At the beginning of the school year, I began to feel a great sickness within me, but I brushed it aside as I had more important things to worry about, such as earning the validation of my disgraced editor, Zade Mullin. But, as my abdominal cramping increased, I started to worry. I turned to WebMD’s nifty Symptom Checker, subsequently learning that I probably have the Black Death or acute canine cancer. After about a month, I left Dr. Boris Tsap’s fifth-period precalculus class and drove to the doctor.
E. Coli was my pediatrician’s final verdict, which was kind of lame. If I’m going to have a bacterial infection, I would rather have it be something more exotic, so that if I survived, it would be a much cooler and much funnier story to tell people.
Due to the fact that I was in much more pain than E. Coli warranted, I ended up in the emergency room. Waiting for the opportunity to discuss my symptoms with an underpaid E.R. nurse, someone next to me began to wheeze.
I turned my head ever so slightly and was shocked to see a suit-clad rabbi convulsing. The yarmulke on his head slid off and landed on the floor next to my foot, and I gasped.
He groaned, “עזור לי ילדה ג’ינג’ר” and that’s when I had had enough. I jumped up, grabbed my mommy’s arm and whispered “we need to leave.” This is not anti-Semitic (I am Jewish), but I am afraid of people with serious medical problems, so we frantically left the E. R.
The next day, my stomach still felt as if it had been hit by a blue shell from Mario Kart, so I hobbled into the gastroenterology department of UCLA Medical Center. The gastroenterologist said to me, “You might have Crohn’s disease, so we’re going to scope you.”
“We’re also going to hospitalize you, because you’re in pretty bad condition, OK?” This was NOT OK because I needed to be back at school doing Millenniums in Mr. Burr’s class, but I said OK because I had no energy and I don’t really care about the feudal system in Europe anyway.
We drove across the street to the Pediatric Ward of the UCLA Medical Center. My nurses were named Anna and Elsa, which I thought was pretty cool, although my mother did not understand that reference.
Contrary to popular belief, the hospital is very fun. I named my IV pole Dave, and I must say, he was a very attractive man. Tall, dark, and obedient, he was everything that I look for in a marital partner. In fact, when I was introduced to Dave, I felt more hydrated than ever before.
My nurses were so nice even though a lot of needles were involved. FYI, I am not scared of needles. My mommy didn’t raise a coward, she raised a Crohn’s disease victim.
Crohn’s disease cannot be cured. However, there is hope, and if you ever get Crohn’s disease you may be so lucky as to have access to medications that slow its progression! I was prescribed Humira and honestly, I haven’t used it yet because the version they sent me was defective. Crohn’s disease acts like wildfire season in California — sometimes it is very bad and sometimes it is not that bad but still pretty bad.
Every single moment of my pain and suffering became worthwhile when I was in CVS with my good friend Maya Jeck Millner on November 18, 2019. I was in the checkout line, buying a family-size bag of Chex Mix and a slightly smaller bag of Welch’s Fruit Snacks.
“You kids, coming to CVS to buy candy,” the senior citizen behind us scoffed. “I don’t know how you stay thin!”
The answer is, indubitably, Crohn’s disease.