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Showing posts with the label Crohn's Disease

Do You Believe in Miracles? YES!

I have been thinking of that call by a young sports journalist in the 1980 Olympic Games when the United States Men's Hockey Team led by coach Herb Brooks defeated the mighty Soviet Union by the score of 4 to 3. With three seconds left to play an exuberant Al Michaels put to words what the world had just witnessed.

That victory seemed to ignite a sense of hope in America that President Ronald Reagan was able to seize and put an end to the Cold War and the feeling of impending doom we children of the eighties felt hanging over our heads each day.

Recently I have been entrenched in my own feeling of doom. I have chronicled my battle with Crohn's Disease on the blog and the latest chapter will be written this Thursday when I go in for my second ileocolic resection in three years.

So far I have suffered through seven months of sharp pain and withering away. I am now 145 pounds, down from my jolly 200, and find myself singing that catchy Pants on the Ground song made famous on Ame…

Yes Vice President Biden, 'This Is a Big F--king Deal!'

On this day when Health Care Reform was signed into law with two boxes of pens and an unyielding left hand, I received confirmation from my doctor that I have a recurrence of Crohn's Disease at the point of surgery I underwent just over two years ago to remove it. While I am fortunate to have had coverage throughout my life, I shudder to think what may happen if and when I lose it.

To President Obama and the bleeding hearts in Congress, your actions today have done more to preserve freedom for Americans than a thousand wars ever could -- the freedom of the sick to suffer without the added burden of knowing the potential financial liability their illness may have on their loved ones. That's a big fucking deal in my book.

The Ring and the Scar

It's hard to fathom a move from the operating room to the altar in just six short weeks, but it happened and I am grateful to all who assisted beginning with my friends, family and former fiancee for shining their love on me as bright as the Aztec sun.

From a man who could not eat, drink, or walk, to one who twirled his bride and danced around the hall with gin and tonic safely in hand, I commend my lead counsel in the war on Crohn's Disease, Dr. Barry Jaffin, for his patience, sagacity and his showing up at the hospital each morning to check that the right bags were hooked to my arm.

I must thank Dr. Randolph Steinhagen for carving me more delicately than my father does a turkey on Thanksgiving and for bringing the character of Gregory House alive, albeit with more compassion. Kudos to his extraordinary team at Mt. Sinai Medical Center who slept less than I did on the eve of my wedding and to the wonderful nurses for the sights, sounds and smells they endure each day without…

I Lost 26 Pounds in Two Months on the Jenny Crohn's Diet

For those of you who haven't seen me in a while, here is some footage from a recent sales call I made to D.C.:


While it's true I've been competing with my fiancee over who would have the sexiest, trimmest figure on our wedding day, my gray pallor and severe lack of mobility needed to be addressed.

Oh sure, I knew about the mass in my intestines more than a year ago, doc recommended surgery then, even read back his notes: "Patient said he doesn't want surgery." I've been called stoic for enduring the pain and trying not to let it affect my life, but I believe it was cowardice all along. Although the medical fact that this insidious disease might return to the same spot within five years can also be attributed to my reluctance.

Alas, the decision to proceed has been made. It's in God's hands now:

Living With Crohn's Disease

About this time last year I tried to put together an article for Reader's Digest on Crohn's disease, but the editor I was working with eventually turned it down because it wasn't a life-and-death illness. Having lived with it for 18 years, I can tell you it sure feels that way sometimes.

What is Crohn's disease?

It's a chronic, gastrointestinal disorder caused by an overactive immune system that attacks the harmless bacteria in the digestive tract causing inflammation in its deepest layers. It was named after Dr. Burrill Crohn, who with his colleagues, Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer, published a paper about the illness in 1932.

Dr. Crohn's old office is still in use on Manhattan's east side. I was there for an upper G.I. series, drinking some chalky-white barium, when a doctor with a God-awful toupee told me I was on hallowed ground. I tried to imagine how the place might have looked 70 years ago when Dr. Crohn was in his prime, but the tec…