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Thankful Things Thursday: On Forgetting What It Feels Like
Nothing kicks you out of a running slump quite like not being able to run. Especially when it’s 60 degrees in New York City — in January.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been able to run, but I haven’t much felt like it.
Now, naturally, I can’t run, and so I’m dying to. I miss my Central Park mornings, my Brooks and that fantastic post-run glow I hang onto all throughout the day.
No, just kidding. We all know that’s not a “glow.” It’s lingering sweat and face redness that just never goes away.
So yeah, the stomach stuff is still happening. Four days into this flare-up and I’m already over it. But I haven’t lost my spirit and enthusiasm for life. Hooray! And that brings us to this week’s edition of Thankful Things Thursday.
I’m thankful for my doctor. I know my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions included many lofty tasks like doing a handstand and cooking once a month, but without a doubt, the greatest thing I accomplished on that list of goals was getting a new gastroenterologist. My last guy was crap and my new dude is amazing. When I called saying I thought I was flaring, he squeezed me in at his earliest convenience, which was last night.
And then he took the time to listen to me. He asks so many questions and he’s incredibly thorough. When I see my doctor, I don’t feel like I’m there bothering him or taking up his time. I feel like he genuinely wants to fix me and make me feel happy and healthy. It does not hurt, as I’ve mentioned, that he happens to be really cute.
So the deal with this flare-up: The doc says all signs point to a flare, but neither of us are super concerned because I haven’t been experiencing a lot of the really awful side effects I usually get, like the night sweats, the fevers and the joint pain. I’ve had a bit of pain in my upper back, but it’s not too bad. The worst is, of course, the stomach pain and the bathroom runs, which are too frequent for my liking.
My doctor is very anti-steroids, and I love that, since they didn’t work so well for me in, oh, all of 2012. He put me on two kinds of antibiotics, which is what he did when I was in the hospital last summer — they worked then, so hopefully they’ll work now. He also has me taking iron, which I really should have been doing all along considering the whole anemia thing, but…oops?
Now we wait and see what happens. He was really understanding when I said I need to get better before my trip to Colorado and then we talked about the new bar on Third Avenue that serves cheese-filled soft pretzels. I told him I was going to get one as soon as I feel better and he said that sounds like a good idea. Then I wondered if we should hug, but apparently we should not.
I’m thankful for Netflix and “my” iPad. I do not really own an iPad. But Brian does, and when we moved in together we signed a roommate agreement that says “What’s his is mine and what’s mine is also mine.” It works out so well because then he has to let me use whatever I want and I don’t have to share my Oreos.
Brian comes equipped with an iPad and even though I thought these devices seemed “really dumb and unnecessary because they’re big like a laptop but you can’t make phone calls on them,” it turns out I love this iPad. Mostly because I can watch stuff on it in bed.
You see, we don’t have a TV in our bedroom. I’m against it or whatever.
But since I’m not running right now and I have a little more free time, I need something amazing to do to fill those run-less hours. I thought about taking up knitting or cleaning or scrapbooking, but what really appealed to me was the idea of committing to watching a new TV show. I dream big and aim high.
I pondered three options based on what clogs my Twitter feed: “Downton Abbey,” “Girls” or “Parenthood.” Then I decided I really had no interest in the first two, and so I went with “Parenthood.”
I am two episodes in, starting from Season 1, and so far I have cried during each episode. This may not be a viable way to spend my time because it seems to be emotionally damaging. But I like the show so far.
I’m thankful for this little guy:
I walk by him most mornings on my way to work and he makes me happy. I was always a big Elmo fan. I still would not be entirely mad if someone bought me a Tickle Me Elmo.
I’m thankful every time we get the new issue of Dance Spirit in the office and there isn’t a typo on the cover. That is my greatest fear.
I’m thankful for my new toothbrush. There are few things in life I love more than good dental hygiene. I love brushing and flossing. I used to have to lie to my dentist and be like, “Yeah, I totally floss every day.” He usually figured out I was lying when he’d floss my teeth in that scary chair and my gums would bleed incessantly. But now this is my favorite daily activity. I also love brushing. I brush my teeth for no fewer than five minutes per round. I start brushing, and then I make the bed, turn on the TV, check my email, scroll through Twitter, iron some shirts, take out the trash…it’s multitaskable and fun.
And yeah, I just bought a new toothbrush and it’s all tough and bristle-y. I love it.
I’m thankful for all my new spices. When I posted about how I don’t know how to cook or whether to use my crock pot for food-making or sock storage, people were really nice to me. My new BFF Emily, for example, was like, “Hey, I work for McCormick spices, and you don’t have to review this or blog about it, I just genuinely want you to have flavor in your food, so I’m going to send you a few things.”
And then this showed up at my door:
As soon as I’m feeling better, I’m spending time in the kitchen. Smelling spices. And maybe cooking with them, too.
I’m thankful I forgot what Crohn’s disease feels like. You never really completely forget, but for five months, this disease was pretty far in the back of my mind. I never worried about it, never concerned myself with it…I just went about my happy daily life.
When the stomach pain started up again this weekend, I immediately recognized the old familiar feelings. And that’s fine. I’m so truly, madly, deeply (remember that song?) grateful that for a while, my body felt strong and wonderful. And I can’t wait to forget again.
I’m thankful I’m surrounded by good people doing great things in this world. Some of my friends are simply the types of people who want to make others feel good. On Monday, I spent the night volunteering with the women behind Erica Sara Designs at God’s Love We Deliver downtown. We were put on the “baking shift,” which fortunately didn’t require me to actually cook anything.
There are people who volunteer so they can tell the world they volunteered. Then there are people, like Erica, who volunteer because it helps people. I just think that’s awesome. I volunteered so I could hang out with Erica. And help people. Though now here I am, telling the world…dang it.
It really was an awesome evening, though. We packaged hundreds of desserts that will be sent to GLWD’s patients — the organization delivers meals to people who have terminal illnesses and/or are too sick to cook for themselves — and it was nice getting to know a really wonderful group of young women.
And, you know, volunteering makes you feel good. For the duration of the two-hour shift, my stomach felt fine. Go figure.
I think it’s time to wrap this up.
No. One final thought:
I’m thankful for Thankful Things Thursday. A few weeks ago I pondered whether to keep this tradition alive. During those months when I felt so great, I didn’t need this “holiday.” So I got a little tired of it. But now I remember why I love it so much. Because when things get even slightly tough, I’m forced to recall all the great things I still have in this pretty world.
GET GRATEFUL WITH ME: What are you feeling thankful for today? Your health? Your friends? Your family? Your puppy? Your puppy that you plan to give to me?