If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

Being a car guy with health problem

I guarantee you we're not all healthy here. I'm sure as heck not. Those of us in poor health are somewhat (sometimes severely) limited in what we can do, and how we function.

I have Crohn's Disease, and it's been nearly 21 years since I was diagnosed. Now, Crohn's Disease isn't that bad, compared to other maladies. It affects the digestive system, anywhere from the throat, to the stomach, esophagus, ileum, and the colon, and it can manifest itself in a few different ways. It causes a lot of inflammation in those mentioned areas, so if you have it, or other forms of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), make friends with every bathroom you see.

Now, I was just starting school when I found this out, and due to being so lethargic, weak, and tired all the time, I missed A LOT of school. I was intermittently present from Kindergarten through third grade, homeschooled in fourth, part of fifth, and all of sixth and seventh grade. As a result of this, I lost out on a lot of face-to-face social interaction, something I haven't completely recovered from, even today, but it's better than it used to be. I have close friends, and a bit of a social life. Because of my health problems though, I was also terribly sheltered by my family, but I don't hold that against them.


I didn't have much I could do for a long time, but I could certainly enjoy cars, which I did. Not on the scale that I do now, but the interest was there. Besides that, I just played a lot of video games and browsed the internet.

I was told, because of my Crohn's, and related illnesses due to medications (more on that in a bit), that I'd not be able to ever drive, which was a load of crap. I did learn to drive eventually. I drove for the first time at 16 years old, which, while late, was ok to me, and I got my license at 20, again late, but I got it anyways.

When I was younger, I had different treatments, such as Remicade infusions, medication like Prednisone, which, while I haven't been on it in years, the side effects deteriorated my bones, and to this day I still suffer from Arthritis and Osteoporosis in my knees and back. It doesn't bother me unless I'm bending over a lot or do a whole lot of walking, but I do have it nonetheless.

Another treatment I was on was called Modulen. It was essentially a nutrition replacement treatment. 8 glasses a day of this flavored formula like junk, no food, and only water to drink besides this. I would do cycles of this, two months of the treatment, one month of regular diet, two months of the treatment, over and over again. Eventually, it got to the point where I couldn't do it well anymore. I lost 30 lbs in two weeks. At 13 years old, I was about 5'5", and weighed 93lbs. I was terribly skinny. So, I had a feeding tube surgically inserted into my stomach, and did it that way. It sucked, but I put weight back on, and I felt much better. As time went on, I went into remission, and felt better. I was in high school by this point, and attending regularly, making friends, and I started working out. I got in much better shape, I grew, but the medications I was on stunted my growth, so I topped out at about 5'8" or so, but I'm not terribly skinny anymore. As of right now, I probably weigh about 210.


As I started getting better, the feeding tube was removed, and I was put on maintenance meds. I've had flare-ups since, but I'm much healthier now. One of my doctors, in the "esteemed" Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, wanted to remove my colon. I'm so glad that wasn't the case. I don't have the tube anymore, but I do have a hole where it used to be.

I kept feeling better, and better, and I got more into cars, especially once I reached driving age. I learned a lot about cars, and in true Oppo fashion, the first car I drove was a stick shift. It was a little '98 Saturn sedan, completely base, in a dark green color.


Nowadays, I'm doing pretty well, but I still get flare ups. I'm not on any medication, and I lead a mostly normal life. Just remember, no matter what you may or may not be afflicted with, automobilia is a great way to help get your mind off what you're fighting. I went to car shows, checked out exotics in my neighborhood, or sometimes I would just sit in the driver's seat of my mom's car, and just imagine how happy I'd be when I had my own car, and I truly was. Driving, no matter how physically bad you may feel, just to me, takes that all away, and calms the mind. I was in a pretty bad depressed funk for awhile because of the Crohn's, and not being able to do what everyone else did, but that helped.

Because of all I missed out on, as I said, I still suffer from some social awkwardness and anxiety, possibly similar to what someone diagnosed with Asperger's might relate to. My eye-hand coordination isn't great because of lack of physical activity during my most formative years, and I still get the joint pain once in awhile, but you know, you fight the illness, the bad stuff, and you come out on top. Luckily, I didn't have it too bad. I suffered, but many have suffered worse than I have.


Keep on keepin' on, Oppo.

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