Monday, July 2, 2012

What Shall I Be When I Grow Up?

How often do you suppose a little girl is asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and the response is that she wants to be a colon therapist?  I doubt very often and when I was a little girl that certainly wasn’t my reply.  I wanted to be an architect.  The high school I attended in Chicago was a magnet school called Lane Tech.  Until 1971 only boys attended.  After a protest, 200 girls were allowed into the prestigious technical school.  I was one of the 200 girls allowed into the school in 1972.  That meant that there were 400 girls and 5200 boys.  It was perfect for my goal of working in architecture.  I continued on to college.  In those years I did architectural drafting for remodels, new construction, electrical and eventually before marriage, I was engrossed with a career in civil engineering.
It wasn’t until I became very ill during and than after my second pregnancy that my subsequent course of finding relief led me to colon therapy.  After awhile I went to the Wood Hygienic Institute in 1989 to became a colon therapist.  As I have said in previous blogs, being a colon therapist has been extremely rewarding, much more so than a career in architecture would have been.
But this title, “colon therapist” did not get the rave reviews, in fact for the first decade or so, when people asked what I did for a living I would respond that I was simply a therapist in hopes that that would suffice.  If a person continued with, “what kind of a therapist?” I would say, “I help people with disorders of the digestive tract.”  If that didn’t satisfy them I would finally tell them that I was a colon therapist.  The response was typical, a scrunched up nose and an incredulous reply, “you do colonics?”  It was uncomfortable.  But there was an event that helped changed all of that so that now I proudly respond after the first question, “I am a colon therapist!”
I was often the ‘butt’ of many jokes by a few relatives and some acquaintances that they hung around with that I knew as well.  They would often sit around making puns about my work and it would get back to me.  It wasn’t the type of puns that my clients will make, ones I enjoy, such as ‘do I ever get a little behind in my work?’  You have to have a sense of humor with the type of work I do.   But the things said by these other individuals would hurt me at times.
As coincidence would have it, one of the men, Andy, of this group, got married and his wife, Becky, had serious problems with bloating, abdominal pain and constipation.  Her cousin and aunt from nearly 2 hours away had been coming to me for relief of headaches for the cousin and similar problems as Becky for the aunt.  They were very pleased with their results and had told Becky about it.  Becky lived just minutes away from me.  She told her husband that she wanted to see me.  Andy wasn’t happy but after several conversations told Becky okay as long as she didn’t tell him anything about it.  Well after the first colonic, Andy wanted to know everything.  This is actually very typical of relatives of my clients that at first say they don’t want to know anything.  
Becky got excellent results with the colonics and was very pleased.  About 6 months later I was at a large gathering that Andy was at.  When he saw me he asked if he could speak to me privately.  He than told me that he promises his mouth will never make another derogatory statement about what I do for a living.  He added that he was very sorry for all of the years that he was a part of such comments and had now felt a great deal of respect for me.  He concluded by saying that he was so grateful to me and that I will never know how very much I have changed his life and Becky’s for the better.  Wow!  I was completely stunned but also very grateful.  Andy will never know how much his words have changed me as well.  Thank you Andy, I appreciate your honesty.
(names have been changed)

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