Doctors and nurses ran frantically into and out of the small room I found myself in. I had never seen such organized chaos from my place in the hospital bed. Little did I know it then, but I had just traveled the longest, most expensive 50 miles, by ambulance to the nearest hospital. In weeks I had not felt the emotion you and me, we all have at some point in time likely taken for granted, known as joy. We’ll come back to that sensation and others, both authentically human and artificially or chemically induced, in greater detail later.
In weeks I had not been hungry, had not eaten anything that felt like it wasn’t fighting to out of me. I was miserable. I hadn’t held a baseball or wore a pair of cleats in as much time, though that time was starting to feel like much, much longer.
The doctor came into the room, finally. He decidedly sighed, looking over what I could only assume had to be my chart. After a quick but thorough examination, he stepped back and folded his arms. He then knowingly looked over to me, into my eyes, then as if without a shadow of a doubt said to my worried parents, “Crohn’s disease.”
As he continued talking, my mind raced off far away; immediately I knew one thing- I had never heard of anything that sounded so unpleasant, so uncool. After a few seconds, I came back into my body. “…but we’ll get him started on some steroids to control the inflammation and get you some medicine for the pain.”
He grinned, “You’re going to be feeling better soon”, he said, “but we want to be sure that you don’t have anything to eat or drink for maybe a day or two.” He went on further, but my ears told my brain it had heard enough. Provided the fact that I had tubes up my nose that had the necessary task of pumping bile from my diseased gut so that I could stop incessantly vomiting, I thought how he could joke at a time like this? Who is this guy, what is this, his job? Telling strangers who had nearly choked on their stomach as it tried to turn itself inside out, that he would fix them, while he starved them?”