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So, a lot has happened to me in the last two weeks (last two months? last year? i don’t know).  Sometime last fall, I started having awful chronic abdominal pain, and it was really affecting my schoolwork, sleep patterns, social life, etc.  Finally, after months of blood tests, samples, ultrasounds, MRIs, and a lovely trip to Johns Hopkins new pediatric surgery center (why I am still in peds, I have no idea), I was diagnosed with two conditions, ulcerative colitis and eosinophilic esophagitis. I was pretty lucky to be diagnosed so early; it usually takes about five years to find UC, but research points to a genetic factor and my dad has it, so they knew what to look for.  EE is so rare that I’m lucky they found it at all.  This, in addition to my asthma and the epidermolysis bullosa simplex I got from my mom (I have all the luck, don’t I), makes my life a little bit difficult now.  I  have to take a lot of medicine every day to try to slow the damage to my colon and esophagus so that I won’t need surgery, and I had to start a gluten-free diet because I was slightly intolerant.  Another major consequence of all this was a drastic change in my summer plans.  I had planned to play marimba with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps, but unfortunately when I arrived in San Antonio, I quickly became very dehydrated and anemic.  I had just been diagnosed and was in the middle of a flare-up, and had only been on medication for a few days. I just couldn’t retain any fluids, so the trainer and doctor freaked out and asked the organization to send me home. I’m glad that I at least tried to be there, and I learned a lot about how my body works now (and why to listen to my doctors). I know Crossmen is going to have a great season and I hope I can still be a part of it in some small way.  Hopefully, if I go into remission, I can rejoin them later… more on that in the weeks to come.

For now, I’m back at my parents’ house, taking a spur of the moment summer class, learning to cook gluten-free food, and cycling everyday with my dad.  And practicing (of coursee).  I’m a compulsive goal setter, so soon I’ll have a list of everything I want to accomplish now that I’m not on tour. I realized that I can either be upset about this whole situation, which won’t get me anywhere, or I can not be upset about it.  Why waste the time and energy, right?  Here’s to new, unexpected opportunities.

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