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28 Oct

There is a time, I will admit, when I thought a touch of illness would be *just the thing* to launch my motivational speaking career. Nothing lasting, mind you. Just something that would allow me to grab the microphone and tell an inspirational story of triumph that would make folks’ eyes well up.

(Disclosure: I’m not exactly sure what disease I thought would fit that bill – I always kind of fuzzed over that part. I just remember looking at people and shaking my head, thinking, “Should’ve been me. I could *totally* turn that into a lecture circuit before I was healed.)

Well so, the lesson here is: Careful what you ask for. Apparently I sent out some sort of subconscious plea to the universe, and it was answered – by a universe that has an ironic sense of humor. Tuesday’s colonoscopy resulted in a diagnosis of Crohn’s.

If you’re not familiar with Crohn’s, let me start by telling you: It is probably the LEAST sexiest disease ever. If you want proof, try googling, “Celebrities with Crohn’s.” You’ll find exactly 11 people willing to admit they have it, and you won’t know who ten of them are.

The one you *might* recognize is Shannen Doherty of 90210 fame, and you’ll be like, “Wow. So this disease totally f*cks with your eyes so they’re on two different planes?”

But no: that’s just the result of her scowling so much because she had to dress like she was from Minnesota for an entire season. But that’s a different story. Ask Doherty about Crohn’s and she’ll only say, “I don’t think it’s sexy to talk about going to the bathroom.”

Oh Shannen, you are so coy.

She may be coy, but I’m not. So I’m going to talk about it briefly so you know what’s going on. And then I’m going to move on and get back to pithiness as usual. Consider this quick back story in case you notice more bathroom humor than usual. Or if an increasing number of my stories end with, “And then I shat myself. Literally.”

My understanding (cobbled together over the last few days) is that it’s an autoimmune disease, in which my immune system attacks my intestines. Sure, diarrhea is one of the outcomes, but (while inconvenient and potentially embarrassing) that’s not necessarily the worst part.

Granted, I’m new to the game, but thus far, it has felt like the flu (shivers, fever, aching bones, splitting headache) combined with some crazy-ass serial killer repeatedly stabbing my side. I tend to have a pretty high pain tolerance, but Thursday night it was so intense I found myself negotiating with Sweet Baby Jesus.

And we *ALL* know it’s silly to try to negotiate with a baby.

I’m currently on a course of nine pills/day (potentially forever, if they work – which would be the best case scenario) to help relieve the inflammation with the hope that it will prevent scar tissue from forming in my intestines. Scar tissue is bad because then I’d need to have surgery to remove part of my intestines/colon. Um, no thanks. Pretty sure that would put a damper on the inspirational speaking tour. 

In (barely) related news, I received a handwritten thank you note from the surgery clinic after my scope on Tuesday. Take a minute and think about that. 

Any other procedure and I’d appreciate it. But after you’ve been feet-deep up my ass, I’m thinking a thank you is, um, CREEPY.

One friend asked if the note included a keepsake action photo like they take on roller coasters. Kind of, I wanted to tell him. Except, instead of asking me to say cheese, apparently they told me to pucker up.

A different kind of log ride.

Finally, while I’m getting all of this out of my system (so to speak), I’ll leave you with the text I received from my friend Dan, the night before my colonoscopy: