Talking about shit
I have tried blogging more than once in my life and it usually ends up the same way- I get really into it for the first few days and then get bored and give up. But I really want to give this a go and make it work this time around.
For the past almost six years, I have been a caretaker for someone with Crohn’s Disease. In 2007, a couple of weeks after we started dating and after my mom started chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Dan (my now husband) was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s, for those who don’t know, is an inflammatory bowel disease. Basically, it means that your gastrointestinal tract is inflamed and you have horrible cramping, diarrhea, weight loss, and all sorts of other fun things.
At age 20 (when we first met), most people would run from having a life with someone with such a serious, debilitating disease. Your early 20’s is stereotypically about being fun and care-free. But, as my friends would say, I am not most people as I have my own issues that are on par with Crohn’s for Dan to deal with. I have been with Dan through four colonoscopies (I can tell by the number of stuffed animals he has from me, one for each one), three hospitalizations, and one surgery, not to count hundreds of doctors visits and thousands of dollars in medical bills.
You often hear a lot about what the patient is going through when they have Crohn’s- the emotional hardships and the physical pain. Their experience is something that not many people can relate to. But the pain that the caregivers go through on a daily basis, loving and caring for someone with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, is indescribable. There isn’t much out there for the caregivers- the ones who sit up at night during an emergency trip to the ER or take time off from work to drive their loved one to a Remicade infusion.
I know that at times, I wish there was someone who knew what I was going through or how I felt. My family and friends try to help but they can’t grasp how I feel and its incredibly frustrating at times. This may sound like I’m complaining but I want to clarify- I fell in love with someone with Crohn’s Disease, chose a life with him, and I would never have it any other way.
I hope that whoever reads this feels like it helps them in some way at some point in their life.