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on the mend

Janet Kuypers

    Rushing to the bathroom every two minutes is not the way to spend every morning. For over three weeks I have been sick, swallowing over the counter pills in the evenings to alleviate the symptoms. Changing my diet a few times, I spent two and a half weeks trying to see if my food brought this sickness on, but nothing did the trick. Finally getting to the doctor’s office, they took samples from almost every orifice to hyper-analyze me.
    Everything in my blood seemed to be okay (I didn’t realize my blood could give me stats on my calcium, potassium, or sodium, I just thought it was some innocuous bluish liquid flowing through my veins like I was royalty or something), but one of the science-y medical tests came back telling me I had a rare aeromonas caviae complex.
    Like I wanted to know, but it’s a rod-shaped bacteria that’s extremely toxic.
    So the medical people give me a prescription to kill this bacteria, and suggested I take a pro-biotic. Because apparently some bacteria are good, and some bacteria are bad.
    (So I’ve learned in this sickening venture that my blood tells me about what I’ve eaten, and that I should eat some bacteria, and kill other bacteria in me. Lovely.)
    Aggravating as this has been, there may be an end in sight, so I went to the local druggist and got my prescription to kill some toxic bacteria in me. I may have a week to wait for this medication to save me, so I still get to deal with the sickness... But that’s when He came to me to show concern for my condition. He went to a store and bought another live pro-biotic for me (because I can’t get enough of certain bacteria, I suppose) — but He thought that I needed a sweet treat to lift my spirits.
    Now, I should probably explain that I love some sweets. I’m really psycho for certain candies, like Chewy Sprees or dark chocolate mint M&Ms or Charleston Chews... But I have so much resolve (you know, to not stuff my face and gain a ton of pounds from my sugar overdose) that when I get these candies, I savor them slowly and make them last as long as I possibly can. I mean, here’s an example: I snack on one or two dark chocolate mint M&Ms by taking one M&M and biting it in half to savor it twice.
    So when He came to “lift my spirits”, He also brought a mini-bag of the vegan marshmallows called “Dandies”. (Yeah, they are dandy, and yeah, He found these rarely-seen gelatin-free treats, and I mean, how often do people get the chance to just enjoy the texture of a good marshmallow?)
    I know I’m a vegetarian, and I know how hard it is to find things like vegan marshmallows, so yeah, He really helped to get me on the mend.

Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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