It's Funny on the Insides
It's Funny on the Insides

Ben Morrison blogs with an abundance of humor about Crohn's disease.

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My Pillquarium

Ben Morrison explores the routine of mouthfuls of medication and how he made up a 'Finding Nemo' game to make it more bearable.

As far as Crohn’s medications go, I’ve been on almost all of them.

When I was diagnosed I went on the usual pile of prednisone, puffing my face out like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Crohn. Soon after that I was put on Pentasa, which I’m still on, as a basis for a revolving door of other medications including Imuran, 6MP (and honestly I’ve never been clear on this: is Imuran 6MP?), two rounds of Remicade, and a bunch of other stragglers I can’t recall at this current moment. Or don’t want to.

But Pentasa has been with me the longest. Because of the nature of the medication, it has to come in these very large pills about the size of a multi-vitamin stretching it’s legs. As it’s essentially aspirin for the small intestine, it has to make it way through 21 feet of gut before arriving at the ileum and delivering the goods. When I was on this and many other meds I used to play a game I called my pillquarium where I’d fill my mouth with meds and water and not swallow, just kinda let them swim around in there. I’d then name one of them Nemo, swallow him first, and the rest had to go find them.

You’ve got to have fun with your medication.

Honestly, most of the time I don’t even know what the hell the meds do, I just know that a doctor has made it clear I need to take them and I obey without protest…or an explanation.

Sometimes the reactions to them have been disastrous. I remember going on a first date (which in the interest of full disclosure was with someone I did wind up dating, so it wasn’t all bad) and finding out that the Imuran made me basically allergic to sunlight. The day of my date I had laid out in the pale Brooklyn sun for all of 10 minutes hoping to get some D only to discover later that evening at her place that I was suffering from uncontrollable itching. Sequestering myself in her bathroom and literally lathering my body with scented moisturizer, I still wonder if she wondered why I smelled like a summer glade…and why I was so slippery.

So do your best to make your meds your friends. You’re stuck with them, and they can be a tricky friends, but being on good terms with them is key to being on good terms with your Crohn’s.

Just ask Nemo.

Order Pain in the Butt, Ben Morrison's one-man-show about the lighter side of Crohn's Disease and check out Ben's other Crohn's column the

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About the Author

Crohn's Comic

Comedian and activist Ben Morrison writes about Crohn's disease with a heavy dose of humor.