And then it kind of it all came to a head in about ’99/2000. I’d had a tremendous amount of surgery over the years, always had the same scar, my surgeon’s a brilliant surgeon. He always cut the same scar, so I’m not massively scarred. And I was in a very bad way. I was, after more surgery I was in a very bad way. I was vomiting pretty much whenever I ate. And I was just in a really bad way. And I was given a temporary, when I was given jejunostomy which is actually most worse than a colostomy or an ileostomy, because it’s high output so the volume of fluid that comes out is litres.
And that was a really, really tough time, because I’d always said I didn’t want a bag. I’d always said that would be the thing that would finish me off. I would never have one. I would never accept it. And of course you adapt and it wasn’t as bad as I thought apart from the fact that I couldn’t wear jeans anymore, I had to wear springy trousers, and so I was more bothered by the fashion [laugh] problem.
And you had the jeju …
Jejunoscopy. It’s, I mean it was down here, but it’s high output, it’s basically coming straight out from the ileum, the top part of the ileum. So literally you’d eat something and within twenty minutes to half an hour that something was coming out to the bag. So I was really bad. I mean it did my head in, completely did my head in.
How long did you have that bag for?
I think because my memory’s hazy on stuff now, I think I must have had it, I must have had it six months to a year, I think. Six months to a year I reckon. Something like that. You know, I mean they did want to leave it there, and it was me saying no, no, just give me another go, and you know.
Why was that sort of something they didn’t consider before then if it’s such….?
Because it’s an, it’s an extreme thing to do. Like I mean, basically this line goes to the main, it goes up over the clavicle or under the clavicle, I’m not sure, up here, and you can see the line there, and it goes into your main artery to your heart. So what it means is it’s like sending it into the best distribution centre in the world, which the nutrition very quickly hits my heart and then gets pumped right round the whole body. It’s brilliant. But it wasn’t something they wouldn’t have considered before then because it’s expensive, it’s extreme, they’ll do them temporarily for people sometimes if they do bowel rest and stuff. I mean I had, when I had the naso gastric tube, I didn’t have to have it, I could have drank Fortisip and Ensure which are like high protein drinks and Build Up. But both Fortisip and Ensure made me heave, made me want to vomit.
I chose instead to go through the rigmarole of sticking a tube up my nose, because that was easier than me drinking this horrible stuff, that really was, because I just couldn’t stand up the build up stuff at all. So that’s what they used to do for sort of bowel rest.
And there’s probably, there’s a fair amount of people in the UK who have these lines now. But it’s a very expensive, like, I cost more to keep alive than I earn, you know, which is a weird one. I’m looking forward to the day when I earn more than I cost to keep alive, very much so. But I think a bag of my nutritional feed is about, the price has gone down, it used to be worth about £150 a bag, now it’s about £120 a bag.
I have eight of those every two weeks. So there’s a thousand pounds there in just