Unlike my normal posts, this one isn't logical and well thought out. It's just ramblings in whatever order I feel like typing them. So basically, for the last 6 months, every day I've been having abdominal pains, nausea, I'm sick to my stomach a lot, I usually don't have an appetite, and I've lost around 35 pounds, going from 178 @ 9% bodyfat to today where I'm struggling to stay above 140 @8% bodyfat. Medically, a team of 6 doctors still hasn't figured out what's wrong with me. They told me I "may" have Crohn's Disease, which typically presents itself between ages 20-30 (I'm 28), but all the Crohn's tests have been either negative or inconclusive. I've had a LOT of tests over the past 6 months. I am literally terrified at the notion of having Crohn's Disease. From the people I've spoken with online, it basically means a lifetime of pain, being sick, eventually requiring surgeries, and taking medications that destroy your immune system and your bank account. For people who give me shit in other threads for being a "cheap ass," fuck yourselves. If I wasn't such a cheapass I wouldn't have been able to afford tens of thousands of dollars worth of tests over the last few months despite being laid off over a year ago (insurance pays for some, but I'm still paying COBRA which is close to $500/mo). One of my credit card bills was $3,300 this month, and that was only medical bills (after insurance). My metabolism is fast as hell to begin with, and before I would eat 4-5000 calories a day minimum just to maintain weight. Of the weight I've lost, most of it came off in less than a month. Basically I went from looking awesome to looking like an anorexic 14 year old girl. This is affecting my confidence. Before, even tho I wasn't at my ideal body shape, I was still confident when I walked in a room. In most cases I knew I had a better body than 95% of the guys wherever I was, and that was immensely helpful to my confidence, and this was reflected in social settings as well as in business, and especially in relationships. Now, it's like the opposite. I look malnourished. I feel like crap. I don't like leaving home because it means being away from a bathroom. I actually felt fear the other day because I thought omg, if I ever get jumped, I am completely fucked now. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a ninja or anything, but before I didn't look like someone's first choice for "victim" and I've trained at MMA schools before so in a fight I wouldn't be completely helpless. But now, not only do I look weak, but I'm constantly in pain so I'd have to give up before it even began. It's funny, I used to complain that I wasn't big enough, but I was looking at some pics of the "old" me the other day and thinking "damn, I looked so awesome back then." It's funny how I didn't realize it at the time. My gf insists that I'm still hot, but I think it's just her love goggles talking. My gf has been totally sweet, putting up with me when I can't get off the couch for hours due to pain and/or nausea, helping me with stuff, not giving me crap when I don't want to go anywhere, etc. When I start to get worried or emo she reassures me and tells me she's happy with me and thinks I'm perfect (wtf love goggles talking right there), etc. For the first time since we've been together, I'm actually afraid of losing her. I don't mean in an AFC toolish needy way, I mean instead like I'm not as awesome as I used to be and I can see her attraction potentially fading as soon as someone better-looking who isn't sick comes along. Not that I would blame her: It is the natural order of things for attractive, desirable people to be together. What do I bring to the table if I look like a skeleton and can't do anything or go anywhere? Sure I'm awesome on the inside, but that qualifies me to be a friend. If I end up having Crohn's, I will become a financial and medical liability. The treatments can be more than $5,000 per month and often aren't covered by insurance. You can't exercise because that stresses your immune system and makes the disease worse. I already haven't been to the gym in 7 months and I'm going fucking INSANE. This has been a fucking identify shift. Before, being strong, attractive, awesome, and confident was who I was (altho it took me long enough to get there and realize it, lol). Now, it's the opposite. This next section is the medical section, so if there are any gastroenterologists here, feel free to chime in: Multiple hernia tests - negative Two urine tests for kidney stones - negative CT scan - revealed mild thickening of the terminal ileum, everything else was normal Colonoscopy - a few biopsies showed evidence of granulomas which is "suggestive, but not indicative" of Crohn's Upper endoscopy - nothing 12 blood tests looking at all the normal stuff (CBC, sedimentation, etc) - all normal Small Bowel Followthrough Xray (the one where you have to drink a barium milkshake) - nothing remarkable Blood test for genetic markers of Crohn's - negative (come to find out this test often gives false negatives and false positives and is basically useless and also isn't diagnostic, so I was like "ytf did I get it, then?") Stool tests for parasites, bacteria, blood - negative Celiac disease was ruled out. I've also done a 20 day course of Xifaxan in case I had something bacterial that my body couldn't shake. Oddly enough, probiotics seem to make things *worse* after a few days (which anecdotally may suggest parasite infection) Next week I'm getting the capsule endoscopy test (you swallow a pill with a camera that takes a movie of your small intestine as it goes through you and sends the data to a computer thing on your belt). I'm also aware of how inaccurate and unreliable parasite testing is, so even tho they were negative that doesn't mean I don't have something. My doctor said depending on what the capsule test shows, it may help decide if I have Crohn's or not. If it shows ulceration, he wants to start me on some Crohn's medication. If that is the case, I'm going to insist on a round of anti-parasite treatment first just in case because certain Crohn's medication will kill you if you have parasites Anyway, the bottom line is that if I have Crohn's, it's not blaringly obvious from labratory tests. My doctor said sometimes that's how it presents, but it could still be something else (altho I haven't heard any other suggestions). I was told after my CT scan that "it's probably not cancer," so that's good I guess. Anyway, I'm getting off track. This was supposed to be an emo post about identify shifts which is why I am posting it here and not in Asylum but it ended up being a bunch of medical talk. Blah blah. I saw some friends tonight that I hadn't seen in months and every single one of them was like "holy fucking shit dude, what happened to you?" But at least if I do have Crohn's, there are some new stem cell treatments that are in phase 3 (I think) of clinical trials that have been looking very promising!!! And now that we don't have a bible banging republican president anymore, we might actually increase the rate at which medical technology progresses My mom (half-jokingly) told me this is happening to me because the universe is punishing me for putting too much emphasis on physical appearance before But I have always dated very attractive women, and it's hypocritical for me to want an attractive woman if I don't bring that same thing to the table. Plus, I liked looking good and feeling good. It provides an unspoken edge in all social matters. It's taboo to discuss how attractive people get treated a million times better, but everyone (read: most people) knows it's true. Women paid attention to me without even talking to me first. Men respected me without even talking to me first. This provided a PHENOMENAL feeling of self-worth. People automatically liked me more right off the bat which served me better in social situations AND in job interviews. I knew this was the case and so I was confident, which only helped whatever situation I was in. I had worked SO HARD for 8 years, combating a ridiculously fast metabolism, to reach a point where I was at a physical advantage over most people socially, and in a matter of months, it's gone. I guess the next step is to learn how to maintain good inner game and social skills while being frail, weak, and non-masculine. And to get rid of this motherfucking abdominal pain.