On the morning of May 18 last year, when Barry Irvin told his adult autistic son about his shock cancer diagnosis, there was poignant silence in the room. The youngest of Irvin and his wife Harriet’s three children, Matthew Irvin cannot speak and has a limited capacity to communicate. The then 27-year-old simply leant forward and gently touched his father’s forehead with his own.
Hurtling through the Lane Cove tunnel late in the afternoon on Australia Day, Dr Emily Granger was almost willing herself to get a speeding ticket. “At the time I actually hoped I would see a police car so I could wave them down and they could drive me in even faster.” The cardiothoracic surgeon never saw a police car and she won’t say what speed she was travelling at in her white SUV Discovery. But after the phone call she had just received, time was of the essence.
This week, Buzzfeed ran a story which picked me up and made me smile. It’s about the experiences and Facebook page of Krystal Miller. Miller is a 32-year-old woman with a stoma bag. The reporter largely lets Miller tell her own story, and links to her page, Bag Lady Mama. The article doesn’t quite explain what an ileostomy is, so I will try to (readers will have to bear in mind that I primarily learned about this in a state of very limited sleep and high stress).