Day after my birthday, Fuck Yeah.
What Do You Mean, Where’d Your Colon Go??
Most people go through life with their colon perfectly intact, doing the things it’s supposed to do without much fuss unless you eat some bad shellfish or one deep fried Twinkie too many. For a lucky few of us though, our colons have decided to wreak havoc on our bodies and ultimately to our lives. Most of us with digestive issues (Irritable Bowel Diseases) didn’t end up this way by being a candidate for My Strange Addiction or because we ate exotic or overly processed foods… or cotton balls. I know I, and a number of fellow IBDers, had healthy eating habits before disaster struck and yet our colons decided to go rogue on us.
On March 21, 2012, after 8 years of battling Crohn’s disease (a chronic auto-immune disorder that I will explain in another post) I will be going through an operation to remove my large intestine (the colon) which is known as an Ileostomy. It’s a life changing operation, with both pros and cons and I’d like to document it in a blog in the hopes that it helps me and possibly someone else in the same position I am one day. So yes, while most of the world get to keep their colon for life, mine is going…somewhere, never to return. Well, maybe in like 15 years stem cell research will know how to build organs from scratch and I can get a new one; but, until medicine catches up to science fiction or the FDA starts looking at how well research is doing in Europe and other places I’m stuck with a bag. To put it bluntly.
I don’t like the idea much. Who would? I do like the idea of getting my life back after eight years of this shit (not to be crude). Eight years of relying on both modern western medicine and practical eastern practices. For a long time I was able to avoid hospitalization, and I have to admit it made me cocky - I felt like I had a milder form of the disease than the many testimonials I’d heard from others. The month-long hospital stays, the near death expiriences. That wasn’t me, and it wasn’t going to be as far I was concerned. But like they say, you make plans and God laughs.
This past year my confidence was put through the grinder. I was in the hospital for a week in November ‘11 and in January of this year I spent a good 3 weeks at California Pacific Medical Center, over 2 weeks in the ICU and 5 days totally konked out. Yeah, talk about a reality check.
So yes, I am using this pace to talk about my experience. With Crohn’s, my surgery, my life post-op. There’s a growing number of resources for those with IBDs, and I hope I can offer a unique and candid account - the good, the bad, the ugly - to the list. I’m open to all and any questions, there’s a box in the right hand corner just for that purpose.
Mama’s chocolate balancing act!
PBS: where everything started
Watching Antiques Roadshow today, couldn’t help but think of all the shows that follow the same platform. There are enough now to create a ‘finders keepers’ network - and don’t think there won’t be in the near future. The Food Network sure took PBS’ terrific framework cooking shows and launched a thousand lesser copies. Then there’s children’s programming, the heart and soul of PBS to many. Now, after PBS brought Kids the likes of Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, Barney, a dozen other channels have turned kids programming into a racket. PBS was (and is) a corner stone of tv journalism, and I imagine had a lot to do with the creation of the 24-hr news cycle…in the beginning, anyway. It’s terrible to think of how PBS begs for funding these days when you consider how much television as we now know it owes. For every show, or segment of shows that PBS showcased there is now a whole channel devoted to.
Today someone started talking about cream puffs. The last time I had a cream puff was a little over a year ago, when a puff store opened up on Union Street, hoping to crack the cupcake craze and start something new. It worked for a while, I guess.
I had never been a fan of cream puffs. I didn’t dislike them, but could go on in life without. They just were so bland. Even profiteroles, unless drenched in chocolate (which I don’t even eat anymore), there’s just so little taste whether you’re looking for savory or sweet. It’s like a Yorkshire pudding that’s missing a few ingredients. The taste is as hollow as its form. Despite all this, when I heard about the new shop I was determine to get into this new cream puff business and wrangle my friends into it, too.
Why? Strangely enough, my mind goes straight to the cartoon Doug when I ask myself why I suddenly wanted to like cream puffs so much. Cream puffs were a big part of Doug - as were many food items. They weren’t characters or something demented like that, they were what the characters ate. And they looked good. I remember seeing cream puffs on Doug, seeing him chomp three of the delicious treats down with satisfying swallows and pat his slightly bloated gut, pleased. I wanted THAT cream puff.
Just as in All Dogs Go To Heaven I wanted to find out where they got that delicious, gooey, runny, perfect pizza. I’ve been trying for years to find pizza that would match what I dreamed that toon pizza tasted like. And I have come close to finding a winner; but still, none have won the elusive blue ribbon.
It’s goofy to have cravings based on drawings of food - very basic, not especially artful depictions. Of course early cookbooks have art of meals you want to dive into, but these are not works of grandeur. They’re simple, the pizza looks like a perfect triangle with cheese dripping off the sides, creamy mozzarella that won’t harden and get cold-pizza sheen. The cream puff looks like a small ball with a swirly top. Details are sparse.
The Muppet Show is watching you