01 June 2008

The Disappointment of Not Attending

No matter what the event was or is or will be, each of us with Crohn's knows what it's like to be all set to go somewhere and do something...and not make it. A few years ago, I had tickets in my hand for a sold-out end-of-tour Kenny Chesney concert that our neighbor ended up using because the morning of the show I felt too miserable to brave the state fair traffic and parking on top of the concert crowd. My last major league baseball game was in August 2006 for our honeymoon; I've had arrangements fall through and even had tickets to three other games since then. Yesterday (1 June, Sunday), I was set to take my baby brother to Cincinnati to see his Atlanta Braves visit my Cincinnati Reds for an early 25th birthday present. You can probably tell where this blog is going.

Sure enough, about 2:00 AM Saturday night, I started to feel miserable. I finally drifted off around 4:00-4:30 AM and hoped it would clear up by morning. It didn't. Some of our friends and my wife's mom and step-dad were also part of the entourage, and my wife met with my in-laws for breakfast. By the time she got back, it was apparent I wasn't going to be up to the drive to the ballpark, the game and the return drive. Once I made it clear I wasn't going to chance it, she tried to bail, too, but eventually she gave in and went and, from what I was told afterward, had a great time.

When we ordered tickets, she spent at least a half an hour on the phone with the box office person to find us seats that not only would put the seven of us together, but were in a location that would allow me to quickly get up and to the restroom if needed. I have to say, from what I was told about the seats, the Cincinnati Reds' box office person did a great job finding us accomodating seats. My wife said that all they had to do to get to the restrooms was to, basically, walk down the steps into the concourse and hang a left (or was it a right?). I'm glad the seats didn't suck, because I would have felt even worse if everyone had been corralled into seats that sucked just because of me, especially since I ended up not even going.

About ten minutes after they left, it turned out I was right not to have gone with them; I spent most of the next hour in and out of the bathroom. It settled down around the time the game started, but about an hour later I was right back in there. I went in and the Reds had a 3-0 lead; I came back out and found out that Johnny Cueto had given up back-to-back jacks and put a runner on second. Fortunately, the Redlegs prevailed, but still...it's an eye-opener to realize you've spent so much time in the bathroom that two guys have homered and a third guy has made it to second base. Then, consider that I originally went to the bathroom at the end of the previous inning, with the Reds still at bat!Briefly, it appeared that Cueto was going to pitch at least a no-hitter (he was perfect through the first four and two-third innings of the game when he gave up a walk) and there was much hope that Ken Griffey, Jr. would hit career homerun number 600, becoming just the sixth player of all time to reach that milestone. Like my day, though, despite the hope and promise, neither was meant to be. Still, Cueto and Junior oughtn't complain; Cueto got the win and Junior will get another couple of cracks at 600 in Philadelphia tomorrow; I didn't even make it to the game. My brother celebrated his 25th birthday with two of my friends, my wife and my in-laws; I'm sure he had fun, but I'm also sure it was somewhat disappointing for him at the same time.

Am I blogging about this to invite you to my pity party? No, and I don't think I'm having one. This profile exists strictly to discuss the impact of Crohn's disease on my life, partly to give others insight into what it's like to live with this obnoxious, stupid disease and partly to let those of you who can relate to share your experiences and discuss our mutual frustrations. So, how about it: What was your most recent Was-Gonna-Do-It experience? Any suggestions on how to handle that particularly deflating feeling that goes with knowing your friends and family are all there, with an empty seat? Sure, no one ever says anything to you, and they know better than to question you when you spend the money to buy a ticket to something, but you know. You know the next time something like this comes up, you'll either take a pass outright (which sucks) or you'll fork over the cash...and wait to see where the ball in the roulette wheel in your terminal ilium lands.

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