Sometimes, You Have To Go Along For The Ride
It’s Thanksgiving dinner and I feel as if I’m floating above my body. The pain is terrible. I sometimes forget what I’m saying mid-sentence.
I have yet another severe infection.
I get home, half-delirious, and try to write a Medium article. 4 hours of work produces a self-pitying, mawkish diary entry.
I give up at 6 AM. It’s the last time I write for about 2 months.
It takes over a week to find an antibiotic that eradicates the infection. I often can’t sleep due to pain, chills, and restlessness.
I can’t believe it. I’m about to stay with my long-distance girlfriend and her family for a month. I want to make a good impression and enjoy the holidays but I’m sick yet again.
This year has been horrible. I got diagnosed with IC, discovered I have Crohn’s disease, and (as mentioned) got hit with infection after infection.
But when Avery picks me up at the airport, I’m instantly reminded why all those negative things don’t matter.
Avery and I both developed serious health conditions this year. We felt sick and tired for much of the trip. But it was still amazing.
On New Years Day we went to a theme park. Half of the rides are closed, and the ones that are open are short and not functioning properly.
We get on a roller coaster that is so bumpy it actually hurts. We laugh the entire time.
Going to that broken-down theme park was one of the best days of our year. Why? We made the best of what we’d been given.
I spent the entire month of January in really bad shape.
The antibiotics (which are kryptonite for my Crohn’s disease), the infections, and an accidental gluten exposure created inflammation throughout my body.
Things aren’t great in February either (though, I’m a lot better). Both of my ears are infected and inflamed, I’m restless, and my brain is foggy. Yesterday I started having an intense coughing fit and couldn’t breathe. I went to the hospital for an emergency breathing treatment.
But, I feel at peace.
I know that if I accept what I can’t change and keep pushing forward I can still make the most out of this existence — even if things remain rough.
And, sometimes, things change for the better. I like this quote from Breaking Bad, when Hank tells a recently diagnosed Walter White:
“You were dealt a shit hand… But I can’t tell you how many times I started with a shit hand and ended up with a full house.”
This December, I got engaged to the best girl in existence. At that moment it became clear I’d actually had the right cards the entire time.