Pet stores make me cry. I almost bought both these little guys because I don't want them to live on shredded scraps of paper in a storefront window. But then I remembered Brian's allergies. Stupid Brian. FIX YOUR PROBLEMS.

Thankful Things Thursday: I'm Doing My Best

Date: March 14, 2013 at 6:49 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 91

Ohh I am not feeling thankful today.

Sucks, right?

Instead I am feeling pretty awful. Minus the “pretty” part. Physically I’m deteriorating. Mentally I’m not far behind.

The other day, when I first started feeling really sick, I remember thinking to myself, “I’m handling this remarkably well. Work is beyond insane — the craziest, busiest and most stressful it’s ever been in the duration of my little career — and I have so much on my plate, but I’ve got this. I’m doing OK.”

Fancy shoes all lined up for a fancy photo shoot on Sunday. The Louboutins down on the end had their own "handler" for the day making sure nothing happened to them. (Good thing, since I was not about to cover the cost for damages on those babies.)

Fancy shoes all lined up for a fancy photo shoot on Sunday. The Louboutins down on the end had their own “handler” for the day making sure nothing happened to them. (Good thing, since I was not about to cover the cost for damages on those babies.)

I know myself well enough that as soon as I thought those positive thoughts, I had to pause.

“This is the calm before the emotional storm. Enjoy this feeling, because a breakdown feels just around the imaginary corner.”

Today, on Thankful Things Thursday, I’m here to do my best to take a detour that will hopefully keep me away from that corner for a little while longer.

If I’m on board, will you join me?

I’m thankful for puppies. We’re starting strong today, folks. Puppies right from the get-go. Bringing in the big guns. The big…pups?

Pet stores make me cry. I almost bought both these little guys because I don't want them to live on shredded scraps of paper in a storefront window. But then I remembered Brian's allergies. Stupid Brian. FIX YOUR PROBLEMS.

Pet stores make me cry. I almost bought both these little guys because I don’t want them to live on shredded scraps of paper in a storefront window. But then I remembered Brian’s allergies. Stupid Brian. FIX YOUR PROBLEMS.

I’m thankful for Skype. I used to go to the gym after work. I’d hit up a spin class or lift some weights. If I felt particularly ambitious — or exceptionally tight — I’d even attempt a yoga class. But these days, that’s simply not happening. I’m far away from the spin bikes, the dumbbells and the mats and it sucks.

You know what’s just as good as a hefty dose of cardio and some time in Downward Dog?

Talking it up with this guy:

Someone's teething! He gets really excited when his parents give him his cold toys to suck on. It's pretty cute...even though he's probably in a ton of pain.

Someone’s teething! He gets really excited when his parents give him his cold toys to suck on. It’s pretty cute…even though he’s probably in a ton of pain.

Nightly chats with Tyler — he has a lot to say these days, like “dadadadadada” and “schwermel blah” — improve my shoddy mood significantly. He makes me laugh and sometimes cry, when he does amazing things like walk to me from across the room. Technology really is a beautiful thing.

I taught Tyler the "thigh dancing" sequence from Physique 57. I think he's mastered it. Such impeccable form!

I taught Tyler the “thigh dancing” sequence from Physique 57. I think he’s mastered it. Such impeccable form!

I’m thankful Dr. Pretty Face was able to see me yesterday. Mostly thankful.

So the health situation. Let’s talk about that.

I escaped right as Dr. Nice walked into the room because I wanted to see the big papal reveal (sounds dirty — you know it's not) on the TV in the waiting room. Dr. Gentleman said, "It's OK. I'll be here." Then I came back and tried to tell him all about how the new pope is from Argentina and he was like, "Let's talk about your disease." Less fun.

I escaped right as Dr. Nice walked into the room because I wanted to see the big papal reveal (sounds dirty — you know it’s not) on the TV in the waiting room. Dr. Gentleman said, “It’s OK. I’ll be here.” Then I came back and tried to tell him all about how the new pope is from Argentina and he was like, “Let’s talk about your disease.” Less fun.

I know. You’re tired of hearing about this and I’m sure even seeing the word “Crohn’s” on your screen makes you click away.

Still there?

If you are, trust me — trust me — I’m tired of it, too. So, so tired of it.

And not just tired of it. I’m over it. I’m exhausted from it.

YOU ASKED FOR IT. You people were like, "Bring back the bathroom selfies so we can see your work outfits!" Well here you go. I have worn yoga pants or straight-up sweatpants to the office all week. This is simply the best I can do. Our CEO saw me in the bathroom yesterday (lovely) and said, "Well don't you look cozy!" I smiled politely, and on the inside I scream-responded, "I'M DYING ON THE INSIDE! THERE'S NOTHING COZY ABOUT THIS!" And then I prayed for her to exit the restroom ASAP.

YOU ASKED FOR IT. You people were like, “Bring back the bathroom selfies so we can see your work outfits!” Well here you go. I have worn yoga pants or straight-up sweatpants to the office all week. This is simply the best I can do. Our CEO saw me in the bathroom yesterday (lovely) and said, “Well don’t you look cozy!” I smiled politely, and on the inside I scream-responded, “I’M DYING ON THE INSIDE! THERE’S NOTHING COZY ABOUT THIS!” And then I prayed for her to exit the restroom ASAP.

I will never forget how I felt when I was in the hospital last fall and Dr. Shah came in with the results from my latest MRI and colonoscopy. He told me my case of Crohn’s disease was “mild to moderate.” Mild to moderate? That’s it? It felt like such a slap in the face.

Am I that weak that I don’t even classify as having a legitimate case of this disease? Or are people who have it really badly just so much more miserable than I could ever imagine?

Both, maybe.

He said the disease appeared severe in my sigmoid colon and actually, technically, diagnosed me with Crohn’s-colitis. Look at that: overachieving as often as possible. Why have one Inflammatory Bowel Disease when I can have both of them?!

You may remember that I began having symptoms of a flare-up a little over a month ago, right before I went to Colorado for a ski trip.

Faking a smile in the car because I was miserable. Four-hour roadtrips mid-flare aren't fun at all.

Faking a smile in the car because I was miserable. Four-hour roadtrips mid-flare aren’t fun at all.

Things never got too terrible to bear. I had the bathroom stuff happening which is of course unpleasant, but I never had the fevers, the aches or the life and energy sucked out of me. I was in pain, but I was mostly fine.

As soon as I returned from the trip, I got my every-8-week infusion of Remicade. It didn’t help right away as it typically does, but after a few days things started to improve slightly.

They never fully got better, but I was OK enough to do a little bit of running again and feel mostly decent. Life was good. Or at least it was good enough.

Then things got crazy.

Work got crazy.

READ THIS WHILE YOU'RE IN HAIR AND MAKEUP, PEOPLE. Study. And enjoy.

READ THIS WHILE YOU’RE IN HAIR AND MAKEUP, PEOPLE. Study. And enjoy.

Work has just been…a lot. Everything is fun, but it’s intense and one day in a few weeks I’ll be able to tell you all about what we’ve been working on. Because I know you’ll lose sleep until then.

We all know that I love working hard. But my body doesn’t seem to love it, and right now my body isn’t keeping up.

After an early call time and a stressful work day Sunday (yes, Sunday — WTF?), I came home, relaxed for a bit and then decided I wanted to enjoy the sun and go for a little run.

That run was my sign.

It was terrible. I didn’t make it far before I returned home, hobbling from one public restroom to the next, knowing things were getting bad.

That night, I had my first fever: 101.2 degrees.

By Monday night, it climbed to 101.9, Tuesday it hit 102 and each evening since Sunday the night sweats have been out in full-force. I’m not sleeping well despite being exhausted and I’ve got another big trip right around the corner (L.A. next week for a pretty intense 4-day conference — think long days and longer bathroom lines).

Because my doctor is “excitingly busy” but wonderful, he was able to squeeze me in for an appointment yesterday, and I’m so appreciative.

I always arrive prepared and with very wise, well-researched questions.

I always arrive prepared and with very wise, well-researched questions.

Except that the appointment was frustrating as hell.

When there’s no real cure for a disease and you’ve tried so many of the drugs out there and they’ve stopped working, you eventually just sort of hang your head.

He’s putting me on steroids, which I started yesterday. A short but hefty dose, which he hopes will at least calm the symptoms enough for my trip next week. I also have someone coming to my apartment on Monday morning (yeah, that was weird to me, too) to run a blood test that will determine the Remicade levels in my body right now (“Your disease could be sopping up the drug too fast,” Dr. Good Times said), and then we’ll decide if I should be getting a higher dose of the drug or upping the frequency of my infusions. The doctor tested me for celiac disease, just because “the test is easy, so why not?”

He’s checking to make sure I don’t have the C-DIF virus (the test for that one is fun, let me tell ya) and he took my blood to measure my inflammatory markers and white blood cell counts.

As always we talked about my diet, and his theory is, “If it makes you feel good, eat it. If it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t eat it.” Vegetables, salads and most healthy things are out. I’m on the all-carb diet. I’m literally carb-loading for nothing.

Brian made this massive feast for dinner the other night. Potatoes? Good. Chicken? Good. Green "roughage?" Nooooot good.

Brian made this massive feast for dinner the other night. Potatoes? Good. Chicken? Good. Green “roughage?” Nooooot good.

Finally I just asked my doctor, “What the hell am I doing wrong? Why does this keep happening?” And then I shut up really fast so I wouldn’t cry or seem too pathetic. (Too late.)

Dr. Trying To Be Nice But Making Me Feel Badly said that in the cases he sees, among other things, stress can definitely play a factor with triggering flare-ups. “You need to balance the stress in your life,” he advised. “The voluntary stress is actually OK — if training for a marathon is stressful but you enjoy it, that’s different from the involuntary stress caused by things happening at work that you can’t just eliminate or control.”

In other words, I’m fairly certain my doctor just told me to quit my job, take up recreational marathon running and say goodbye to Crohn’s.

Right?

That’s how you understood it, too, yeah?

By the time I left the doctor’s office, I felt no sense of relief. No “Cool, we’ve got this figured out this time.” Hopefully the steroids will work and in the meantime I’ll just keep playing the patient game and getting annoyed by all the constantly-healthy people in this world.

Yes, I’m bitter.

Go brag about your awesome morning runs on Twitter. Go tell the world about that delicious salad you ate and how great you felt afterward.

I’ll be here at work, wearing pajamas…and sweating through them.

Done with the negativity for now. Moving on!

Tyler photo!

Standing up like a real man! Except that real men have jobs. So work on that next, Tyler.

Standing up like a real man! Except that real men have jobs. So work on that next, Tyler.

I’m thankful knowing I will be healthy again. I have no idea when, but that’s just how I’ve learned to look at this whole thing over the past two years. I get sick and it’s the worst, and then I get better and it’s amazing. I’ll deal with the bad times because I know the good ones are coming.

And hey, thanks for sticking around in the meantime.

BE THANKFUL FOR EVERYTHING BECAUSE IT’S GOOD FOR YOU: What are you into today? Please don’t shove your amazing workouts in my face. Instead tell me about your rest days and the carton of ice cream you had for dinner. Or, you know, tell me about how you, too, have an inconveniently annoying disease and how you’re thankful because you know exactly how to handle the emotional side of it. You could also tell me which Netflix options you’re thankful for, since I’m spending a lot of time plowing through my those when I can’t sleep at night. Thanks!

Comments (91)
 
Last I checked, the word marathon is actually DEFINED as being 26.2 miles. But I mean...definitions are open for interpretation, right?

Overheard In Central Park

Date: March 11, 2013 at 6:48 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 52

The scene: A bustling Central Park on Saturday morning. The sun is shining and temperatures are hovering in the 40s. Runners are flooding the paths (and taking over the bike lanes — come on runners, wise up and move in […]

Posted in Central Park, Running and tagged , -
 
A lovely day at Buttermilk. Where the host The X-Games!

Thankful Things Thursday: On Love, Baby Carrots & Sweatshirts

Date: March 7, 2013 at 8:17 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 46

Oh, Crohn’s. You just don’t want to let up, do you? Fortunately, I can put up a pretty strong fight. So I may be slightly sidelined from life today, but tomorrow’s a new one, and I’m here to make the […]

 
Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 8.58.53 AM

What Do You Desire?

Date: March 6, 2013 at 8:59 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 42

I’ve been feeling quite introspective lately, which is always a good thing for me and a terrible thing for everyone else in my life. Conversations can quickly and without notice shift from “What should I have for lunch today?” to […]

 
I took this photo while I was out running yesterday morning. Ready for it: I did not edit it at all. I think that's what all you people are referencing when you say #nofilter. But really, this photo is completely untouched and unedited. That's how good life was yesterday at 6:30 AM.

I'm Afraid To Stop Loving Running

Date: March 5, 2013 at 7:42 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 36

First: I miss blogging. I really do. I have a lot to say, you know. All the time. Every day. But sadly, I don’t have a whole lot of time to say it and attempt to have it make sense. […]

 
He wanted to Skype with you guys and show you his new move. HE CAN WALK. OK, he can take steps. We Skyped last night and he was so excited about walking. I can tell he's just dying to run. His Baby Garmin is on the way.

The Things I Thought About This Week

Date: March 1, 2013 at 8:58 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 46

I’m typically optimistic on Monday mornings. New week! Fresh start! Time to do some ass kicking! On Sunday night, though, I couldn’t sleep. I was stressed about work stuff and my brain was louder than the traffic out on Third […]

 
Reason #1 to run in the morning.

My Best Tip For Dealing With A Crohn's Disease Flare-Up

Date: February 25, 2013 at 9:07 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 39

We’ll talk about running again very soon. But first, some Crohn’s talk. Feel free to fast forward as desired. In theory, I had the perfect Friday night. I went out to dinner with coworkers at The Smith, one of my […]

Posted in Crohn's disease and tagged -
 
I wanted to pick a turtleneck-style dress (winter wedding, I am always cold...what?), but that wasn't an option.

Thankful Things Thursday: For Basically Everything Ever

Date: February 21, 2013 at 9:15 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 38

People say the worst feeling in the world is heartbreak. I say the worst feeling in the world is when you come in from a frigid run and jump into a scalding-hot shower too fast, and then your legs turn […]

 
Have you ever seen anything more beautiful than Central Park? NO, YOU HAVE NOT.

On The Roads Again!

Date: February 19, 2013 at 8:35 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 47

An exclamation point in the title. Good things are happening. Great things are happening. I went running. Pause for more exclamation points: !!!!!! Oh, you run every day? You’re healthy, uninjured and have just enough time to sweat outdoors daily? […]

 
Apparently we have dinner reservations tonight. I told Brian I had other plans and he said "cancel them." So I did. I canceled my plans to go to a spin class with my other love of my life, Matt P. at Crunch.

Thankful Things Thursday: Love

Date: February 14, 2013 at 8:47 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 43

I’m here. I’m here! Maybe you thought I’d fled for a while and ditched this whole blogging thing. I thought about it, honestly. I took a few days off because I was busy before I left for Colorado. Then I […]