Monday, 29 December 2008

Stanley and the Bag

I have a new lease of life! Ok, so it hurts to move and I'm exhausted, but I really do feel like a new person. Actually, I feel like a version of me that I thought was lost years ago in amongst all the pain, discomfort and loss of appetite.

After weeks of pain and bowel obstruction, I was admitted into Wycombe General Hospital on 17th December and underwent Colostomy surgery on the 18th. I have now been home 5 days and all the rubbishness of wooziness and epidurals and IV fluids seem like a distant memory. Through the general post-op fatigues and aches I can feel what life ahead of me will be like. No more hideous pain every time I go to the bathroom. I can eat pretty much what I like - no longer shall foodstuffs be omitted because they're "too high residue". I will put on weight, I will have energy and a social life and a pay check without the acronym "OSP" on it! Yay! My optimism frightens me, but there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I have named my stoma, Stanley. Stan the stoma. It seems friendlier that way. My Husband has named it Donald. As in Duck, thanks to the noises it makes from time to time. I prefer Stan. In public, instead of saying to my Husband - "I'm off to change my Colostomy bag" I can say, I'm off to deal with Stanley", much more discrete, I think. So far, only Husband and two close friends have been privy to Stanley's musical aspirations, I'm a little nervous about more public situations, but I suppose I'll deal with them as they happen.

My favourite thing about this whole Colostomy business is that my appetite is back, with a vengeance! The stoma nurse told me to eat as normal when I got home, I have happily followed her advice! Last night I even went out for dinner, to Wagamamas in Wycombe. I was a bit worried about the whole socialising thing with Stanley, but it was absolutely fine. It make a few noises throughout the evening, but the ambient noise of the restaurant was louder, so no one noticed! I am excited about eating again, and about cooking. Possibly Boxing Day was not the right time to try out my rediscovered passion for cooking, as I was barely 48hours from a hospital ward and the simple act of making stock was enough to wear me out. As my energy levels slowly creep up, however, I am able to do more and more in the kitchen. I made, and devoured, a pot of chicken noodle soup from Christmas leftovers (we had chicken for Christmas Dinner, there was only 2 of us and Christmas Eve it not the best time to try to buy turkey...), the traditional Boxing Day turkey (chicken) curry, and fabulous gluten-free Yorkshire pudding. I am anticipating a weekend of making canapes for a small get-together of friends from church on Sunday (no evening service, lots of 18-30s at loose ends and students due to return to uni soon). I am planning mini toad-in-the-hole, five-spice turkey and water chestnuts wrapped in pak choi, mini crab cakes, corn tortillas with Mexican spiced chicken and salsa, mushroom duxelle on polenta crisps and potato cakes with smoked salmon and creme fraiche. If they are successful I will post recipes here next week.

Oh, and seem to have a huge amount of broccoli in my fridge, any ideas about what to do with that?

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