When thinking about words, we always tend to associate them with something. Be it an action, a saying, a memory – words have the power to create feelings, insight fear, generate laughter, convey a lot or a little.

Stretch is a word I have never thought much about and if I did it was fairly generic.

Statements like;

“You’re stretching the friendship”
“You should stretch after your workouts”
“Can I make this $12.56 stretch the 3 weeks until payday”

My feelings towards the word stretch were non-existent, well they were, until last Friday.

In fairness it wasn’t ‘stretches’ fault. He wasn’t on his own. You see, stretch was paired with some friends to create a statement. Six simple words. Said together.

We had to stretch your intestine

Thankfully when these words were uttered to me, I was high as a fucking kite and did the whole ‘oh okay’. However, once the drugs wore off and the weight of that statement settle in my brain all I could think was ‘stretch’.

Now, let me tell you, when I woke up everyday before last Friday I didn’t even consider what it would be like to have ones organs ‘stretched’. I know, crazy right? It had never entered my mind. Why the fuck would it?!?!

After almost 3 days of special dieting, 48 hours of limited and then no food, 6 hours without a sip of water and numerous trips to the bathroom – I was finally ready to take a trip to dream land, so my rectum could once again be breached in the name of science.

The cannula was placed in my hand and the doctor stated the medication they would use to put me to sleep would hurt, but it would be over soon. 30 seconds later my hand was hurting like nothing I had felt before at which time they announced ‘the cannula exploded’ and they would have to insert another one in the other hand.

I chuckled and because I was well on my way to nod-town I asked ‘did my hand explode’ right before I passed out to the sounds of laughter.

I woke, what felt like seconds later, to my beautiful nurse asking how I felt. ‘Fine’ I responded on instinct, given I peddle this lie all day long it was second nature to answer before considering the statement. Taking stock of my body, I realised, I feel weird. More importantly, Fred feels weird.

Dr comes in, I am told ‘your on free fluids’, I tell him he is a mean horrible man , he laughs and then tells me he will be back soon to tell me more. Right before I drift off again, fighting the meds, I think ‘more?’ what more could there be.

Round two. No longer tripped out to my eyeballs I start to feel a twinge of something. The memories rush back and I realise that I am on ‘free fluids’. No food.

You evil mother fucker!

You get to probe my arse, I get a chicken sandwich!

We have a deal God damn it!!

As the anger dissipates I come to one conclusion – something bad or not ideal has to have either been found or happened to hinder my ability to eat food.

Food irritates bowel > bowel gets upset > Amanda ends up in pain > Amanda gets upset.

Now situated in the ‘waiting area’ I look at the pictures provided and quickly realise what is going on – I have no fucking idea what I am looking at!

What I do know – I can’t eat food and I have a script for Endone which means Dr. B is expecting me to be in pain. I read the report attached to the pictures and at the word ‘dilatation’ I realise the very distant possibility of needing to open a potentially closed intestine had become my reality.

Waiting (as impatiently as possible) Dr B. arrives to deliver the news to Hubby and I.

My intestine was closed over with the opening only measuring 1mm, he continues explaining they inserted a balloon into the opening and STRETCHED my intestine to 10mm (1cm).

It doesn’t end there.

For this to work, they need to keep STRETCHING my internal a-nus and I need to do this over a series of colonoscopies. Over the next 4 weeks.

Oh and the icing on my shit cake – it could recede and close over and if they stretch it too quickly or too much, it could ‘perforate’ and I could still end up under the knife to have it removed.


Never. ever. not.even.once did I sit and ponder what it would be like to have my internal a-nus STRETCHED! Thank god I can now tick it off my bucket list and let me tell you something else, despite all the thoughts you may have had about having your internal organs stretched, you can just put your concerns and questions to bed, because I have the answers for you;

Yes, it is as crap as you would imagine.
Yes, it hurts like a fucking bitch.
Yes, it is one of the weirdest feelings you will ever have.
And, yes, you 1000% do not want to have your intestine stretched!!

I am all for having a great story to tell, but this, this is taking shit to a new level. You can’t make this up. Literally my future for the next 4 weeks hinges on the ‘stretch’ – how much it can be stretched, how well the stretch works and if I need more than another 2 stretch sessions.

Without the stretch I will continue to be in immense pain and although I am not pain free at the moment, this is being called the next step in my process. Yes, I said ‘progress’.

And again, I am faced with the same situation I spoke of in my last blog – my right to choose is non-existent. I have no choice but to take this course of action and hope for the best. I have no choice but to cancel my plan in 3 Saturday’s time – instead of waking up with an awesome post-Christmas-party hangover, I am waking up to head into hospital. I have no choice but to make the best out of this situation.

SO what am I going to do?

Well, I am going to buy Dr. B a Stretch Armstrong figurine which I will present to him on our final stretch session to mark this momentous occasion. If we are going to stretch together we are doing with humor!



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