Too Many Tubes, Not Enough Holes: Jeremie's intussusception

“Mr. Saunders, we’ve looked at your CT scan and have determined you have what is referred to as Intussusception.”

“...Son of a bitch. (sigh) Yeah, I’m aware of what intussusception is.”

You might know about it too. We covered this topic on the very first episode of Sickboy Podcast. It’s the intestinal disorder version of the Christopher Nolan classic “Inception”. Only instead of a dream within a dream, it’s an intestine within an intestine. Picture your intestine rolling itself in on itself like you’d roll up a pair of socks. Ew. Fascinating, but ew.

You see, intussusception isn’t super common in adults. It usually occurs in infants. So of course I was a little shocked when the doctor informed me that this will indeed be the second time in my young adult life where I’m going to have to deal with this bullshit.

Upon finding out what was causing the relentless abdominal pain and subsequent ER visit, I was left in limbo for a couple of days while the medical/surgical team decided what would be the best option to fix me up. There were three options:

1. Barium Enema (which is what they used when I was a teen, which was enough to fix the problem)

2. A full on abdominal surgery, splitting me open from sternum to pelvis to gain access to the problem area and remove part of the colon.

3. Laproscopic surgery to access to the problem area and remove part of the colon.

I was told that option number 1 very likely wouldn’t work, and even if it did, there was a high chance of recurrence in the future… God damn. I was really hoping all it’d take is a fat tube up the butt. With option 2 and 3 I was informed that there was a very high chance I’d come out of the surgery with an ileostomy that I’d live with for 6 - 8 months. Knowing that this is quite a change in one’s life, I had a meeting with a nurse who specialises in shit bags and she fitted me out for my new poo satchel. At this point I had been at the hospital for 3 days. The doctors came to a decision and it was OR time.


3 enema’s, 4 IV’s, 1 finger in the butt, 1 large catheter, countless doses of morphine and 7 abdominal incisions later I end up with the Laparoscopic surgery. They removed about 70% of my large intestine. Pulled the sucker right out of my belly button. Although my doctor was such a sharpshooter that she was able to put me back together without the need of an ostomy. What followed was 2 weeks straight of the most pain I’ve ever been in and a road to recovery that was long, bumpy and winding. But, I’m back baby. Just in time for TEDx Toronto.

Oh! P.S. Lots of love and big thank you's to everyone who sent love, positive vibes, cards and gifts to me while I was in the hospital. In particular, I'd like to thank Jesse Lee Hayman, past Sickboy guest, who sent me this strap on dildo in the hopes that it'd put a smile on my face. It was a forced smile, but a smile none the less. 

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