Sunshine Blues

I love the summer. Love, love, love it. I love the warm evenings, and I even love the scorching hot days. I love having it light until after 9:00. But I always get a little sad the last week of June, because the solstice is over and the days are starting to get shorter again. It's irrational, because it takes a while before it's noticeable, but I do mourn the peak of summer slipping away.

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Attaboy, Brain!

I like to drink water at work. But our dispenser needs to be cleaned, and the water coming out tastes horrible. And because I’m used to the filtered stuff, tap water tastes like chlorinated pool water to me now. But last night I had a dream that I took a bottle that I have in my desk drawer and filled it at home from our filtered fridge water, bringing it in every day. Yay, brain!

Revenge of the Pathogen

All right, this is hilarious. I wasn’t sure whether to add this to the last post or what, but I think it’s funny enough for its own. Here I have been mentally preparing myself for weeks of illness, sitting around all “Woe is me.” Then once I got healthy I would have to take weeks to slowly regain any semblance of fitness so I could start running again.

Then this morning I get a call from the doctor’s office, informing me that I in fact have salmonella poisoning. It wasn’t the crohn’s. It was never the crohn’s. It was freaking bacteria. I either screwed up cooking some meat or eggs, or someplace I ate made me sick. A few days before I got sick, I went out to this little burger place with a friend at work, and he also got sick last week, which we assumed was unrelated. But now he’s waiting for test results from the doctor, and we’ll see what they have to say.

Is this the first time anyone has ever been happy to hear they have a thriving colony of malicious bacteria in their gut?

Ooooooooh, I'm Gonna Eat and Eat and Eat and Eat and Eat until I Die

Thoughts going through my mind as I prepared to write this:

  • I can literally eat anything I want and still lose weight. Some people would kill for that ability. Can that be a superpower?

  • Six weeks ago I could run for more than three hours. Now, if I stand for more than five minutes I get light-headed. That’s pretty humbling.

  • Whoa, that’s a little bit dramatic. It’s not like I’m dying. Then again, if I lived a hundred years ago, I would be.

  • (I actually posted this on Facebook) I feel like I swallowed a tiny karate class, and they've been pummeling my insides for the last two days.

Well, it appears that the moment I have dreaded for the past six years has finally come. The infamous Crohn’s disease has apparently decided to rear its ugly head again in my life. I know I’m far luckier than most people who have had to deal with it, since I went so long with no symptoms. For the first couple years I was worried if I ever had even the tiniest pain in the gut, but then I took my recovery for granted. I started running after I recovered, and I thought that might have been helping to keep me healthy. I thought that maybe I wouldn’t ever get sick again (from this, I mean—duh).

The first time I got sick was early in 2006. I was in my last semester at school, working two jobs, and Sam was just a few months old. In the midst of trying to get things wrapped up for graduation, I was trying to figure out how to be a dad, and find a grownup job out in the real world. I first went to the BYU health center, by which point I weighed 118 lbs (though to be fair, I only weighed 130 to begin with at the time). The first doctor made a preliminary diagnosis of celiac disease (but being a bit of a pretentious prick, he called it “gluten-sensitive enteropathy, or non-tropical sprue”). He referred me to another doc for further testing. Doctors’ schedules being what they are, it took almost two months and a couple more doctors to nail down a diagnosis and begin treatment. In the meantime, I was very blessed. I finished school, found a job, and made preparations for us to move up to Salt Lake. I got better within a couple months, and things were good.

Then a couple months ago I started feeling some minor symptoms again, while I was training for the marathon. I hadn’t been taking my maintenance medicine very well (after all, I had never been sick again, and it’s hard to spend over $100 a month on something you can’t be absolutely sure is necessary). I started taking it again, but I messed up my knee and missed the race anyway. Then, just as I was getting back into the running and started thinking about a possible September marathon instead, this hit me suddenly last weekend. We’re still waiting for some test results to be sure, but I’m pretty sure it’s my old arch-nemesis come back. I imagine this is a similar (but a million times less intense) feeling to what cancer survivors feel. Again: I am not claiming I understand what it is like to have cancer. But it is a feeling of having a disease stalking you that could strike again at any time. Then again, that’s really possible for all of us, isn’t it? At least my monster has a face.

*Bonus point if you recognize the quote in the title.

Fat Fat Fat Fat Fat Fat Fat Fat

Okay, let’s talk about how we’re all tremendously fat and unhealthy. Everyone wants a magic diet pill to lose weight. But there are multiple ways to attack the problem. Losing weight is just what you’d need to do after the damage was done. What about making healthy foods taste better? I’d love to eat mostly vegetables, but I’m no good at cooking them, and they will never be as delicious as a steak with a milkshake chaser. So why can’t science make broccoli taste like chocolate? Science, get on that. Or we could go one step further and modify our brains to like healthy food, instead of just sweet, sweet, sugar. That would be even more efficient. I’m sure if we took some of the billions of dollars spent on treating obesity and related health problems and put it toward a little brain tinkering, we could figure something out. Scientists, suck in that gut so you can reach the test tubes!

Tinker with Your Ticker

Last night I dreamed that some doctor told me I needed heart surgery. But I couldn't get anybody to tell me specifically what was wrong. I was very upset.