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02-27-2014, 01:32 PM   #1
Weatherwax
 
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My partner and I work at the same place, except he's in a different department to me. I guess he must be a lot more upset about my Crohn's diagnosis than I realised, because yesterday he came home and told me that he talked to his two mentors about it in their regular one-to-one. Today one of them brought in a blender and gave it to him to bring home, and the other one apparently was looking up books that could 'help' last night and has decided she's going to get me a Crohn's recipe book.

It's nice, but... I know what I can and can't eat, I can cook (very well) for myself? And if I wanted a blender I could buy it for myself! So embarrassed. I have no idea how much he's told them.
02-27-2014, 03:37 PM   #2
CrohnsChicago
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Yikes, that's a tough spot to be in, I'm sorry

Can you politely turn down these gestures? And speak to your partner in private about him disclosing information on your Crohn's in the workplace? What was your partner's reaction to all of this?
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02-27-2014, 04:40 PM   #3
Cat-a-Tonic
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Oh gosh, Weatherwax, sounds like your partner crossed the line a little bit with sharing who knows what about your health history in your shared workplace! And with the blender and the cookbook, I'm sure your colleagues are just trying to be helpful - if it were me, I'd graciously accept the gifts and say "Thanks, but you really shouldn't have!" and then either keep them or donate them. (If it's a nice blender, I would be tempted to totally keep it but maybe that's just me!) If this is how they feel helpful, then let them - it's not hurting anyone and hopefully it's a one-time thing. (If they do continue to buy you "helpful" gifts in the future, maybe let them know that you're okay and don't need them to keep going out of their way to "help".)

Can you sit down with your partner and explain that you're feeling a little bit like your trust has been violated with this whole incident? I'm sure that nothing malicious was intended, but I think you need to make it clear that there are certain things that are just not to be discussed in the workplace like that. Maybe let him know exactly what the boundary is - if a colleague asks about your health, your partner can say something like, "Weatherwax is doing okay, thanks for your concern" and don't give any details. Make it clear that giving out details about your health is definitely crossing the line.

It does sound like perhaps your partner needs some support and information as a caregiver, and it might not be a bad idea to encourage him to have a look around the forum. Caregivers are definitely welcome here, and he could find support and information to make him feel better and more informed about your health situation.

And if I may add on a personal level, sometimes partners are just clueless no matter how much you inform them! My hubby is like that sometimes. I've been ill for over 4 years now and he should know what I can and cannot eat. He knows broccoli is okay if it's cooked very well and if the stems are removed (the tops are okay but the stems are pretty fibrous). He made dinner last night, a potato casserole dish, and he put broccoli in it. And for some inexplicable reason, he put the stems in. He said he chopped them into smaller bits so that it would supposedly be easier on me. Um, no? It doesn't matter if they're chopped into smaller pieces, they still don't agree with me - and smaller bits just meant I had more pieces to pick out of my food. Ugh! So anyway, I understand the clueless partner thing, and hopefully having some discussions with your partner and getting him to a better level of understanding will help the situation.
02-27-2014, 07:34 PM   #4
seaofdreams
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That such a hard spot to be in because it sounds like everyone was genuinely acting out of kindness and love but I absolutely understand how hurtful and upsetting it can be to have your privacy violated. My mum is much the same, she vents her worries to others which often includes all the gory details.

I think first you should certainly speak to you partner about how much you feel comfortable with disclosing. He can still express to people like his mentors that he's struggling with you having a medical condition without actually going into details on what it is. I've asked my mum to use really general terminology rather than going into detail like "Nicci has a chronic health condition and has a hard time with it" rather than "Nicci has crohn's and poops herself" :P

Would it help you for your partner to speak with his mentors again and advise them that you're embarassed that he disclosed so much and that you'd prefer that they cancel hunting for a cookbook. Maybe he can even let them know that he'd prefer that they not discuss the issue in detail again.

And like Cat said, it may help to get your partner onto this site to discuss his feelings too. I know it can be hard for our carers and support people and they need to vent too so establishing a safe place where you're both comfortable for him to talk about your illness in detail would probably benefit you both.

I really hope you're okay. It's a different situation but I've had a thoughtless manager circulate emails about my Crohn's to other staff without my permission and I was so angry and ashamed and it took some time to work through it and come to terms with my embarassment.
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"Never feel guilty for being sick and try to stop comparing yourself and your life to others. You're doing the best you can under the circumstances you have and you're doing great."

Diagnosed with Crohn's in August 2009
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03-03-2014, 09:25 AM   #5
Weatherwax
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Thanks guys! I know he only told them because he was worrying and just blurted it out, just wish he had come to speak to me instead - silly boy. He has agreed to be a bit less open in future and has let those two colleagues know that I'm embarrassed! (So now we have a bit of a silly situation where they know, but won't mention it to me, so every time I see them we both pretend he hasn't told them - lol)

Last edited by Weatherwax; 03-19-2014 at 03:17 PM.
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