A big issue for the majority of Crohnie's are how they cope with relationships and the disease.
More specifically, intimacy, and how to adapt to having a different set of things to think about where the bedroom is concerned.
I'm not going to go into any detail about my own bedroom antics, as even in his advancing years, there is still a chance my Dad will learn how to work a computer. If that day comes he does not want/need to read about his only daughter doing anything riskier than hand holding.
My Dad aside though, it hadn't really occurred to me just how much of a difference being diagnosed with Crohn's would make to my own relationship. There was a whole other selection box of worries (for me anyway) - would he want to stick around? How would I adapt if I ended up with a bag? Would I ever be physically attractive to him again? Would I even have the confidence to show anything more than an ankle to anyone, ever, again?
Yes all very dramatic, but all genuine fears and thoughts that were going through my head pretty much constantly after my diagnosis.
My beloved is incredibly important to me. The idea that this disease could cause problems for us was a horrendous thought. This never even occurred to him, he says it was just another thing we would deal with and get through.
He is a lot more tolerant and understanding of my disease than I am. That may sound obvious - I'm coping with it, not him, but we are BOTH living with it. Day in and day out. He tells me most of the time I need to allow myself to get used to my new life, not to be hard on myself for struggling with things I used to do with ease. Not to get annoyed at myself when my body just doesn't play ball.
Everyone is different, and everyone has different types of Crohn's. Therefore what works for some won't necessarily work for others. Learning to accept your new body and new life with the disease is important for everyone though. The disease is relentless, at times can really get you down, but always trying to remember your life 'before Crohn's' is so important. It's essential not to lose sight of who you were before and who you still are.
He, through some wonderful hiatus of rational thought, fell in love with me. This happened pre-disease, and wonderfully, he still loves me now, Crohn's and all. Love is enduring, and like Crohn's relentless. It doesn't quit if you are having a bad day, or are shattered, or spending 2hours solid on the loo.
Love can't change me having Crohn's, but it can help to soothe a worried mind, ease an aching body and make you feel like you have absolutely everything to be grateful for.
I think having Crohn's has helped me to see just how important the love of him, my friends and family is to me, and how important it is to always remind them of that fact. A lot. To the point where it becomes a bit weird and creepy and uncomfortable and I hold them all a little too long and a little too tight and receive yet ANOTHER restraining order. You guys!