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10-23-2013, 07:45 PM   #1
Dreamer
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
How can I help? :(

Hello everyone,

I hope you're all having a great day. I am a new member on this site. I have been visiting the site for years now and the people here are wonderful and supportive and helped us a lot of time.

My partner has been diagnosed with Crohn's disease for many years now. The last few months have been especially tough on him, emotionally and physically. I want to help and support him in anyone possible. I feel like I am failing and I am being really weak when he needs someone strong and unselfish by his side. I want to know in what ways can I help? how do I stop being selfish and stop worrying about my feelings being hurt when he is upsrt and is having a bad day? I want to be strong for him and loving. He is not happy and I feel like I am failing in making him happy or in making any positive impact on his life. We live apart, I get to see him from time to time but we talk everyday. How can I make him feel better, at least on the emotional level? I get so emotional when he is not ok. My love for him is pure and I will never walk away from him no matter how bad this gets. I always say I am not ok till he is ok. But I want to change that and make everything ok when he is not ok.

I am sorry about the rant. Feel free to be hard on me and tell me to grow up and get it together cause what he's going through is a lot and doesn't need more drama in his life.

Thank you, wishing you all health, joy and well being. Love
10-23-2013, 10:37 PM   #2
afidz
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All you can really do is let him know that your love is unconditional and that you are there for him at all costs.
Since you live apart, you can't physically do much for him, but when you are with him ask him what foods he can tolerate or what products sooth him so you can have those things in stock for him.
As much as you want to give yourself whole heartedly to his needs, you have to keep your self in mind as well. Find a balance between the two. Otherwise you will burn yourself out or even resent him for being sick, and that won't get you anywhere.
You are a great partner to him for bring there for him, I am sure he really appreciates it, even if he doesn't say so
__________________
Crohn's since 2007
15 Abdominal Surgeries since 2008
Severe Non-repairable abdominal hernia
Ankilosing Spondylitis
Inflammatory Arthritis

Failed meds:
Humira
Remicade
Asacol HD
Cimzia
Methotrexate
10-23-2013, 11:18 PM   #3
nogutsnoglory
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It's admirable that you are here and want to support him. Know that you are part of this relationship and as such this disease affects you too. The best thing is to be supportive and voice that both verbally and affectionately. I think its hard for him to support you when he is sick but know we are here to listen and help as much as we can.
10-23-2013, 11:47 PM   #4
Dreamer
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
All you can really do is let him know that your love is unconditional and that you are there for him at all costs.
Since you live apart, you can't physically do much for him, but when you are with him ask him what foods he can tolerate or what products sooth him so you can have those things in stock for him.
As much as you want to give yourself whole heartedly to his needs, you have to keep your self in mind as well. Find a balance between the two. Otherwise you will burn yourself out or even resent him for being sick, and that won't get you anywhere.
You are a great partner to him for bring there for him, I am sure he really appreciates it, even if he doesn't say so
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. Your reply moved me to tears. I am there for him at all cost but sometimes I feel like I don't give him enough "unconditional love" because I complain about stupid situations in my life, and I can be mean and hurt him. He is getting another colonoscopy soon and I am really scared and have been praying that he doesn't need to go through surgery again. I eat what he eats, we makes the same meals everyday. Please keep him in your prayers. Wishing you all the joy in the world and the greatest health.

Thank you again
10-23-2013, 11:55 PM   #5
Dreamer
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
It's admirable that you are here and want to support him. Know that you are part of this relationship and as such this disease affects you too. The best thing is to be supportive and voice that both verbally and affectionately. I think its hard for him to support you when he is sick but know we are here to listen and help as much as we can.
Thank you for the reply. I feel like the only thing I can do is try to do things that will make him happy. and I am failing because I am in so much emotional pain because he is not ok but I don't want him to feel like its his fault or make him feel like he is making me "suffer". I just need to stay positive and strong so he becomes positive and strong, but in words its easy, in actions, its where I fail but I am never letting him go and will continue to learn and better my self to be a better partner for him. If not, he is the one who is gonna leave. How can I give him verbal and affectionate support? I feel like a bad person when I don't know what to do in situations where he needs me.

Thank you so much, wishing you lots of happiness and well being.
10-24-2013, 12:06 AM   #6
Jennifer
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Hi Dreamer and welcome to the forum!

I understand you not wanting to add to his worries but for me I don't like to be treated differently. One of my greatest desires is to feel normal so I love hearing about what other people are going through so I can be there for them as much as I can yet sometimes I don't openly share what's going on with me because most of the time nobody asks (possibly because there's always something wrong and they may be tired of hearing it).

I do like to hear, "everything will be ok," but that's definitely not all I want people to say otherwise I feel brushed off (that could just be me as I require more conversation). I want someone to listen to every little thing and to ask deeper questions like, "what does that medication do?" and "how do you feel about taking it?" etc. For myself and from what I've learned from others is that we want someone there for us no matter what and to not judge our decisions, like what medications we're on, what foods we eat be they good or bad, whether we drink alcohol or smoke, how much stress we deal with, how often we opt out of going places or doing anything social etc. We don't want to be judged or babied in any way (well, I like being babied when I'm in the hospital or can't take care of myself well at home but that isn't often and that may be just me ).

Remember that they are in a relationship with you for a reason. You're already awesome in their eyes so be yourself.

If he's the type who doesn't get into detail too much feel free to ask us and we can share what he may be dealing with (be it medications, symptoms, tests etc) that way you'll have a better understanding without having him go out of his comfort zone too much.
__________________
Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 50mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel, Tylenol 3, Omeprazole 20mg 2/day, Klonopin 1mg 2/day (anxiety), Restoril 15mg (insomnia), Claritin 20mg
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 17 years and counting.
10-24-2013, 12:47 AM   #7
Dreamer
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Hi Dreamer and welcome to the forum!

I understand you not wanting to add to his worries but for me I don't like to be treated differently. One of my greatest desires is to feel normal so I love hearing about what other people are going through so I can be there for them as much as I can yet sometimes I don't openly share what's going on with me because most of the time nobody asks (possibly because there's always something wrong and they may be tired of hearing it).

I do like to hear, "everything will be ok," but that's definitely not all I want people to say otherwise I feel brushed off (that could just be me as I require more conversation). I want someone to listen to every little thing and to ask deeper questions like, "what does that medication do?" and "how do you feel about taking it?" etc. For myself and from what I've learned from others is that we want someone there for us no matter what and to not judge our decisions, like what medications we're on, what foods we eat be they good or bad, whether we drink alcohol or smoke, how much stress we deal with, how often we opt out of going places or doing anything social etc. We don't want to be judged or babied in any way (well, I like being babied when I'm in the hospital or can't take care of myself well at home but that isn't often and that may be just me ).

Remember that they are in a relationship with you for a reason. You're already awesome in their eyes so be yourself.

If he's the type who doesn't get into detail too much feel free to ask us and we can share what he may be dealing with (be it medications, symptoms, tests etc) that way you'll have a better understanding without having him go out of his comfort zone too much.
Thank you so much. Your replay opened my eyes to a lot of things. I have been with him for 6 years and ( 4 years with Crohn). I love him and will support him till the end but the problem is "he doesn't feel it" because I don't express it or I fail to show it. It's been really rough on him lately, and all I do is cry, not eat, can't sleep and it upsets him but I can't control it sometimes. But from tomorrow I am gonna make sure he knows that I am here for him and that I deeply care.

Thank you so much. Being in this forum is really like having a family. You guys are amazing. It is really hard to talk to friends and family about anything, we keep it to ourselves but sometimes it feels good to share and learn from other people's experiences.

Wishing you a lot of blessings and great health.
10-24-2013, 12:59 AM   #8
Jennifer
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Don't forget to take care of yourself too. Sounds like symptoms of depression that you're dealing with. Its harder to help and care for someone else when you're not 100%. Counseling may help if that's something you'd be willing to do. Maybe he's taking your pain the wrong way rather than seeing that you're hurting as well.
10-24-2013, 01:05 AM   #9
Dreamer
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Don't forget to take care of yourself too. Sounds like symptoms of depression that you're dealing with. Its harder to help and care for someone else when you're not 100%. Counseling may help if that's something you'd be willing to do. Maybe he's taking your pain the wrong way rather than seeing that you're hurting as well.
Thank you. I will give my school counselling a call to schedule a visit. My best wishes to you.
10-24-2013, 03:33 PM   #10
Cat-a-Tonic
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Hi Dreamer, I agree with what Jennifer said - it does sound like this is taking a toll on you, and what you described sure sounds like depression. In addition to her excellent advice about seeking counseling, I'd also like to add that exercise may help both you and your partner. Depending on how ill he is and what his symptoms are, he may not be able to do much exercise, but hopefully he can at least do something like short walks or gentle yoga. Personally speaking, I've been ill for about 4 years now, and I've been exercising for the past 2.5 years - and I've felt a lot better in many ways since I've been exercising. It has helped a ton with my depression and stress levels, and when I fell out of remission earlier this year, I think the fact that I continued to exercise helped keep my flare quite mild. Obviously exercise shouldn't be anyone's main treatment and he should still continue taking his meds, eating a good diet, etc. And if he can't exercise, I still encourage you to give it a try if you haven't already as it really could help with the depression. Good luck and big hugs!
10-24-2013, 06:14 PM   #11
Dreamer
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Hi Dreamer, I agree with what Jennifer said - it does sound like this is taking a toll on you, and what you described sure sounds like depression. In addition to her excellent advice about seeking counseling, I'd also like to add that exercise may help both you and your partner. Depending on how ill he is and what his symptoms are, he may not be able to do much exercise, but hopefully he can at least do something like short walks or gentle yoga. Personally speaking, I've been ill for about 4 years now, and I've been exercising for the past 2.5 years - and I've felt a lot better in many ways since I've been exercising. It has helped a ton with my depression and stress levels, and when I fell out of remission earlier this year, I think the fact that I continued to exercise helped keep my flare quite mild. Obviously exercise shouldn't be anyone's main treatment and he should still continue taking his meds, eating a good diet, etc. And if he can't exercise, I still encourage you to give it a try if you haven't already as it really could help with the depression. Good luck and big hugs!
Thank you for taking the time to reply. Today is another terrible day for him on the emotional and physical level. He is upset with me and doesn't believe my genuine caring for him. I really understand how hard it is, I tried to be supportive and give him loving words but he is easily disturbed and very sensitive right now. I don't want to lose this man, and I will be 100% there for him but he doesn't believe me...I don't have the right words to make him believe. We used to exercise together regularly, than he had to stop and he couldn't do it anymore due to his illness so I stopped too, we both love exercising and I feel it would be selfish of me if I go to the gym and leave him alone. I know there is a way through this. Keep us in your prayers.

Wishing you endless joy and good health.
10-24-2013, 06:38 PM   #12
Jennifer
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How far apart do you two live and why if I may ask?

In a relationship its important for you both to have similar interests but its also important for each to do their own thing. You getting back into doing something you enjoy like working out would help with your mood and there's no reason to feel guilty about doing something that he isn't able to do right now.

Sometimes when I'm down it makes my husband get down and our bad emotions feed off of each other and it gets really hard to pull ourselves out of the depression because we have to do it ourselves. There's no one there to help bring you up if you're both down so someone has to take the initiative. Knowing this, I keep my feelings to myself sometimes because I don't want my husband to get down because I become resentful of him for becoming depressed rather than making me feel better. Perhaps something similar is happening in your relationship. Negative feelings are just feeding off of each other so he may be feeling like you don't care. This may not be the type of person he really is, it may just be the depression talking so don't take it to heart. You know that you care and you're going to do your best to get yourself better and in turn your mood will help his mood as well.
10-24-2013, 06:47 PM   #13
Dreamer
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
How far apart do you two live and why if I may ask?

In a relationship its important for you both to have similar interests but its also important for each to do their own thing. You getting back into doing something you enjoy like working out would help with your mood and there's no reason to feel guilty about doing something that he isn't able to do right now.

Sometimes when I'm down it makes my husband get down and our bad emotions feed off of each other and it gets really hard to pull ourselves out of the depression because we have to do it ourselves. There's no one there to help bring you up if you're both down so someone has to take the initiative. Knowing this, I keep my feelings to myself sometimes because I don't want my husband to get down because I become resentful of him for becoming depressed rather than making me feel better. Perhaps something similar is happening in your relationship. Negative feelings are just feeding off of each other so he may be feeling like you don't care. This may not be the type of person he really is, it may just be the depression talking so don't take it to heart. You know that you care and you're going to do your best to get yourself better and in turn your mood will help his mood as well.
I think its exactly whats happening. I will try my hardest to pull through this for us and I am hopeful that it will eventually get better. I am not a bad person, I just want to feel ok when things are not ok with him. I need to look at things from his eyes, just like the case with you and your husband, he will probably never tell me he is resenting me for feeling down when he is down, but I know he does, its in his actions and words thats why he calls me selfish and that I only care about my self. He is a great man and I know we will pull through this. Thank you for giving me the push to seek help. Best wishes.
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