Seriously This is Hot Stuff!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Slow Train to Healing

Warning: the following graphic image may be disturbing to almost anyone.

If there are any small children present or anyone that may be offended please ask them to leave the room immediately.

I'm not starting until everyone leaves.

Okay are they gone?


I didn't have time today before dinner to go on and on and on about how horrible the hospital was in fact, I've barely started on that topic, but I know a lot of you out there are probably getting tired of reading about it. You're thinking, "Wow, I wonder what Josh is going to write about today. I can't wait to check because I'm so excited to read the same old boring thing."

Whoo Wee who needs that kind of motivation? I certainly don't. Right now the hospital is just a fading dim memory of a time that seemed like it would last forever and now im in the time where my wound seems like its taking forever to heal and not really doing much of anything and if it never heals then i never get the ostomy reversal referred to as "the takedown" by everyone in the medical profession.

Also, I didn't want my account to get banned by showing my entire wound and ostomy bag so I thought I would just take a picture of a small portion of the bottom part of my wound, which also happens to show a lot of my underwear and part of the tape of the ostomy bag sticking to my skin.

Every every every every every single day the wound needs to be re-bandaged and every few days or sometimes less my ostomy bag needs to be changed completely.

Several doctors remarked that its going to be an awesome scar. However, some of those same doctors said that leaving my ostomy bag on forever would be a "cure" for Chrohns disease. Yes, its true that if you completely remove the colon then the Chrohs disease has nothing left to attack and will simply go home and irritate someone else, however thats like saying that a good cure for arm pain is to cut off your arm.

I have to empty this ridiculous bag like 12 times a day and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to stand it or do much of anything else if I had to wear it for the rest of my life.

Some friends and doctors have talked about support groups and given me videos about my illeostomy (the technical name for it) but I have not paid attention to any of it based on the hope and prayer that by mid april sometime this will all be a fading memory and all I'll be left with is a horrible scar, wierd arm pains, clothes that don't fit, and old medical receipts that have been paid for by the hospitals charity wing.

Also, most people that get the crippling level of chrohns that i have are generally much older.

I'm actually up at em most of the time right now and drive around all over the place, and get groceries for the family, and take pictures for my dad, and I've gained a little weight. I'm up to a gut busting 120 lbs.

Also don't forget that its never too late to donate money towards my recovery tax free to my paypal account at or follow my twitter account.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It was the best of times, It was the Blurst of times

So much happened to me while I was in the hospital, that it makes me tired to think about. Since I get tired now from doing almost anything, I don't like to think about the hospital much anymore.

But the people demand the truth, and who am I to deny them.

The truth is, I think in my last blog I completely forgot to mention the fact that when I woke up in the hospital after about 3 days of being heavily sedated not only did I have a huge scar and a bag attached to my stomach, I had 3 separate drain tubes stuck onto me also.

If you are reading this, and know what a drain tube is, then you are clearly a nurse, or related to someone who has had drain tubes stuck to their body. I know what you're thinking, you're thinking "hey wouldn't people related to nurses know what drain tubes are also?" the answer is: not really.

Nurses understand that people they are related to don't want to hear about the icky parts of their job and so don't generally share them with people unless it comes up naturally in conversation. Honestly, I can't really imagine what kind of conversation drain tubes would come up in, unless it was some sort of comparison to moves where drain tube like objects are used to suck up human parts from our bodies.

What is a drain tube? You might reasonably ask even though you have probably already hazarded a guess already from the name and from my description of alien probes. A drain tube is long tube stuck inside your body that in my case was draining infection into little plastic tubbie looking things.

So, I had 3 drain tubes arranged around my abdomen, an 8 inch long and 1 inch deep or so hole in my stomach, a stoma with a big plastic ostomy bag attached to that, as well as being hooked up to an iv and having both arms papered in bandages and cuts of all shapes and sizes.

Fortunately by this time, the penis tube and breathing tube up my nose were gone so I didn't completely look like a science experiment gone wrong.

A stoma is also another word that fits neatly into the same narrow category that a drain tube does in that the general public has never heard of it.

Basically after they went in and cut me open, my insides were so diseased that they were unable to close up my colon correctly, so they bypassed it, sealed it off and grabbed a portion of my guts and moved them to the outside of my body where they resemble nothing so much as the little red and pink head of some Dune like space worm coming out of my stomach which spits out internal waste constantly and has to be sealed over with a plastic baggie to prevent me soiling myself and consistently grossing out anyone in the immediate vicinity.

I was told however that this procedure was temporary and after I heal up, the process would be reversed and possibly a small portion of colon would have to be removed in order for this to happen. It's really sad when your wildest fantasies involve pooping normally.

So having heard that great news from a battery of multi-ethnic doctors and nurses, I was very relieved that I would probably not be a hideous freak the rest of my life.

This news, as truly terrific as it was, did nothing to shield me from the sheer torture of being in a bed for the next 5 days next to a guy with the most nasally monotone voice you can imagine, who seemed to be there because he hit his Chinese wife and then fled the scene and crashed his vehicle into a tree. At least that was what I could ascertain from his dozens of hushed phone calls where he would furiously deny to anyone who would listen that he didn't do anything wrong and he didn't know why he was there.

His phone calls would usually end with him saying "listen I'll have to call you back" because an authority figure had entered the room and he would repeatedly lie to them or change his story about what happened. To say it was excruciating to listen to would be an understatement.

At this point I should be wrapping up todays segment so I can go downstairs and make a yogurt fruit and protein smoothie to go to bed with, so I can wake up and take forever to eat breakfast and then think about all the things that I have to do, but not actually do any of them until 12 o'clock at which time I stand a great chance of being completely derailed by my Dad who will ask me to send an email, and then stand over my head while I type it for him.

Till we meet again, hopefully tomorrow.



Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Diary of a Future Superstar 12: Back in Action!

Okay, so probably at least like 13 or so of you guys were getting really crazy amped up about my new adventures with chrohns disease and the ostomy bag that saved my life.

I should have been writing more. I apologize. I'm serious.

Also I have no idea what I am going to write and I hate that and I know that readership is going to drop dramatically which is pretty important to me in my ongoing life saga right now.

So, at this moment I am feeling a lot of physical discomfort which is making it hard for me to focus and put out superstar quality writing but I'll do my best.

This is for the Fans...

Hospital Stories

So, Id been at the hospital for several hours and my cousin who had just come up from Virginia to visit and take me out to a surprise dinner was now watching me anxiously as i was strapped to a bed and getting ready to be wheeled in. She works at a hospital and assumed that made her part of the brethren there at Saint Luke's Roosevelt Hospital and was poking around the doctors and nurses there to see what she could find out.

And thats like the last thing I can remember till Christmas morning 4 days later where my Christmas gift was to wake up to my parents who had been there for 3 days telling me they were going to leave to beat the coming snowstorm that was going to destroy America much like Obama's economic reform policy. That, an ostomy bag, an 8 inch incision that looked like a meat locker, and a cup of hospital orange juice were what Santa brought me this year.

I'm giving that guy coal next year.

Apparently while I was passed out and under the influence of various narcotics I sent several indecipherable text messages, made mumbling slurry phone calls, and posted garbled messages on facebook like "ggggeeeefffffff pens tub hrts". At that point all i had to do was make racial comments about Jews to be mistake for Mel Gibson.

Suffice it to say that I was in a wierd state which makes it kind of hard to do a chronological recap of my first few conscious days there. Maybe I should just do bullet points.

  • Being in the hospital was awful
  • My roomate for 5 days was on suicide watch
  • When you press the button on your bed to get service right away, you never get service right away
  • Some nurses are hot, and some are not
  • Hospital food is awful and is actually detrimental to your health. You'd think for the thousands and thousands of dollars they bill you for they could at least charge you like 100 bucks more for some better food.
  • I have scoliosis also which means that whenever the team of doctors came by to ask about pain I would always tell them that my back or arm hurt.
  • They would say "huh?" because obviously no one can have more than one thing wrong with him at a time; there's no way that God can be so cruel.
  • Morphine helps you sleep better until you wake up 4 hours later with blinding pain and its 3 in the morning and they wont give you more morphine and you just shift positions every 15 minutes trying to find one that doesnt make your arm feel like its falling off.
  • Whenever I would talk to family members on the phone they would remind me that it was one day closer till I came home
  • Coming home at that point was an issue of contention for the hospital who refused to allow me to leave until I had some sort of a plan put together to move back home to Virginia with my family and get hospital care there
And my mom is calling for dinner now and running around looking for my 3 year old niece who I'm not allowed to say anything bad about in front of her mom, my sister.

So I'm going to go.

From here on out expect regular posts that will mostly look like rough drafts or weird discarded ideas because I can put together a string of cohesive ideas while I'm in minor discomfort like I am now.

Till next time when I start hitting you guys up for money by asking you to contribute to my recovery fund through paypal by making your tax deductible donation to


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hospital Stories...

Are not going to be told today. I know I had promised my Aunt Louisa that it was happening but it appears in fact that it is not. My days just sort of seem to slip away from me and before I know it its dinnertime and then I go to bed and do it all over again. By 9oclock my back hurts and I just want to sit down and I just can't focus on writing right now at all.

I'll try to do it tomorrow, maybe earlier in the day.

We'll see.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

I Hate NY #7: What the Heck Happened to me later?

This is the second part in a multi part story. In case you haven't read the first part or are too lazy or uninterested to do so. I shall summarize the events thus far. But is that really fair to the readers that are eagerly awaiting this new chapter and don't have time or patience to muck around and find out that I had chrohns disease for 10 years and it caught up to me recently and my stomach exploded and I went to the hospital? Is it? After all, Peter Jackson didn't bother with any of that catching up crap with "The Two Towers" he just went right into it. You know that whole "Frodo can I look at the ring?" "No Pippen it's mine! My precious" that sort of thing.

Okay so I had just been dumped off by the emergency crew of CSI: New York at Roosevelt Hospital and after briefly seeing a doctor and signing my life away resolving them of any blame in case I died I was unceremoniously dumped onto a bed in a small waiting room with with 3 walls, a curtain, another bed, and a black man on top of it.

He was shaking his head all over the place and spitting into a bucket and occasionally throwing up, while I was merely sitting there spazzing and unable to breathe without pain.

The hours drifted by while I waited for the hospital to do its worst. The worst was definitely yet to come, although I didn't think so at the time when a cute nurse came by and forcibly jammed a breathing tube down my nose. Before doing this, she explained that it was really really going to hurt and that I might not think she was so nice after what she was about to do to me. She told me to concentrate on taking it in and breathing. I was only able to take it in and breathe for about 5 seconds before screaming in pain. It felt like a combination of being raped and assaulted at the same time "That's it just take it, hold it in. Just take it. Try to breathe. Take it." You get the picture.

**Note for those with weak stomachs, you may want to skip these next 4 sentences**

She took the tube out and it was covered in blood which dripped all over the cloth that she had placed on my lap. With a lot of pity in her voice she asked if we could try again. I reasoned that it couldn't possibly go any worse the second time, so why not, and this time it just sort of popped right in. I told her that the blood really helped it to slide down quicker.

**Okay you can come back now**

As I am writing this, I am overwhelmed with the desire to lay my head down on the keyboard and go to sleep. It is only 10 o clock, but this thing has just drained me of a lot of energy and I find myself getting tired as early as 6:30 pm. It doesn't help that I usually wake up like 2 or 3 times a night.

However, I don't want to disappoint everyone too badly so I'm going to skim quickly over the events that followed.

I was in the hospital for 2 miserable weeks. The days seemed to drag on forever and all I could think of was getting to the next day without feeling worse.

I was discharged January 6, and allowed to move back home with my parents provided I get hospital and doctor care in place before I got there.

It has been a long and painful struggle since then and I have experienced many ups and downs. My gigantic incision in my stomach is healing quickly and all the doctors are amazed by the progress which cannot come quickly enough for me.

My ostomy bag is a source of major annoyance and self consciousness as my mother and sister talk about the uncleanliness of it constantly around anyone who will listen, usually my dad.

My mom pours out health food to me after she finishes taking care of the needs of my sisters 3 year old niece.

Often I really feel like I am second or sometimes third in line.

My parents think I can do so much by myself and clearly I can or else I wouldnt be writing this, but I dont have a lot of energy and my back is very sore because additionally I have scoliosis and I probably didn't spell it right.

Sometimes at dinner my mom will point to broccoli or another vegetable and tell me to serve myself, so I'll take 3 pieces and then she'll say

"Don't you want more?"

to which I respond

"If I wanted more then I would certainly take more."

Or sometimes I'll give up and say

"However many you think I should have."

And then my dad will yell at me and say

"We're all very sorry you're suffering, but quit acting like a martyr"

All this in about 2 minutes at the dinner table.

And several times a day will my dad will talk to me or pray out loud about me entering into the family construction business. I used to tell him I don't know whats going to happen to me in the future and I'm just trying to focus on getting well right now but he persists in thinking of me as a way to assuage his guilt over his perceived failures as a parent.

In a way I would like to help him out and get a regular job and a regular life and get married and have 2.5 children and i want to fall in love and watching 500 Days of Summer today was just a soul crushing reminder of that, but every day just sort of drifts into the next and I can't do that things that I want to do and little things still hurt as my stomach pulls on me and I have to worry about changing things on my stomach and nurses coming over and it's all a little too much for me and I was almost about to cry at the dinner table.

I don't know what stopped me.


Sunday, February 06, 2011

I Hate NY #6: What the Heck Happened to me?

If you are reading this, then chances are you may have heard that something is wrong with me or that something happened or I was in the hospital, or I'm dead or I have syphilis or something. Fortunately all those things are true and I am writing this from beyond the grave with one amputated leg.

But really, what is wrong with me? I get asked this question with some frequency and I have to admit that despite my eagerness to talk about myself and have people listen to me, the frequency of this occurrence has dimmed my enthusiasm for the telling of the tell somewhat.

For a while when people would ask me what was wrong, I would refer them to my facebook profile and ask them go through the tedious process of reading everything that I or my friends and acquaintances wrote online, or they would press me and then I would give them a short answer.

So I decided that the time had come once and for all to tell the tale of woe and uncertainty that has befallen me.

In order to tell it properly I have decided to start from the relative beginning so to speak.

And hopefully when you arrive at the end you will decide for yourself whether or not it was a tale worth reading.

Having invested this much of your time reading between white spaces on a monitor shouldn't you go ahead and find out what happens?


12 years ago I was driving to church and eating some leftover chicken broth that my mother had given me when I suddenly and quite violently felt the immediate urge to pull over the car and projectile vomit. I barely got the door open before the spray began. Thinking nothing of it, I kept on my path feeling very queasy. I prided myself on the fact that once church began I only had to walk outside and throw up once.

At this point I was a little unnerved because usually when I threw up something I immediately felt better, instead I began to feel weaker and weaker. By the time I got home I was in bad shape, and I sat on the couch unable to sleep the entire night just shaking and shivering all over and going to the bathroom every hour or so and wondering what the heck was going on with me.

At this point some of you are probably wondering why it is that I didn't go see a doctor immediately, and the strange thing is that this thought had not occurred to me at all, nor was it voiced by any members of my immediate family. We just did not go to the hospital for anything. I had been raised by my mother to believe wholeheartedly in the healing power of prayer and God's word and that eating right and natural herbal remedies could take care of anything.

While I still believe strongly in those things, I also know that if you break your arm God doesn't want you to believe in faith that it is healed and then not go see a doctor.

I continued to not see the doctor for the next 10 years and once or twice a year I would have mild to severe stomach pains that seemed to be brought on by food.

I didn't have insurance or a lot of money and didn't want to burden my parents, so other than one exploratory visit to the doctor, I didn't seek any professional care for what was very clearly a nagging problem that I was in some stage of denial about.

Eventually after years of cajoling by my father and younger sisters, I took some dramatic steps which led to a colonoscopy that determined that I had chrohns disease. My doctor wanted to administer Remicade to me and told me that I would need to be on the drug for the rest of my life in order to put the disease into remission. Despite all that had happened for 10 years I was scared off by the possible cost and side effects which my mother repeatedly highlighted for me lest I forget.

Until finally on the night of December 19th 2010 I woke up at 11pm and my stomach felt like it was on fire and I had some difficulty breathing. Just like before I was unable to sleep all night, however this time it did not go away the next day. I still remained convinced that I would be fine and when a casting agent called that night to offer me the role of stand in the next day for Kiefer Sutherland I took it, hoping and praying that I would be okay the next morning.

I was not.

I stayed up on my lazy boy managing to sleep, or something akin to it for an hour or so at a time until 7 am when it was time to go to work. I struggled mightily getting dressed and was barely able to eat anything, for fear that I would throw it up immediately.

When I arrived on set I was asked if I was feeling okay. I told them that I wasn't, but as a stand in, my job mainly consisted of just sitting or standing all day which I assured I could still do just fine even in my weakened state.

She sent me home immediately and finally at this point I made a visit to see a doctor.

He took one look at me and my pulse rate and told me that I was a very brave man and he was going to give me 2 options. Did I want to take a cab to the hospital or did I want to have an ambulance take me there.

At that point I realized I was going down and opted for the ambulance ride just for the experience.

In the interest of time and of me getting to my Superbowl party on time I'm going to wrap this up.

Basically my stomach exploded and infection was leaking all over the place. The doctors were unable to operate beyond vacuuming up all the infection, sticking 3 drain tubes into me to remove more infection and bypassing my colon and giving me an ostomy bag to poop out of.

More story to come! Don't worry, I'm going to be okay I promise!