Up the tubes

I have three bags hanging from a rolling pole next to my bed here at the hospital. These Y down do a pair of IV needles, one in each arm. The two big bags are for hydration. The third? I dunno. (The nurse just told me it’s magnesium.) Since visiting Amsterdam two Wednesdays ago, I’ve shed a lot of liquid, to be polite about it. Now I can’t take in any liquid, or food, at all, which is one way they calm my innards and stop my pancreas from freaking out, which is what it did yesterday morning as a delayed reaction to the endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (aka ERCP) exam I had here at the hospital the day before.

One in twenty endoscopic probings of a pancreas results in pancreatitis, and it was my misfortune to hit the bulls eye. I woke up with Xtreme hunger-type pain in my belly yesterday, without the hunger. Nausea came later, and a visit to the emergency room not long after that. Now I’ll be here until the pain stops and hunger returns. Those are the Good Signs. So far, not even close. In fact, the pain remains bad enough that morphine doesn’t do the full job. It just reduces the pain to a point where I can do some of this. Which I’m doing between working on some writing assignments. We’ll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, the good news is that This Too Shall Pass. (Better it than me.)

Alas, I shall miss Supernova, and perhaps more than that. We’ll see. I still hve high hopes of flying west midweek or so, although that seems mighty ambitious from where I sit (actually recline) right now.

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44 Responses to Up the tubes

  1. Loren Heiny says:

    Hope you feel better soon!

  2. Rob Knight says:

    Wow. My well wishes for a speedy recovery. I had no idea your pancreas could kick your ass like that. That’s an organ with some punch.

  3. judi says:

    Wishing you luscious dreams of all your favorite foods, and breathing exercises that calm your innards. Many in twitterverse hoping for your speedy recovery!

  4. Scott Rosenberg says:

    Best wishes for pain reduction and a quick recovery, Doc!

  5. I’d ask why you’re blogging when you should be resting, but hey — you’re Doc Searls, you’re gonna blog every waking second, right? 😉

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. And think about staying home and resting for a bit, even though you love to travel. We need you to stay strong and keep all your projects rolling.

    Besides, you’re traveling already. You visited my iPhone and my desk in Anchorage today. That’s a long trip. Worthy of a rest.

    Take it easy, Doc. And show that pancreas who’s boss.

  6. “First, do no harm”???

    The test that showed nothing did this to you. That sucks.

  7. Ouch – bad luck with the ERCP and bad news about the pain. I wish you all the strength – and hope the painkillers and your positive spirit will make it all go away very soon!

    You are a very special person! Please take care of yourself and take the time to recover.

  8. Yule says:

    When you first tweeted “pancreatitis,” I thought, “How did he end up with that?” I never thought it could be as a result from a medical test. That’s just terrible!

    I hope you get better real soon!

  9. Yule Heibel says:

    Your blog just ate the 2nd comment in as many weeks — so I’ll try to retype/ repeat: First, I hope you get better really soon! Second, what Sheila said (that it’s amazing this should happen to you as a result of a medical test!). Third, repeat first point: take care!

    PS: I think I know why my comments got deleted/ disappeared. I posted them while logged in to my own Harvard blog, and somehow that means your blog doesn’t recognize a comment coming from my (as another Harvard blogger).

    That’s my theory anyway. I’m writing this comment after having logged out from my account, and if my comment still doesn’t post, I’ll just have to assume that you don’t like me!

  10. Halley Suitt says:

    Yikes … Okay, this is it, no more sick days, this has got to stop. You’ve done enough testing of the delightful customer service available in Boston medical facilities!

  11. Paul says:

    All I can say is we’re all wishing you the best and hoping you’re back on your feet (and fully hydrated!) soon. I was going to say “back up in your beloved Sky soon”, but was worried that it might be misinterpreted…

  12. FCrostic says:

    Doc, hope you are doing better. We just read the last few days of your blog, but knew a little before due to conversations with Joyce. I hope when you see an end to the hospital stay, and recovery you give a little more thought to the reasons behind the why, how, and what you can do to get beyond the problems you are facing.
    Flying may be your bless, but it is hard as hell on anyone who has to endure trip after trip. The loss of Tim Russett due to a blood clot, most likely thrown off from his last trip on a Trans-Atlantic flight from Italy is a timely reminder of this reality. If you have to fly to keep your work functioning do everything you can do to make your health as good as possible.
    Best wishes to you and your family. Hope to hear only good things about your recovery in your blog.

  13. Mike Warot says:

    I’m glad to hear things are headed in the right direction, Doc. I had to have my gall bladder out after a bile duct obstruction put my enzyme levels up at about 14,000… and the pain all the way up to a 10.
    You have my deepest sympathy, and empathy.

  14. Lisa Stone says:

    Feel better Doc — we’re thinking of you.

  15. I hope things are going well. This has been an interesting few months for you.

    You know for years we’ve listened to you talk about Internet access in different places: hotels, airports, EVDO, etc. I guess you can think of this year not as one in which you got sick, just one in which you expanded your investigations to include hospitals.

  16. Jeeez. Pancreatitis is very painful. When you get something because you are already in the hospital (or they gave it to you) they have a nice Latin name for it. Iaotrogenic?

    Nice that the hospital will allow you to use your wi-fi. Sometimes they tell you it will interfere with the equipment.

    No offense, but one of our dogs had pancreatitis once. The vet said it was because he ate too much pizza. When was the last time you had pizza :-)?

  17. Tim Jarrett says:

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Doc.

  18. My wishes and prayers for your returned health. The ‘nets need your voice, man.

  19. Charles Lee says:

    Doc, Sorry about the pain, eat soon and don’t swallow the spoon. Great you can blog lying down, keep us abreast.

  20. Rex Hammock says:

    Get well soon, Doc. And take care.

  21. Get well soon Doc. Pain for men is such…a pain. We don’t do it well.

  22. So sorry that you’re going through this. I know by messages from my own sludgy gallbladder that abdominal pain is no joke. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hopefully you can fly west soon. The weather here in SB is beautiful.

  23. Aw, c’mon Doc. I had twice as much pancreatitis and I had it in both my pancreases, while I was pulling out my own teeth, and all I had was a shot of lighter fluid, but you didn’t hear me complaining. You Internet kiddies today with all of your anesthetics and clean instruments and your open source surgeries don’t know what it’s like to be a real man.

    In other words, I’m sorry for what you’re going through, my dear friend. We’ll all be thinking of you. Get through this fast!


    David W.

  24. Francine: yes, iatrogenic. Doc, next time a doctor asks you to take a test, ask him “How will this change my treatment?” And if the answer is not sufficiently large, then you should refuse the test. Tests aren’t cheap, nor are they free.

  25. Euan says:

    Hang in there Doc – hope you are not in the wars for too long.

  26. Loic says:

    Recover fast Doc, would love to see you again soon.

  27. Rob Paterson says:

    Sorry Doc – I has no idea that you were feeling this way when I wrote a couple of days ago – all the best Rob

  28. Thinking of you! Hope all goes well, and soon.

  29. Get healthy! Best wishes.

  30. Chip says:


    What a farked way to spend father’s day

    I thought contortions (deep backward bends) cleaning the stove hood and vent were bad
    (my back tells me today that it was)

    Best wishes, take care and get well


  31. Clarke Ching says:

    Ouch! I had pancreatitis last year and it was horribly painful. I’ve met two women who’ve suffered from it and they said it was more painful than childbirth …

    Hope you have a speedy recovery … but don’t rush it. Your body is more tired than your brain is right now.

    Good Luck and take care.

  32. As usual, Doc, you’re spreading harmony and togetherness in your (pain-soaked — yikes!) wake: Just this morning, inspired by your tales from the sharp end of the IV bag, I took my pancreas out for a nice breakfast and a long, soul-searching conversation about our future together. We both agreed to stop treating each other so cavalierly; indeed, I agreed to submit to binding mediation in the event my pancreas ever feels wronged or neglected. (Heck, I’ll agree to pretty much anything to avoid the “pancreatic freakout” you’re enduring).

    Speedy recovery! Then come west!


  33. Brad says:

    Get well soon, Doc

  34. Bill Kinnon says:

    Praying for you, Doc. Not that God actually listens to me – but for you, he just might.

  35. Adriana says:

    Doc, thinking of you, wishing you as painless recovery as possible.

  36. Jonathan Marks says:

    Speedy recovery. Let the body catch up with that incredible brain.

  37. Michael Carveth says:

    Greetings Doc,
    C.L sent me this. Aging is not for the faint. My hope is that you become tubeless very soon.

    Hugs and Fuzzies,

  38. John Cass says:

    Sorry to hear about your illness, hope you get better soon.


  39. You are the one Doc that should not be in a hospital… hope you make a speedy recovery.

  40. Pingback: Two Months Ago I Went to the Doctor for a Cough « Maartens Journey

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