Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Week in Hell

A week ago on Saturday, actually it began earlier in the week; I started to feel major discomfort in my lower abdominal area. This happens to me often, so I really didn’t pay too much attention to this ailment. I should have, I didn’t heed the warning signs.

On that Saturday I made 5 trips to the Porcelain Throne. This is somewhat unusual for me, as I usually make one visit per day, sometimes two. At this time the warning signs began to flash into my shallow mind. I was about to have a diverticulitis attack.

I’ve read that 50% of people over the age 60 have diverticulosis. These are small sacs that form on the Colon. Undigested food occasionally gets trapped in these sacs, especially small seeds (Poppy, Sesame and Popping Corn hulls) and red meat. And there they sit, rotting away, until they cause an infection. This infection will cause a cessation of the bowels normal Peristalsis (the rhythmic contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract).

I have been diagnosed with diverticulosis, so I generally watch my food intake. But I threw caution to the wind when my old Army buddies came down to visit me the week before. I've cheated before and gotten away with doing so.

Last Sunday I made about 20 visits to the Throne Room. After the third or fourth visit it was all diarrhea, and the pain in my lower abdomen had increased 10 fold. Wanting to avoid a trip to the VA Hospital, I therefore took counter measures to avoid a Hospital visit. Yet I still informed my family and friends that I may be shortly incarcerated at the Bay Pines VA Hospital.

Both friends and family suggested that I check in immediately. I decided that I would give it a day or two to see if I could cure myself (one friend said that I was a fool for doctoring myself).

First, I went on a fast. Secondly, the quart of water that I usually drink per day was increased to one and a half gallons. I also doubled my digestive enzyme (Dietary supplement) intake and started to take 4 Brewers Yeast tablets three times a day. I cut my alcohol consumption to two beers a day and reduced my smoking habit by 1/3.

Late Tuesday night I had a bowl of oatmeal. The pain in my abdomen had receded a bit. But I was still visiting the Throne room much more than normal. I was preparing for a 3 to 4 night stay at the VA Hospital, where I would be lying in a bed with three IV's in my arm.

When I awoke Wednesday I felt much better, so I decided to give it another day before I checked in to the hospital. I ate 2 bowls of oatmeal. The diarrhea had ceased and most of the pain subsided (it was down to a dull ache).

On Friday I began to have normal bowel movements and no abdominal distress unless I coughed (only a light tinge).

One week later, yesterday, it was all systems go. No Pain – Real Food – Normal Daily Beer Ration.

I do not suggest the course of action that I have taken to people with diverticulosis; it was out of sheer desperation on my part. I have a fear of Hospitals (actually it’s of dying in a Hospital) so I decided that I would try an alternative solution to my problem and have luckily healed myself.

The Beach Bum

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who the "friend" was that told you self Doctoring is dangerous at the least and dumb at its best...

BUT I add my sage advice to his..
GET Your mangy ass to the Dr...


PS: Glad you better my brother

Mon Jul 02, 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I'm reading this and thinking, "At what point does this become 'to much information'?"

Then I went and sat on the crapper and felt better about it.


Tue Jul 03, 11:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Admiral Jimmy said...

How are the Doctors going to make any money?

Wed Jul 04, 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger The Beach Bum said...

Admiral - The doctors at at the VA are salaried.

Raymond - I avoid Doctors and the Hospital. I'm not a fool!

Wop - You know me well - I always give too much information!

The Beach Bum

Thu Jul 05, 04:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Richard Feder, Ft Lee said...

Perhaps you would be so kind as to tell us color and consistency of each of your stools from the first sign of the problem until it was resolved.

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