Years of pain, years of strain-can't take much more

From: Mark (
Tue Jul 17 18:59:57 2007

Dear all,

At the age of 11, I fell in the garden and impaled myself upon a hollow plastic stake that caused severe dameage to my colon. I was given a temporary colostomy at the time. Since reversal, I have had a ridiculous number of obstructions, resections and adhesiolyses.

In most cases, the obstructions were treated conservatively. I think in total I have had 8 laparotomies. I am now 31 and have 2 children.

In the UK, I faced very difficult times as a result of so-called health professionals treating me as a drug addict (I am not), a hypochondriac (I am not) and someone whose apparent physical symptoms must surely be attributable to some sort of psychosomatic phenomenon. From 2002 to 2006, my condition was particularly bad. I had been waiting for some years to see the so-called expert, only to be told that nothing could be done, and that he doubted that adhesions were the problem, but rather non-adhering scars were likely to be the issue. I recieved councelling for some time via his clinic treating my condition as IBS. I was unable to work, but also did not qualify for any form of social benefit to compensate, arising from his refusal to acknowledge the problem. I was typically admitted with obstruction aroung 12-times per year. The surgeon in those hospitals in wich I was admitted refused to offer any treatment other than conservative, as a result of the fact that I had been seen by the so-called top-man.

Last year we moved to France. Within one week of arriving, I was admitted to hospital in emmergency and operated on immediately. Apparently, I had an incredible number of adhesions, and my bowel so damaged that it was hard to believe that I was able to function at all. Had I not been acutely obstructed, the surgeon claims that I would have had around 3-months left to live without surgery.

Since the op last year (March/Aril), I had been much better than for some time prior. I did not have much pain. I felt strong and gained weight. I was able to enjoy my family. I was able to work. Work was a bit tricky though, as living in rural France and needing to find work urgently, I settled for a very physical position in a charpente (heavy timber workshop). This was reasonably OK initially, though towards the end of the summer I started to get quite considerable pain again. I was forced to quit at Christmas.

Since then, I had a fairly extended period of unemployment - mainly as a result of increased pain, nausea, loss of strength and appetite and frequent episodes of severe constipation. I have been hospitalised a few times also (in January 2007 with partial obstruction, and otherwise with heavy loading caused by reduced motility owing to th reformation of adhesions). I am now working as an industrial designer - minimum wage, but have until now been able to work from home. The company are now, however putting pressure on me by stating that they are only prepared to pay me for in-entrepise hours - apparently the secretary has a problem with me working from home.

I saw the surgeon a few weeks ago, and he very quickly located some obvious adhesions with palpation - very impressive, but gutting at the same time. I was given anti-spasmodics, analgesics and mild laxatives to try to maintain some sort of comfort level, but nothing is working. I am in constant pain, find it difficult to be around my children most of the time - I certainly cannot run aroung playing catch. My moods are rotten. My wife feels as though she has been dealt a bum card - I have well and truly had enough.

I am tired. I just want to crawl into a hole and never come out. At times it has seemed as though there may be hope, seems to me now that hope for a solution for adhesions is little more than a mirrage. It's the dealing with others, and their time-limited understanding that compounds the problem for me, and I'm sure many of us. Not only do we have to live with shitty health, we have to put up with shitty people, and the guilt associated with our own inability to function as we would like, even at a personal level.

I just want it to stop...NOW.

Thanks and best wishes to all,


Enter keywords:
Returns per screen: Require all keywords: