Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bad Apple

Last weekend was a long weekend since Marathon Monday is a sacred holiday in Boston. It was Monday night and I was watching some Criminal Minds, and getting my things ready for the week ahead. I noticed my stoma was doing an awful lot of churning and I texted a friend about this dismissively. She texted back, “Isn’t that one of your obstruction signs??” to which I replied “Yeah, but I think I’m fine”.  An hour later and I wasn’t so sure - the stoma felt like it was trying to twist itself off my body and the bag was super empty. Great.

And so, you may ask, what happened to get a food obstruction? Well I’ll tell you.

I blame it on the dining hall.


The dining hall is usually stocked with Lucky Charms and bananas and apples and so on and so forth, but sometimes there are droughts. Most notably bananas droughts. And those who know me well know that my diet is 99% made up of bananas. Accordingly, last weekend’s banana drought relegated me to the pile of crispy apples perched for my taking. I decided to have one at breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. Plus eating ones in between. You do the math, it tallied at least five apples, which anyone would think is generally okay.

Nope. Not is you’re an ostomate. Disclaimer: different ostomates can eat different things - heck, different IBDers can eat different things. I can usually eat apples and be totally fine. But not last Monday.

So I schlepped myself (and a dutiful friend) down to the local ER - conveniently sporting my ‘No Colon and Still Rollin’ shirt, courtesy of an IBD friend - and the near-week of obstruction territory began. It’s never amusing to be in the hospital, but at the very least it was more straightforward than other visits I’ve been subjected to.

I was both amused and annoyed at the amount of reprimanding I got for eating apples. Everyone and anyone was willing to dole out the advice, no apples for Jennie. Yes, okay, I admit it was stupid to eat so many - but then again, I ate apples! It wasn’t like I was doing something really dangerous. A friend laughed at this and said I’m probably the only person to be sent to the hospital for eating too much fruit. Likely, I wouldn’t put it past myself.

And it was mostly all okay - until the last day. There’s always that one (if not more) jerk of an intern or attending or whomever who believes it’s his/her job to rain on your parade. And I mentally check out at this point - I have no desire or energy to spend on defending who I am and my history to someone who can’t see beyond my age. 

Alas, every hospitalization must end and I was shipped back to my dorm (still in my ‘No Colon and Still Rollin’ shirt, yes, it’s in my laundry bin now) and ready for a nap. At least I had remnants of this weekend to get my feet back beneath me and prep for the last few days of the semester.

In life there are going to be a few bad apples - we’ve learned that the hard way - but as long as there are some bananas and friends to take us to the ER in the middle of the night, well, I think we’ll all be just fine.


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