I’m not better.
Everyone keeps asking, “Do you feel any better?”
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 for a walk! I should unpack from Arizona! Let me check the SoulCycle schedule for this afternoon!”
And then I was back in the bathroom, writhing and screaming (so glad Brian wasn’t around for this) and producing things that are terrifying for the average human.
People have told me to appreciate the little improvements or any signs of progress.
Well, I haven’t really seen any, except for the fact that yesterday was the first day in months that I didn’t cry. And I don’t think it’s for any reason other than my tears having run out and dried up. I’m all out.
People keep telling me to “stay positive,” but what they don’t realize is you can’t “stay” something you’re not already feeling. I’m incredibly un-positive. Or I guess the word is…negative.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m simply not myself anymore — not when I’m like this. I’m like a shadow of myself, just waking up each day, dreading witnessing the happy sunlight hours from my couch, and then equally dreading the nighttime, which inevitably means discomfort, night sweats and a dozen trips to the bathroom.
Really, a dozen.
I kept track of my bathroom visits for a 48-hour period last week. That list was longer than any To-Do list I’ve made in years.
People also keep telling me to “keep fighting,” and saying things about being a “fighter.”
The truth: I’m not fighting. Not at all. I sit on my couch all day feeling sorry for myself. I do work, and I miraculously haven’t fallen behind with office work, but I’m not exactly doing tricep dips and push-ups in between bathroom runs. I’m not out getting fresh air or cutting out gluten, dairy and whatever the cavemen didn’t eat.
Finally, people are constantly, constantly asking, “Have you talked to your doctor? What does your doctor say?” as if he’s withholding some secret cure or medicine that I could have been on this entire time.
Yes, I’ve talked to my doctor. No, he isn’t helpful beyond “the Humira will take some time to kick in.”
I spend a lot of time breaking into hysterics about how much I hate my couch and how much I resent my living room, which feels like a prison. I also spend a lot of time feeling extreme anxiety over the medical bills that arrive every day and make no sense to me, and then more time desperately trying to figure out how to get a human on the phone instead of an automated recording insisting that I need to “please listen carefully because our menu options have changed.” No they haven’t! I always press 2! Nothing has changed!
My birthday came and went. It wasn’t a good day and my wishes didn’t come true. I also made the mistake of watching a few minutes of My Sister’s Keeper on TV while Brian cooked dinner (my favorite pre-marathon meal, filled with deliciousness and nostalgia), and that brought on a full-on, need-to-breathe-into-a-paper-bag meltdown. Bad idea, Fragile Ali. And then I continued to cry about how I really, really miss my old roommate. Conroy, can you move back to NYC now? Watching Step Brothers alone sucks.
I have also randomly been spiking fevers all week, which is pissing me off. Last night I didn’t sleep at all because my fever wouldn’t break, so I stayed up watching “Parks & Recreation,” covered in cool, wet washcloths.
There is hope moving forward: I gave myself my second dose of Humira on Friday morning, which was oddly exciting. I gave myself two shots in my stomach as I was laying in bed, and they were mostly pain-free and uneventful. Now I just need them to actually work. And I have my second appointment with the acupuncturist today, so maybe that will bring some mental relief if nothing else.
As much as I hate life and all the healthy people in the world who don’t seem to appreciate their health and good fortune (Oh you had a bad run because you were tired and sore? Wah! Shut up. You’re able to run. And generally leave your apartment.), I truly do appreciate all the love I’ve received lately. I’ve been showered with nice emails, comments and flowers, and I haven’t responded to any of those nice gestures because I’ve pretty much morphed into a bad, thankless person. But if I’m ever back up and running, expect a sweetly bedazzled thank you note from yours truly!
Oh and I think I’ve finally accepted that I won’t be running the Brooklyn Half Marathon this Saturday. I don’t think four months of complete inactivity makes for optimal training, but I don’t know. I hear rest days are crucial.