Ben Morrison blogs with an abundance of humor about Crohn's disease.See all posts »
All in the Family
Comedian Ben Morrison blogs about how he can so easily relate to Crohn's, one of his many health ailments, and the dangers of "unprotected looking."
People often ask me how I relate so easily to Crohn’s and the real answer is that Crohn’s is only one of a number of ailments I relate to.
I have chats with frazzled nerves, listen to a deaf ear that never stops ringing, and take memos from flaking skin all as part of my everyday life. Crohn’s is easily the rudest and most demanding of my conditions, but it’s just another bully I’ve learned to ignore.
It started with my ears.
From as far as I can remember I’ve had major ear problems that continue to this day. I know I had ear infections as a baby and I can only remember a surgery they performed on my left ear because something went wrong. Then there was the bacteria that dissolved my eardrum.
From the age of 7 to about 12 I had no left eardrum and could never be around water without these goofy silicon earplugs I had to get injection-molded twice a year. That mold was cold. Eventually they patched the hole in my eardrum but the hearing didn’t get much better as an intermittent ringing was taking its place. It’s called tinnitus and apparently it runs in my family. I’d tell my dad but he can’t hear me.
Oh yeah and I’m legally blind in my left eye. I can see out of it, but without my bionic contact lens it’s so blurry it’s just there for show.
Apparently, I managed to get herpes in my eye in 4th grade and it left me with this shameful vision. I’ve never heard of someone getting herpes in his eye, which is probably why I’m the guy who would figure out how to do it in 4th grade. I guess I was practicing unprotected looking.
And then there’s the skin thing. Until I found the magic of Aveno ultra-calming moisturizer and zinc shampoo, my face and scalp was an itchy red mess of jettisoning epidermis. Apparently my skin was made to need external calming cause when I neglect to apply these ingredients the redness and flaking start right up again. The itch comes on stronger than a Jersey meathead in a Newark nightclub. Both should be avoided.
So I guess that’s why Crohn’s doesn’t bother me that much.
Like a single mother tasked to helm a halfway house of at-risk youth, my life is a constant negotiation between how I think I’m supposed to feel and the things that constantly remove me from it.
And I’m only human.
Sometimes the gang becomes so annoying that I want to anger them for once. I want to listen to music so loud that the ringing sounds like humming, eat so much food that the Crohn’s suffocates in a sea of seafood, cast-out the contacts and bump into tables for a good long while.
I accepted a long time ago that my body wasn’t wholly mine, and as Crohn’s is only one of the usurpers, it can take a number and wait for it’s turn.
Hopefully there’s a bathroom nearby.