Marigolds and Mesh!

I'm back . . . but did you notice I'd gone, dear reader?  (I won't flatter myself by going pluraRubber glovesl here!)  Yes, I was going to Alaska for two weeks last August but I've been away six months!  Well, not away, actually, but seriously indisposed.  However, all is now well!

  "Okayyyyy, so where have you been, Janet?",  I hear you chorus in the recesses of my imagination.  Well Alaska was wonderful but more about that later.  Truth is, I had another encounter with Miss Rodd's 'Marigolds'!

You see, I had to go in for more surgery following the life-saving op the year before (almost to the day, scary!)  This visit was billed as 'tidying up' and should have been simple.  Oh no, that was tempting fate!  More extensive cutting and sewing required than anticipated.  The dreaded 'mesh' was stitched in to (yet another) hernia repair and, after a couple of days, I went on my merry way.

I'm not going to dwell on the next couple of months but suffice it to say I developed a very serious abdominal infection, was readmitted to hospital as an emergency, had my abdomen reopened and drained, five types of IV antibiotic every 2 hours, etc, etc.  Problem?  Mesh inserted during surgery became infected.  Went home on enough antibiotics to slay a charging elephant and spent the next four weeks dragging myself back to reasonable health. 

Actually drove to London at the end of November for the Cleaning Biz 6-Monthly Bash and felt great the following day, too.  By Sunday, the very next day, the shine had definitely gone.  I didn't realise I was gearing up for the next 'biggie'.  Campylobacter.  To give you an idea, 2 boxes of Imodium had no impact.  Back at hospital for tests.  Broad-spectrum antibiotics.  Given a second 'emergency' prescription if first lot didn't work but warned not to take them unless absolutely necessary because of possible side effects.  Apparently, also used to treat Gonorrhea – great!  Cornered by the Public Health Department and interviewed on a couple of occasions because campylobacter is notifiable.  Great, again!  Symptoms dragged on so took the plunge and the second lot of antibiotics.  Side effects – Nil.  They worked like a magic wand.  Within hours of taking them I was on the mend.

This was happening at the same time as a Cholera outbreak on the other side of the globe.  I counted my blessings in that I had running water to deal with the incontinence (yes, it was that serious), medication to stop the infection and iron therapy to replace the loss caused by scouring of the bowel and the resulting blood loss.  I pledged in that moment to support clean water initiatives in the Third World.  There is learning in every situation we encounter.

I recently attended Miss Rodd's clinic and told her that her 'Marigolds' would never again enter my abdomen.  She laughed, her trainee looked horrified that I'd voiced such a thing to her leader but relaxed when she realised 'Miss' had a sense of humour.

For now, my gut's being plied with probiotics, yogurt drinks and anything else I can find to supplement the 'good guys' .  Brings a whole new meaning to the word, 'gutted'!

I'll tell you about Alaska next time!

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