The sunset as I left NYC. I didn't even think it was pretty. I was just like "get me the hell out of here."

"Who's Taking Care Of You?"

Date: May 27, 2013 at 11:28 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 68

You know how when you learn a new word, suddenly it pops up everywhere? It’s in the book you’re reading, it comes up in daily conversation with your bodega guy and it’s the answer to a “Jeopardy!” question. You’re newly hyper-aware of this discovery — this exciting word! — and now you can’t escape it.

It’s kind of like how, as soon as you cancel your trip to Hawaii, suddenly everyone you know is there, just got back from being there or is planning to go there next month. Every single person, really, from the “Today” show anchors to the cast of “Beverly Hills 90210″ to every engaged, honeymoon-planning couple you’re “friends” with on Facebook.

And it’s like how, when you can’t run, that’s all everyone else is doing. Since when did that chick you went to high school with start throwing down 42-minute 10Ks, and why is every contestant on “Wheel of Fortune” in the middle of half-marathon training? Plus, when did everyone move to PR City and stop being mediocre? What the hell?

Central Park, as seen from my cab ride home from work. Sad.

Central Park, as seen from my cab ride home from work. Sad.

So yeah, I didn’t go to Hawaii.

Honestly, it was an easy decision to make. All you “just get on the plane, Ali,” people are nuts. Sorry. I appreciate your positivity, but it was so unrealistic. Feel the pain I’ve been feeling for eight seconds and you’ll know that “just getting on the plane” isn’t quite as simple as it seems. There was no way I was going to be OK on that long-ass flight, and there was certainly no way I was going to be a happy traveler once I finally got to the hotel. And then, even if I survived the vacation, I’d have to do the flight again on the way back. No, thank you.

Facetiming with Brian while he sat on the Hawaiian hotel balcony and I laid on the living room floor with a fever and a cold washcloth on my head. It'll be shocking if he comes back for me...

Facetiming with Brian while he sat on the Hawaiian hotel balcony and I laid on the living room floor with a fever and a cold washcloth on my head. It’ll be shocking if he comes back for me…

I knew I couldn’t spend the week at work, though. I was too sick and too sad. On Monday morning, I called my boss to talk with her about my options (which, turns out, are limited — medical leave isn’t really an option, so instead I have used up all my sick, personal and vacation days for this nonsense) and she was very sympathetic and understanding. The one thing she asked that really stuck with me was, “Alison, who’s taking care of you?”

And then I had to pull the mute-button-move so I could start weeping a little bit. Because the reality is, no one was taking care of me and I clearly couldn’t take care of myself anymore.

So instead of going to Hawaii, I saw a new doctor in the city — hated him — and then I did manage to get on a plane.

Not the plane I planned for. But kind of a better plane.

The sunset as I left NYC. I didn't even think it was pretty. I was just like "get me the hell out of here."

The sunset as I left NYC. I didn’t even think it was pretty. I was just like “get me the hell out of here.”

For the past week, I have been in New Hampshire, staying with my parents and letting them cater to my every whiny need. I am finally letting someone take care of me.

I swear it was their idea, and as low-maintenance as I try to be, I do find myself asking my mom to “please refill my water cup” at least 22 times a day, and she has not yet complained or delivered without a cute smile.

I got a visit from this guy, too.

He likes to tuck himself into tiny spaces. We do not have that in common.

He likes to tuck himself into tiny spaces. We do not have that in common.

I’d love to say having Tyler here perked me all up, but I slept for a lot of the time he was here, and the kid is so dang active now that I can’t run around after him. It was frustrating not being able to chase him and play with him like I would have wanted, but his presence makes me happy, so I can’t complain about that.

I did my third Humira shot on Friday, which was exciting because each time I do it I stupidly convince myself it’s going to work. That’s a cute trait, right? Delusion mixed with optimism masked by a general tone of “whatever, this is bullshit.”

Being in New Hampshire has been amazing, though. I am disappointed that I’m not cured simply by being here. All I’ve done is sleep, watch TV and let my mom feed me way more than I want to eat, and the change of scenery (and couches) has done wonders for my mental state. That apartment in NYC had started feeling like a prison and I felt trapped there. Here, I have more room to roam (which I don’t do, because I’m too lazy and tired all the time) and I have my choice of bathrooms, which is very cool.

It rained for a week straight after I got here. I kind of loved it.

It rained for a week straight after I got here. I kind of loved it.

Another fun thing I’ve done is ditched gluten. I saw this new doctor last Monday, before I left, and he was a douchebag and he was rude and he was nasty and condescending, but the one thing he said (after I tried inquiring about food allergies and whether I should consider cutting dairy out of my diet) was that I’d “definitely feel better if I cut wheat out of my diet.” The pasta-lover and diet-hater in me says “no, doc,” but the girl who has been violently ill for four months says, “fine. I hate food anyway.”

My mom has whipped up tons of gluten-free dishes for me and it’s been lovely.

Except for this one thing, which may or may not be related to the lack of wheat in my body…

For the past few days, I’ve found myself feeling the opposite effects of the normal Crohn’s symptoms. Instead of running for the bathroom and…doing stuff…I’m, well, not.

I get the pain and the cramping and the bloating and then, no matter how much pushing I try (which isn’t much because owwwwww), nothing is happening.

I know what you’re thinking: “But Ali, isn’t that a good thing?! Isn’t it good not to be going to the bathroom every two seconds?!”

No, not at all. I get the pain and the misery without any of the relief.

So there’s that.

My mom picked me up at the airport late last Monday night. It started thunderstorming. My dad was out of town. Aaaand we got home at 12:30 AM to find the power was out. It was romantic, going to the bathroom by flasthlight-light and having a sleepover in my mom's room.

My mom picked me up at the airport late last Monday night. It started thunderstorming. My dad was out of town. Aaaand we got home at 12:30 AM to find the power was out. It was romantic, going to the bathroom by flasthlight-light and having a sleepover in my mom’s room.

Meanwhile, the fevers and night sweats come and go. I had a few fevers when I first got here, and I went through a decent rotation of pajamas and towels for coating the bed. I have oxycodone to help with the pain, but it keeps me up at night and makes me all jittery, so I don’t want to get too hooked on that. I also have sleep medication, but that doesn’t overrule the stomach pain, which wakes me up no matter how tired I am.

Pajama rotation station.

Pajama rotation station.

One thing that has been difficult about being home is the stairs. I didn’t realize just how out of shape I had become until Monday, after my doctor’s appointment, when I was walking home while on the phone with my dad. I had to walk up that stupid hill between 2nd and 3rd Avenues — the same hill I used to run up every single morning without thought — and had to stop halfway up the hill. I was so out of breath that I just couldn’t keep going. So I leaned against a tree, told my dad to “hang on a sec” and cried. Crying, by the way, doesn’t help you catch your breath.

I couldn’t believe how difficult it was just to walk up a little hill. And now that I’m home, I’ve found the same demon in the stairs. The first few days, it was so much work just to get up and down them. Going up, I would get out of breath. And coming down, my knees and ankles ached. I also seem to have developed some arthritis-y symptoms in my wrists, but that’s been a good excuse to stay off the computer and ignore everyone. (You had a birthday? You ran a PR? Sorry I missed those things. Congratulations on being born and going fast. You rock.)

I don’t know when I’m going back to the city. I don’t ever want to go back to that apartment because being there just reminds me that I’m still sick.

I do have a job I need to tend to, of course, though I’m lucky that I can work from home for a bit if needed.

I’m lining up appointments with new doctors in hopes I can find someone who will tell me something encouraging.

I haven’t been outside in a week. I haven’t breathed fresh air or gone for a walk, and every now and then my mom will make me “do a lap” around the first floor of the house in an attempt to “get some exercise.”

But basically, regardless of where I’m located, I’m still sick. I haven’t made improvements.

And I didn’t go to Hawaii.

Oh well. Those islands aren’t going anywhere, right?

Comments (68)
 
The herbal pills are pretty and they smell good. Now I just need them to do something.

Change In Plans

Date: May 17, 2013 at 8:06 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 75

Two years ago, on a Friday night, I ate a piece of fish and a big bowl of corn. The next morning, I woke up brutally early and made the trip out to Brooklyn to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon. […]

 
Brian brought home my favorite Molly's Cupcakes for my birthday. One bite, one trip to the bathroom...repeat, repeat, repeat.

No.

Date: May 13, 2013 at 7:37 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 63

No. I’m not better. Everyone keeps asking, “Do you feel any better?” Nope. Not really. I had fleeting moments this weekend on the couch where I’d think, “Hey hey hey now, I think I’m OK! I think I can go […]

 
Sara comes equipped with a puppy, but that's NOT the only reason we are friends.

My Birthday Wishes

Date: May 6, 2013 at 7:33 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 90

I’ve never really been on board with the whole “adult birthday” concept. It’s always felt weird to me to celebrate being, say, 28. I’m too old for my mom to bring cupcakes into my office, so what’s the point? This […]

Posted in Crohn's disease and tagged , -
 
Park Avenue tulips. I went for a teeny tiny walk on Saturday and got to see the flowers everyone has been Instagramming and #nofiltering. I'm not even on Instagram, but I know these things happen. I know everything.

I Still Believe In The Rabbits

Date: May 3, 2013 at 7:24 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 47

Wednesday was “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” day. I have woken up on the first day of every month since kindergarten and, while still laying in bed, I have whispered, “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit.” It’s supposed to bring you good luck for the […]

 
A puppy (his name is Bokchoy), some flowers and painkillers. Thanks, LBC, for providing two of these crucial things.

Short-Lived Happy Tears

Date: April 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 73

Last week — like so many of the ones that came before it — was something of a disaster for me. But between the rage-filled phone calls with angry nurses, the sleepless nights and the increasingly-high fevers, there were a […]

 
Lincoln Center, usually my happy place. I was supposed to go to two galas there last week for work. I made it to the first one...and lasted an hour before I spiked a fever, had to run for the bathroom mid-performance and eventually took a panic-ridden cab ride home to comfort.

I Didn't Want To Write About Boston

Date: April 22, 2013 at 7:39 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 99

It felt strange not to acknowledge what happened on the day of the Boston Marathon here. I kept feeling like, “I blog about running…I should have an opinion. I should have feelings. And I should share them…right?” But every time […]

 
All of the above, please. Just kidding. 10 OF EACH OF THE ABOVE, PLEASE.

Thankful Things Thursday: Day 10

Date: April 11, 2013 at 6:45 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 46

The food’ll come out…tomorrow!!! Thank goodness. Yes, I made it to Day 10 of the juice cleanse. On that note alone, I think we can jump right into the recently-neglected Thankful Things Thursday. I’m thankful I get to chew food […]

 
I stood by the Papa Gino's at a rest stop and smelled the pizza. It made me happy for about two seconds...until the guy behind the counter asked if he could take my order and I had to run away from him.

An Update On The Great Juice Cleanse Of 2013

Date: April 8, 2013 at 7:52 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 44

I hate juice. I hate fruit juice. I hate vegetable juice. I hate freshly-made juice and I hate Cooler Cleanse juice. So yeah, The Great Juice Cleanse of 2013 is going supremely well! Clearly. To refresh your potentially short-term memory: […]

 
If you can't eat it, juice it!

“This Is An Opportunity, Not A Punishment”

Date: April 4, 2013 at 7:16 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 85

Hi. I’m alive. And I’m doing OK. The Remicade, as suspected, never worked. The hospital visit was worth it for the fluid IV alone — my fever has been down since Monday and I’m not as deathly exhausted as I […]