E.Coli and Broken Hearts

Looking back on the “dark days” (a week or so ago when I was nursing a very broken heart and battling a stomach bug), I think I hit an ultimate low. Before you get out the tiny violin and tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself, don’t worry, I’m over it. The doctor prescribed a large dose of perspective and I am on the mend in both areas of health. Pain is pain, and although my situations were far from touching the scale of real human suffering, I will say it has been a rough, yucky few months. However, I see the light. My stomach is still sensitive and so is my heart, but I am off the floor. As I look back, I cannot help but draw some interesting conclusions about the way a recovery from a broken heart resembles that of a stomach infection, and if you have recovered from one, you can easily conquer the other…or both at the same time and then blog/brag about it!

6 Things E.Coli and Broken Hearts have in Common

1. Your friends bring you things

Breakups and E.Coli in your stomach are the ultimate times for care packages and gifts from friends. Long texts, letters in the mail, pity Valentines presents (thank you Bec, I loved it) coffees, saltine crackers, applesauce, bags of candy, gatorade, phone calls, drop ins to make sure you’re still alive; friends and family are constantly checking up on you and bringing you pick-me-ups. I went through a bad breakup in college and my parents really came through on the care packages. I recently also received a $20 Meijer gift card from them and then my dad filled up my gas tank when I was home. These are the things that haven’t happened in years and then all of a sudden you’re hit with a stomach parasite and a shattered heart and you get spoiled. Your friends and family aren’t sure what to do with you because you are just a hot mess of hopeless sadness so they buy you things and bring them to you.

2. You watch a lot of Netflix but you can’t really enjoy it :

During both recovery processes, you find you have a lot more spare time than you had before. This is the time you would have spent with your significant other in the case of a broken heart, or out of the bathroom and off the couch in the case of a stomach bacteria. With this extra time, you may turn to Netflix. While this option did help pass the hours, I was unable to really enjoy my shows during these recovery periods. In the E.Coli category, I was so sick and uncomfortable, I couldn’t focus on anything besides being sick and uncomfortable. In the Heartache category, you find that even in the most bizarre, different than your life shows, you are going to find reminders and triggers that make you miserable and remind you that you’re alone. Save Netflix for the times you can really enjoy it.

3. You end up on the floor:

You puke until you cry, or you cry until you puke. Neither are pleasant but both are very possible outcomes of the double-whammy Parasite/Heartache combo. When the stomach bug overtakes you, you might find yourself on the bathroom floor in a hot sweat vowing that it’s your time to go and Jesus can take you home now. When you hear a song that sends you back and you end up on the floor (because everyone knows a real, thorough cry session ends on the floor) and you wonder if you will ever be happy again-those are the real healing moments.

4. People are proud of you for doing small things:

Eating a cup of soup, putting on makeup, going for a walk, working half a day; these are things that make people proud of you when you’re stomach sick/and/or/heartsick. It is like you accomplished some incredible feat and you feel strangely proud for completing basic life tasks again.

5. You just can’t keep it together

Both physically and emotionally over the past few weeks, I have wondered if/when Jenna was coming back. I am decent at compartmentalizing and being able to focus on work while at work, church while at church, etc. But over the past few weeks, its been the hot mess express. At one point a group of 10 year old students came into my room at lunch and I was crying at my computer. I told them I was having a moment and they were like “yeah….we can tell.” I usually work while sick, but when the stomach bug hit and I was attempting to write sub plans that didn’t even make sense, I knew it was different. Sometimes there are moments and seasons in your life that you just can’t “put away” for a later time and you just have to feel it when you feel it. Whether its nausea or a broken heart. They both hit you in waves and I really think the healthy thing to do is ride them out.

6. The Doctor really can’t give you anything

Although I was on antibiotic, most cases like I had from Mexico are supposed to clear up on their own….with time. It had to run its course. Just like my heart. Before you stand up again, you have to spend a little time knocked down. Let yourself be on the ground for a little. Gather your strength, get through it and get up when you’re ready. If I had a cure for a broken heart, I would be living on a yacht somewhere running the world with all of my fame and fortune. You just have to give it time. Your worst enemy and best friend. time.

In all seriousness, thank you to all friends and family who have been so wonderful, caring and supportive. I can be dramatic even in the simplest of situations, so when my life gets messy, I am so grateful for an incredible support system that sees me through to the other side.

Love you all!
Blessings not chins


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