Add title (an unpost)

You can tell that I can’t be bothered to choose a catchy title for this unpost: since WordPress prompts with the text ‘Add title’, that seemed like as good a start as any to me. It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these. (I’ve actually written a ‘proper’ blog post recently, but it’s scheduled to come out on Sunday, so you’ll see this one first by the magic of time travel. Wibble.) For anyone who’s new to my blog – which is probably most people as my regular reader(s) will have given up on me by now – my unposts are blog posts that are extra unplanned and aimless and mostly written as a stream of consciousness from start to end, with very little if any editing.

I think part of the reason I used to write unposts was to capture some of the thoughts that I didn’t want to lose, and so they functioned a bit like an irregular journal that just happened to be public. Over the last couple of years (I think), I’ve been using Daylio to keep track of my mood (or something like that) and also to keep a record of things that have happened to me. That’s taken away part of the rationale for unposts. So my chaotic thought processes have been a little hidden from you (apart from the bits that get spewed out on Twitter and Discord).

Anyway, I was just sitting here feeling particularly stuck (a combination of autistic inertia and general overwhelm). Rather than just going to Twitter and dumping a one- or two-sentence oblique reference to my internal turmoil, I thought I’d subject you to the whole random whirlpool of my thoughts. I really do have no idea where I’m going with this, but it’s good for me. I hope this stream of words does something for you too. Otherwise, I’m really sorry. You should stop reading now – it’s unlikely to get any better before the end.

Last weekend (not the one that’s just gone, but the one before that) was Autscape, a conference by autistic people for autistic people. Like last year’s one (which was my first), it was held entirely online because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a very intense but very valuable four and a half days. (Just turning off my music at this point – I thought listening to Madge Woollard would put me in a good frame of mind for writing this, but I found it too distracting in the end.) As I was saying, it was intense, and I needed a lot of recovery time afterwards.

[CW: bowels.] On Saturday though (the conference ended on Tuesday night – or Wednesday morning for some people allegedly), I had to begin preparation for a colonoscopy, just to try to get the bottom of my ongoing IBS issues. I’d already had one a few weeks earlier, but it had to be aborted because the laxatives they’d given me hadn’t quite done the trick (half-way round my colon, the endoscopist declared that it was too ‘murky’ to proceed). Saturday was a white bread, marmite and cheese day. After that it was strictly no food until the colonoscopy on Monday afternoon. Just three litres of salty lemon laxatives and some drinks (but no drinks either after 09:00 on Monday). So that was fun – though I’ve realised I’m only motivated to eat and drink to stimulate my taste buds, not because I’m actually hungry or thirsty.

[CW: still bowels, I’m afraid.] The colonoscopy took a lot longer than expected and involved a lot of rolling around into different positions while an infeasibly long black tube ending in all sorts of tools was rammed further and further inside me. I say ‘rammed’ but I hardly felt anything. I took the fentanyl option again just in case that was doing an amazing job of saving me from excruciating pain. The endoscopist (a different one, in a different hospital) nearly abandoned things again, but with one last adjustment of my position, he was able to push through to the goal (my caecum). He then slowly reversed the process, hosing things down and looking around as he went, and finally removing a tiny polyp from my rectum on the way out (just in passing).

[CW: sorry, it’s still bowels.] I didn’t time it, but rather than half an hour to three-quarters of an hour, I think it took well over an hour, possibly even an hour and a half. It wasn’t uncomfortable, not even when they kept warning me they were going to pump a bit of air into my colon to inflate it to get a better view. I didn’t actually notice – I’m very used to having lots of gas in there. Anyway, the reason it took so long and nearly didn’t work is that I have a twisty, poorly toned and extra-long colon – a redundant or tortuous colon. A colon is meant to be 1.2–1.5 metres long, and the colonoscope is 1.5 metres long for that reason. Mine is quite a bit longer, but they somehow managed to scrunch it up onto the colonoscope to reach the end. The extra length and slow movement of stuff through my twisty, twirly colon probably explains a lot of my IBS symptoms.

[No more content warnings.] That’s enough of that, I think. I might write a song about it at some point (!). Talking of songs – sorry, that was a really poor link, but this is an unpost, so you take what you get – talking of songs, as I was saying, that’s something else that has taken time away from my blogging recently. At the start of this year, I began writing a few songs based on words by Linda Sarah, an Edinburgh-based children’s author and illustrator, who’s also on Twitter and writes her own quirky songs. It was partly to get back into writing music, with something (words) to inspire me, partly to make use of the ukulele that I bought last year – I can now play precisely two songs on it, both of which I wrote! – and partly to get used to arranging and mixing in Logic Pro. Anyway, the songs (all seven of them to date, with an eighth in the works) are on my Soundcloud. (Yes, I can now use that cliché if I ever write a very popular tweet.)

I’ve been rambling for a while. There were things I wanted to say about other stuff, but some of those things merit (ha!) their own proper blog posts, so it’s probably best if I leave it here for now. It’s late anyway, so I’ll say good night to you!

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