Monday, July 23, 2007

Infective Colitis: The Petrol Pump Views

The last that I wrote in this diary is 14th May. Life hasnt been the same after that. Been wanting to record the events that happened in the last two months. But I thought it was self indulgence and also maybe I didnt have the required mood to write. I am now getting back to some semblance of order, in terms of my public sphere work. Phew, it was such a harrowing experience. A tooth extraction followed by diarrhea for about ten days.I must have gone through antibiotics of about five kinds. Yet the body didnt stop excreting. A specialist had to be called, my colon had to be examined, and then lo behold, Taxim_O began to respond to my body. It was a miracle. I did not even know what has happening to me. I was reassuring myself that I have youth, energy, money and the connections, so I will not die. But the dear of death or some irreversible bodily injury was weighing heavy on my mind. The motions that began on 30th May continued till about 10th June and then they stopped, maybe a little reluctantly. For a long time I did not pee without thinking that I will also shit. I have been on a strict diet since then. I eat food which is sans spice, tamarind,w heat and in the early days, I was to avoid milk too. Slowly, ever so slowly I began to include milk, ragi and eggs in my diet. I am used to eat a fair amount of chilli, but I now use just a small red chilli for my seasoning. Not even pepper or ginger is allowed. Whatever my colon doesnt lie it ejects out. Last week was particularly bad as I ate some rajma and suffered for about a week following that. even now my shit hasnt come to its regular course.

How could I forget the arthritis? Soon after the shit began to flow, i developed severe pain and immobility in my right knee. This, the doctors told me was reactive arthritis. The bug which hit my intestines also hit my joints, specially the right knee. I was bedridden for about fifteen days unable to move at all. I could not rid myself of the pain with any painkillers as they would in turn cause acidity in my ravaged digestive system. It was only the hot water bag which was some kind of a painkiller. The pain was excruciating, preventing me from sleeping, walking and moving. Gradually as the digestive system healed, this also healed. Even now I walk with a limp and i cant squat to use the indian toilet.

The doctor repeated the colonoscopy and said that I was normal. But experientially speaking I am not normal. Anything that I eat, a little out of the ordinary, excites the digestive system. It has the power of debilitating me. I cant go to court fearing that I may want to pass motion urgently. A little stress makes me feel uncomfortable inside. Moreover all courts have toilets which are far away and Indian style. Anyway, I am learning to cope and manage my life independently.

During this phase of sickness I had to use the bedpan continuously. Began to develop a certain fondness for the bedpan. So many of my friends without flinching helped me use the bedpan. I owe my gratitude to all of them. i silently tell myself that I will return the favour whenever such a forbidding event happens. Came to terms with my body in such different ways. I am amazed the way my friends and my spouse did this for me.

I also thought so much about what modern medicine can do and not do. I have so much more to write about this experience as a critique of medicine. This experience put the fear of God into me. I am still scared when I shit more than what is required. I only hope that I will recover in due time. Even as there are issues to record, I feel a a strange hesitation to dwell on this topic. Maybe I have still not developed the critical distance to look at it analytically.

This was my first ode to my illness.

There were alsos ome interesting events that happened in the last two months, but more of it in the next post.


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