There is no bush worth beating around here; no lede to bother burying.
The Crohn’s is back.
With two months to go until the wedding.
It started on July 4th. I was very excited to wake up early and run down to TriBeCa for a yoga class at Lyons Den. Best day ever!
Fortunately I left the apartment extra early, because I found myself making several bathroom stops within the first few miles.
Bloody ones. (I’m sorry. There’s simply no way around that.)
By the time I finished the 7.5-mile run to the studio, one thing was very clear.
I hadn’t eaten something bad for dinner and I wasn’t just having an off day. These symptoms were entirely consistent with a Crohn’s disease flare-up.
At first, my symptoms were only present when I tried to run. I would spend a lot of time in the bathroom and dealing with a bit of discomfort before being able to leave home, and then the first few miles of each run were particularly stop-filled. It was frustrating, but I didn’t want to dwell or worry.
Over the past few days, though, things have gone from “only on the run” to “all the damn time.” And I know very well the difference between “a stomach thing” and what is very clearly Crohn’s-related. This is Crohn’s. F-ing Crohn’s.
After a year and a half of being so perfectly healthy, I’ve been very suddenly transported back to my flare-filled ways.
I’m stopping up to a dozen times when I try to go for a run.
I’m canceling social plans.
Perhaps most discouraging of all, I’m afraid to leave home. Yesterday, Brian and I walked a measly eight blocks to the movie theater, and I was panicking the entire time. At dinner, I kept my eye on the restaurant’s sole bathroom for the duration of our meal so I knew whether it was occupied or not.
And I’m exhausted. Not to mentioned frustrated. And confused. Everything was going so well for so long.
The upside (because I’m always willing to find one) is that this is not the worst flare I’ve ever had. I’m fortunately not experiencing any of the symptoms beyond the stomach pain and “urgency.” I don’t have the fevers, night sweats, or body aches. So far it’s all pretty contained to the bathroom stuff.
Still, I’m obviously not happy about this.
The biggest question in my mind: Why now?
Why two months before my own wedding? I was sick at every wedding I attended for so long. I’d love to not be sick for my own.
Why when the clinical trial has been working so well, and when we know we don’t really have any other options to test out at this time?
Why when I’m really, genuinely, truly, madly, deeply happy?
For every question, a probable answer: Stress.
Everyone in my life, from my mom to my doctor to the internet, insists that much of this disease is brought on by stress. My history with Crohn’s is completely concurrent with that analysis. My toughest flares came when I moved away to college, when I studied abroad in Australia, when I got my first post-college job and moved to NYC, after I went through a breakup, and when I got promoted and was generally anxiety-ridden 100% of the time.
And now, another big career change, plus wedding planning, and all that comes with both those things.
I do believe there’s more science involved and a more complicated answer than just, “I’m sick because I’ve been excitingly busy.” But the immediate reaction I can take is to try to alleviate some of that. I’m working on figuring out how exactly to proceed. And I’m seeing my doctor on Tuesday.
In the meantime, it’s going to be fine, right? This isn’t the start of something big. It’s just a little bump in the road to keep things dramatic!
You’ve got two months, body.
Figure it out.