Things to Remember if You Love a Person with Crohn’s Disease

| November 8, 2015

But first let’s talk a little about what Crohn’s is. It is a life-long “friend”. The vast majority of sufferer’s will experience Crohn’s symptoms for the rest of their lives. Even if in “remission”. Sufferers most often come to terms with the fact that, for the rest of their life, they will be fighting through unpredictable periods of ups and downs. Flare ups. They try not to get your hopes up but they pray that – maybe – just maybe – this one will work, at least for now. Only to find out that with some meds, you can’t go back tothe one that sort-of-worked.  They try diets and supplements. They have anxiety in all aspects of your life: work, social gatherings, airplanes, vacations, road trips, and depression. And the list goes on and on. And this is just for one person, with the next person, it can be completely different.

So, lets look at 5 areas of Social Interaction that we, as a Crohn’s Friend, must understand and accept.

1. Sports and Other Social Activitiesactive-lifestyle-sportography

Imagine you are a 16-year old girl who would love to go out with her friends for the evening. Maybe they want to drive around, stop at a few other friends’ homes, and stop at a fast-food place for burgers and fries. For the teen with Crohn’s, this means not eating all day in order to avoid embarrassing diarrhea accidents, and certainly not participating in the fast-food stop. Suppose you are a teen boy wearing an ostomy pouch – how do you shower with your classmates after PE class? Parents and other adults need to be happy to make comforting accommodations for these teens, and that includes the PE teacher-jock who may not have a tendency for a lot of empathy. Wise parents have meetings with school personnel and make certain that all reasonable accommodations have been made, including a quick exit from class without permission.

2. Alcoholalcohol

So, when everyone is having a grand time at happy hour and putting pressure for the Crohn’s sufferer to have a beer, they wonder why they won’t drink. Are they anti-social; are they a recovering alcoholic? A sufferer with a pretty solid self-image may be able to explain the disease a bit. A Crohn’s sufferer cannot absorb alcohol like the rest of us. So even just a sip could put them under the table or on the toilet or worse have an accident trying to get to the toilet.

3. Depressiondepression

Depression in a Crohn’s Friend can come from a whole host of reasons. Just the challenge of having a chronic illness can affect mental health, then you add in the physical challenges of Crohn’s, such as sudden urges to have to go to the toilet or loud uncontrollable bodily noises. With all this comes the fact that it most certainly will try to control a suffer’s life.

4. Skipping Meals/Unexpected Weight Gainemptyplate

Weight is a rather sensitive topic for Crohn’s sufferers. Oftentimes it’s easier for them to say they’ve been sticking to some brand new diet plan for weight loss than admitting they don’t want to have lunch with you because they might afterwards get stuck in the bathroom for hours. Skipping meals is one big concern for medical professionals dealing with Crohn’s patients because the potential for severe weight loss and even anemia are always present. Then there is the other end of the spectrum. Man Sufferers at sometime will be put on some form of steroid such as Prednisone. This is a vicious med. Not only does it cause your face to turn red and causes bloating, but it gives you a voracious appetite that, in most cases just can’t be satisfied. In some sufferer, prednisone makes your body into a freight train, not sleeping for days on end (see number 4).

5. Bodily Functionsibd

Sufferers have to deal with on a daily basis so many issues that for many, life is just staying home. Some of the issues are urgent need to go to the restroom, frequent diarrhea (sometimes bloody), severe gut pain, poor appetite, nausea, weight loss, fatigue. Sometimes joint pain, mouth ulcers, fevers, rashes. UTI’s, anal fissures, loud uncontrollable gut noises and flatulence.

On a lighter note, here are 29 Things Only Someone with Crohn’s Would Understand from HealthLine

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Category: Body & Relationship Issues, Crohn's - IBD

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