A Crohn’s Disease Attack, Put To Music

by Bill Brenner on April 24, 2012

During a severe Chrohn’s Disease attack in the mid-1980s — around the time I was discovering Van Halen‘s older albums — I found one song that really personified what I was feeling.

It’s the final song on the band’s debut album from 1978, which is also the year I was first attacked by this disease.

As I’d spend the early-morning hours sitting on the toilet in the upstairs bathroom of 22 Lynnway, Revere, losing blood, clutching my gut and making a thousand deals with God, that song would reverberate through my head, over and over.

I had forgotten about it over the years. But this morning, for the hell of it, I decided to listen to that first Van Halen album on the drive to work. Somewhere along Route 128, the song came on, and I was transported back in time.

I went a lot of years without listening to the song. It’s not that it brought back the bad memories. It’s just that I’ve been listening to other things, including Van Halen’s new album, “A Different Kind Of Truth.”

Looking back, I’m glad I had that song going through my head during the overnight Crohn’s attacks. It put noise and words to what I was feeling, and made those long hours of darkness feel a little less lonely.

As I replay the new Van Halen album over and over, I’ve found another song that fits my life today. It’s a track called “Blood and Fire.”

Those two words fit the feeling (fire) and result (blood) of a Crohn’s attack. But the song is about coming out the other side, making it through the blood and fire and doing, as David Lee Roth sings, a victory dance.

Thanks for the coping music, boys.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff July 16, 2012 at 11:08 am

Thanks for posting this! I will listen to both of these songs (I love the new VH LP BTW). It’s interesting how loud, heavy music can help cope with a crohns attack sometimes. It’s about being a warrior, a survivor. . Have you heard Glassjaw’s “everything you ever wanted to know about silence”? The singer is a crohnie and much of the album is about his relationship with crohns.

Hope you feel well today!

Daniele Vaughn February 28, 2013 at 11:29 am

Hi there, its nice piece of writing concerning media print, we all know media is a
impressive source of information.

lisa marcoux June 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

I will have to share this with my other half…he has Crohn’s disease and has been having a hard time of it lately.

JR Hunt June 12, 2013 at 9:52 am

Awwwww TY Lisa for thinking of me my own is this own…
Nightwish Poet and Pendulum


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