What's up, Poagulation Nation? I don't really have a burning issue to talk about right now, but give me about 30 minutes and I'm sure something will come up. Actually I just thought of something to write.
I know my close friends and many others know about my medical problems, but since my problems are so rare that even doctors in 5 different states are baffled by it. I know my friends are sick of hearing me talk about my disability, but there are people that might check out this blog and wonder what I am talking about when I say things like; full pancreatectomy with auto-islet cell transplant.
So, for those that have heard all about it you are excused to go "facebook" or search for monkeys doing hilarious things on youtube. As for those of you that say you are sick of hearing about it because all you your selfish asses can think is, "OH, God! he is always bitching and complaining all the time. When I ask him 'how are you?' all I expect is him to say 'fine, how are you?'" What I have to explain to you is that when you have a disability that affects all aspects of your day, it tend to dominate your mood and activities. When you are hospitalized every 4-6 weeks and have at least 1 doctor appointment a week, you get conditioned to answer the question, "How are you doing?" in medical terms and since my medical condition is often shitty you are likely to get a 'bummer' of an answer. I know of one person that I thought was a friend, but then he changed his number, dropped me from their FB friends and told a mutual friend he didn't want to talk to me cause all I do is complain.
I am not necessarily complaining. It just seems that was cause most of the time something shitty is happening to me. That isn't complaining, that is reporting the facts. So, those people need to get over it and if you are really more concerned with me being entertaining than healthy, then to hell with them.
As for those that don't know my medical saga, here it goes. Get a snack and a pee break, it will take a while.
The Tale of Pancreas Minimus
My tale begins during UK's Christmas break 1999. Chris Blake and I had the Phi Psi house all to ourselves since we were the only Lexingtonians. Everyone else went back to where ever for the break. The 23rd of Dec. was a blast cause it was just my good friend and former band-mate Clay and my oldest friend Robin (who was lucky enough to get leave from the Marines for Christmas-remember this was all pre-9/11). Blake was out with his high school buddies getting wasted just like us. We spent the afternoon sitting in front of the shitty big screen TV at the chapter house with a cooler of Budweiser by the couch, enjoying some quality Jamaican hash, and playing a bass fishing on Larosa's Dreamcast. (anyone else remember that epic fail of a console?) It was the closest thing one could find to real fishing in late December.
Then we went to the now defunct Buckhorn Mnt. Grill, because we had a girl from high school that dated me long enough for her to get to my friend Robin, so they still had a thing for each other and i had an uncomfortable situation to get through. Which meant cheap/free appetizers and a beer selection second only to Marika's at the time. Free beer quickly did away with the awkwardness in a hurry. God only knows how much beer we drank, but wait there is more.
She invited us to hang out at her place after she got off work. So, we picked up the wine and Bacardi she asked for and naturally more beer for us. Lindsey got blitzed and ended locking herself in the bathroom barfing. We finally got her out and put here on the couch a split.
When we got in the car there was a light snow, but in my mind I didn't really feel drunk at all. Buzzed for sure, but not too wasted to drive. I dropped my boys off at their houses and went home, where who else was waiting for me was Chris Blake, home from doing very similar things with his pals. We were both wide awake so we got the brilliant idea to smoke more hash, pop a Valium, and make Irish coffee and go walking in the fresh snow. It was a nice end to a rager of a night and all was well. Then...
I drove to my parents' house for Christmas eve to do our traditions and go to midnight mass. By this time I had a head splitting hangover. It wasn't just my head that hurt either. My stomach was ANGERY!!! I just assumed it was a wicked hangover nothing I couldn't handle. I stayed at my parent's that night, but I was up all night taking pepto and Tylenol. Both of which just made this worst. Well, morning came and we all started exchanging gifts, when I mad a b-line for the bathroom to unleash the most violent vomiting I had ever experience or even heard of. It would not stop and the abdominal pain was the worst pain I have ever had in my life. I felt like I was going to die!
I finally got to the ER where they hooked up a bag of saline and shot IV Demerol and phenergan in the IV. OH' my God! not only did it slow the symptoms it sent me into a state of euphoria I had never know. Before that moment I didn't understand heroin users, but when that dope hits...well it is magical. They did a ton of blood test and scans and decided I had pancreatitis. It literally means 'inflammation of the pancreas'. The pancreas and gall bladder are over producing digestive enzymes. Those enzymes are responsible for breaking down protein, fat, carbs,and other things. The problem is that your body is made of those things and when the body can't get rid of it fast enough it starts to eat your own tissue. I had to have my stomach pumped and was not allowed to eat or drink anything (including water) until those enzymes pass. I spent that Christmas day til New Years Eve in the hospital.
The main causes of pancreatitis are gall stones that block the pancreatic duct, years of severe alcoholism (even though I had been on a bender the days before, drinking was not the cause) you have to be a wake up and start drinking til you pass out everyday type of alcoholic. Then I was negative for all the test they ran. The doctors labeled it idiopathic pancreatitis. In their words that means "we are idiots cause we can't figure out why you have it," Great! So once my gut calmed down I got sent home. I hoped that the story would end there, but no. Not with my luck. These attacks continue to this day, even after having my pancreas removed (a topic for a later blog).
So that was the beginning of my illness and the end of many of my life plans. Part of the reason I started this blog (besides to rant) was to document what has happen to me and why my life has taken the turns it has. I will continue the story in my next post and I hope to keep it shorter.
Keith "SickBoy" Poage