Now that I feel mostly well, the times that I don’t mean that I, along with that trusty, timeless text on human anatomy, wikipedia.com, are up until 2am “diagnosing” the autoimmune epistemology of critical conditions like “rash”, “indigestion” or “groggy”.
In the early days of December, I returned to my beloved New York after five weeks traipsing through Madrid, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul. I was delighted to be home. I was overjoyed to almost need a winter coat. I was acutely aware something was amiss.
Seoul does offer a nice view, however
A comprehensive, after-midnight Google investigation gave me the answer I was looking for. At the tenuous age of almost 32, I’d obviously developed lactose intolerance. It obviously stemmed in part from my Grave’s Disease, and in response I would adjust my diet accordingly and start living my best life. Happy new year!
Several days of non-improved misery later, I went to the real doctor – a gastroenterologist with degrees – and he said, “This isn’t your fault. It’s likely a bug you picked up somewhere. Have you been traveling lately?”
What you probably know about this blog is that it documents my experience with Grave’s Disease. What you probably don’t know about this blog is that the idea for it came to me while I was in the bathroom.
A year ago, on sick leave and at my cousin’s house in the suburbs, I was freshly diagnosed and 100% miserable. Kind of like 100% Diesel, but the exact opposite. My cousin was kind enough to let me wallow around in her house for a week and do very little, except sweatily watch movies and drink decaffeinated coffee.
It was on the third day, sometime in between the First Nap Of The Afternoon and Googling the chances of my hair falling out, that I padded into the Torrey household hall bathroom, looked at my hollowed face in the mirror and shouted Eureka!
I would write about this. I would share this story and see if it resonated with anyone else. I would live it, and write it, and it would be the way to make sense of it all. There was something there, something below the sad surface, that knew this was going to be OK. Something that knew, a year later, I’d be back in my cousin’s bathroom, staring into the mirror with full cheeks and a stabilized metabolism. (Who doesn’t dream of such things?)
I was scrolling through old photographs on my phone and arrived to ones taken in June of 2014. It’s my face, but the red rims around the eyes give it away. I see a sick person now, in those photos. I see the watery, staring eyeballs, glazed and huge, and remember what was going on behind them. I doubt a stranger glancing through the pictures would notice the difference. But I do.
Also, I spend a lot of time in my cousin’s bathroom.