Well, don’t I feel silly.
The good news is, after four hours of drinking baking-soda-and-snot-flavored Crystal Light, eight hours in gastro-intestinal misery, at least one kitchen breakdown, and over $600 in uninsured costs, my doctor determined that I do not, in fact, have any sign of Crohn’s Disease.
And yes, that is good news. But all that other stuff that came before it? Well, they’re sort of killing the buzz of not having a chronic illness. Also diminishing the delight is that there is still no official answer at all regarding what in blazes was/is wrong with me in the first place. All the progressive testing - bloodwork, ultrasound, CAT scan, colonoscopy – got me right back in the exact same place I started. I can accept that the first problems I had may have just been a virus, or even an unusually dramatic flare-up of the IBS I self-diagnosed at the age of 12. But what about the lump? There was a lump. Let’s not talk too much about where, but suffice to say, it was a real pain in the butt. And it was there. Unequivocally. And it hurt. Badly. And yet, that x-ray they took of my entire torso showed no sign of it, and the tiny camera rooting around my guts didn’t catch sight of it, so I couldn’t even get official confirmation of what seemed to be my one observable, undeniable symptom.
So now, instead of relieved, I just feel embarrassed and a little crazy. It shames me to have spent so much time and energy and money and worry and sympathy on something that remains completely intangible, and therefore could just as easily be a figment of my powerful psychosomatic imagination. Who’s to say? I’m also just plain angry, a feeling stoked when my doctor answered the question, “What did they see on the CAT scan that made them think it was Crohn’s?” with a very dismissive, “Well, how about … they read the film wrong?”
I’m lucky. I know that I am. It is good news. But it’s going to take me a little more time to get the bitter taste of Tri-Lyte and $500 deductibles out of my mouth. And I have a feeling I’ll never use baking soda toothpaste again.