It used to be that Caydrick Bloomquist would wonder what the consequences would be if, say, he ate a bag of barbecue-flavored potato chips.
Would it ruin the rest of his day? Make him miss school for a week? Send him to the hospital, even?
That was the reality of living with Crohn's disease for the Butler Community College guard.
"You were never sure what the effects were going to be from what you ate," Bloomquist said. "I hated it. You always wondered what (the food) was going to do with you."
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Bloomquist is better today, redshirting for the Grizzlies this season after spending most of the last year in and out of the hospital, including five surgeries over the last eight months. Combined with medication, the surgeries seem to have done the trick. Bloomquist is now able to eat whatever he likes and is on pace to join Butler in the 2010-2011 season.
The 6-foot guard hasn't played competitively since 2008, his senior season at Emporia, when he averaged 20 points and 3.8 assists playing for his father, Rick.
Bloomquist spent the first half of his freshman year at Hutchinson before transferring to Butler in January. That's when a bout of what doctors originally thought was appendicitis turned out to be Crohn's.
"When he was in the hospital, (Caydrick) got down to about 115-120 pounds," Butler coach Mike Bargen said. "I think that was his low point... he looked almost like a skeleton."
Since his last surgery, which removed 17 inches of obstructed small intestine, Bloomquist has put on 40 pounds and is practicing with the team again.
"There's so much you learn to appreciate when you're in the hospital for as long as I was, although I know there are people that have it a lot worse than I do," Bloomquist said. "I'm appreciative that I can eat what I want now, that I can sleep in a normal bed, that I can be around my friends, that I can compete on the basketball court again. It's nice to be able to just live my life the way I want to."