“How are you?” Response: Silence and the sound of crickets.
When I feel fantastic, I will answer as such. But when I find myself in my monthly blockages and feel like my guts are being put through a blender, I’d rather find a different way to respond. I answer with the usual “fine”, but was recently caught in the middle of health lie when a friend responded, “But aren’t you sick?”
To begin with, it made me laugh. I’ve never had anyone ever ask me that. Second of all, I wasn’t sure if it was a general comment - i.e. “You have Crohn’s so therefore you must be sick all the time” - or if he knew that I wasn’t feeling great right this instant. Either way, I answered with a casual ‘Oh yes I am, but I’m getting through it.’
It both amazes and appalls me how my body functions. For the vast majority of every month since my surgery 11 months ago, I feel really amazing and can do anything I want to, including my now daily half an hour run. I have energy, I have physical strength, it’s unbelievable. But my monthly blockages from adhesions plague me, as they do few people with such regularity, and I find myself tangled in my quilt covers once a month both dazed and confused. This time I’ve refused to trudge back to the ER in great fear that I will wait impatiently for hours just to have my ideas rebuffed and be sent home without help. So here’s to riding it out at home: a stupid idea, but the only one I will stubbornly settle for at the moment.
I will be just fine in a few days, and as I pound the pavement in a future run, this recent blip will be a moment of the past. But for right now it’s painful and frustrating and confusing and driving me crazy. But I will survive, it will get better; I just have to hold on and ride it out.