I was set free from my hospital prison on Monday. After an 11 day stint with pancreatitis. And I can now tell you, from first hand experience, that you do not want pancreatitis. No really. It isn’t fun.
It’s up there, so they say, with gallstones (which would actually suck more, as they’re one of the primary causes of pancreatitis anyway) and kidney stones as one of the most painful conditions you can get. Only beaten by giving birth, or so I’m told. Anyway, for those of you not bothered to read the Wikipedia article (that’s all of you then), pancreatitis is basically spontaneous inflammation of your pancreas. This can have many causes, from getting drunk to getting pregnant (which, might I add, I was neither), but it can basically lead to the enzymes that the pancreas produces activating, so leading to your pancreas basically eating itself.
And that hurts, damnit! Though luckily, pancreatitis can have many complications and I didn’t get any of them, which surprised me somewhat, given my track record with medical complications. I also got one of those cool buttons that gives you a shot of morphine (or something similar) when you press it. Unfortunately, there’s a 5 minute lock out period to prevent you OD’ing yourself. Worse still, they still accused me of being “trigger happy”, and took it away from me! Bastards! If my stomach hurts and the button’s glowing, I’m going to press the freaking button, aren’t I? Especially when you specifically said “Don’t worry, you can’t go over the top with this, it’s got a 5 minute lockout.”
Anyway, as you A-level biologists will know, the pancreas produces lipases to deal with fats, and proteases to deal with proteins (amongst other things). So to give my pancreas a rest, I had to have a zero protein and zero fat diet, which doesn’t really leave you with much, if you think about it. Mmm, unflavoured rice, anyone? They gave me these super-high carb drinks to stop me losing weight. They called them “Elementals”, and on the cartons they came in it said “A nutritious, palatable drink for special dietary needs.” or something. Palatable. They describe their own drink as palatable. Not “tasty”, “delicious” or even “fruity”, but palatable. If they don’t even have the confidence to market their own product on their packaging, you can imagine what they tasted like. And I had to have 6 a day. Lovely.
Anyway, having gone in on the Thursday, I came out of my stay in Hotel Frossard 11 days later on the Monday, thoroughly relieved and getting back to a diet that’s better than “palatable”.
Also, unrelated, but my Uncle’s doing a sponsored half marathon to raise money for CLIC Sargent, the children’s cancer charity that’s been so helpful to me and many others so far. If you’re feeling generous, please donate, the box is on the right hand side, under “just giving”, with “Nick Gill’s donation page” scrolling along.