Wherein he mostly talks about poop.

Since ya’ll seem to be paying so much attention to what my run LOOKS like..

Things went a little pear shaped at the end of last week.  Nice short run on Thursday, with the intention of doing something longer on Saturday.  I woke up Saturday morning to a snow storm, though..  Which ended up being just as well because I managed, somehow (sitting up in bed) that morning, to aggravate the herniated disks in my upper back.  This happens now and again.  It predates cancer.  I’m pretty sure, though, that it was these two or three (can’t remember) disks in conjunction with the chemotherapy that caused me so much pain over the last winter.

Since around the time I started running, though I think it’s a coincidence, I’ve been having a strange change in bowel habit, all starting with a day of REALLY excruciating gas pain a few weeks ago.  The gas pain seemed to mostly resolve a few days later when I went for a run, completely emptied out, and had to finish the run with a full bag.  (yuck.  right.)  I felt pretty good for the rest of the day, and maybe a few days after, but noticed that I wasn’t really *cough* producing much.  By the snowy Saturday with disk pain, I was feeling pretty bloated and gross again.  Like before, this resolved itself in spectacular fashion, and I spent most of the day, well..  pooping.

That night I had horrible chills and feverish dreams, and in the wee hours of the morning I felt as though something might be REALLY wrong..  That perhaps I was going to have another seizure.  Who knows?  Woke up on Sunday feeling ok, though.  Still, I thought I’d take it easy for a few days.  Got back to running this morning.  The rest did me some real good..  The secret to feeling good when you run?  Don’t run very often!  Ha.

(I will be seeing my G.I. doc this afternoon to hear what he has to say about this new pattern in bowel habit).

In other news:

THIS SHIT IS ABOUT TO GET HIGH TECH!!!  (and I’m using the expletive clinically!!)

I finally managed to get on the phone with someone at my healthcare supply company who has a little sense, and was able to hook me up with some irrigation supplies..

Here’s how it works.

Step one:   You’re going to need a Belly-Butt.  The majority of you reading this are disqualified.

Step two:  Fill the bag with water and hang it from something high like a shower curtain.

Step three: Lie down and stick the cone..   Actually, you know what?  Since I’m pretty hazy on the next few steps anyway, I think I’ll leave it there until I know what the hell I’m talking about.  Check back soon!

(Joking aside.  Irrigation is something that many Shit-baggers find allows them a serious boost in quality of life.  Essentially, a once a day enema that empties out the bottom foot or so of colon, and allows you to cover your stoma with a little cap instead of the usual shit bag, since peristalsis won’t push anything to the end of the line for another 24 hours or so.  That’s the theory, at any rate.  Apparently, some people take to it pretty quickly, and others never adjust.  I’m hoping I’m a quick learner!)

Sometimes on here I talk about food, and art making, and the finer things in life.

Today I talked about poop.  Sorry.

For Ashley and others:  The running does not seem to be helping my sciatica at all.  Not yet, anyway.  If anything, it may be aggravating it.  My body continues to be riddled with aches and pains that I associate with the chemo, the sciatica being severe enough that most of the time it masks the others!  Running DOES seem to be helping with the depression a bit, though, for what it’s worth.  I’ll be seeing a physiatrist (??first I’d ever heard of it) on thursday to see what she has to say.  Hoping that maybe we can try a cortisone shot or something like it.  My upper back disk issue, when it gets really bad, has been set straight in the past with a course of steroids.  Maybe something similar could break this pain cycle..  I’ll let you know.

25 Replies to “Wherein he mostly talks about poop.”

  1. please don’t apologize for talking about poop. I have IBD and I can always appreciate when someone will talk honestly about their poop problems. hope your GI doc can figure out what the plumbing issues are!

  2. Tyler, what a very small world. Cabin Porn is actually my blog. And one of Ezra’s Nova Scotia pics is featured in there somewhere.

    Ez, your story (poop talk and all) continues to be profoundly grounding and inspirational, in ways I can’t possibly hope to describe in a blog comment.

    Be strong and be well.

  3. ohmygosh. first we are talking about poop and now cabin porn! i saw cabin porn yesterday and i’m hooked, i tell ya. that is serious cabin porn for those of us who dream of that one day……beautiful work mr. cooke.

    ezra. as always, you are amazing and your stories and life and aches and pains are all told so well here. thank you for writing. courage and love and badges of honor, xo.

  4. The belly plug sounds like a new sort of freedom! I really hope it will work for you! If so, maybe you can really go on with this tomatoes-tatoo project you were considering long time ago… 🙂

    Hej Ez, did you notice that you did a heart-shape run!!!

  5. Poop! Amongst the goodest of friends, we talk poop all the time. It’s a good thing. It’s a measure of comfort and familiarity. Never be afraid to talk poop Ezra! You’re amongst friends.

  6. Not bothered by caca talk here. Know that those of us with disc issues and butt-butts instead of disc issues and belly-butts are aching too. Also, by the time you reach my age there is more walking going on than running. It doesn’t change the aches and pains. Smile and carry on.

  7. Awww, that route looks like heart instead of a *cough* hammer. That’s because you love us enough to talk about your poop. It’s ok – poop is funny…always. Good luck irrigating!

  8. I thought it looked like a heart too!! A subconscious good sign I’m sure:)

    Don’t be fooled — the poop talk is riveting.

    It sucks that the running (so far) aggravates the sciatica. I hate to ask so many questions – and thanks so much for the update:) – but I’m so interested in what you’re doing. If you can get the pain under control, does the exercise help alleviate some of the depression, and therefor has a net positive effect… or the running exacerbates the pain and pisses you off and creates a bad cycle. I do think there’s a serious mental component to all this, but sometimes the scales tip and the body just wins. I f*cking hate it when that happens.

    So tonight, in honor of your belly-butt enema, me and everyone I know will be sending you such good thoughts, such magic prayers. We will be sending them directly to your digestive system, to your wondrously agreeable and totally-up-for-an-adventure intestinal lining. We will be sending motivational speeches tonight, saying “ADAPT, BOYS! ADAPT!!”

    Much love, Ezra:) Thanks for the update.

  9. I have to agree, it looks like a heart, I can see a pear but I see more of a heart 🙂
    @Tyler & Jace, thanks for turning me on to & creating cabin porn, I’m daydreaming of the quiet . . .

  10. Nothing stranger in your body than your gut. A long series of tropical creepy crawlies and the treatment for them wiped out my flora; getting back to exercise had similarly unpleasant results. Although my poop still came out of the original hole, so really it was a bit different. I also think my gut has about as much to do with my mood as my brain.

    It sounds like you’re experimenting heavily, which I am damned glad to hear. Trying every trick in the book (and some thoroughly stupid ones which weren’t) was the only thing that pulled me out of a hole involving a broken gut, a broken leg, a broken psyche, etc. I didn’t go through nearly as much as you but was four-to-eight times more sorry for myself, so I think it’s a fair comparison. I still take cold showers most mornings, never eat my beloved oats for breakfast, and periodically make sacrifices to a Tahitian lava-god. Who knows what did it. Please keep trying shit until you find you’re doing much better than you expected to.

  11. Jace, as a matter of fact, I think I stumbled upon Cabin Porn via Ezra’s Flickr stream a while back. I had forgotten the connection between the two, doh! Anyway, a beautifully curated collection of hideouts. Keep up the great work. Ezra, keep charging ahead.

  12. Hey Ez….replying because I have something useful to say for a change!! This time from the sunny south (where it is summer). As you know, A has had problems with a herniated disc for a few years. He had three cortisone injections from a physiatrist in NY (…maybe the same one?) that did not help at all. Had another two from an anesthesiologist in Houston…helped a little. Finally, two days before we left, he had one from a guy in the Orthoped Dept at Mt. Sinai in NY after several apparently very sensible tests. The injection though not 100% miraculous is by far and away the best thing of many (in addition to other treatments) he has tried. He also saw a surgeon in the department who was extremely nice and far from a “slash and conquer” advocate. A is out at the moment but I will send the name of the guy when he gets back….sure worth a chat with him anyway before embarking on the protocol with the physiatrist (who make no mistake was no slouch, just did not have the right treatment for A).

  13. Ez, The Mt. Sinai doc is Alexandru Burducea and his phone # is 212 241 6372….give him a call. He is also very response to calls, a very welcome rarity in the profession!

  14. I am down with the poop talk. Face it, people are curious how the belly-butt works (great term) and… everybody poops. Differently. Nice heart-shaped run, Ezra!

  15. Super happy you’ll be experimenting to get some quality of life back. Success would officially be called a continent colostomy. Hubs will be losing some appliances shortly but looks to be dealing with two dribbly back penises until someone can (will) grow him some organs. Best to you, Hill and pup.

  16. What an awesome post! Thank you for sharing aspects that I never would have thought of. Your strength is certainly an inspiration!

    Definitely strong vibes sent to you, Hillary and Putney!

  17. Hey!

    I have bad sciatica and I found rolling on a foam roller helps me the best. and stretching my butt muscle and ham string. not walking or running because that causes the muscles to contract even more than they already are.

  18. Wanted to share something with you… So, I’m a member of an online cancer discussion group, and a dude posted that he had to have the surgery that results in a pooh bag. He was really resistant to the idea and wondered about quality of life etc… I remembered reading about your increase in QOL upon learning how to irrigate, and so I told him about that… He’s a super active dude… involved in many things… Here was his response….

    Thank you for taking the time to write. I have changed my mind and I will have the bag. I don’t want to hang on to life for life sake. I am more interested in quality of life. Give your friend my regards. Be sure to tell him that it is because of him that I will take the bag.

    And so – wow.

    I hope you are having a good day….

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