Relationships can be an amazing part of life for all of us. Having someone around who cares about you and who loves you can make dealing with life much easier. Getting to end your day with a phone call from the person you are dating can end a bad day in a good way. Going out with that person can change your mood immediately.
There isn’t any reason why those with an IBD and/or ostomy can’t have a normal, happy and healthy relationship. Of course any relationship which includes someone with a chronic illness is going to have curve-balls thrown its way, but I challenge you to find a relationship that doesn’t have it’s problems.
Recently I took some time to look back on the last 8 months since I met the girl who I’m currently dating. Over this time there hasn’t been one fight, no drama, and everything has just been really easy. Our biggest problem is laughing too much to the point that our stomachs actually hurt. We’ve been all over New York City to have great nights in one of the greatest cities in the world, gone on road trips to Maryland, Philadelphia, all of Vermont, Toronto, Niagara Falls and more. Still the best part is the normalcy of the relationship.
Yes, she has been amazing with my Crohn’s disease and ostomy. Only 6 or so weeks into dating I was in the hospital for 11 days. I was terrified that this was going to scare her away, but she visited me every day I was there. I’ve had to change my ostomy around her and she doesn’t care about it at all. When I showed her the stoma, she told me it wasn’t a big deal at all. She is supportive of the medications I’m on, treatment options I look into and how I handle my IBD. The IIF is something she loves to talk about and hear about at the end of the day. I can keep going on and on about this girl, but I don’t want to make this to long.
The great part is that my Crohn’s doesn’t control our relationship. She treats me like anyone in a relationship should be treated. There is no drama! She doesn’t make me wonder what is going on, doesn’t act suspiciously, doesn’t constantly make me feel like I’m secondary in her life. The fact that I don’t have to worry about anything has allowed me to have a stress free relationship, which I can feel comfortable in saying is a healthy one. Having a healthy relationship has made living with my Crohn’s disease and ostomy so much easier.
Why am I writing all of this about how good a relationship could be and all the things that anyone shouldn’t have to deal with? Because even though we might bring certain curve-balls to a relationship, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be treated right or that we have to deal with more than another person because we have a condition. At times I’ve thought I should put up with being treated a certain way because someone was good with my IBD and ostomy, that isn’t the case. Looking back on some relationships that I have had, I now realize that I wasn’t treated good at all. These relationships were UNHEALTHY and probably actually hurt my Crohn’s. Stressing night after night about what was actually going on.
I looked back on some of my recent relationships and I dealt with a lot, thought I had to be patient through situations which I shouldn’t have had to deal with. This put me in a position that led me to stress out about every little thing. Being stressed out about the person you’re dating and what they are doing isn’t a healthy relationship and that isn’t good for your health.
Just because we might have Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and/or an ostomy doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be able to have a healthy and happy relationship. We might have certain situations with our health that become part of what is going on, but that isn’t by our choice. Other situations which are by choice in a relationship that cause stress and drama shouldn’t happen. If the person you’re dating is making choices that is adding stress to your life and condition then something is WRONG. It might be hard for us to see when we are with someone who is amazing with our IBD or ostomy. Being treated so well by someone might even blind us from seeing the truth, it might even make us want to be ignorant to situations which we know aren’t right. But we deserve a normal relationship and we might have to take a step back and truly look how we are being treated.
If you are in a relationship that might not be right, that might be filled with drama and causing you stress, take a good look at whether or not it is worth it. Ask your friends that you respect if they think you are being treated right and if you look happy. If their answer is no, then you might have to take a deeper look into what is going on and if the relationship you are in is good for your health.
We all deserve to be with someone who is great to us in every way. Right now I’m just really happy that I found someone who is an incredible part of my life.
Never Stay Quiet!