'Advice for Someone Caring for a Crohn's Patient'
I often try to detach myself from my condition and consider for a while what it must be like to live with, or just be around someone with an incurable illness.
This is harder than it sounds. On my first few attempts at this I'd think 'That must be hard when I do that' or 'Thats unfair on then when I do that' - but I'd always come back to 'BUT IT'S WORSE FOR ME'. No it's not. Not necessarily.
On the whole my loved ones don't ever complain or voice any gripes they may have about 'caring' for me. I can only assume this is out of consideration for me. They don't want to make me feel bad, or cause me any guilt. After all, I'm dealing with enough, and none of it is my fault..
But let's take a moment to consider how my illness affects the people around me. In ways extreme to mild, Crohn's is always there. Therefore it's always the big fat diseased gooseberry when my partner and I go out for dinner. It's waddling around badly and embarrassingly when my friends and I go out dancing. It's trailing behind like an OAP when I'm out shopping with my Mum. This in itself means my condition has to be considered by me AND my loved ones in every little thing we do.
As far as caring for a Crohn's patient goes, it requires a lot of patience. Not because I am difficult or I complain, but because when Crohn's comes to the party it's often not invited, and causes so much awkwardness we often have to leave early. Thankfully my close friends and family (and most of all my partner) have this patience in abundance.
Caring for someone with Crohn's is not really about the physical acts of mopping up sick, cleaning a toilet it dabbing a fevered brow, (although these may be required from time to time, sorry it's in the small print), it's more about learning to adapt, and help the patient adapt to their new situation. It's also important to be brutally honest from time to time - feeling constantly rotten can get you down in a big way, so it's vital you have people around you who have a pair big enough to tell you to snap out of it.
It's equally important, as the patient, to appreciate that the people you love would never try to hurt you, so when they tell you to calm down it cheer up, maybe, just maybe they know what they are talking about.
It's all about finding a balance between learning to cope on your own and allowing others to help. Crohn's can be a damn nuisance, but don't let it get in the way of your relationships, if you do, Crohn's wins again. Not on my watch soldier.
This post was written as part of WEGO Health #NHBPM - 30 posts in 30 days