Yes you heard me. A crochet colon.
This work of art is not mine. It is the handy work of talented crochet and knit designer Alicia Kachmar.
You may have heard of Alicia - she runs the Etsy shop Eternal Sunshine, she designs and makes some truly brilliant crochet critters, and she has written some books on crafting, the latest being the rather beautiful looking Microcrafts: Tiny Treasures to Make and Share.
I stumbled across Alicia's blog quite some time ago during one of my drooly trawls of crochet on the internet, I was happily gazing away at pictures of her crochet when there staring up at me was the unmistakable shape of an infected colon. Instantly recognisable to me as I have seen so many pictures of my own innards beamed back at me on wobbly hospital screens, and so many diagrams and pictures presented to me in order to explain the pain and the debilitation of my illness.
You see, Alicia has ulcerative colitis. In fact she is about to undergo the third and final surgery required to cure her of this illness. Her writing on her experiences of this illness is incredibly detailed and poignant. I've re-read a lot of her blog the last week or so.
I have pushed away surgery since I was 19 years old, which means I have either been ill, on steroids, in hospital or on other strong drugs for 15 years. Twice I have been in hospital in earshot of the sound of a surgeon's knife being sharpened, and twice I have recovered enough at the final hour to convince them to give me one last chance to beat this on my own, with all my organs intact.
The last couple of weeks I have begun to get sick...again. I am back on steroids, a lot of them...again. But this time around I just can't fight it anymore. After 15 years I am literally getting to the point where I don't want this damn colon anymore, they can take it away, I won't miss it. I have got myself a degree, succeeeded in all my jobs, got married, had two healthy children - all in the shadow of ulcerative colitis, all whilst in and out of hosptial wards, day units, blood testing units, assessment units, consultant appointments, GP visits....there has to be a life beyond this.
Tomorrow I am being admitted into hospital so I will be away from my blog for a while. I will be in for about a week probably, being pumped through of IV steroids and various other hideous drugs to try and get everything under control. Then I will have to make Big Decisions about the future and how this is all going to pan out.
So right now I am packing up my crochet bag and digging out some decent books, because it's going to be a long and difficult week.
See you soon.