Listen to the Ali on the Run Show!
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- November 20, 2019 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 190: Sarah True, Olympian & Ironman Triathlete
Ali On The 'Roids
On any given day, I have a bit of energy, a lot of enthusiasm and an appetite for both life and chocolate.
That’s “any given day.”
On “any given day,” I am not on steroids.
For the past eight days, however, I have been on the ‘roids, and they’re starting to kick in. Big time.
People complain about going on steroids because the side effects tend to suck. I’m on Prednisone, specifically, and I’m choking back a fairly high dose of it daily (80 milligrams). The great thing about the pills is that they’re doing their anti-inflammatory duties by making the Crohn’s flare-up chill out a bit.
But they’re also making me crazy.
Oh you think I was crazy to begin with?
You haven’t seen crazy.
I’ll elaborate. I always do.
Here are a few of the ways the steroids are making me feel certifiably insane and a little bit awesome:
I can’t shut up. You might think this is something I already “suffer from,” but this is far more serious. I start talking, and then I cannot stop. Sometimes I also spontaneously burst into a fit of giggles, often about nothing, sometimes about a Panera sandwich, because nothing is funnier than a Bacon Turkey Bravo, right?! No. There’s nothing funny about a delicious sandwich. And yet, I talk and talk and talk and talk, and laugh and laugh and laugh. During yesterday’s commute, Brian finally looked at me in a state of bewilderment and said, “Wow, you really don’t shut up.” I imagine he meant it out of love. It was hard to tell because I wasn’t actually listening to him.
I can’t stop eating. Apparently my appetite is back. I know you were concerned.
I can’t sleep. This is actually a legitimate side effect that I hate and that almost always happens when I’m on the drugs. I’m incredibly restless, it takes me forever to fall asleep, and then once I do eventually drift off, it’s never a deep sleep. I actually dread going to bed at night because I know it’s going to be frustrating, and I get excited when my alarm goes off because I’m wide awake and ready for it. I tend to not need much sleep during ‘roid time. I can run pretty efficiently on four hours.
If I do have dreams, they are wildly vivid and terrifying. I can’t stop thinking about a dream I had Monday night, in which Brian and I went to check out our new apartment, and there were “finance dudes” there with their “girlfriends” and they were having a sex party. A sex party in our apartment. We didn’t even have a couch yet. The dude bros were all, “You guys are here! We’ve been wanting to meet you! Welcome!” and the girls were like, “Ali, will you start a running club in the apartment building! It’d be totally awesome motivation and our ‘boyfriends’ want us to be in shape for them!” Seriously, it was awful. We were there to do measurements. Not join a sex party.
I’m pack ratty. I want to organize everything in sight and make it cleaner and prettier.
I think I can do anything. This does not bode well for someone who is potentially injured and actively trying not to run a marathon. Case in point: I ran this morning and I know that I shouldn’t have. Yesterday’s run was amazing and perfect and wonderful and the things run dreams are made of. Today I was a complete moron, and I’m aware of that. My shin was a little sore and my knee hurt when I got up. And yet, I got dressed, compression socked and hit up Central Park for six leisurely miles. They didn’t feel good. The weather? Yeah that was amazing. The billions of bikers circling the park? They were cool. And my head? Completely in the game.
But my body? Not on board. I need to realize that running through pain isn’t smart, and I know that running this morning probably set me back more than it propelled me into a PR-filled immediate future. This morning I watched the healthy runners, I wanted to throw rocks at them, and I have hot dates coming up this week with some ART and hopefully a sports massage therapist. (Is masseuse the wrong word? Is that like calling an administrative assistant a secretary, or a flight attendant a stewardess, or a classy call girl a whore?)
So yeah, I think I’m superhuman because I have steroids running through my veins, but really, I’m not, and I need to be smarter. Body and mind, let’s start working together and cooperating, OK? Great.
I am piling endless crap onto my To-Do list, simply because the mere act of doing so makes me feel slightly more productive. There are things on the list I have no intention of ever doing. But putting things on the list alone feels productive, so I keep doing it. I’m smart that way.
I drop everything. I’m not normally a clumsy human. Sure I walk into stuff regularly, like traffic (Brian has to Mom-arm me no fewer than three times a day when I wander into the street) and my coffee table that I swear moves itself in the night to prevent me from smoothly making my way to the bathroom in the dark. But lately I drop every single thing I pick up, whether it’s a pen or a hair brush. This is why I should probably not take a kettlebell class at the gym anytime soon.
I’ve been all jittery and off-balanced since starting the drugs. This morning, for example, while blow drying my hair in the bathroom, I actually tipped over. Yup. Just tipped, like a sleeping cow. Or something. I kind of swayed to the side for a second, realized I was losing my balance, attempted to put one hand up on the door frame to steady myself, missed, and was on the floor, in all my naked blow-drying glory. The hair dryer came unplugged and everything.
Needless to say I didn’t even attempt to go near the hair straightener.
I have so much ‘roid rage. You hear about this on the news and stuff, right? Like athletes get all doped up and then they get angry and they go crazy. That’s basically my life story. Yesterday, I got so unbelievably infuriated by Ann Curry calling Carnie Wilson “brave” on the Today Show when talking about her two weight loss surgeries. I actually Googled “Today Show Call In Number” because I so badly wanted to get on the air and tell Carnie that she should lay off the surgeries and maybe try going for a walk or changing up her diet a bit. I know, I’m no expert on the topic, so spare me the lecture. But I was furious and I wanted the world to know about my important emotions! A similar thing happened today when, again, those dang Today hosts talked about how weight loss surgeries are good options for teens.
I know, this is weird, because normally I’m super chill and in control of my emotions! But these past few days I’m feeling the rage. It’s so fun.
I think everything is hilarious. OK so when I’m not flipping out at Savannah Guthrie and her cohosts, I’m mostly just laughing. I get the giggles about nothing at all. I do not mind this side effect. Laughter is the best medicine. Laughter and also Prednisone, I guess.
I can’t sit still. My feet are constantly tapping. I fidget a lot. I play with clicky pens all day. You’re welcome, coworkers.
I am so puffy and I feel disgusting. Yeah, this is another of those unappreciated side effects that seems unavoidable. I’m not one to weigh myself, but I do care about how I feel, and with the steroids, I’m retaining everything. It’s not bad, of course, because after a week of the stomach flu and a two-week flare-up, I hadn’t retained anything and was feeling a little sickly. So it’s good that I’m hanging onto these nutrients or whatever. But man do I feel bloated, and I think bloated is the least attractive word ever.
I feel flabby and gross, and when I sit down on my chair at work, I feel like I’m not sitting on my butt, but rather on a pile of fresh-from-the-oven Red Lobster cheesy biscuits, which are delicious, yes, but not what I want my rear to resemble.
I know that in a few days, my face will start to be moon-like, and the timing is great, what with my best friend’s wedding being right around the corner. I’m sure I won’t have to be in any photos or anything, though.
So yes, I am grateful to be on drugs that are slowly making me feel better. My stomach isn’t totally where I’d like it to be, but I’ll take the aforementioned side effects over a flare-up any day.
Now if only I could shut up…
LET’S TALK ABOUT DRUGS: Best side effects. GO!
Oh and how do you feel about I Heart Sweat tank tops? Just saying, that might be something in the works…