Although a New York tabloid made light of Angel Pagan needing to use the restroom and nearly missing an at-bat in Monday's series opener against the Phillies with the back-page headline, "Angel in the Outhouse," the outfielder said the issue is no laughing matter.
"It's no joke," Pagan said. "It's something that's going to be with me for the rest of my life."
New York Mets
Pagan started experiencing colitis in 2004 as a Mets farmhand and takes pills to manage the issue. He even landed on the disabled list with the Chicago Cubs in 2007 because of the intestinal issue.
"When you have colitis, it's something that's in you -- not only on your inside, but when you're playing, your concentration is not really on the game," Pagan told me in April 2008 at Wrigley Field. "I was having a great year and all of a sudden everything dropped because I was more focused on what was going on inside of me than what I had to do in the game. I had a pain in my belly. I'll be honest: I was just trying to play through it, but there wasn't a way through it. I didn't know that, so I just kept battling and battling and it was getting worse and worse.
"You lose your appetite. You lose everything. You lose your energy. You don't want to eat. You lose weight. You lack concentration. I was just trying to survive. I was getting dizzy in the games. I'm glad everything is in the past and everything is taken care of and I'm healthy.
"I always think everything happens for a reason. I think that reason is I have to take care of myself a little better. Right now I feel more healthy than when I was healthy (at a younger age) because I'm taking care of myself. I never cared about my eating or whatever. Now I do care. I have to have a diet. And it helped me, because when you have a diet, you feel good about yourself."
Pagan was back in the starting lineup Tuesday in Philadelphia. Terry Collins said his issue Monday is that the manager was unaware why Pagan had disappeared from the dugout.
"Right now it's not active," Pagan said about the colitis. "I have to take pills my whole life. I have to take medication so I can control it. So far it's under control. ... It's scary, because when you have a disease, it's going to be with you your whole life. You don't know what it's going to turn into. But now I know how to control everything and take care of myself a little bit more."