Tag Archives: bob; colon

An Open Letter to My Colon

2 Sep

Dear Bob,


I don’t know what you want from me.  I really don’t.  I’m trying here, really trying, and you don’t seem to appreciate all that I’m doing for you.  Do you know how frustrating that is?  I’m like a good husband trying to surprise his bitchy wife with gifts who’s too snobbish to accept them because they’re just not good enough.  You need to work with me.  You need to heal your ulcers, stop making my hair fall out, and you need to absorb your nutrients and your fluids and deliver them to the rest of my body.  You’re not DOING YOUR JOB.  You have, like, two jobs, and you’re failing miserably at both of them.  I give you lots of water, fruit, veggies, and whole grains, and this is how you repay me?  I think you’re being a little ungrateful and unappreciative.


I’ve seen doctors, nutritionists, specialists, naturopaths, and acupuncturists, and you don’t seem to care.  What more can I give you?  I’m spending a fortune out of pocket for you.  Let’s run down the passel of folks I’ve taken you to in the last 3 months, shall we?  You’ve seen the nutritionist (two, actually) at an expensive yoga center, JUST so he could tell me what you should eat and what supplements you need.  I’ve taken you to see Dr. Brimgardner, my pulmonologist, because you’re sneaking around with my lungs BEHIND MY BACK to share your inflammation with them.  Hey, colon Bob?  KNOCK IT OFF.  They have much better things to do with their time (like helping me breathe) than hang around your bad influence to get my chest all inflamed and achy.  Stop it.  I’ve met with my GI, Dr. Yavorski, and his PA, Ms. Levy, to do blood work for you and they keep threatening me with chemo-like drugs because you won’t respond to the other less invasive Western meds I’ve been on for years (which might give you cancer down the road, by the way, don’t you love side effects?)–IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?  Is it?  Because I don’t think it is.  Which is precisely why I went to see the Naturopath, Dr. Wrigley, to go the more natural route.  He told me it might be a thyroid condition, and gave me nasty-tasting natural supplements to build you back up and an extremely limited menu of food choices so as not to aggravate you.  So I’m now off of, let’s see here: alcohol, wheat, corn, potatoes, sugar, tomatoes, peanuts, caffeine and dairy.  Do you know what it’s like to be single and socialize on that kind of diet?  It’s near impossible.  I miss my FOOD, but I would give it up (temporarily, at least) if it made a difference.  But so far, you don’t care.  I could eat McDonald’s for all you’d care, and you’d behave the same way.  I miss wine.  I miss seeing my friends while DRINKING wine.  I miss cheese.  I miss the entire French food trifecta of wine, cheese, and bread.  And then there’s my Chinese acupuncturist, who is baffled by you, ESPECIALLY since you seemed to respond to those needles when i first saw him back in February.  We were so pleased!  What happened?  Are you angry with him?  Because now you refuse to respond to the treatments, and the worse you get, the more he pokes me with those things and massages the hell out of my shoulder and back muscles, which you’ve made all tight and crampy.  And that’s not as fun when I’m sick.  I even took you to see my yoga teacher, who taught me about yoga nidra and meditation.  Ok, that’s probably something you’re asking for more of–I need to schedule that into my daily routine.  Score one for you.


I’m wondering if you’re depressed.  Or angry.  As of three weeks ago, this seemed to come out of nowhere.  Are you going through an emotionally rough time?  Because I know when I’m unhappy, you’re unhappy.  But I’ve been relatively happy!  I broke up with my boyfriend four months ago because you told me to (well, you and your cousin my Heart colluded to make that decision, but my Brain also agreed).  I’ve remained single (and spurned any attempts to start dating) so as not to rock the boat.  I’m trying to avoid too much stress at home and at work, and for once I’m really enjoying my job and seeing that it’s making a difference.  I had a great summer, going to a yoga retreat and then a productive work conference.  I saw my college girlfriends up in Vermont.  I’ve taken you to the lake.  I’ve gotten you some sun.  I take you to yoga every week.  I’ve given you every supplement known to man: fish oil, omega 3-6-9 oils, l-glutamine, peppermint oil, vitamin d, some weird Chinese medicine from Dr. Li for “spleen damp”, probiotics, aloe vera juice, and a multi-vitamin.  You don’t seem to care about any of it.


And you keep making me CRY.  Lately it seems every time I see a doctor, I cry.  You’re discouraging me.  I’m a happy person!  I mean, I’m an anxious person too (you’ve met my mother, you know where I get it from), but I’m generally happy.  I need you to give me some hope here.


The only thing–THE ONLY THING–that is good about your ulcerated condition is the fact that I’m squeezing into jeans I haven’t worn in 3 years because I keep losing weight.  But since you won’t let me EAT much of anything or drink alcohol, you won’t let me go out on dates, so no one of the opposite sex gets to appreciate me at my reduced weight.  So thanks for that, buddy.


Listen, I UNDERSTAND that you’re upset.  I understand that you’re rebelling because at the moment you look like an ugly, holey, crime scene-stained denuded carpet–no happy villi to absorb nutrients, no healthy mucosal layer to keep things moving along smoothly.  No colon wants to look like an ugly 70s crap-stained threadbare carpet.  I know you dream of being a lovely, long-haired expensive white shag Pottery Barn carpet.  And I’m trying to get you there.  BUT YOU WON’T LET ME.  Please meet me halfway here.


Bob, I don’t want to be mad at you.  That’s neither productive nor helpful.  We’ve been together a long time, and you’ve been acting up, on and off, since college.  We’ve been through a lot together, and I’ve learned to accept your embarrassing traits and behaviors and requirements (and my friends and boyfriends have too).   But I’m getting to the end of my rope here.  I’m exhausting all my options.  You’re like a miserable sibling who acts out because they’re unhappy, but all they want is some love.  I’m trying to love you, Bob.  You’re family.  You don’t want me to cut you out completely, do you?  Because I can, although I don’t know that will fix the problem.  It’d be my luck that you would share your problems with your sister Small Intestine on your way out the door and SHE is one I can’t ever get rid of.  I just need you to heal yourself.  As Jerry Maguire might say (how’s THAT for a dated reference?): Help Me.  Help You.  Help me help you, Bob.


I’m sorry it seems like I’m scolding you, but i feel like you don’t understand how serious this is.  I can’t be bleeding and out of remission indefinitely.  I need to get better.  I’m giving you a few more months before I take more drastic action (which might be those nasty drugs I warned you about), but I don’t want to give you enough rope to hang yourself with.  We can do this.  To say something nice, I appreciate that you aren’t worse off, and that I look (and feel) as healthy as I do.  I can get out of bed in the morning and make it to work and get through an 8-hour day without collapsing, and others in my condition can’t say the same.  I thank you for that.  I’m lucky I have a mother who knows what I’m going through, and friends who can empathize even if they can’t really relate (they could eat a steady diet of beer, jalapeno poppers and pepperoni pizza and barely make a dent in their GI tract…I know you’re jealous).  So we’ll keep working on it, and I promise to give you more exercise, more yoga, more prayer, more meditation, and to stay on course with my naturopath.  I want to BELIEVE, Bob.  I want to believe all this natural stuff isn’t just snake oil and that it will help you to heal yourself.  Because, honestly, I think you’ve forgotten how to do that and you’re just acting out.  Let’s work together on this.  We need each other.  I still love you.


Many loving thoughts and prayers from your owner,