After along time trying to adjust to how having Crohn's has changed me, I've not really had much time to catch my breath and spare a thought for the people who have endlessly supported me through it all. Sounds very selfish actually saying that out loud but it's incredible how much this disease takes over your life, especially in the early stages. So, in order to get a better idea of how my nearest and dearest have adapted to the new and (what's the opposite of improved?) me, I thought the simplest way was to ask!
On finding out what disease I was dealing with, the general consensus amongst my family and friends seemed to be the worst case scenario that I would probably die. Of course, I will obviously die at some point - last time I checked I am not immortal. Although hopefully not until well into our old age and not because Crohn's has got the better of me. I'm sure my mother found the thought of losing her only daughter far from funny right enough, in fact, as she put it, she "cried a lot and prayed a lot and had a lot of headaches worrying about my little girl". Now at this juncture I should probably explain a little bit about myself. I cry at the drop of a hat. Clearly a trait taken from my mother. For example, the RSPCA adverts completely FLOOR me - kittens in danger? Are you kidding me? So when I think about someone I love being upset, especially over me, I feel incredible guilt and want to hug them intensely until they have no more moisture left in them to produce tears. Basically, I am an emotional wreck.
My family and friends also pointed out how upsetting it was to have to see me in hospital, and how hard it was to try and be positive for my sake whilst feeling so sad themselves. The fact that none of us knew the ins and (more appropriately) outs, of the disease also caused a lot of frustration and confusion. My brother, who also had the added worry of a possible hereditary link, trawled the net for info and my mum used the more traditional, pre- Google method of listening to members of the public who don't have the first clue what they are talking about. Once I started to learn more about the disease and could impart my newly garnered wisdom, everyone started to calm down a wee bit.
One of my favourite comments, which makes me smile and breaks my heart in equal measure comes from a wonderful friend of mine who, when asked how she feels about things now, says, "..a lot of the time I wish Crohn's would give me my bestie back".
So, in conclusion, my little fact finding mission has made me realise that now I am not the only one living with Crohn's Disease. When I got diagnosed all the people that I love did too. Crohn's turned up to the party uninvited and didn't even bring so much as a bottle of wine. And as it's MY party, i'll cry if I want to :)