Watching some of the “Pearl Jam: 20” documentary, I learned something I didn’t know about lead guitarist Mike McCready: Like me, he has Crohn’s Disease.
Knowing what the disease does to you when you’re under attack, I’m impressed he’s been able to keep the kind of touring schedule Pearl Jam is known for.
How anyone can spend two hours a night on stage when they’re taking Prednisone is beyond me. I’ve done a lot with my life despite the disease, but I doubt I could have done that. Physically I could have. Not mentally, though. Whenever I’ve been on that drug my prevailing desire has been to tell the world to fuck off.
McCready performs an annual concert to benefit the Northwest chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and has been pretty outspoken about his bouts with the disease.
It’s another example of how no one with the disease has to settle for a lesser life.
McCready was reportedly diagnosed when he was 21. I was diagnosed when I was 8 and the worst of the attacks for me ended by the time I reached 17. I’ve been freakishly lucky, though the effects of the disease and the Prednisone use certainly contributed to the mental illness and addiction that has clung to me light a wet blanket in adulthood.
That’s life, though. The curve balls are hurled at us and we can duck, get hit or learn to catch them and make the best of it.
I’m glad McCready is doing the latter.