Greetings from The Minimally Diseased



I made little bargains in my head all day before getting my biopsy results. It felt like a prayer kind of afternoon, so I prayed to my favorite Elizabethan ladygods: Liz Lemon, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Amy Beth Schumer. Couldn’t recall the correct format for praying so I was like

Hayyy, bitches

Y’all better bring it today

And whatever it is, make it funny




PS: Also, amen

More than once I thought that I should wear nicer shoes, maybe an expensive pair that protects the wearer from chronic kidney disease.

I tried dressing in a way that made my kidneys seem like they deserved a longer life. I wondered if my polka dot dress would attract some kind of nefarious cancer, so I put that back in the closet.

I cooked a healthy breakfast, did the dishes, brushed my teeth, and made my bed with a manic enthusiasm, on the offhand chance that Kidney Santa was lurking nearby.

I said okay too many times that day in response to everything, like when someone handed me a specimen cup (okay) or when the doc kept repeating how much weight I would gain (OKAY) or when my mom paid for parking (okay, thanks) or when my husband held me close (It’ll be okay).

Currently inside of me.

Currently lurking within: kidney “stuff”

I am now the officially-diagnosed owner of a nephrotic syndrome called Minimal Change Disease, the most personality-free, unsexiest name for a disease in the history of diseases. If a beige wall could get sick, it would get sick with MCD. Wait, what’s the ‘M’ stand for again? Can’t remember, I fell asleep.

Because of this, I’ve been telling everyone I have Beyoncéngue Fever (pronounced bee-yon-seng-gay fee-ver), which sounds like a disease for hot international gays who really love to dance.

Five interesting things about Beyoncéngue Fever:

  1. It’s treatable with steroids (more on that later).
  1. It’s primarily a child’s disease, proving once and for all that I am still five. I guess I’m not mature enough for adult diseases yet. HA HA, SO FUNNY, LIZ LEMON.
  1. It’s only detectable through electron microscopy and a Hogwarts-approved Patronus charm, which is why it fucking took so fucking long to fucking find.
  1. It makes my restrictive renal diet even more restrictive (insert panic laughter here). They recently removed my mouth from my face, so now I just look at the food I might potentially eat.
  1. My skin is now made of brushed gold and glittering jewels, just like our Lord and Savior, the Queen Bey. Best side effect ever? Yes! Showering is difficult but I look so good.
The Most Helpful Husband On Earth

The Most Helpful Husband On Earth

But now, a little real talk: When I took the first round of pills this week, I totally cried. Despite this being the answer to a problem we’ve been dealing with all summer, it really scared the shit out of me. I don’t want magic science poison going to town on my body, but this body won’t make it to town without that poisonous science magic.

I'm a terrible pill taker if they're for survival and not for fun, but crossing off each day I take them on the calendar helps.

I’m a terrible pill taker when they’re just for survival and not for fun. Crossing off each day I take them on the Calendar of Radness will hopefully help.

Everyone’s been more than willing to share their awful Prednisone tales with me, be it for shock value or genuine warning. Some of their stories ended up sounding like old school urban legends.

“Prednisone makes you craaaazayyyyyyyy.”

“Prednisone made me gain 100 pounds overnight.”

“Prednisone turned my stepsister’s bones into dust.”

“Prednisone left me with 40 extra pounds and epic moonface.”

“Prednisone mood swings are swift and unforgiving. Warn the people in your village.”

“Prednisone made my arms fall off and shrieking dollheads grew in their place. See?”

“Oh my god, you are going to gain SO MUCH WEIGHT.”

Good news, everyone! We all agree that I will definitely gain more weight! Where my skinny white ladygods now? As someone who has dealt with fluctuating fatness since the Universe spat her out, I don’t feel unprepared for this, just mentally unwilling. “Fitting through doors” was never a priority to me, anyway. As my bestie says, it’s really about arriving in style through an archway.

I've tried doing the Pollyanna thing but Reality always wins.

I’ve tried doing the Pollyanna thing but Reality always wins.

I do feel like a side effects timebomb, though, waiting for all these shitty things to happen. Welcome to Prednisone Roulette, where you lose all the battles but somehow win the war. So far, the only side effect I’ve noticed is what feels like a thousand caffeinated bees doing a clog dance inside of my torso. Which hey, that’s not nothing.

Someday soon I may grow a back-up face and have screaming dolly armpits, but I guess it could be worse. I could be a deformed amputee breeding mule to my incestuous family members, all while living on a skateboard under a bed in Pennsylvania.

In other news, I’m really excited for the X-Files reboot.

The truth is hotter than ever.

The truth is hotter than ever.

Perhaps while I’m going through the next 8-16 weeks of rigorous HULK SMASH meds, I will wander back through the first few seasons of The X-Files. “People always say “It’s the little things in life,” but what should matter are the really gorgeous things.” A Kardashian probably said that about Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny.

If I can’t have salt or sugar or a recognizable human body, I can at least have Fox Mulder, Special Agent, FBI.


14 thoughts on “Greetings from The Minimally Diseased

  1. […] like my beloved peers Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and Garth Brooks, I also have an on-stage alter ego who joins their sainted ranks. […]


  2. […] and wore them most days: On a walk. To the beach. At a Starbucks, and a party. Then for my monthly lab work at the downtown Polyclinic. I can now say, with total authority, that getting blood drawn and […]


  3. […] Total Eclipse of The Kidneys (June-December) […]


  4. […] She gave me actual life. She carried me around for nine months, birthed me upon a bejeweled manger like Beyoncé, and then, in what has to be one of the hardest things a woman can do, handed me to two strangers […]


  5. Elaine says:

    Can you eat chicken soup? The mom in me is demanding I make you some chicken soup. (I’ll even do my best to keep it low sodium yet still tasty…? That could be a feat, but I’m up to the challenge if you are.)


  6. Elise says:

    Minimal change sounds like something the republicans came up with to counter Obama’s 2008 election.

    Also, I really hope your Halloween costume is just you with doll heads for arms.

    (And I’m sorry you’re dealing with this and hope you get better soon without growing real doll heads for arms.)


  7. I just went through 5 days of prednisone infusions a few weeks ago! Looks like you get to take it in a pill though? For how long? I’ve been on it 3 times so far. The best part about this most recent time was that it doesn’t seem to be helping. Woot.


    • thehamazon says:

      Pill form, just a lot of them. Hitting it hard for 8 weeks to see how it goes; if we’re golden, then I titrate off. If not, another 8-week round. Hoping for a quick turnaround but I know Life’s sense of humor and we are never in sync. :)


  8. sassypanties says:

    Minimal Change Disease? Meaning what? They don’t accept change? BE THE CHANGE!!! Shit man, none of us like CHANGE! BUT WE HAVE TO DO THAT SHIT! I don’t even know what this MEANS!!!!! *caps lock*


  9. Fox says:



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