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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It's Not An Excuse – Short Story

One pill destroys the pain. Just one to pop, and then it’s gone. It’s true what they say: it can all go away with the pop of a pill.

Everyone asked me to describe the torture. They asked me to describe it on a scale of one to ten. They told me they couldn’t help me unless I told them what I was feeling. So I told them I was feeling pain. What would a one mean? A tack in the sole of my foot? What about a ten? An anvil landing on my ribs? Yeah, definitely a ten.

It’s impossible to describe the pain that resonated throughout my silicone organs, so gentle and incapable of fighting the outside world.

How would they know if I was telling the truth anyway? If I told them my rating of my torture, that is. How can someone rate their pain anyway? Is it possible? Is it accurate? My rating could mean something entirely different than theirs. So what does a rating truly matter?

My perception is different than yours. That’s a fact. There are millions of sides of the topic, but no matter which point of view you take, this fact is true.

My experiences are mine and you can only merely observe what I go through – but even observations don’t give you the privilege to judge my adventures. You can’t claim I’m a goody-two-shows, a risk-taker, a neurotic mess, or a mentally deranged person just from a mere observation.

The five year monster that I’ve been fighting for a large portion of my life has come back to haunt me – but a mere pop of a pill seems to destroy the monster from within.

They suggested it awhile ago, but the side-effects were simply too obvious to the masked eye. I couldn’t do that to myself: not with Prom right around the corner. The last thing I wanted was for my face to resemble that of a blow fish; I decided to endure the pain.

Five years isn’t very long when comparing to a lifespan of one-hundred-ten, but a lot can happen within that small chunk of time. It all seems like a dream to me though. I guess it was, being as how I was asleep for the majority of it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was real. The pain was real. The memories were real. And the monster survived.

My mother remembers it vividly. She wasn’t asleep at the time. She has memories of my structure and my pain; she witnessed everything she could except for the physical characteristics she couldn’t have felt had she wanted to – a want that would clearly classify a person crazy. I would never wish my pain or experiences on any other soul – not even for an understanding. Not even for a moment of time in the spectrum of life. Many people often claim that they wish they knew what I was going through, but not one of them could have truly ever meant such a statement. The truth behind an assertion as strong as this would be far more than they could ever bargain for.

I know there are far worse things in life. I know there’s hunger and animal abuse and oppression and poverty and genocide, but all of these can’t mask the pain I feel within. It can’t mask the tearing and shredding that my intestines are experiencing. Children in third world countries are dying from world hunger and poverty, but I’m dying because my system wants to believe it should.

Bacteria is meant to be rejected by the immune system, right? But food isn’t supposed to be considered a bacteria, so why does my system reject it? Why does it reject the nutrients and refuse my body its right to work properly?

My speech may seem vague and utterly metaphorical for a topic of such drastic measures, but that is due to the experiences I have encountered and the complete fact that none of them are truthfully explainable. I could spend days upon days explaining each horrific and horrendous day that I’ve encountered with my disease, but even after all of my descriptions, you’d still ask the most basic question: “How do you get nutrients?”

They don’t seem to understand. They don’t seem to realize that I don’t get nutrients. I don’t get food. I don’t ingest anything and I can’t digest anything. Depression ensues and all I can manage to do is fade away into oblivion and sleep my days and nights away while having medication after medication shoved down my throat.

Six years ago I had never experienced real pain. I had broken bones, sprained limbs, fallen down stairs, hit my head, dented walls, and kicked metal, but I had never experienced pain before the monster came to the surface within me just five years ago.

I couldn’t walk without stumbling; I couldn’t sit up straight without falling over; I couldn’t watch television without falling asleep; I couldn’t live my life without being a ghost that was hanging on by a thread.

Doctors claim that no one has ever died from this disease, but I don’t believe them. Another month or two and I wouldn’t be here writing this bland story about the knife that cut up my insides and left me to heal in a way no human being can without some form of aid – aid that “they” weren’t able to provide me with. Another month of two of being forced to starve and losing all forms of mass on my bones would have caused me to whither away into nothing more than a barely-breathing corpse ready for her coffin.

I have pictures to prove it, but even those cause doubts amongst the listeners. No one believes that I went through such pain at an age as young as twelve – even when many people experience pain even younger. They told me I was using it as an excuse. They told people that I was making it up. My “friends” disappointed me and walked away from me when I could have used a shoulder for support.

My body was bones. My stomach was a deflated whoopee cushion that had millions of punctured holes in it and would require help to be reflated. My intestines were shredded, and my life was no different than death.

My doctors eventually realized what was wrong, and they began helping me. The single pop of a microscopic pill and I had started to feel better. I was in remission. I was being healed. But this was five years ago.

Five years ago, I survived. Five years ago, I was able to live to tell the tale. Five years ago, I pushed the monster under my bed and gave it a good kicking until it was welded into the filthy carpeting. But that was five years ago.

It’s now 2011 and I’m now seventeen years old and the monster has returned. My intestines are deteriorating, sleep overwhelms me, and I strongly disagree when people tell me that no one has died from this disease.

I have Crohn’s Disease. It is incurable, I will have it for life, and my doctors are limited in what they can do for me. I have Crohn’s Disease: it’s not an excuse or a story for a passing grade. It’s my life and often my death. I have Crohn’s Disease, and that’s why I can’t rank my pain. I have Crohn’s Disease, and no one knows how I feel, because everyone perceives pain differently. I have Crohn’s Disease, and the only thing that can help me is the magical, microscopic pill that inflates my face.

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