After six weeks off work, ten days in the hospital and visits from my father, mother and aunt, I have a diagnosis and a possible willingness to live.
Here’s the thing, my ailments were found to be so peculiar by my doctors that they actually want to write a journal about me. It seems fitting that after three years attempting to cobble together an acting career here in Los Angeles my biggest achievement would be a rare disease that launches me out of obscurity.
So here’s the final assessment. I have a weirdo auto-immune disorder called Ankylosing Spondylitis. Ever heard of it? Obviously not. Literally no one has. Apparently it’s a form of Arthritis. In addition, the governing symptom of A.S. is that my tailbone is fused to my pelvis. Ultimately, I can add Arthritic Woman unable to move her pelvis to my on-line dating profile so that’s great news. Here’s where it gets a little weird, A.S. is predominantly found it men yet here I sit, arguably a woman. In addition, 90% of A.S. patients test positive for a gene called HLA-B27. I tested negative. This wretched A.S. then launched a secondary disorder called H.L.H. which is typically found in babies. BABIES! I’m a God damn enigma. Either that or I’m a baby boy. That would be just my luck.
I was initially thrilled by this diagnosis merely because I finally knew what was wrong with me. It took eight days at Cedars-Sinai before my doctors finally came to this conclusion. Ugh…doctors. Let’s just talk about those clowns for a minute. In my quest to achieve health, I saw a hematologist, an oncologist, an infectious disease doctor, a rheumatologist, and a liver specialist. I was given a M.R.I., a CAT-Scan, a liver biopsy and a bone marrow biopsy. This is all in addition to wretched nurses taking zillions of vials of blood from me a day. Those assholes would wake me up in the middle of the night just to stick needles in me. I hated them. I still hate them. All nurses. Everywhere.
To be fair, I liked most of the doctors, mainly my liver specialist. The good news is he was fucking hot. The bad news is that he was married, had several offspring, and saw me on days where I was yellow and had just peed my pants. Shockingly, our interactions did not end with him leaving his wife. My least favorite doctor was The Twirp. I think this moron was maybe nineteen years old. He claimed to be an infectious disease doctor and he instantly bothered me. For starters, he was a child and I doubted he had anything to offer me. Secondly, he immediately started harassing me about my drug use and sex life and I didn’t know how to explain to him that he was a little late to the party. I had already tested negative for H.I.V. and Hepatitis and the rest of us had moved on to Lymphoma at that point but whatever, I answered his boring questions.
The Twirp: What drugs have you done?
Me: Like in life?
The Twirp: Yes.
Me: All of them.
The Twirp: *Silently Glaring At Me* You just want me to write down all drugs?
Me: I don’t really care what you do, I don’t have AIDS.
The Twirp: Are you sexually active?
Me: Not technically but I’m willing.
The Twirp: I have to go.
So yes I was trying to make him uncomfortable because he was the worst and he needs someone to launch him into adulthood. Anyway, by the time the rest of my doctors and I had moved past Lymphoma and onto an infectious disease, this clown was still in the weeds. He called me on my hospital phone a few hours later.
The Twirp: Um, hi Alison? Ya know I was just thinking and I noticed that some of your symptoms are very similar to something that I was looking into and I just wanted to ask…have you ever done ecstasy?
Me: What? Yes. Obviously.
The Twirp: Oh, ok good so when was the last time you did ecstasy?
Me: I mean…literally ten years ago. Are you trying to suggest that the ecstasy I took in college is responsible for my enlarged liver?
The Twirp: Uh…no, I guess that would be too long.
Me: I would say so. Stop calling me.
So for the last three weeks I’ve been on steroids which means I eat nine meals a day. This dashes all of my dreams of being thin after starving for two weeks. I cannot catch a break. The final crushing blow of this entire ordeal came last week when I had to see the rheumatologist. Guess what the treatment for A.S. is. Oh no big deal I just have to GIVE MYSELF A FUCKING SHOT IN THE STOMACH ONCE EVERY TWO WEEKS. You should have seen this needle. It looks like something you’d insert into yourself if you were ready to end your life. I’ve gotten two shots so far, none of which I’ve done on my own because why the fuck would I subject myself to pain. I have cried each time and the doctor keeps lying to me and telling me how normal this will all feel in a while.
Ultimately, I hate everyone. I guess the good news is that I don’t have Lymphoma, Herpes (no wait, shoot, I do have herpes) Hepatitis (that’s what I meant) or HIV. I do have a bullshit, made-up disorder that is typically reserved for baby boys…which I guess I might be. Now that it's all said and done I'm committed to moving on from this wretched hospital business. Let's all focus back up on alcoholism and move on with our lives.