Yesterday was a really good day.
On paper, there was nothing magical about it. It was just a rainy Tuesday in New York City.
Except that it was magical, because yesterday was the first day that I felt pretty good all day long. It was the first day in five months that I didn’t have a single Crohn’s-induced moment of panic.
That’s not to say I didn’t exhibit Crohnsy symptoms here and there. I did my usual back-and-forth to the bathroom a handful of times in the morning, but other than that, I was pretty much good to go.
I took Ellie to school in the morning, and didn’t have to bolt into the bathroom at the smoothie place next door.
I walked to the ferry station and didn’t have to ponder whether or not I might need to run into the porta-potty at the construction site between my apartment and the terminal (a roughly four-minute walk).
I took the ferry into the city and didn’t run off the boat at the last minute to use the bathroom just one more time. (Which I’ve had to do a handful of times, and then I miss the boat entirely and have to wait for the next one. Not super ideal when you’re trying to get somewhere on time.)
After that, I went to a spin class. I was on my usual bike right next to the door and got all set up without concerning myself too much with going to the bathroom just one more time real quick before class started. And then, when the staff wheeled in an additional bike for a woman who “wanted to be close to the door,” thus blocking my quick escape route, I didn’t totally freak out. I was a little annoyed, mostly because there were like 32 free bikes in the room and she demanded a bike be wheeled in just for her, thereby ruining my perfect plan of being the closest to the door/bathroom — but figured hey, maybe she has Crohn’s, too!
Usually my stomach feels a little off during the first few minutes of class, but then I’m able to get into a groove for a while. When the class ends in a sprint or tough climb, though, I’m a bit of a mess. And that’s when I usually panic and have to dash out of the room for the bathroom. Not yesterday, though.
Yesterday I made it all the way to the cool-down without ever needing the bathroom — or even thinking about needing the bathroom. That, my friends, is major.
From there, I went about my day like an almost-normal human. I worked from an office for a while, and then from a Le Pain Quotidien — chosen specifically because it has more than one bathroom stall — and never had any issues. I walked to the ferry to head home, took the boat back to Jersey, swung by the grocery store, and picked up Ellie — all Crohn’s-concerns free.
The past five months have had plenty of highs, sure, but there have also been some low low lows. (Shorty got low low low low low low low…)
But now, I think I’m pretty damn close to stepping into the light that’s been shining from the end of the tunnel. (Does that sound like I’m dying? I mean the opposite of that. I mean I’m stepping into health and other good stuff.) Each day, I find I have more good, non-panicky, out-of-the-bathroom moments. Just two weeks ago, those moments were still fleeting. I’d have a decent few hours in the afternoon, but I’d still panic every time I needed to take Ellie outside to pee.
Now, I find I can mostly take her out worry-free. I can almost always make the walk to the ferry without needing to turn around and run back home to use the bathroom.
I find myself doing things subconsciously — things that I used to do without thinking twice but that, when I’m flaring, I don’t do at all. Things like getting out of a cab a block early because “I can just jump out here,” without freaking out about walking one whole block before getting to my destination (which I know has a bathroom). Things like making plans with friends, driving to dog parks that are 40 minutes away, or — yay — finally booking that massage I’ve been wanting.
Yesterday was filled with those moments.
I am absolutely convinced that the Stelara — I’ve had two doses now — is working. I also believe that the other things I’m doing to help my body — ditching alcohol and dairy for a while, cooking [almost] all of my meals, not pushing my body much physically, getting plenty of sleep — are helping, too.
I think this is all working. I think my body is healing and recovering. I think I’m going to kick this Crohn’s flare entirely sooner rather than later. And I am, for maybe the first time in these past five months, wholly optimistic, positive, and eager to see what comes next.
(Not totally and completely sick of me yet? I wrote about how Crohn’s has helped me adore and appreciate running for Shape magazine. Check it out.)
Here’s to many more great, victorious days!
HEY HEY WANNA PLAY? Tell me something good that happened to YOU yesterday — big, small, in or out of the bathroom. I love getting to know you and celebrating your successes, so lay them on me.