This might be when you decide to unsubscribe.

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:


21 Responses to “This might be when you decide to unsubscribe.”

  1. skippingstones October 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    Well that sucks. Not the post, the diagnosis.

    • pithypants October 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

      Admittedly, though, the post wasn’t the best either! That’s what happens when a hurricane is threatening your power… It’s like: publish, don’t edit!, you moron! 😀

  2. twocentsplus October 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    i am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis–you are a bad*ss though so you’ll be able to handle it! as humourous as you are i feel for you. it runs in my family…so far i’ve skipped it and crossing my fingers it keeps at bay…as far as sexy diseases go…i might have the second one…endo..we don’t want to talk about that either…it involves lady parts!! just wrote about it last week…so i hear you. best news…at least you know what you have an now you can start to kick it….(i won’t say anymore–too trite). take care of yourself!

    • pithypants October 28, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

      Oh, I’m a badass, all right. Turns out I also have one.

      I hope it continues to skip you – especially since you already have one “fun” thing to deal with… I’d say that’s more than fair. Btw… Good for you for posting about it – I think it’s one thing to have something that sucks, and another to feel like it’s taboo to talk about it. I like that you’re not “blurring your blog” but finding the right place/space to write about it. Good luck!

  3. Kimberly Pugliano (@GisSilent) October 28, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    Awesome post actually and I’m sorry for the diagnosis. I have so many stomach issues I’m convinced I have a kink in my intestine and one day (like my mom) I’ll be having parts removed. To continue talking about me, when I had my colonoscopy they used propofol so it’s easier to wake up and when the anesthesiologist came in to tell me everything was a-okay I told him, “I love you.” Ten seconds later my eyes shot open and I asked the nurse to confirm what I said. Yup.

    My BFF had a scope last week and they didn’t put her out all the way but they didn’t realize it until she saw internal hemorrhoids on the screen and yelled, “What the hell are those?”

    See pithy, you aren’t alone in your plight. We can all go on tour together.

    • pithypants October 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

      Kinky intestines – that’s a new one! I had the same sedative – the one MJ used. Talk about glorious sleep!

      During my first scope, I, too, sat up and said, “Am I supposed to be awake?” and they conked me out. Turns out, that’s super common. One of Alan’s friends (who is an anesthesiologist) said, “Totally normal. The problem is only if you feel the pain.” Um. Not reassuring.

      Also? Maybe the tour is more comedy and less inspiration? We’ve got a full line-up.

  4. breezyk October 29, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    So sorry about your diagnosis- but I’m glad you can laugh about it. And you’ve gotta admit, an action shot would have been pretty funny…

    • pithypants October 29, 2012 at 8:23 am #

      Well, I *did* put make-up on that morning, so at least I would’ve been photo-ready!

  5. The Byronic Man October 29, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    I’m sorry to hear that – also about thank you note. That is strangely disturbing. What, specifically, were they thanking you for?

    • pithypants October 29, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      A good time, I suppose? Did your wife NOT receive a thank you from the hospital after birthing the Byronic Baby?

  6. thesinglecell October 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Ohh, poo! I know a couple of people with Crohn’s. I hope you get a plan “solidified” soon. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been suffering so much – you’re too kick-ass a person to have a bad ass.

    • pithypants October 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      See what happens when you leave me to my own devices for a few weeks? I find an attention-seeking illness to lure you back to the comments.

      • thesinglecell October 31, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

        Whoa, now. It has not been a few weeks. Has it? Hmm.

  7. dianeskitchentable October 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    Well that certainly sux. Similar situation with lymphocytic colitis that had me housebound for 4 years and down to 90 lbs. If you get to that point be prepared with comments for overweight friends who have humorous & encouraging words for you like: “oh I wish I had your problem” or “you can have some of my fat”. Ahhahaha, what a riot. Good luck to you with this & hope the medication prevents any surgeries.
    And hopefully Sandy spared you more aggravation – we lucked out just outside of Boston.

    • pithypants October 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

      Thanks! And glad you weathered “Sandy” all right – we did as well in DC. I feel for the folks in NJ and NY though – seems like they’ve had a rough go of it!

  8. Squirrel Circus October 31, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    What a royal BUMMER. Had a friend in college with Crohn’s and have “some” sense of what a painful disease it is. Keep smiling….and consider a super-duper upgrade to your bathroom – perhaps a big screen TV, fridge, etc. Just saying. Treat yourself!

    • Squirrel Circus October 31, 2012 at 9:01 am #

      P.S. That is one of my FAVORITE Chris Farley sketches…so much so, in fact, that I may find it on YouTube today and have my kids watch it. Yes…I’m that kind of mom…

      • pithypants October 31, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

        The best quote from a Chris Farley sketch:

        Bennet Brauer here with another commentary. Didn’t think the suits would have me back perhaps. Thought they’d have my dairy-air replaced by one of tem store mannequin well maybe I’m not “the norm”. I’m not “camera friendly”, I don’t “wear clothes that fit me”, I’m not a “heartbreaker”, I haven’t had “sex with a woman”, I don’t know “how that works”, I don’t “fall in line”, I’m not “hygienic”, I don’t “wipe properly”, I lack “style”, I don’t have “self-esteem”, I have no “charisma”, I don’t “own a toothbrush”, I don’t “let my scabs heal”, I can’t “reach all the parts of my body”, when I sleep I sweat profusely. But I guess the powers that be will keep signing my pay check until Jack and Jane K. Viewer start to go for the remote so they can get back to commentators who don’t “frighten children”, who don’t “eat their own dandruff”, who don’t “pop their whiteheads with a compass they used in high school.”

      • Squirrel Circus October 31, 2012 at 3:35 pm #


  9. Mishaweha October 31, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. 😦 My cousin has Crohn’s as well, so I’m aware that it pretty much sucks. I hope your treatment goes well and that the medicine helps!

  10. Alicia November 5, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Dude, I love the mix of empathy and bad puns here. I was going to say if this made your blog host’s “best of” page, it could give a whole new meaning to Fresh Pressed!

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