I’m redefining the term “diaversary” originally limited to those who have been diagnosed with diabetes and expanding upon it’s definition to include all of those living with a chronic illness. And as most of you know (because let’s face it, no one else reads my blog), I’ve been living with Crohn’s disease for four years since this past November (I know this post is a little late, sorry). I was initially diagnosed after a slew of tests, awkward questions, and even more awkward procedures during the fall of my senior year of high school. Long story short, after I was diagnosed and treated, the medications gave me horrendous side effects and worsened my already disastrous symptoms. All in all, it sucked. Cringing pain that felt like shards of glass moving through my system and the subsequent weight loss that followed forced me to leave the crew team after three years. Finally, I was able to achieve remission, but was again haunted a year later by a year-and-a-half long of remission-relapse cycles. Fortunately I have been in remission for just over a year now thanks to a little (and crazy-expensive) medication called Remicade.
The only thing us Crohnies can do is face the reality of the matter head-on. We aspire to continue doing the things we love regardless if it’s a little hard or takes us a little longer. While I am constantly aware of the monster lurking inside me, I am more apt to enjoy and cherish the time I have while in remission. Every diaversary is more of a badge of honor, earned and respected, and fortunately I am able to celebrate my fourth year as a Crohnie (relatively) healthy and in remission.
Yeah, so… I haven’t posted in like six months but you know, whatever. No big deal, right? Right.
Let’s see. Oh, yeah, and I moved to a new place this past summer with WW and JG, so that’s cool. It’s a pretty sweet place, great landlord, and it’s indescribably fantastic to be out of my last apartment (but let’s not go there). The summer was good and relatively relaxing. I completed a rotation in an awesome neuroscience lab and like the direction the where the lab (and field) is going, so I’m definitely considering asking to join for my PhD thesis research. Although I am keeping an open mind and may explore an immunology lab this summer.
Second year of school is off to a good start, passing all my exams (including micro, thank God), living life, all of that. Coming up after the two weeks of winter break it’s going to start getting more and more intense as I take Step 1 of the USMLE June or July of next year. But for now I’m going to enjoy the holiday, keep on track with school work and reading, and relax. I definitely don’t need a stress-induced relapse of my Crohn’s this year. Oh, yeah, and I just had my 4-year diaversary this past November, but I’ll post about all that Crohn’s stuff later.
Anyway, just wanted to touch base, make a post, and get back into the swing of things blog-wise.
I try not to write about Crohn’s too much on here, but recently it’s been impacting my everyday life. Currently I’m on two medications for it, both of which function as immunosuppressants. So basically now I have an immune system so weak that I (apparently) develop such infections like shingles. That’s right, shingles. I know what you’re thinking. You questioning yourself, “Is it 1930 or something?” No, it’s not. My immune system is apparently so weak that a latent infection from chicken pox (shingles is caused by the same virus) has taken charge and made some moves to take over. Let me tell you, shingles is no fun. At first I was mildly excited to play doctor and correctly diagnose myself, but now I’m not excited at all. My skin is blistering and let me tell you, it hurts. So all I can do is tough it out, take whatever meds I was given for it, and ride it out. Hopefully it should all be over in a week or so.
Well, that about sums it up. We just finished up our first year of med school, so I guess that makes us MS-IIs. It’s nuts to think that we’re already done with an entire year of school already. As cliche as it sounds, time really does fly when you’re busy as all hell trying to sip from the firehouse of information that’s constantly being splashed in your face.
But soon enough (probably next week) I’ll be starting my summer lab rotation in neuroscience, working on a project studying stroke. I’m looking forward to a (slightly) less intense change of pace for the summer and getting back into the lab pipetting things and playing scientist. And hopefully I will get in some good trips home and to Boston, spending time with my family and friends.
So farewell Patterson auditorium. See you in six to seven years when I match for residency.
So close, yet so far. We have one set of exams left and you can tell that pretty much everyone is burnt out. Wispy white clouds pierce the rich blue sky and reflect the rays of the warm sun into the library, tempting us to call an end to our studies and enjoy the outdoors.
Yet we have to confine ourselves to books and computers and multiple cups of coffee. This is it. We have to stay focused and get through this last bit. But to all my fellow classmates, just think: soon enough we will be MS2s.
Okay on second thought maybe don’t think about that just yet.
Ah, summer. That glorious time of year when everyone sheds their coats and shoes to dawn t-shirts and flip flops. That time of year when you can drive with the windows rolled down all hours of the day. That time of year when you can sit out on the dock and simultaneously soak in a drink with the sunset.
Summer. That time of year when dogs jump in the water to cool off (even if it’s unexpected and you need to jump in to guide them back to land).
That time of year when you’re stuck inside doing work, looking out the window, longing to feel the heat of the sun on your skin. That time of year when you sneak out of work or class just a wee-bit early to do something purely to appreciate the day.
It’s summer, so take the time to take it in. Even if that means being a little lazier.
Just a little though.