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02-24-2013, 08:21 PM   #1
Ginger92
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Feeling useless!!

Hey guys,

Im quite new here so not too sure if I'm even posting in the right place but I'll give it a shot.
Basically, my girlfriend was diagnosed with Crohns this summer and had a flare up before christmas, was on steroids, and has recently finished those and started Azathioprine. She's constantly tired and fatigued, feeling bad and very ill and recently started feeling depressed.

I've been doing everything I can to make her life easier and cheer her up, little things like getting some shopping, bringing her flowers (she loves pink lillies) picking up her favourite trashy magazines etc, but it doesn't seem like I'm making a difference at all. I try and see her as often as I can but I don't see her very much as she's got a lot of work on at the moment and doesn't like seeing people when she's feeling unwell so I find it very difficult to help her feel better. I try suggesting things like napping to take away the fatigue and going out to take her mind off the Crohns, cheer her up and just spend some time together but keep getting shot down. It's really been getting to me recently as I see myself as the person who should be able to make it all better and make her smile or cheer her up but nothing I do seems to work and I feel so useless!

Have you guys got any advice that could help? Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
02-26-2013, 12:42 AM   #2
sickofcrohns
Senior Member
 
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Toronto, Canada
You are not useless! You sound very supportive. Your GF is probably just too wiped out to even let you know how much she appreciates you, but she certainly does.

This can be a very frustrating disease to deal with. Just as in any relationship, though, communication is extremely important for finding out what is going well and what can be improved. Talk to her about your hopes and fears, and let her talk about how she feels. She has probably had a lot of time to stew about things. If you are prepared to have her vent away and be OK with it, let her know! She may want to throw things out of frustration. If she's up for it, a pillow fight may also help!

That said, it sounds like she has next to no energy to spare right now. Going out and doing fun things may be what she wants to do, but she may not be physically able to do it yet. She may even be frustrated to hear you talk about going out and doing things because a) she wants to do them, but can't, and/or b) she feels like she's being a drag on you and that makes her feel even worse. She may be focusing on her work because she is worried about all kinds of fallout if she neglects it, whereas she may be confident about her relationship with you enough to neglect you! Talk with her about your feelings. She may want to plan future things to do together, or she may want to focus on feeling better in the present, or she might feel like doing something distracting with you (board games, just talking, cuddling, etc.) as long as she's aware that you have low expectations about her energy levels. Some days are just going to be bad days, no matter what you do. I hope that when she's not having such bad days, she lets you know how much you mean to her.

Good luck!
02-26-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
GutlessWonder86
Forum Monitor
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
hello and welcome,

when a person is in a flare they will feel very tired, sometimes short tempered if they are in a lot of pain (I know I get that way if I'm flaring and in severe pain 24/7), little to no appetite, depressed, maybe angry because they are ill, and scared of the unknown.

Just letting your loved one know that they are there for you willing to do anything for you like run to the pharmacy to pick up their Rx, take them to the GI, rush them to the ER if a flare or obstruction hits, run out to the store to pick up gatoraide or bland food, make tea, etc. helps out..my husband does this for me when I flare. When I am able to sit on the couch to rest, he'll put in one of my DVDs which is alway a comedy as laughter is the best medicine to take my mind off this pain in the butt disease.

take a look around this forum, read the WIKI, and feel free to ask questions. Knowledge is power. The more you know, it will get easier in time to understand what your gf is going through. I wish your SO the best in health and think it's great you want to help her out.

kudos to you!!
02-26-2013, 04:27 PM   #4
monirob
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Greenville, Alabama

My Support Groups:
Me and my husband go through the same thing. I have Crohns and he feels the same way you do. I am often very tired and don't feel like doing the things we used to do. It took him a while to understand that, but he has adjusted nicely. We both try to take advantage of the times I do feel energized. But out of all the cute, loveable, nice, comedic, etc. things he does for me the one thing I cherish most is when he is just there in the room with me. As a person with IBD you often feel isolated and at times will isolate yourself just because you don't want to be a burden. Make sure you let her know she's not a burden and you don't care if she doesn't have the energy to do the old things. I love it most when my husband just sits on the couch and let me lay in his lap and take a nap or we watch a movie together (I usually fall asleep about halfway through lol). The best advice I can give you is to just be there for her physically and mentally. And you might not wanna try so hard because a lot of times that just reminds us of all the things we can't do and sometimes even reading a magazine can become a daunting task when it used to be a joy. Hope this helps and continue to be her support. The last thing she needs is to be left alone. Good luck to you both!
03-01-2013, 06:26 AM   #5
Ginger92
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Wow thanks guys! You're fantastic, your replies have helped a lot thank you so much!
03-01-2013, 06:48 AM   #6
Martha
 
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Scotland
When I was initially diagnosed a couple of years ago I was pretty much bed ridden. My husband would come up and lie next to me and make sure I had plenty of water. He did so much and probably most of it did not receive any thanks from myself as I was too burried into myself about how rubbish I felt and how sorry I felt for myself as everyone was getting on with their lives and going out to have fun. I did learn from this and that was to appreciate the days when I feel great and most of all to appreciate my husband for everything he does when I dont feel great. Your GF will get to that stage so just keep with it and show her your there for her and as a previous post said, try to put something funny on the tv as laughter really helps...
03-01-2013, 03:42 PM   #7
GutlessWonder86
Forum Monitor
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
hi ginger,

feel free to PM me anytime if you have any questions. I've been married 15 yrs. 5 months (who's counting lol) and DH & I dated for 1 yr. so we've been through so much together. If you have a question for him, just PM me and I'll show him your concerns.

We are in this together. You and your girlfriend are not alone in this. Hugs, GW
03-01-2013, 03:49 PM   #8
hannah-rose
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Bedford, United Kingdom

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Hey guys,
I've been doing everything I can to make her life easier and cheer her up, little things like getting some shopping, bringing her flowers (she loves pink lillies) picking up her favourite trashy magazines etc, but it doesn't seem like I'm making a difference at all. I try and see her as often as I can but I don't see her very much as she's got a lot of work on at the moment and doesn't like seeing people when she's feeling unwell so I find it very difficult to help her feel better. I try suggesting things like napping to take away the fatigue and going out to take her mind off the Crohns, cheer her up and just spend some time together but keep getting shot down. It's really been getting to me recently as I see myself as the person who should be able to make it all better and make her smile or cheer her up but nothing I do seems to work and I feel so useless!
I'm not sure I've got any advice but you sound like a wonderful boyfriend! You clearly care about her and I hope that she feels better soon and that you can enjoy your relationship together without Crohn's getting in the way.
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Hannah

Diagnosed 2011
Current meds: 6MP and plenty of exercise!
Previous meds: Metronidazole, Infliximab, Humira, Azathioprine
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