Ladies and Gentleman I would like to officially introduce you to Fred.
Fred is like the naughty cousin you keep locked away in the spare room when you have a family event (no, just us? Okay then). Fred is ugly, has a shitty attitude, makes a heap of noise, contributes nothing of substance or value to your interaction and is an all-round pain in the arse.
Fred is my small intestine gremlin. Now, stay with me, it will all make sense in a minute.
Keep in mind that I went through quite an extensive ‘journey’ (I fucking hate this word) to reach my Crohn’s diagnosis. At first the team that looked after me thought I had a perforated appendix. It turned out that the infection in my small intestine, had actually created a cystic mass around the area where my appendix is, they treated me with antibiotics whilst they went on their fact finding mission to reach my inevitable C-bomb!
So here I am, mid way through my second hospital stay a couple of weeks from my Crohn’s diagnosis, being treated for appendicitis. Now anyone with Crohn’s will know the only really great part of having this disease is the drugs – well kind of. Not the 10 million I have to swallow daily, giving my poor gag reflex a bigger workout than a porn star – more specifically, the hospital drugs.
I am not a huge fan of taking anything, I would wait out a headache instead of taking Panadol, much to the annoyance of the Hubby. He gets a headache and starts popping pills like they’re tic-tac’s, so you can imagine that it takes a fair whack of pain to get me to the point where I am asking for drugs.
Let me tell you, when your in hospital and in pain with Crohn’s and a nice nurse comes in and asks you your pain score, you look her straight in the eye and you go high or you go home! In my case it happened to be an accurate reflection of what I was feeling.
Eight. I’m an eight. Give me whatever you have. I’ll take anything. Shoot it in my damn veins, pop it in my mouth, I will even take it rectally if I have to – JUST. GIVE. ME. THE. DAMN. DRUGS.
Sufficiently stoned and slightly incoherent, my small intestine starts to grumble and I am struck with the great idea to give it, it’s own entity. Like why the hell not. At times it feel’s like your not in control of your body and someone is steering your titanic sized arse right for the iceberg, so why not create a persona, give it a name and blame it for everything.
BRILLIANCE SHINE BRIGHT!
Had I not been so stoned, I may have come up with a better name, but Fred Flintstone popped in my head and I thought he was a cute, bare-foot bastard and perfectly fitting of the grumbling mess that is my Crohn’s.
Fred was born.
It was an accidental stoke of brilliance. See, it’s kind of difficult to have a discussion about Crohn’s at times. Your talking about the internal system that is not attractive and sometimes icky to talk about – weak stomach friends beware. So instead of saying;
“How’s the whole poo situation?”
“Was that noise a fart or actually something in your stomach?”
People now ask “How’s Fred?” and I respond accordingly. It’s a nice way to reference that not nice entity that is auditioning to join the Lady Gaga monster tribe.
And if I am being honest, I have come to appreciate Fred and his wicked ways. I get worried now if I don’t hear from him, when all is quiet I wonder what he’s up to – if he had thumbs and could text I might send him an ‘accidental’ message and pretend I didn’t mean it just to see if he’d respond. Then when I do hear from him I get the shits and mentally send thunder bolts down stairs telling him to sod off and leave me alone.
Mine and Fred’s relationship is a complicated one. And I fully acknowledge that again, I sound a little cuckoo and I expect the straight jackets to be prepared for the moment I fully tip over into insane-ville. But this is the crazy shit that get’s me through.
So this is my dedication to Fred, and although today your tap dancing on my last nerve like your not so ugly alter ego Fred Astaire, I have to say you have busted into my life in the most unexpected way and you teach me something everyday.
I still sweat the small stuff, but not as much.
I still worry about my weight, but not in the same way.
I appreciate a good meal, but more the ability to eat it and not suffer any repercussions.
I still think hard work is important, but having the guts to say I need a rest doesn’t make you weak.
I embrace the challenges you throw my way, but no longer doubt my ability to handle them. I have this.
And so my dear friend, I will keep you – not because I want to, but because now that your here your not going anywhere. So we will do this together, I will try and keep the white coats at bay and you work on pushing my digested food through my closed over intestine and together I think we will reach a happy place.
One where we don’t have to talk much, but we can lean on each other if needed.
And as always, if you do decide to arch up and cause me issues, I will take us back to the white walls of chateau Northwest and when asked the magic question on arrival I will simply reply… Eight, I’m an eight.