an update… from reasonably near eketahuna

Well, my dears, I know that I haven’t been terribly good at updating now that my official project is done, but there are reviews in the works (recently finished The Great Gatsby, finally, and just read The Wasp Factory,  which was both highly disturbing and excellent all at once. Currently reading The Metamorphosis, among other things.

Life has been getting in the way of posting,  though. Finishing at work (scary!), organising a Wellington flat and part time job – and the last couple of days, actually driving down from Auckland. If you know much about NZ geography and current events, however… it means that I am currently in Palmerston North… the closest city to the earthquake epicentre yesterday. The biggest/only earthquake I’ve ever felt was about a 2.0 in Auckland (where we have a bunch of dormant/extinct volcanoes, but little current geological activity). Which felt like a big truck rumble.

Yesterday was a 6.2. Holy mother of God. I have not been that scared… possibly ever. It just kept going and going. Nothing even fell over where we were (motel rooms are mercifully fairly bare when it comes to furnishing!) but it was violent as hell and the ground swayed for some time after. And then the worry of aftershocks keeping one constantly on edge.

Not the best fun. And in the immediate aftermath is the terrifying moment where you wonder where it was centered – if it was this strong here, was it right near us? Or was it something insanely big down in Wellington? Knowing as we do in NZ the destruction that can come with large quakes – hell, yesterday’s quake was basically the same magnitude as the catastrophic February 2011 one in Christchurch (though that was much shallower and therefore more horrendously damaging) – I had a moment of wondering will I have a flat to move to?

Basically, I don’t recommend. Suffice to say I will be prepping an emergency kiy as soon as I’m in my new place. Stay safe, and keep reading, people!


Hello, fine folks who read these pages! I’ve been doing some tinkering over the last few days, as a result of thinking about what directions I want this blog to go in – but at the same time, how I want to pursue my online presence overall. So… I’ve created a new blog/website explicitly for the health related topics that I’ve blogged about so very much here – IBD and its affiliated psychological issues, like depression and anxiety. It’s (hopefully) going to become a place for more people than just me to share their stories – but to make that happen, I need to get people reading and submitting. So, if you are at all interested in following my intestinal journeys, come and join the party over at wamblecropt (the name is explained on the blog!). And if you’re someone with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease yourself – or if you know someone who is – please get yourself or your someone joining in the discussion, because awareness and outreach needs voices to spread.

So that’s the new website – but don’t despair, I’m still going to be keeping on keeping on here. The 365 pieces project obviously has a ways to go yet – and I’m also planning on upping my reviewing came (if you haven’t already seen it, check out the review of Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries that I posted earlier today. And if you’ve got any recommendations for things that you think would be worth my checking out and reviewing, let me know!

sort of back in action! a photo/gif essay

hello, friends and followers!


i’m properly back home now, after one night at my mum’s, since she’s closer to the clinic for follow up appointments, such as i had this morning, and with several more to come. yay! my energy and concentration levels are still a little lacking, so it may be a little while before i catch up on a whole week’s worth of poems, but hopefully i’ll get there.

everything’s healing nicely, according to my nurses, and i decided last night that, in the grand tradition of naming body parts (you know some people do it), my temporary stoma is called buffy.

scrunchy buffy mouth with red lips is not unlike the stoma’s appearance!

because it’s kinda badass (can i get an amen up in here for modern medicine saving lives?)

oh, ru.

yes you can.

and also it could probably scare vampires away.

i’m still getting to know the intricacies of the post-subtotal-colectomy (technically a hartmann’s procedure) world, but i’ll get there. considering how many IVs i had in (three total, plus one arterial line), i only have one substantial bruise (aside from the ones on my abdomen, of course). everything was done laparoscopically , which is great, in terms of healing time, though it means my scars will be much less impressive than if it had ended up having to be an open surgery. coming off anaesthetics was crazy – i’d never been under general anaesthesia before) – everything was so hazy and sleepy and strange, and i never realised how much i’d appreciate an extra IV just in case anti-emetics needed to be injected. the pain pump was great – although since i was doing pretty well they initially took it away on the second post-surgery day, which didn’t end so well (puking, crying in pain, the whole she-bang). i was understandably nervous the second time they posited taking it away, but my use was way down from previous days, and it all went well in the end.

i even took a surgo-selfie the night before, while dealing with the grim delight of bowel prep.

when life gives you lemons, instagram them?
when life gives you lemons, instagram them?

the nurses/surgeon/registrars/anaesthesiologists/etc were all brilliant and helpful and informative and all the things that you want medical professionals to be. the food was actually pretty decent, when i was up to eating, despite the fact that i was limited to the low-fibre menu. the hospital itself is actually a surgery specific centre, so there’s no emergency department or anything other than people on the wards and theatres for the operations, and it’s all pretty flash, almost more of a fancy private hospital feel. i had my own room, there was carpet in the corridors, i had a view of rooftops and the hunua ranges behind. pretty sweet.

hello, south auckland
hello, south auckland

i accidentally stained several of their HOSPITAL PROPERTY pillowcases and gowns pinkish. even though it’s weeks since i dyed my hair.

not weird. at all.

i also learned, over the course of coming off anaesthesia and dealing with oral morphine what colour straight bile is! that was educational.

(for the record, in my case at least, it’s a dark forest green. not unlike a pair of cords that i wear all the time. guess they’re going out of circulation for a while).

i also managed to read three books over the course of my hospital stay – bossypants, by tina fey, paper towns, by john green & city of bones by cassandra clare (i know, i know. but i work in the book industry, remember. gotta keep on top of what’s in vogue) – along with completing exactly one sudoku puzzle and playing quite a bit of candy crush saga (which i only just started playing on my second to last day, and i do kind of understand the collective obsession).

i can’t think of anything much to say. i’m mostly pretty good with the pain and whatnot, at least while the tramadol’s in my system and i’m lying prone. sitting up is possible for limited periods, as is walking around, but both kinda suck after a while. and the process of moving between sitting/lying/standing is pretty awful.

not unlike this.

but everything’s getting there.

now, buffy and i are going to have a rest and watch some gilmore girls. hopefully some proper writings will occur tonight.

let’s see what’s on the slab…

oh wait, it’s me.

well, today’s the day, guys and dolls
there will be a temporary hiatus from my usual posts, as i’m going into hospital today and won’t be getting home for 5-7 days. i will have a notebook with me, though, so hopefully some pain-med induced hilarity will be penned, and after i get home, i can do some catching up, since i’ll be off work for a while. bit grim, bit exciting! anyway, just so you know i haven’t given up on this blog or anything (i’ve gotten through to september, i’m not about to stop now!), i thought i’d best keep ye posted!