Being in the midst of having this disease and learning to cope with all that entails, it's easy to forget that if you have a partner, they are suddenly landed with it too. It's very difficult being the person who has to take on this disease. I suppose I don't really appreciate just how difficult, as it's me who has introduced Mr Crohn's into the relationship in the first place. Or rather he has turned up invited, like some weird-ass stalker who just WONT GET THE MESSAGE :(
Anyway now i'm stuck with him, my other half and I just have to adapt to his presence.
[ I should mention at this juncture that for the purposes of this post my Crohn's is personalised as male as they generally cause the most stress and cannot take a hint.. ;) ]
My beloved has been with me long before Crohn's was even a twinkle in my bowels, and therefore has been by my side throughout my whole diagnosis and eventual operation. For him there has never been a question of not seeing it through. I'm sure he had reservations, worries and doubts about having a girlfriend who has a lifelong disease - after all, who wouldn't? I know if the diseased guts were in the other stomach, much as I love him, I would look to my crystal ball and maybe wonder how we would cope if he became more seriously ill, if I could live with the side effects and symptoms, all all the generally yukky bits entailed in having such a disease. No one, being completely honest, could say they wouldn't.
But in the end, in our case, after a lot of me feeling sorry for myself, I realised he had the love I need to see me through. (Sorry :) )
The man in my life is very practical and bases most decisions entirely on what's logical, whereas I'm an emotional wreck and tend to see the worst case scenario as an inevitable one. So I like to think we are a good balance, he rarely lets me wallow and makes me focus on what needs to be done or to see things as they are, not through tear-stained goggles. Sometimes this can be difficult to take especially if i'm particularly down - it seems harsh not to be pandered to - but it really is the best course of action. If it wasn't for him snapping me out of it i'd probably be in a dark room somewhere, shaking back and forth, sobbing to 'everybody Hurts' on repeat. Slight exaggeration obviously! (I hate R.E.M)
Apart from the emotional side of things (which I can imagine for a man is bad enough), he has had to endure lengthy visits to A&E and trips to various hospitals, having to see me at my worst and with with multiple tubes and needles prodded in various bits of my anatomy. Running the house while I was in hospital and looking after the cat SINGLE-HANDEDLY. And now he has a woman with a big scar down her front to contend with too, which again he has been amazing about. He just simply and very matter-of-factly explained he thinks I'm beautiful and that it makes no difference whatsoever. Really, the only person freaked out about it has been me, myself and I.
He gets annoyed if I ever mention he could've chosen to leave me to deal with this on my own (as some lovely people suggested any man might) as it's hurtful for me to think that he could, just due to some tricky times ahead.
So, aside from this being a soppy, open love letter to my beloved, it's also to make it clear that whether or not you are in a relationship everyone needs support at times. Even if it's just from a decent pair of Spanx. They do things to my stomach no man (or surgeon for that matter) ever could ;)