By Karina Vasudeva
So, I recently was diagnosed with Crohn’s, and now I have to write this piece about “persevering,” despite the fact that I’m simply existing. For those of you who don’t know, Crohn’s is like prolonged food poisoning, and for intellectuals, it is known as the “poo poo disease.” I could make a lot of other puns, but I’m sure it would be a pain in the butt to read.
Before you get diagnosed with the disease, you have to have a colonoscopy and endoscopy, which is nothing short of a glorified DIY horror film that costs over a thousand dollars to produce. While y’all were partying on New Year’s Eve, I was beginning my short-lived film career. All I hope is that my audition tape doesn’t leak.
After my diagnosis, I researched the disease and learned that it was named in 1932 after Burrill Bernard Crohn. Crohn seems like a really smart guy, but I just cannot fathom what would cause someone to voluntarily want their name literally dragged through poop. I wonder whether his colleagues were fighting over being named after the poo poo disease or simply telling him “You can take this one, chief.”
In my research, I also found out that Crohn’s is triggered by stress. Stress!? Why would this disease worsen in the middle of my senior year? Even while struggling in the ER, I was submitting ten college applications. Odd timing, it seems? And while I was sitting in the hospital bed, analyzing myself for the sake of college supplement questions, I had the urge to tell colleges to just ask my doctors. There are at least ten people in Children’s Hospital who have seen more of me than I have or ever want to. And the worst irony of this situation is that over the summer at the College Essay Workshop, I wrote a college essay about how the bathroom was my sanctuary and let me just say ...that has changed quite a bit.
In all seriousness, I have faith that this disease is a blessing in disguise. If anything, I think Crohn’s has solidified my identity. I've always been called an overachiever and it seems like my digestive system is no different. Where an average person goes to the bathroom once a day, my system said let's make that 12! This disease is nothing that some Poo-Pourri, flushable baby wet wipes, and an unabashed girl can’t handle. I’m stronger than the disease, and not just because of the steroids they gave me.