Help Me, I Broke Apart My Insides


Elle Lothlorien
Let me just get this out of the way: childbirth will utterly fuck up your lady bits, as well as other parts of your anatomy that you would just as soon not think about. Which brings me to my small intestine, parts of which, due to botched post-partum repairs performed 16 years ago, are apparently lodged in a rather unfortunate spot. I’ve had surgery twice in the last three years to correct the problem, both times with no success. But more on that exciting topic in a moment.

This morning, I went in for yet another surgical consultation. The surgeon (let’s call her “Dr. Fagina”) performed a physical exam before taking me into her office and drawing me a picture of my vagina.

No, seriously, she drew a fucking picture of my junk—and it was pretty good! To be fair, the picture also included my small and large intestines. And my rectum. The point is that it’s about time that somebody memorialized my vagina for posterity. Dr. Fagina very graciously allowed me to keep her drawing, which I have named “Lady V in Repose, ink on copier paper circa August 21, 2014, 9:30AM, Anonymous.”

My Vagina

My surgeon then informed me that a portion of my small intestine was basically jammed somewhere between my vaginal cavity and my large intestine. This time, she recommended that I have an MRI done before the surgery, to more accurately pinpoint the area in need of repair. And not just any ol’ MRI, you see, but something she called a “defecogram MRI.”

With three years of high school Latin under my belt, I sat there and tried to puzzle out what “defecogram” could be. “gram” means it’s an image of something, I thought to myself, but of what? Before you could say “defecate,” my surgeon translated for me, explaining (and I’m paraphrasing), “The MRI technicians introduce an imaging paste into your vagina and your rectum, and then ask you to expel it.”

And I started laughing, because I’ve known Dr.  Fagina for years and she’s always good for a bit of fun and a joke or two. (Seriously, how can you talk about people’s junk without cracking a few funnies?) But then I noticed that Dr. Fagina was not laughing and that this “defecogram MRI” must, in fact, be a legitimate medical procedure, and not just something that happens in maximum security prisons or during alien abductions.

I’ll admit that I don’t much care for euphemisms m’self. Words like “introduce an imaging paste in your vagina and your rectum,” make it seem as if my va-jay-jay and my bung hole are going out on a blind date, Bachelor-style, where they’ll be introduced to some lucky guy named Imaging Paste. Same thing goes for the phrase “expel it.” I’d much rather just have a doctor tell me: “The MRI technicians will jam a semi-solid paste up your vagina and your ass and then ask you to take a shit—right on the table—while the MRI captures the event with rotating magnets.”

See? Now that message would be received, like, instantly.

vagina wreckingSo I stopped laughing and headed down to the Imaging Center to find out when my body cavities’ date with destiny was going to be. After looking over my referral for the “defecogram MRI,” the woman behind the counter asked me a series of questions, including “Are you claustrophobic?” to which I responded “yes.” At this point, the woman became totally fixated on my claustrophobia, assuring me that my doctor can prescribe medications to relax me so I won’t freak out while I’m inside the MRI. When I told her that I was pretty sure that my claustrophobia was going to be the least unpleasant part of the procedure, she barreled right on ahead with her spiel about prescriptions and relaxation techniques, and the whole time I just wanted to scream in her face: “Look, lady, I have to take a shit on a table in front of total strangers, okay? So I’m pretty confident it would be to everyone’s fucking advantage to have me be as claustrophobic as humanly possible, because then the shit will literally be scared right out of my intestines, after which I will take both of my holes and go home, where I will curl up in the fetal position and re-watch the first season of American Horror Story.”

I related these events to my mother, who balked at the methodology of the “defecogram MRI,” suggesting that perhaps the technicians could “attach a string to the paste, and yank it out of your vagina like a tampon.” Look, Mom, I appreciate the commiseration, but this is an MRI we’re talking about here, not a preschool craft project. No one’s interested in making a clay cast of my hoo-ha so that we can pour a ceramic knickknack at a later date.

The whole way home from this appointment, the lyrics to the Nine Inch Nails song “Closer” kept running through my head, with a barbershop quartet of MRI techs crooning:

You let me violate you
You let me desecrate you
You let me penetrate you
You let me complicate you 

I then join them on the stage, expressing my frustration and humiliation by belting out the lyrics that follow:

Help me; I broke apart my insides
Help me; I’ve got no soul to sell
Help me; the only thing that works for me
Help me get away from myself

In reality, though, I don’t need to get away from myself, just from my vagina and rectum. I’ve toyed with the idea of dropping them off at the MRI center on the appointed day and just act like it’s a play date—”And if you two are really good, maybe you’ll get a defecogram before you come home!” Then I can just pick them up when the fun’s all over. Unfortunately, detachable body cavities, much like teleportation and a cure for the common cold, are decades, if not centuries, away.


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  • Gayle Carline Reply

    Wow. And I was worried about my colonoscopy. (PS, still too freaked out about it to make the appointment.) We can joke about it all we like, but believe me, I will be thinking about you and hoping that all’s well. I might also add that, as nasty as this all is, it’s probably better to get it taken care of now while you are young. When menopause hits, you get a whole new list of “why me” problems. Hugs.

  • Vaun Reply

    Wow! I would’ve thought it was a joke too. You’re dang straight about your insides! I love my two boys but ever since I had them I can’t sneeze without peeing my pants a little… And that’s just what I’m willing to discuss. Good luck. Keep in mind, the MRI techs have to watch you do it and clean up the mess…I can’t believe that’s part of someone’s job duties, lol.

  • Rhoda Siller Reply

    This is one of those test where you should be given good drugs. I had a pacemaker placed (installed). They said that I needed to be awake. I am told that I recited dirty limericks and told jokes thru the hole procedure. I don’t remember so that’s ok. I don’t know what the drugs were but it started with iv valium. Anything that starts this way can’t be bad. Good luck with the MRI. Your are in my thoughts.

  • Elizabeth B Reply

    Wow! I, like you, had no idea that was a legitimate medical procedure. I’m wondering why they couldn’t have had you do this prior to your first or second surgery – did they just invent it? It sounds like the Marquis de Sade is still alive and well…

    Seriously, though, I hope it leads to a successful and final surgery. I’d hate to think that you would have to go through this again in a few years…

  • Donna Reply

    Thank you soooooo much for sharing that with us! Seriously. It’s good to know that it IS possible to laugh at even the most embarrassing of medical scenarios (well, okay, I can think of at least a couple of medical situations that might be a little more embarrassing…). It gives me hope for the future, when my body parts decide to begin coming apart.

    I’ll be thinking about you when you head in for the MRI. Um, on second thought, I’ll think about you BEFORE you go in, but the mental image of the actual procedure might be more than my delicate sensibilities can endure!!! Best of luck, Elle — you’ll get through it just fine, I know!!!

  • Winona Cross Reply

    Well, just don’t know what to say. That stuff would probably turn to concrete inside me. I can’t poop in public or on vacation without the help of Miralax. As a nurse I can see the need for the MRI. I once had a VCUG. Which means I had to void (pee) standing up while a Scan watched the flow into a bucket! Colonoscopy’s embarrass the fool out of me. Good luck, Elle. Seems the surgery is a necessary thing.

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