Ben Morrison blogs with an abundance of humor about Crohn's disease.See all posts »
Commander Bowel: A Hero Rises
Maxwell returns in his battle against The Crohn. As he undergoes tests, he wonders why Commander Bowel has not come to his rescue.
The last couple of months had not been easy for Maxwell.
A seemingly never-ending series of doctors and tests had left him with more memories he would like to forget than answers he could use.
After the near-miss at school, he had run home and told his mother in no uncertain terms that crapping on the living room floor wasn't his fault. He said while intergalactic superhero Commander Bowel was looking out for him, the evil Crohn was upon him. Medical attention was needed.
Unsurprisingly, his parents dismissed his supernatural friends but his mother made an appointment with a doctor the next day. She had to get her nails done. Her nails were done next to the doctor.
And the tests began. Maxwell was never a particularly good student, but being in the hospital was even worse as not only did he feel awful, he kept failing all the tests his doctors was giving him. Used to waking up to huddles of sneering doctors, he thought he'd gladly trade the pain in the left side of his stomach for dedicating his life to academics. Nothing was coming out as solid as it had entered and Maxwell was beginning to worry.
"What the heck happened to me?" he said to himself, a gentle nurse taking blood from his arm for the umpteenth time. "I just want to be in my bed shaped like a race car and sleep for a long, long time. I probably wouldn't mind being a good student."
And where was Commander Bowel? Around every turn and corner of the hospitals he was being wheeled through he'd see The Crohn. Nurses, patients, and young relatives bowing over hospital beds would morph into the same foggy smile and villainous stabbing nose he had seen so many times before. It was unfair he thought, shifting on his left side to allow easier probing, why would Commander Bowel show his face during math class and not in hospital when he really needed him? This was not getting easier.
After a while Maxwell became so used to humorously invasive tests that every time he'd see a white coat he drop his pants and assume a position ready to be probed. This plan backfired when he showed his bottom to a dentist wearing a white coat, "force of habit" being the only thing he could offer in the way of an explanation. But he was getting closer to an explanation.
"You have Crohn's disease", the doctor said, slowly backing away from
the X-ray he had failed to turn on after a small bowel series. "It's a disease of the intestinal tract. There's no cure and we don't know what causes it."
Maxwell's parents were in the room with him, rubbing his back and taking in the news as one does a hurricane in their home town.
"He's kinda causal about this," Maxwell thought. "If I was going to tell someone they had a horrible disease I'd probably do it with a marching band and lots of confetti. Telling someone they have a disease is going to be horrible one way or the other, you might as well makes it fun."
And despite waving his hands in their air like confetti, no
one thought it was as funny as Maxwell.
Putting his pants on, Maxwell prepared himself for the obscure maze of rooms and halls that hospitals did real well.
"Crohn's disease"' he thought, "Guess that
explains the chick I see whenever my sides split. They should call her The
Crohn." And so, The Crohn was named. Whatever her title, this was real, and
until Commander Bowel decided to show
his sweet face again, Maxwell was on his own.
Pressing the abrasive brown hospital paper towels to his face Maxwell's mother texted him in the bathroom.
"Where R U?" she asked.
"Coming out now", he replied, throwing the
scratchy brown towel in the
"I am not strong enough to deal with this alone", he thought. And in the mirror, meeting his gaze, was Commander Bowel. He was not beside him.
They were the same person.
And so, the fight was on.