pretty good line , are you listening 3M ) I was in Virginia recently staying on an Island , Chincoteague Island , to be precise . I was staying with my sister at her place . Assateague Island has the great beach . This island has a population of wild horses and NO people and is teeming with wildlife of all types . The beach is a beautiful white sugary sand created from the remains of Oyster shells over millions of years . The huge waves crashing on the beach have pulverized the shells to the consistancy of powdered sugar .

These same waves will pulverize any swimmer who is careless , lots of lifeguards , I'm just trying to be dramatic ( nervous smile :wub: ) .Anyway my point is ....... I got the courage to take off my shirt and swim in these huge , ten foot or more , crashing waves with just regular swimming trunks on . I was thrown around like a rag doll at times . A huge wave crashed down on my back and it felt like I'd been hit with a baseball bat , thrown flat on my back and another crashed right on my belly , square on my Ileostomy . I thought " I'm screwed " . My sister had gone back to the house and left me for a few hours to enjoy the sun and all I had was a towel and sandals !!! I was sure I had been overly optimistic about the security of my bag . The waistband of the swimming trunks falls right on top of the Stoma so I had to keep it above or below the Stoma site . Above the Stoma it just looks too weird , I'm way too vain for the "old man" look , and too young and I might add fine looking :D I kept ithe waistband just below the Stoma while I was in the water and just on it when out of the water .

To prepare the site I clean it in the shower very carefully , making sure all sticky bits , glue etc , are removed . I then shave ( I have a hairy belly !!!) as smooth as possible with a fresh blade . Run your fingers back and forth to be sure there is no stubble at all . Stubble is the kiss of death for the wafer . For hygene , leaks, I shave the LOT - ya know what I mean , cleanup is much easier , and it feels nice I must admit , makes everything look bigger too . :o I use the solid washer-like Stoma seal first , then the wafer , in the diamond shape so it sticks out further on the sides . The diamond shape extends across what's left of my scar and is more secure The tape , in 4 strips is placed in a square on the wafer , under the plastic ring , tight to the ring . The plastic ring of the wafer is taped seperately on all 4 sides . The tape is almost transparent and it lets your skin breathe . I have had this on for a week with the same wafer and had no leaks . Other tape I've used makes me itch and gave me pimples , not this one . You will not even know it's there .I use the 2 inch roll and this is about $8 - $9 .You can get it cheaper on the net .CVS or Wallgreens will usually have it , If your scar is healed and is near the Stoma use an extra strip of tape on the side with the scar , it will leak here first .If the skin around the Stoma is raw then leave it exposed to the air for as long as possible when changing . It feels good also to stand or lie down without having a plastic bag stuck to your belly , if it is not too active I leave it as long as possible .

Feeling and seeing my body without the THING is like meeting an old friend who will have to go away again too soon , you get your body back for a few short minutes and it has to go into hiding again . The world might see your defect , damaged goods , thats you !!

This is why I proudly walked along that perfect beach among the most beautiful women I could imagine with perfect bodies in perfect bikinis , the lifeguards , more perfect bodies manned their towers ready to save lives .I held my chin up , my shoulders back with a little smile on my face enjoying the life I had given up so much in order to keep . The battles other people , doctors, family members as well as myself had fought on so many occaisions in order to keep blood pumping through my veins , these battles were fought for this , this moment in time , as well as every other moment of life I will ever experience , these snapshots of existance add up to form the life that was saved . Tomorrow I might feel miserable , every snapshot is different . This is why I love photography , the microsecond that is captured will never happen again , ever , in exactly the same way . When I photograph someone's face it is forever changed . The light will be different , the skin slightly different , the expression can never be the same in two photographs . I will not be the same person tomorrow as I am today .

I have found that the times that I remember with the greatest pleasure lasted only a very short time . In my memory the better the time was the longer it seemed to go on but the fact is that those are snapshots of pleasure or wonder or simply something experienced for the first wonderful time , there can only be one First time , the rest are copies . Each moment must be relished and cherished as the unique thing that it is.One moment on that beach is one I will cherish forever . I had come out of the water and was walking back to my starting point along the beach , my head leaning back catching the heat on my face , smiling slightly , contentedly to myself . I turned my head and a very beautiful women was walking towards me , long beautiful legs , wearing a tiny red bikini , curves and bumps exactly where they should be ( and noplace else :rolleyes: ) She looked directly into my eyes , then her eyes focused on my stoma site , then back to my eyes , she winked and a little smile came to her lips , I thought , " she knows " and she was thoughtful enough to give me a wonderful gift of acknowleging the courage it took for me to risk what I could not have imagined a short time before . She may have been a nurse , if so her patients are blessed.

This kind of empathy is so important , especially for Ostomates . I felt dirty , disgusting . unclean etc etc after I got my Ostomy . I never knew when it was going to leak or come loose in public , I thought it smelled and generally was a disfiguring addition to my body , I hated myself , I was consumed by self loathing . Nobody understands this unless they have hands on experience with the condition .

If anyone actually reads this ?? have you ever contemplated the ultimate solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem , ending the fear and loathing for good ?? I had and have people who love me and my main consideration was what this solution would do to them , how many lives would I ruin , how many people would blame themselves . In the intervening years I have had the satisfaction of being with and giving my time to family members who desperately needed a family member to step in and help when a non-family member would not have been acceptable for the people involved . If there is any interest in this I may explain .

I think I may have rambled on too long so if there is anyone still reading at this point -- thanks .

I think some pics of how I arrange my tape would be useful for some new ostomates and others so I might add some photos or a short video showing my technique ..

OK I will broach the subject sex !! for the single hetero guy ?? I don't want a long comitted relationship any tips for me ??

All advice accepted or criticism .



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