January 21st, 2011  update: I received a few comments and emails that prompted me to re-read my last four journal entries. I am still learning how to present a balanced and complete picture of what’s going on, in the short space of a blog post, while letting my mind roam. That roaming is essential to keeping this series to ‘journaling’. That said, I don’t want to portray only a ubiquitous sense of angst, or melancholy, or make folks think I’ve been feeling really bad. For the most part, I’ve had good energy, and have suffered no adverse side effects from the meds (the left ear thing went away). I’ve been on runs. I’ve gone to the gym. I’ve played with the kids. Sure, I’ve had moments (Tuesday, and part of Wednesday) of feeling bad, but it’s not been nearly what I had prepared for. Anyway, on with the post…

Yesterday was nothing to write home about, so–I won’t.

Day 7:

This morning I dreamt again. It was vivid and loud. It pertains to my treatment, so I thought it’d be fun to write it up for you. There’s more to talk about today than just the dream, but let’s begin with the fun stuff…

I dreamt I was at the beach, the Delaware coast.

The sun was the color of honey, and the sky was filled with mist so that together they looked like weak tea. I was standing near the beach some distance from the water, in wide, brown-green blades of grass, the kind that holds on in the sand by its fingernails. As I looked out at the sea, the sky began to squint, as titan seas loped to shore. My heart raced as the wave eclipsed the honey sun. Yet my feet moved not. I simply stood, anchored, goose-fleshed from fear, in awe of the eclipsing tidal force coming my way. It broke and washed up the shore towards me, and enveloped my legs to the knees. As is receded, I saw that the beach shore, now just inches from my sandpapered toes fell away more than thirty feet. It sloped downward at such an angle I thought not possible for sand, yet this sand was wet, and wet sand hugs itself into shapes and angles its drier brothers dare not.

The sea squinted again. They were coming in at regular intervals now. Large lumbering elephants, they goaded me, teasing my legs seaward. Another wave receded, and I did the unthinkable: I raced down the slope towards the seas, and began paddling, swimming towards the horizon. The sea stood. There was no sky now, only water, water, water. It curved and molded itself around me, and I knew nothing but sound–rushing, whirling, painful tossing sound. Then whirring wet everywhere. It wasn’t soft, but cold and scratchy like icy snow. It tossed me easily, tumbleweed skeleton in this wet desert. Then the sand; we collided with such a force that only a dreamer could survive. Souped in sand and seaweed I stood on the precipice again and dug my toes in the sand around the broadsword blades of grass. I watched the wet recoil.

Then I saw her: At first she was tiny, like a small piece of sea-foam atop the waves. I strained to see. It was a small girl, no more than four years old, riding a long board, enjoying the massive surf that had just threatened to overwhelm my life. She was smiling, sitting on the front of the board with her feet dangling coyly from the front of her enamel-white board. She was playing. I was drowning. I woke up.

You don’t have to be Freud to interpret this one. I wonder. I have doubts. I move forward, into the surf tomorrow. Dramatic? Maybe, but that’s how I feel.

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Today I went to work. In the middle of a meeting, I got THE feeling. Uh-oh. Not urgent, but important, as Stephen Covey might say. People with IBD are connoisseurs of bathrooms. We know where they are, which provide the most privacy, and which are the cleanest. At work, I even know which are the least frequented, and at what times of day I’m most likely to have whichever bathroom to myself: Today, I learned something new about myself. When I left the meeting to go do my thing, I caught myself, in a empty bathroom with three stalls, judging which stall had the best lighting, because of course, one must have the best light in order to examine the contents after–for scientific and health reasons of course.

Examining my poo has become such a regular habit, such a necessity, that I only use the stalls with the best light, lest I miss some important poo detail that could be the evolutionary link to my IBD cure.

I laughed at myself, but not out loud, that would be weird.

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Tonight I took the last of the medication. Tomorrow, I pick up my first stool donation and take the lavage to clear my colon of residual fecal matter (and by extension, bacteria). When my system settles from the lavage, I will go to work preparing the sample, and take the resulting bacterial slurry by…No-no, are you crazy? Not for any health reward in the world would I drink that… I will take it by enema.

Reid Kimball, from Wanted: Crohn’s End, will be here to observe and document my little bacterial experiment for his documentary. Reid has written a couple of informative posts on Bacteriotherapy that are worth reading. Read the first post here, and the second post here.

Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more…