Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Rewind and pause: the theme to my past week. But this time, the cosmic powers that seem to be at play have outdone themselves and rewinded back a year.

As of Friday, I was knee-deep in another blockage and trying stubbornly to stick it out at home. After my last major battle with the ER with my blockage a month earlier, I informed my Mom that I would not be leaving unless I would circumvent the whole waiting process and skip right to being hooked up to fluids and pain medications, that is, if I wasn’t denied them. Luckily - if luck can ever be a factor - my GI was the Attending on call this past weekend, and when the time came on Sunday, she helped whisk me through the process. Yes, I still had to wait the two hours in the ER. And yes, my GI (thankfully) believes in pain medication and listening to her patients, and I was well hydrated and well doped with drugs before the night was through. But to my Mom’s chagrin, I still had to be admitted for a couple of nights.

Because the Halifax hospital system is so perfectly worked out (sarcasm implied), the GI unit is in the old building, but the ER is in the new building, so an ambulance had to take me from point A to point B. By this point it was almost midnight, and I convinced my parents to go home instead of driving over to the other building for a minute. I was loaded into the fancy stretcher and whisked away. The paramedic looked at me and grinned, “You pretty glazed right now aren’t you?” Answer: you know so.

Home sweet home... or at least the non-air-conditioned smelly GI unit. Memories began to flood back of me on this floor a year ago, right before my surgery. Then we turned into my old room and lo and behold, my old bed was waiting for me. I was almost laughing, it was a little ridiculous, almost perfectly one year later and here I was again. It hadn’t changed - it still smelled, those stained curtains still fluttered between the beds, I still had roomies. After being unloaded from the stretcher and attached to an IV pole, I had to go to the bathroom, and when I got back, a nurse was standing at my bedside and she smiled and said, “You sure know what you’re doing” to which I replied “I hope so!”

For as optimistic and positive as I try to be, let me be clear - last summer sucked. To this day I’m amazed and a little shocked that I survived the experience. It was single handedly the most painful experience of my life and being back in that room was very surreal. I woke up one night around 4 AM and couldn’t remember where I was - if it was last summer, what hospital I was in, how old I was. One year can make a huge difference, but it is also only the beginning.

Sometimes I’m so eager to fast forward to feeling well and having my blockages solved, or having my degree, or just being older - but I think there’s something to be said for living in the moment. No rewinding, no pausing, no fast forwarding, just here and now and enjoying it.

What goes up must come down. What gets blocked will open up. What hurts will heal - for the most part. And life is happening now, so I’m going to do my best to live it that way. My story is just one of millions, but if I can pretend that this blog is meaningful to others, then I hope it’s this - you are worthy, you know your body, you can survive anything, you are powerful, and you can make a difference, make a change, make a contribution to the world right now as exactly who you are.

Right here and right now.



  1. Well put, Jennie--especially the last paragraph. You're terrifically wise for someone so young. Right now--this moment--is all we're ever guaranteed.

  2. Jennie, you have fans from across your country! I enjoy reading your blog because I feel as though i can actually relate to you.... lets just say many people who are in our situations are much older than us... it is hard to find information online about others that you feel as though you actually can relate to...

    I am a 23 year old female who recently had a terrible case of UC. I went from healthy, to extremely sick resulting in an ileostomy surgery, all within 5 weeks... it was scary to say the least.

    I actually just had my first blockage this weekend and I have a few questions.... would it be possible to e-mail you? I'm not sure if having UC is THAT close to Crohns seeing as now without a colon my problems have been eliminated... (i hope!) but i still would like to ask you a few things...?

  3. I would love to hear from you - I hope you are feeling so much better now, don't hesitate to email -