This seems better than any side effect-filled drug, no?

My Great Escape

Date: February 28, 2014 at 10:43 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 108

This is a “15 Thing Friday,” if you will.

I had a post ready to go that ended up being just another “I have Crohn’s and I hate it so much every day lately” update. Boooooring at this point, right? And darn repetitive. And exhausting.

One thing that’s more fun than writing about Crohn’s and sickness and bathrooms is making lists! So that’s what we will do today.

1. I had this grand plan brewing for a few weeks. I was going to ship the April issue at work (“ship the issue” = finalize all the pages and send them to the printer, woo woo!) and then use up almost all of my vacation days to take two-ish weeks off. I was going to go up to New Hampshire to let my mom cook my meals, I was going to swing through Vermont to meet Lauren‘s new little friend and I was going to visit with my BFF Tyler.

Maniac.

Maniac.

I wanted to use my time off to relax, not think about work for a little while and just focus on myself and my health and getting back to life somehow.

But then it just kept being so cold, and I was over it. You understand.

Blech.

Grey skies are gonna clear up…?

So I called my parents a few days before I was supposed to bundle up and head further north, and suggested an alternate plan: “Let’s meet somewhere warm instead.”

SOMEWHERE WARM.

SOMEWHERE WARM.

I figured if I could get on a plane and survive a three-day work trip to Minneapolis a few weeks ago, I could survive a plane ride to somewhere tropical.

My parents were on board. So we met in the Bahamas and the three of us spent four days doing absolutely nothing. It was fantastic.

Doing nothing. Dad is drinking Scotch.

Doing nothing. Dad is drinking Scotch.

2. This was supposed to be the “cheapest trip ever.” Flights were dirt cheap, plus I had a JetBlue credit that took the cost down even more. We stayed at a pretty lame all-inclusive resort (wouldn’t recommend it, though the beach was just fine), so we didn’t spend any money once we got there.

But, FYI, the Bahamas is an international trip. So you need a passport. And I realized two days before my flight that mine expired last year.

This is the line you wait in if you need a new passport ASAP. There are no bathrooms outside, FYI.

This is the line you wait in if you need a new passport ASAP. There are no bathrooms outside, FYI.

I was up at 5 AM last Wednesday to go to a 24-hour FedEx, get new passport photos taken, and then hoof it all the way downtown to stand in line for a few hours to get an expedited passport. The process was actually pretty painless — I made a few friends who would hold my spot in line every time I had to jump out to use the bathroom, which was four times — though it ran me $170. Ouch.

3. The trip did not cure me. Daaaamnit. I thought maybe the warm weather and relaxation would be the ultimate healer, but that wasn’t the case. Worth a shot, though!

This seems better than any side effect-filled drug, no?

This seems better than any side effect-filled drug, no?

4. I abandoned all forms of social media while I was away, and it was awesome. I had no desire to turn my phone back on and plug back in when my plane landed back at JFK, and I’ve been operating part-time in airplane mode since touchdown. Being out of touch has been very, very nice and I like it.

5. Since getting nice and ill, I’ve watched a lot of television. “Breaking Bad” lived up to all that hype, though “Scandal” frustrates me to no end. It’s so over the top. I find Olivia Pope to be pathetic (I can’t idolize a chick who sleeps with a married man, sorryyyyyy), President Fitz is disgusting, and Cyrus and Vice President Sally will always be Meredith Grey’s parents to me. But I’m all caught up and I’m still watching, so…I guess I don’t hate it that much. Plus, I like Abby’s hair.

I have also discovered “Say Yes to the Dress,” which I cannot believe is a show that exists. Are these people for real? The brides are so horrible and their friends and family members are worse. Yikes.

Another show I started watching is “Cutthroat Kitchen.” I love it.

Oh, and I know every commercial on TV right now. I hate the Humira, Stelara and Crohn’s disease ones. I like the State Farm one where the guy’s car breaks down on the highway and his mom shows up instead of his insurance company, because when the little kid goes “Dad, look who it is!” I laugh every time. I love that kid. He could kick the crap out of that lame “E-Hawmony” girl.

I should read more books…

6. Does anyone know if baggy jeans are coming back in style anytime soon? I’m over the skinny jeans, sausage-chic look. I just can’t pull it off. But baggy, classic Limited Too-style jeans with a nice, thick waistband? Let’s all get on board. Fashion people, make this happen for me.

This was a pretty standard sixth grade outfit for me: baggy Limited Too jeans (cropped out, boo!), a giant Elmo T-shirt (WTF?) and a leotard underneath because I had a 3:30 dance class every day after school and god forbid people aren't aware I HAVE DANCE LATER. Also the slicked-back hair, because DANCE LATER.

This was a pretty standard sixth grade outfit for me: baggy Limited Too jeans (cropped out, boo!), a giant Elmo T-shirt (WTF?) and a leotard underneath because I had a 3:30 dance class every day after school and god forbid people aren’t aware I HAVE DANCE LATER. Also the slicked-back hair, because DANCE LATER.

7. I like Ryan Seacrest. I think he is very professional and he is good at his job. He seems like a hard worker.

8. I don’t like monograms. People go crazy for that shit, but I like my letters to be in order. I don’t want one big letter in the middle. Can’t do it.

9. I also don’t like limos. They’re awkward. I don’t like sliding across all the seats to get in and out, and I don’t like riding sideways. Also, if you’re in a limo, you’re probably dressed up, and that makes it more difficult to shimmy in.

10. The lease on our apartment is up April 15. We will most likely stay, because after two years here we still have three boxes left unpacked, but we are entertaining the idea of moving, and we’re going to look at apartments on Saturday. They aren’t in NYC. Curveball!

I call this my backyard.

I call this my backyard.

11. Before I left for the Bahamas, I went for a walk in the park.

My favorite strip in Central Park! It connects my two happy places: Engineers' Gate and the spot where I filmed my JackRabbit commercial. Happy memories! Also it's a flat stretch, which is really nice during Central Park races.

My favorite strip in Central Park! It connects my two happy places: Engineers’ Gate and the spot where I filmed my JackRabbit commercial. Happy memories! Also it’s a flat stretch, which is really nice during Central Park races.

This was a big deal. I hadn’t set foot in Central Park since my last run, which was on November 28. Three months ago. Yikes. It was really really nice to catch up with Bernie.

On the bench with Bernie!

On the bench with Bernie!

12. It’s been more than a year now since my last haircut. My hair is such a gnarly mess at this point that I can barely get a brush through it most days. Top knots are my only salvation.

So much hair. Just don't care.

So much hair. Just don’t care. On this day, I had washed, conditioned, brushed, blow dried and straightened it. Hasn’t happened since…

13. Brian and I went on a date last night! It had been a while since this had happened. I’ve been sick, then I was in Minneapolis, and then he was on a work trip and then went to “bike training camp” in Arizona, and then I went to the Bahamas, and our trips kept overlapping and hooray for Skype and Face Time. Last night, Brian brought me flowers and we went out to dinner at a very lovely restaurant. I wore sweatpants and a headband and had to use the restaurant bathroom four times throughout the course of our meal, but still, we went out! Romance in the time of Crohn’s disease is not dead!

It's an old picture, and this is not what I wore out last night, but I was very sick at the time of this photo, too, so it all makes perfect sense.

It’s an old picture, and this is not what I wore out last night, but I was very sick at the time of this photo, too, so it all makes perfect sense. And in case you forgot what Brian looks like, here he is.

14. My blogging days are probably coming to an end soon. I loved blogging when I started and got to write about running and fun things all the time. But now life is a lot of Crohn’s and not much else, and that was never the plan, and writing about being sick isn’t much fun for me. I even bore myself most of the time, so if you’re still reading, I can only imagine how you feel! I have a few more things I want to say, but I’m feeling almost ready to retire Ali On The Run.

Happier times!

Happier times! Everything in bloom!

If/when I stop blogging, I will miss you, so I’ll make sure the apartment Brian and I find is big enough to accommodate all of us and we can have sleepovers every night. Bring ice cream…to go with all the melty cheese you all already promised to bring to our party. Because really, the best part of blogging is the making friends part (I’m very, very serious about that).

15. Something magical did happen on the last day in Nassau. Did I forget to mention this? Weird. It was monumental.

My parents and I went on little (seriously little, like five-minute-long little) walks every morning, but I was determined to do more.

The walks were so strenuous, we had to take breaks to sit on chair-swings.

The walks were so strenuous, we had to take breaks to sit on chair-swings.

So on the last morning, I set out to run one lap of this makeshift track I found near the resort.

I “ran” one lap, and then I went to the bathroom, and then I ran another lap! And then I went to the bathroom. I ran one final lap, went to the bathroom again, and then ran back to the resort.

I HOBBLE-RAN FOR 21 MINUTES, PEOPLE!

Whoa, Rudolph! Yes, I wear a ton of sunscreen, and yes, my nose still burns on Day 1, every time. It's already peeling.

Whoa, Rudolph! Yes, I wear a ton of sunscreen, and yes, my nose still burns on Day 1, every time. It’s already peeling.

As expected, it was slow and weird and I felt like I wasn’t doing it right. But I smiled like a fool the whole time, which makes it a great success.

Go ahead and celebrate accordingly. I did, by drinking a non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri by the pool later that day.

And that brings us to the end. Did you really read all that? Well hey, thanks! Be my best friend.

BE MY BEST FRIEND BY TALKING BACK: Tell me a random fact about you today! Join the fun! Make your own list if that’ll make you happy! I just love you and miss you when we don’t talk every day like we used to.

Comments (108)
 
OH GOD, THAT IS SO BEAUTIFUL.

February 18

Date: February 18, 2014 at 9:39 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 26

I was going to stop by the internet today to tell you about the very disappointing failure that was February 10. About how I showed up for my appointment, so excited in my tracksuit, and Study Lady was just shocked […]

 
You know what helps with a bad breakup? Girlfriends and booze. And finding a handsome new dude to kiss.

I'm So Excited...I'm So, So Scared

Date: February 10, 2014 at 7:49 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 49

Ladies and gentlemen, Jessie Spano. So today’s the big day. In just a few hours, I’ll be at the doctor’s office, getting what is either a drug that may heal me and give me the relief I’ve waited for for […]

 
I SHOWERED THAT DAY. I had to go to work, so it was a big deal. I put on mascara, too, and also a bra.

Survival Of The Sickest

Date: January 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 108

This post was going to be so happy and so positive, you don’t even know. And you never will. But sit tight, because you’re going to get that whole story. Lest you think things are all dark and scary in […]

 
I haven't forgotten about you, CP! You're in my heart every day. And I hope to run all over you soon. (If I can remember how to run...yikes, it's been a whiiile.)

Those Familiar Feelings

Date: January 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 71

Let me take you back in time to a week and a half ago. The weekend had not been awesome. I’d attempted a yoga class Saturday morning, and I had to leave the room twice to use the bathroom. It […]

 
Resilience. On a CitiBike.

Resilience

Date: January 2, 2014 at 7:47 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 51

First I wrote the “Lessons I Learned in 2013” post. I’d been taking notes throughout the year, so drafting this bad boy was a breeze. But the lessons were predictable (People love to be offended! A good couch is a […]

 
It's pretty before it turns the city into a slushy mess!

It's Christmas Time In Contoocook

Date: December 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 33

It’s been a while! The excuse-truth for being anti-blogging: I’m Crohnsing pretty hard. I know I know I know I know. It’s the never-ending shitstorm, and that’s not even supposed to be a pun. Though the puns are practically unavoidable […]

 
NOT A DARK DAY.

OK

Date: December 3, 2013 at 9:04 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 37

I feel so much better. Sometimes people say things like “Writing is therapeutic.” And while what I do here is surely no substitute for seeing a licensed professional who can hear me out and tell me what’s up, writing that […]

 
Marathon Day remnants in Central Park. The lines are much more faded now.

Claustrophobia

Date: November 25, 2013 at 11:41 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 169

For the past few weeks — months, maybe? — I’ve had this feeling I just can’t shake. It’s new to me and it’s weird, and I’m hoping writing it out might help. Let’s see where this ends up… I feel […]

 
Photo by Erica Sara.

The Greatest Day: My New York City Marathon Recap

Date: November 5, 2013 at 7:41 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 164

I spent the week leading up to the New York City Marathon thinking about many of my “worst case scenarios” for race day. Ignore the fact that I hadn’t totally “properly trained” by most peoples’ standards — I did enough […]