I’ve recently removed myself from society, evidenced by my lack of posts. Two Valentine’s Day’s ago, I was diagnosed with something called Ankylosing Spondylitis. You’ve never heard of it because it’s a bullshit, made-up disease that’s predominantly found in men. After a ten day stint in Cedar’s Sinai, I determined that I am, in fact, a baby boy. For the last year and a half, I’ve been fighting an obscure disease. It doesn’t have a ribbon, no one runs a marathon to support it and unless I use the Google machine, I’m not even entirely certain how to spell it. I am an enigma.
I’m basically terrible at getting diseases. For starters, it would have been nice if I had contracted a disease that anyone had ever heard of. Cancer, HIV, Hepatitis – those seem like palatable and interesting diseases. They’re also life-threatening which adds to their allure. Ankylosing Spondylitis is also known as bamboo spine which means your entire spine eventually just fuses together. It’s not going to kill me, it’s just going to make me less attractive. I suppose the silver lining is that I might get a wheelchair.
Most recently, I’ve had some problems with the treatment of my unreasonable disease. I’m not trying to brag or anything, but it’s incurable. The best I can do is treat it which requires me to give myself a shot. I’ve talked to my doctor about getting some medicine that’s snortable but he seems wholly uninterested and more so horrified.
So for the last three months, I’ve been receiving a shot called Simponi. Obviously, I am unable to do it myself and often enlist strangers to administer this wretched thing. As usual, I ran into some trouble. My last doctor’s appointment went something like this:
Dr: How are you?
Me: This disease is boring.
Dr: You’re very lucky. You should be grateful you don’t have Cancer.
Me: At least they have a marathon.
Dr: How are you feeling?
Me: I sleep 16 hours a day and don’t have enough energy to watch Netflix.
Dr: Right. Well we ran some blood work and I have some bad news.
Me: Oh boy…
Dr: We’ve only seen this happen in about 140 people nationwide. But it seems the shot you’re on has inadvertently given you a second auto-immune disorder.
Me: Is this a joke?
Dr: I’m afraid not.
Me: What’s the auto-immune disorder?
Dr: Well…I don’t want to scare you. But are you familiar with Lupus?
Me: Does it have a ribbon?
Dr: It does actually.
Dr: But you don’t actually have Lupus.
Dr: You should be happy. Lupus is a serious disease.
Me: Does it have an awareness month?
Dr: Once you stop taking the Simponi, the Lupus will go away. We need to start you on a new shot.
Me: Will it accidentally give me another disease?
Me: You’re a terrible doctor.
I mean…I don’t even know what to say. For the last three months my biggest symptom has been “tired.” It’s nearly impossible to illicit sympathy when your biggest ailment is being lazy. The shot makes my hair fall out but it’s not enough to justify a full shave and afro wig. It also gives me bruises all over my legs which only makes me look like a weirdo who wears pants in the summer. It makes my skin break out which has me looking like a pre-pubescent teenager. So ultimately, I look like a thin haired, thirteen-year-old who doesn’t understand when it’s appropriate to wear pants.
Everything’s wrong. I’m terrible at getting diseases. I tried drinking as a kid and wound up with alcoholism. I tried walking around as an adult and was left with Ankylosing Spondylitis. I have a boyfriend now and I’m sure he’s going to try to impregnate me. I can’t imagine that going very well. Luckily, he’s pretty determined to marry me. I suppose I’m lucky to have someone who will push my wheelchair for the rest of my life. Do they let invalids do marathons? I hope so.