Thankful Things Thursday: The Good In People

Have I told you lately that I love you?

Rod Stewart knows what’s up.

That is a Rod Stewart song, right?

But seriously. When I wrote yesterday’s post about how “Crohn’s Disease is a dirty bitch” I was basically just venting my current frustrations with this beast of a disease. I had no idea it would bring out such an incredible response.

And that leads me into today’s edition of Thankful Things Thursday, in which I tell you what I’m grateful for and then demand that you do the same.

(For the record, I’m feeling much less angry today and much more let’s-beat-this-disease proactive.)

First and foremost, I am so freakin’ thankful for all of the feedback I received yesterday. I can’t believe how many of you emailed me after that post went up (I promise to respond ASAP). A lot of first-time commenters came out (welcome! commenting is fun!) and everyone was very sympathetic toward my stupid stomach. I am deeply appreciative of all the kind words, smart advice and genuine well wishes you all sent my way.

I thought I was writing an annoying, angry post. Apparently that resonates with a lot of people!

I’m thankful I’m doing something about Crohn’s Disease. I’m no scientist (my college roommate and I took biology together one year and I stood idly by while she almost blew the place up…needless to say the lab didn’t exactly welcome us back with open arms), and I know very little about diseases and medicine. But I’m doing what I can for now, which is committing to run 26.2 miles to raise money and awareness for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. I’m blown away by how many people I don’t even know have donated, and I can’t wait to continue fundraising.

I'm running! Running for Crohn's!

Shameless plea for help: Every single donation makes a difference. Some people have donated $5 and others have donated as much as $500. It all goes to help find a cure for these diseases. Click here if you’d like to jump on board. All donations are tax deductible as well. Score.

I’m thankful for medicine. My doctor is supposed to call me this afternoon so we can chat, since I don’t have time to see him. I’m hoping I can convince him over the phone that I know what a flare-up feels like, and that I am most definitely in the midst of one. I will then beg him to send some Prednisone my way.

I used to hate going on Steroids because I always get the dreaded “moon face.” My face gets super puffy. When I was in Australia, I was unrecognizable. I hate looking back at those photos, which is sad, because, well, they’re photos of me in Australia.

You don’t believe me?

Fine. I’ll post one. Maybe I’ll even post more than one.

Ali in Australia, on massive doses of Steroids:

Toward the beginning of the trip, after 4 weeks on Prednisone

My cheeks were growing so much they were making my eyes look smaller. Seriously.

That’s not bad. It gets worse. Check me out here:

In Sydney...getting puffier

(Later today I’m going to remember posting these pictures and be horrified.)

By the end of the trip, I hardly looked like myself.

Awesome. At Sea World, looking my absolute best.

That, my friends, is “moon face.” One of the many sexy side effects of Crohn’s Disease. Don’t be jealous.

I digress. Let’s get back to the thankfulness of today.

I’m thankful my apartment is a judgment-free zone. I had a friend over last night. We ordered dinner and put on a movie. I saw the first 20 minutes. Suddenly, an hour and a half had gone by. For the second time this week — with the same person — I completely passed out. I apologized profusely, but my friend understood. My body is tired. It also took me a full two hours to drag myself out of bed this morning.

I’m thankful I am attempting to stick to my training plan…kind of. Coach Cane put six miles on today’s plan, and I did that. He wanted me doing three laps of the Central Park Reservoir, which is 1.4 miles (or something) long. For each lap, I would do the first mile at my 5K goal pace (ideally 7:40 or even faster — ideally), then the final .4 mile of the loop at a jog.

I wasn’t able to do it. My body was too tired and I never reached that elusive 7:40 pace. During the first lap I stuck around a 7:50, but I got slower each time and stopped a lot for water and to shake out my legs. It wasn’t ideal. But I did something, and I’m glad I did. You will lose this fight, Crohn’s, I swear, you will lose. I am better than you.

Thumbs down for Crohn's, smile because that run is over

I’m thankful my clothes give me motivation. It took a long time to get out of bed this morning, but I put on my “get it done” shirt that I save for necessary occasions.

Fine. I will run. Because the shirt says so.

So that’s what I did.

I’m thankful I get to run. I’m lucky. A lot of people don’t get to run at all. I’m even more thankful that I get to run in Central Park. It’s really pretty.

Central Park Reservoir
Time to chase people on the path...

I’m thankful I’m working from home again today. My employer is very understanding of Crohn’s Disease. That or she doesn’t totally know what it is and it makes her nervous to talk about. Either way, I’m working from the comfort of my own soft bathrobe right now. I will shower eventually, too.

So beautiful. So unshowered.

I’m thankful I’m getting out of town! I’m on a 4:30 pm flight to Charlotte, NC. See ya later, New York! I’m going to spend a lovely long weekend with my best friend doing wedding planning things and being on a boat. I should probably pack at some point.

Time to get a move on. Lots of items to check off the To Do list before I hit the road.

NOW YOU GO: What are you thankful for today? Good hair day? Wearing a new outfit? Ran 17 miles before work this morning? All great things. Tell me more.



0 Responses

  1. That is such a cute tank top. I love it! I hope you are feeling better and having fun in Charlotte. I am thankful that it’s Friday today and the husband and I get to hang out with an old friend tomorrow.

  2. Today I’m just thankful it’s Thursday!!!!! And thankful that I have an awesome family that I’m spending the weekend with back at home and just relax

    Btw, I have to say, even your “negative” post was somehow positive! Nice try 😉

  3. I’m glad your GI Rxed you prednisone, but I know that “moon facies” is no fun! (I once took prednisone for something when I was 8 and my face also blew up). I also agree that some days, you just can’t “hit” the times you’re supposed to and just getting out there is a victory. Its probably more important that you got out there and ran (which I did not today, wish I did, but studying kills my motivation)…you’ll remember that during the not so pleasant parts of the marathon and it’ll help you push through them.

    TODAY, I am thankful that have my FINAL TESTS OF MY THIRD YEAR OF MEDICAL SCHOOL Friday and Saturday. Then, I am a FREE woman for 3 weeks! Its been a really long year from the boards (last june) until now and basically I’m done with the “hardest parts” of medical school, which is unbelievable to me. Oh yeah, and then there’s residency. But for now, I’ll celebrate what I’ve got!

  4. I’m thankful for my health! I have a blood disorder (even though it’s nothing like Crohn’s, I def understand where you’re coming from a lot of the time) that requires treatments every few weeks, and they always make me feel so much better- including during my runs. 🙂

  5. I have never commented before but have been reading your blog and the pics from the reservoir make me so happy! That is also my running spot and every time I am running and seeing the beautiful buildings and green of the park I really cant help but feel so thankful to live in such an amazing city and have such a cool spot to work out every day!

    Other things NYC related I feel thankful about: Starbucks on every corner, never have to go out of my way in the AM to grab some caffeine. Cabs in abundance, especially when I run 3 miles to Trader Joe’s on the West Side and think I can walk the 3 miles back with my groceries (wrong). Millions of amazing restaurants. Enjoying drinks on rooftops with friends around sunset 🙂

    Hope you feel better for your trip!

  6. Ali, I hope you have a great trip. Try and rest up and use that time to give your body a break. Jess speaks for all if us when she says that we are rooting for you! You will win this battle, you are most definitely better than Crohns!

  7. What can I say, Ali? You are loved! We’re all rooting for you and sending you virtual hugs left and right. That makes ME thankful on Thursday for this wonderful blogging community we’re all a part of. It’s pretty awesome stuff, isn’t it? I hope you have an awesome and restful weekend with your friend and come back to NY feeling refreshed (and hopefully hopped up on prednisone!).

  8. wow this post was really awesome. I just stumbled across your blog and found so much inspiration in it. You are amazing!

  9. My clothes suck, they don’t tell me to do anything. I need new clothes.

    Glad you are taking steps to help yourself feel better. And I think you have a cute little moon face 🙂

    Today I am thankful for….new possibilities. My job and other things are driving me a bit crazy, but there are a couple of new adventures in my future (hopefully!), and thinking about them gives me the strength to get through today and hopefully not stab my co-worker in the eye with a dull pencil.

  10. You will get through this; just know you are smokin’ hot no matter what and strong as heck! And LOVE the lulu top. I need one of those.

  11. I wasn’t able to comment on yesterday’s post (I read it on my phone and meant to comment later, but I got super busy with school work), but I just wanted to say that it is ok to have an “angry” post. I’ve had my fair share of them on my blog, especially when it comes to running and injuries. It lets us know that you are human! I’m so sorry that your stomach is giving you issues. 🙁

    As for today’s post, I love that tank top!!!! It is great! Also, I think you look beautiful in all of those Australia pictures!!!

  12. “You will lose this fight, Crohn’s, I swear you will lose. I am better than you.” Wow…that gave me chills! You are such an inspiration…keep up the good fight, Ali…you WILL win this fight!

  13. Hooray for working from home – and vacations, for that matter!
    I hope your symptoms and stomach calm down soon. There’s nothing worse than wanting to do something and being physically unable to (or, almost unable to).
    I’m thankful for:
    – My new sequined black oxfords (I’m like a magpie and can’t resist anything shiny)
    – That triathlon training is going so well – just about 3 weeks down and 5 to go!
    – Governor’s Ball this weekend! Sun, music and drinks with friends!

  14. hey if the Prednisone helps – a puffy face as a side effect isn’t that bad! and you look great anyway!

    i love that tank – where did you buy?

    i am thankful today for my best friends from home…I just booked Amtrak to NYC to visit them in a few weekends!

  15. The blogging community is so great at encouragement and motivation:) Glad you’re feeling a little more positive today- chronic diseases can be difficult and tiring to have to deal with. Have a fabulous weekend:)

  16. YAY TRIPS!
    YAY working from home!

    (I seriously get such a high from seeing what other people are thankful for. Makes me so energized!)

    I’m thankful for:
    * seeing my parents this weekend! seriously, it’s been too long
    * getting back into a sub-8/mile pace, albeit for a short race
    * abita strawberry harvest lager (mmmmmmmm)
    * summer seafood, which is all i apparently write about on my blog

    Enjoy your trip and be safe!

  17. I’m so sorry that you aren’t feeling well, Ali. I hope that the conversation with your doctor will lead to a solution and help you to start feeling better. You are doing great things by fundraising and maintaining a positive attitude through all of this.

  18. Lurker here – my sister has Crohn’s and Colitis and has really suffered for years. She did remicaid (sp?), but ended up having a bad reaction to it – anyway, she’s been on Humera (sp? again!), and it has made a HUGE, HUGE difference for her. I just wanted to mention this if you’re talking to your doctor, because it has totally been her miracle drug.
    I really hope you’re feeling better quickly!

  19. Hi Ali! Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been reading your blog for a month or so now and wanted to comment for the first time to say – I’m glad you’re feeling better! I look forward to reading your posts every day – you really don’t take yourself too seriously and just have an overall tone of positivity (even when you feel, shall we say, crappy 🙂 ) I have been in a year long battle with stomach issues and doctor’s visits, so on a smaller level I feel your pain and wish you the best!

  20. Not going to lie…when I didn’t see a post earlier this morning and remembered you were going out of town I got worried that we’d have to skip Thankful Thursdsay this week. I’m Thankful that we didn’t 🙂

    I am thankful that my parents are super supportive of my wanting to be a better runner and got me a GARMIN! It arrived this week, and I don’t really understand how to work it, but it makes me super super happy, and very grateful. (Even if I do feel a bit silly wearing it – like I’m not hard core enough for it?)

    I am also thankful that I’ve been able to celebrate alot of milestones with family and friends lately. Yes, I’m pretty over travelling at the moment, and am sleep deprived, but you can’t relive these things, and I’m glad I could be a part of it all.

    I’m thankful for new friends and fun wednesday nights with them (even if it means difficult thursday mornings….)

  21. I love that you posted these pictures! My brother was diagnosed with chrohn’s when he was in high school and has had a lot of the same struggles as you have. Thank you so much for writing (and running!) for the disease. I think more people need to be aware and understanding, for sure 🙂

  22. I realize this comment may make sound super creepy, but this morning on my way to work I realized you had not posted today (I usually read on my bus ride!) and I got a little concerned, since you’ve been writing about how sick you’ve been feeling. Glad to hear you were able to make it out for at least a little but of a run.

    I also loved the pics you posted of the park – I was right there this weekend! I walked up the east side of the water and hopped off the running path on the north side (running path gravel + sandels = bad). That little stretch alone is one of the main reasons I am now obsessed with moving there. What a great place to run!

  23. Aw! So glad all of the comments helped! I read them all, they were awesome!! you have a great support group here 🙂 And I’m sorry for the side effects of steroids…my friend went through it as well and I know it was tough on her. But you still look beautiful!! Don’t forget that. For me, I am happy for sunshine and sitting on my patio to work 🙂

  24. Have fun!! It’s gorgeous here in NC right now, I hope you go back to NYC with a beautiful tan!

    I’m thankful for having 7 days off of work this week and moving in with my fiance and our two pups. after a year of living out of a bag basically it feels nice to have all of our things finally in one place…. together!

  25. LOVE that running top!!! I want one!
    You still look gorgeous even with the puffy face. Seriously. You are just pretty. Also, the girl in that first picture with you looks a lot like Theodora!
    I really hope you are able to get on Prednisone (I hear that word a LOT when watching House) and can start to feel better. This sucks that this is happening to you right now.
    Lastly… I said it yesterday but I am saying it again. Falling asleep while watching the movie twice, etc.. you need more rest. Your body is begging for it. I think you should try one workout a day and see if that helps. More complete relaxation. Give your body a break!

    1. I just read through the comments now that I’m out of my meetings for the afternoon. I’d just like to second everything Dori said, especially the rest part. Seriously. Also, I thought maybe you knew Theodora from way before or something, because I actually thought that was her.

      REST! How many more times must we insist? 😉

  26. Ali – My dr. just put me on Prednisone for an allergy attack. Apparently even though I have never had allergies, this is a “bad year” and I am having a hypersensitivity to something (who knows what) that has never boethered me before. I have to take 21 pills within like 6 days. It seems like a Z pack for allergies. I did not know it was used for Crohn’s as well. I just read somewhere that it makes your hunger uncontrollable, please say this isn’t true. Any insight is appreciated! Thanks! Jen

    1. I haven’t noticed a change in my appetite when I’m on Steroids, but everyone gets different side effects and symptoms. I usually get super hyper on Prednisone and can’t really sleep…but that’s just me! Hope you get better soon!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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