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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Partners, Family, Friends & Caregivers » Boyfriend was just diagnosed with Crohn's


09-07-2012, 08:54 AM   #1
amourlegirafe
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Boyfriend was just diagnosed with Crohn's

Just the other day, my boyfriend was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. We've been dating for a little over two years and he's been suffering from his illness the whole time, but he had been undiagnosed and I didn't realize how much he was suffering. His doctor told him he has Crohn's Colitis, but he isn't bleeding at all and never has. He gets bad stomach aches, can't eat or digest what he has eaten before, suffers from bouts of diarrhea and suffers from depression. I don't ever notice him needing to use the bathroom all too often, but lately he has been going through a flare and hasn't had any "medicine"... His medicine is cannabis. We don't live in a state with dispensaries, so it is hard, but "conventional" medicine didn't work in the past. He is going to get on an antibiotic when he can get a prescription and will hopefully be visiting the doctor more often to get tests done. When he is able to smoke, it makes him able to eat, digest and he is soo happy. When he doesn't have anything to smoke, he gets so hungry that he gets the shakes and will vomit if he tries to eat anything. He has been suffering for as long as he can remember, but when he went to the doctor in the past they had told him that he just "eats like a bird" and tried to give him eating disorder medicine. It made him worse, so as he got older he went to cannabis.

I didn't realize why it was that he couldn't keep a job and I started to feel resentment. I started getting anxiety attacks and having obsessive thoughts over why it was that things were so difficult. He's always trying to find work, as he owes me money and he wants to help out, but his condition makes him heavily depressed because he feels useless. I try very hard to support him mentally, as he doesn't ask for much financially, and his food stamps help me save a bit of money. I would also get upset because his condition makes him unwilling to go out as often as I would like. We've talked about things, and I'm working really hard to curve my negative thoughts and feelings, but I feel like I still have a bit of built up resentment and I need advice on how to help him along and still feel like a whole person myself. I've basically self-diagnosed myself with anxiety and OCD, as I have more than enough symptoms and I've been depressed myself. So I've been finding things difficult. We live together, and have for a long time. I'm just afraid that this is going to drive us apart. I need to understand how to not take his reactions when he's depressed personally and to be more empathetic towards his illness.

I hope that I didn't write too much or confused or upset anyone with my honesty. Any positive help would help us so much. Thank you.
09-08-2012, 02:32 AM   #2
Jennifer
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Hopefully he hasn't completely given up on medicine. Cannabis has been known to help many people with IBD and there's even a subforum on it here on the site: http://www.crohnsforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=63 Yet I think that along with meds may be much more beneficial. Do you know what meds he's taken in the past?

As far as the depression goes, its pretty common with IBD not just because of the "OMG I have a disease etc" but also because we don't absorb nutrients very well and vitamin deficiencies can cause depression (has he had his vitamin/nutrient levels tested like B12, Iron etc to make sure he's not low or deficient in any?).

Its also pretty common for one person's mood to rub off on another so if you're both depressed its going to be hard for both of you to pull yourselves out. Its hard to help another person when you're having your own issues so you may want to consider counseling yourself as well as suggesting it to him. Seeing a psychologist can be very helpful and they can give you tools to help manage both your depression and anxiety. I've had to see many over the years myself. If counseling isn't enough then you may want to try a psychiatrist as well but definitely try counseling first as going through the meds for depression and anxiety can take some time to find something that actually works for you which alone can bring on more anxiety and depression.

Once you're feeling more in control with yourself and your feelings you'll be able to help him better. At most you can suggest he see a doctor and remind him of his appointments and encourage him in his job hunt but you can't do these things for him. He has to want to do them himself. In the end all you can really do is be there for him and help him when he needs it. You may even be able to go with him to his appointments for moral support. This way you can add things that he forgets to tell or ask the doctor and you can learn more about him and his condition.

So far you're doing a great job by seeking help.
__________________
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.
10-05-2012, 07:49 PM   #3
amourlegirafe
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Sorry it took me so long to reply to you.

Well, it's been a month now... He has gotten involved in a Crohn's program at the college near where we live and is going there once a week to do stretches and get chiropractic work done on his lower back. He's been given some sample pills, and so far he's only had two different types. The first type he didn't really feel any different, so it wasn't helping. I wish I knew the names or I would tell you. The second pill he's tried is making him feel much worse... Because he can't eat (food and drink for the most part seem pretty disgusting to him when he doesn't feel well) he gets depressed and somewhat angry. Not at me, just at everything, I guess... Mostly his ailments, but yeah, he's just really depressed. I help him along by being supportive and offering some helpful things like a bath or shower, and especially a heating pad because that usually makes him feel alright, but the pill today made him super sweaty and just awful.

I haven't found a counselor as I'm really low on funds and I've found that all of the therapists around here are mighty more expensive and don't really deal with pure-o ocd and using CBT for it, at least what I've found so far... As far as counseling for him, he's recently done some paper work to try and get him medicaid but he's not sure if he'll be qualified. Hopefully something will be figured out, as I've found that some people with certain illnesses get money grants and/or insurance just for having that particular illness, so here's to hoping.

Thank you so much for responding to me, you really helped just by being supportive.
10-06-2012, 02:10 AM   #4
Gianni
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Los Angeles, California

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Researching into the disease and better understanding it will go a long way. Reading the forums and similar stories will help you be for empathetic towards him as well as give you and your boyfriend a better understanding of the disease and how to better manage it. I think when you have a strong knowledge of the obstacles in your way things get easier and everything falls into place. If you could get the names of the pills he took that would be great so we can better understand what his treatment path has been.

If he is still not a fan of allopathic medicine there are great threads on diet and other alternative treatments. I have personally made a juicing and plant based diet as a viable treatment plan thread if you are interested (click here).

Anyways best of luck to you and your boyfriend

Gianni
__________________
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food"- Hippocrates

JUICING! click here!
10-06-2012, 06:34 PM   #5
amourlegirafe
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
I asked him just now what pills he took and he said the first pill was azapriothine and the second he thinks is called something like..."craoxin" or something. Maybe roboxin. He's given pill samples and not "prescribed pill bottles", as he is testing medicine, so instead of paying for a whole bottle he only pays for four samples at a time and trades the pills he does not use for a new, different pill.

Thanks a lot for the links! I bought a juicer a while back but I haven't used it in a bit and I was just thinking about bringing it to where I live now, and that link talking about juicing vs smoothies is really interesting and gives me more drive to go and pick it up.
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