Back in my early twenties, I started experiencing frequent episodes of food poisoning-like symptoms. This was particularly frustrating at an age when food poisoning
was the standard excuse among peers at work for super fucking hungover
. But my sporadic illness was the real deal, miserable and inconvenient. I’ll never forget a mortifying spell in the midst of setting up for a corporate trade show in Chicago. I spent the day directing five burly union workers on our floorplan while intermittently racing to the bathroom. By the time we were done, I was curled up in the fetal position on the floor of our assembled booth. This mysterious ailment continued for years, yet I mostly avoided dealing with it. One general practitioner suggested acid-reflux; another prescribed antibiotics for an ulcer. It wasn’t until I crawled into an emergency room at age 28 when a persistent doctor suggested further testing and the mystery was solved: I have Crohn’s Disease
, a chronic autoimmune condition of the digestive tract. For some, symptoms are mild and manageable with diet. Others struggle with intestinal damage requiring outrageously expensive medication or surgical intervention. Over the last ten years, my disease has progressed towards the latter, though I’ve been fortunate to form a very intimate
relationship with my gastroenterologist to manage it as smoothly as possible. If my calculations are correct, next Monday will mark my 10th colonoscopy before the age of 40. #livingthedream 🙌 Oddly enough, I’ve always considered myself a healthy person, even when I was in my worst physical state. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that we often take our good health for granted. I didn’t realize how much my body was suffering until I started taking appropriate steps to preserve it.