Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Suicide is painless

When the UC reared its ugly again earlier this year it was the worst it had been for about 3ish years. As this flare-up came on the back of a week in hospital (see here) I decided that I had seen enough of that place for a while - acually the exact moment at which I decided I had seen enough of my delightful local hospital dovetailed neatly with the moment I decided that there was indeed a strong chance I was not going to make it to the next day: feebly laying awake, barely able to move, in the middle of the night, while an extremely surly Balkan 'nurse' made up for the lack of a drip stand by tying my anti-biotic IV drip to the lamp above my bed. I started having hallucinations about being in a combat field hospital... altogether now:

Through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see...
that suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I plea
Where was Radar when I needed him?

Thus when the cramps and poo and blood started again, I decided that I needed to get more proactive and face up to the truth. Initially this lead to my joining the NACC. Now, I had been blithely saying "Oh yeah, definately" to my GP and IBD Nurse every time I saw either of them and they recommended I take this course of action (which they did EVERY time I saw them). So this time I came good on my word and joined. And made a little donation too, which was nice. Joining the NACC was a good move for me - I've read a great deal of interesting research papers for one thing, and been able to get fully knowledged up on the azathioprine in readiness for crossing that bridge. However, it would seem that those fellows at the NACC passed on my name to my local IBD 'group'. I have absolutely no wish to speak negatively about this or any other group. I am utterly convinced they provide wonderful support for all their members and they have my utmost respect. But I wasn't, and remain, unready to join such a group. The idea of meeting up in cafes in town on a regular basis and sharing experiences is not a place I'm at yet. I can't quite even bring myself to open the newsletter they send me every month.

Despite all that (and I know these are issues of my own, rather than others) I did feel the need to exorcise myself of some of the UC demon. And so I came to blogging, and blogging is fantastic. I have discovered many other UC blogs out there (yes, I need to update my blogroll), each and every one brings new perspectives and, possibly more importantly, recognisable situations: EMPATHY. Not only those, but I have taken great heart from those people who have kindly left comments here at the Mercy Seat. Which brings me to my point (finally!)...

Whilst sifting through the assorted information we keep on the kids at school (special needs, medical info etc) earlier this year, I discovered that a boy I teach has UC. He is a frail looking, pasty and rather quiet chap in year 9. He has that pensive look about him that I often feel is fixed on my face. He has a troubled brow and his shoulders seem to bear a weight. I would guess that his UC is active, there have certainly been periods of absence this year. And yet I have not said anything to him. I cannot decide whether it would be the right thing to do. On the one hand I think I might be able to give him something that the blog has given me. On the other hand, I might come across as an interfering bastard. So, what should I do...?

While you decide, I'm going to have a late-evening medicinal cigarette in the garden.


Maria said...

Poor young man and he's only just making his GCSE choices! My son started with it probably at the time of his GCSE exams but we only became aware of it as he was about to sit his A levels. Perhaps you should speak with the Head about it before taking any action? Perhaps it would be best speaking to the parents first to see what their thoughts might be, after all they know their son best. You never know, maybe he has another member of the family with UC which might be of help and comfort to him. In our case, my son is the only member of our entire family with it or who has ever had it, as far as we are aware. It's difficult to know what the best thing is to do. Keep us informed on your decision.

aliwalidoodah said...

Bless him, it's hard enough dealing with this stupid illness without being a teenager as well! I'd definitely speak to him, but like Maria says, check with the Head or parents first. It's always great to know there's somebody who knows how you feel. That said don't be surprised if he reacts oddly - I know I burst into tears sometimes if someone is nice to me! But then, I'm a girl...
Thanks for the MASH memory, I loved that programme and I can still play the theme tune on the recorder!

Rich said...

Thankyou both for your thoughts on this. In the end I decided to leave it until september. You are both right of course about speaking to parents (still not sure about the Head though). I will mull it over during the summer. I may take the 'generally asking him how he is feeling' approach, slowly seeing if he mentions anything himself and maybe taking it from there.