Our Story Cont’d: The Gross Misadventures of Jennifers’ Colon

This is the next entry in the reposting of “our” story of how Aaron and I met, fell in love, then dated and got married. This entry was written by me, Jennifer, in October 2007. Enjoy.

October 2, 2007
Now, to tell this story, I have to use the word rectum. Because it’s a gross word, I am going to use a pretty word. I am going to use “hacienda.”

So, one day, after months of stress, bad food, and too much of Teressa’s mom’s chocolate oreo cheesecake, my digestive system took umbrage. Serious umbrage.

One day, I go to the bathroom, and come out completely freaking out. I was, to put this mildly, bleeding. Alot. Hacienda related bleeding. Panicking and on the verge of tears, I find a fellow intern who was a paramedic and, in the biggest attack of embarassment of my LIFE ask him “um, I am bleeding. Alot. SHould I be worried?” He responds, sotto voce, being as kind as he can “did your um…*pause as he looks at the ceiling* cycle start?”
“No!” I cried, seriously, tears are falling down my face and I am shaking.
“Well then, yeah, that’s bad, let’s go to the hospital.”

I grab an intern leader, tell them, still dying of embarassment, what’s going on, and my friend Teressa packs me off to St. Lukes in her car.
Three hours and one very uncomfortable test for internal bleeding later, they figure out yes, I am internally bleeding of some sort.

Which, is bad.

They do another test to determine if I am going to bleed to death, and it stops, so no one panics. (This is about 2 hours after the three hours of waiting, and I am hungry, scared, tired, and cold.) Teressa calmly crochets and watches the doctor out of the corner of her eye. Doctors ask me lots of questions about colon cancer in my family, and schedule me downtown for a trip to a gastroentorologist. Tummy doctor. Yippee.

Flash forward, (and I don’t remember much) I go with Teressa (again, my faithful chauffeur) to the gastro. He tells me I need a colonoscopy, and gives me the schedule of fasting and erm. laxatives. Lots of them.

So, day one, I fast everything but liquids. Fasting makes me irritable, and tired. Teressa tries to be helpful. Aaron all the while is eyeing me through the crowd, probably wondering what the heck happened.

Day two, the laxatives. I have to drink this bottle of what tastes like flat 7-up. Not so bad. Then I take two pills. Half an hour later, I take two more pills, while teressa mixes a bottle of white powder into 64 ounces of Gatorade. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to drink what’s about 70 oz of liquid in under two hours, but it’s HARD. Especially if the liquid has been made viscous and thick with this weird laxative powder.

The only way I could gag it down was to suck up a huge gulp of it, and then have Teressa clap her hands over my nose and mouth while I threw up, so I could keep it down.

My dad is cringing and going “why is she telling this story!?” right now.

Anyway, at 3:30p the medicine took effect, and I went into the bathroom. At 10:00 that night, I hadn’t left. I lost 8 LBS IN ONE NIGHT. (edit by Jennifer: I also tore a glute muscle, that to this day has never healed. Just from sitting for 7 hours.)

The next day, I went over to the PR before leaving for my appointment. Aaron was walking out, and at this point, we hadn’t spoken a word in a couple of weeks, complete silence. I walked up to him, hallucinating, weak, tired, and hugged him, leaning for just a moment against his chest, and closed my eyes. I was scared, and he felt very solid, warm, and supportive. I don’t remember what he said (hallucinating!) but I remember wanting to stay there all day.

Long story short, I got through my appt. didn’t have cancer, and can barely remember a thing. For that particular procedure, they give you something called waking sedatives. You basically have your brain completely shut off, and are completely normal acting. I remember almost nothing about the rest of the day, except we all hung out that night.

Basically the point of all this was this was the point at which Aaron and decided some communication would be ok. He wanted to know what was going on etc. Plus, it’s gross, but it’s entertaining.

Where to go from here? At this point, we can fast forward through the atrocious months spent waiting, longingly staring at eachother when the other persons back was turned, and trying to focus on God. I wrote Aaron a letter every day (in a journal I bought for the purpose.) It was cathartic. I built up in my head over and over what it would be like when I graduated and we could finally be together…

Then, against all odds, we made it to graduation night.

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About Jennifer James

I'm a full time mom who works full time. I'm a painter, a dreamer, and a believer that the most feminist thing you can do is adore your femininity. I say what I think, when it's appropriate for sharing. I write when I feel like I have something to say. I love always.

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