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Helping G/F cope with Crohn's Disease


lahso
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Hi, Well as if the road couldn't get any rockier in my life and relationships my new girlfriend was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease last week. For those of you who don't know, Crohn's is a disease that affects the digestrive track and is uncurable, although not typically life threatening. Symptoms can vary greatly and she will probably have to have many surgeries over the course of her life, periods of extreme pain, some long hospital stays, and periods of remission wehre everything will be good.

 

She is taking it pretty rough, as to be expected. I want to be there for her, and will continue to do so, but right now, she is pushing me away, and it hurts. I understand this and respect it. I feel so helpless and I dont know what to do. I've never experienced anything like this before in my life and I'm not sure how best to support her.

 

Her attitude is somewhat self-destructive right now, and I can't judge this because I can't even begin to fathom what she is having to deal with emotionally. Unfortunately, her attitude is that she doesn't want to take medication, or change her lifestyle and her eating habits to control it. She says she would rather die young than deal with a life full of hell.

 

I want to encourage her to do the right thing because the road will be alot rougher if she doesn't and CD can be somewhat manigble with some lifestyle changes. I guess I need to give her space and let her make her own decisions, but I love her so much I just want to see her happy again. I told her today that we can get through this together, but she says she has to do it on her own.

 

I am calling on anyone that has experienced anything similar to help me cope and maybe give her some encouraging words. Thanks in advance.

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Hello

I know this must be a very emotional struggle for the both of you. While you are both experiencing immense fears and anxiety, you both have different reasons for these feelings. Your gf is confronted with a chronic disease which presents many life changes both physiologically and psychologically. While I am not aware of every fear she may have, I can almost predict that a main concern for her has to do with body image.

She is griefing a loss, just like one may grief the loss of another person.

Her loss is of a body function, it separates her from the norm. Her anger is understandable and stems from her fears. Her denial is expected for a short time, however she will need support, education, and some cooperation to progress through this stage.

Let me share with you the stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Depression, and Acceptance, they are not time limited or expressed as a separate enitity, for ex. she can express denial, anger and depression all at once, or she may be depressed today and angry tomorrow.

I suggest for you to talk with a Health Care worker, an advocate to help you and your gf to make these lifestyle changes. She may not feel comfortable expressing her fears with you, as many of her fears may have to do with you. Will she still be attractive to you? Will she be able to have children? etc. Support groups are a great way of helping others, as they include individuals with the same disease who have worked through the same fears she has, or maybe they still have them in any case it will provide for her a confident, someone like her . Having an individual with the same disease to relate feelings to will help alleviate her possible alienated perception of herself.

I amend you on having the courage to face this disease with your partner, it will take courage, patience, and time for her and you to work through the adversities this disease will present.

Maybe she will see that you are not running away scared and that you are not going to reject her body b/c of this, hopefully she will soon come to see that her self care is needed to prevent a worsenning of her condition. If not, she may need some more vigorous intervention, let her know you care, let her know you want to help, seek out support groups, books, any type of education will benefit her.

I know this must be very hard for you to, so you will also need an outlet to express your feelings, you need to be there for her, but remember you need to support too. I wish for you courage and strength.

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