Crohn’s Disease (and/or Colitis) is a chronic, incurable, immune-related disease that eats its way around your colon and small intestine. Your immune system (for some reason) starts attacking that area causing massive weight loss, painful cramps, internal bleeding, loss of energy/cognitive thinking ability, and frequent trips to the bathroom. To top it all off, Doctors don’t know what causes it or how to cure it.
But amidst all of that chaos, Crohn’s has a bright side.
I’m a big believer in making your situations work for you to the best they can. We too often let our attitudes be reflections of a situation, when really; we should be cultivating powerful attitudes to change the situations we’re in for the better. It takes a lot of guts (pun intended) for someone with Crohn’s to see the bright side of what they have, so let’s hope this can act as some sort of inspiration. Crohn’s might get angry, throw a tantrum and try to kill you, but that doesn’t mean you have to. As with any disease, the extent to which it affects our daily behaviours is minimal… unless we let it.
I’ve come across many men with Crohn’s. They’re insecure about it, no doubt. But they also turn out to be the most deep, thought-provoking, life-appreciating individuals I’ve ever met. They understand that life is too short to not love. They understand pain and suffering. They understand the importance of unity and affection. Yet, many of them find their disease a burden and don’t want to burden others with it.
I once met a young gentleman like this. We joked about dating and he said to me, “I don’t think I’ll ever get a girlfriend, I’m just a burden.” His words struck me. Is this thinking normal? How could one condition mask all the other amazing qualities of this young man? So I had to write this piece.
Ladies, date a guy with Crohn’s Disease because…
1.) He can relate to what PMS feels like. – Let’s face it. With Crohn’s disease, he gets the painful cramps and stomach aches. He gets moody as well, but learns to control it because the problem reoccurs on a daily basis. Above all, he knows what it feels like to lose blood from an exit point in the lower half of your body. Problem is he doesn’t have a tampon or pad built specifically for him. But all in all, a guy with Crohn’s can relate to all your symptoms. He’s probably had a year’s worth of ‘periods’ in just a few days.
2.) He knows where all the best washrooms are. – Oh believe me. With Crohn’s, he has a built in radar that is able to detect where several washrooms are within a given vicinity. For him this is useful because when the poo-mergency warning sign comes in, he has a few minutes before he drops the bomb. For you ladies, he’ll always be able to direct you to the nearest washroom given your own emergencies (whether related to the toilet or make-up).
3.) You’ll get to see more of his sensitive side. – No guy likes talking about sensitive issues like the consistent flow of blood from their anus. But because Crohn’s requires daily management, you’ll know about it, you can talk about it and you can share in his pains. In turn, you’ll be able to connect better with him and he with you. I’ve seen countless couples get closer together when faced with adversity like Crohn’s, and the outcome was always a stronger bond. Crohn’s is a journey you take together.
4.) He’s very health conscious. – Though Crohn’s has no known cure, some studies have shown that certain (yet major) dietary changes can lessen the diseases effect on the body. He’ll be eating healthy, and so will you! What a great influence huh? Your waistline will be thanking him.
5.) He’s a wonderful cook. – SUCH A BONUS! Crohn’s guys (since they’re so health conscious) are also well versed cooks in the art of healthy eating. They’d know that avocado is a great replacement for butter in many cases, that clean filtered water trumps any drink, and that you really need to practice portion control with your desserts.
6.) He’s super concerned with your health. – Just assume whenever anything bad happens to you, he’ll be there with a caring heart and a ton of love. He’s been through some bad shit (pun intended) and he’ll do everything in his power to make sure you don’t go through the same.
7.) He can advise on the best toilet paper. – I’d think anyone with Crohn’s Disease would be an expert on the best toilet paper.
8.) He knows a great deal about the medical field (for someone that isn’t a doctor) – He’s consistently doing research and keeping up to date with the latest in health. Heck, he might even have a few natural remedies up his belt with all the crazy things he’s spent his time in bed reading.
9.) He shares in your accidents. – Ever had an unexpected period make its way into staining your favorite pair of pants? In some twisted way, he has as well. Now you have someone to laugh with.
10.) His experiences have hardened him into a better person. – Negative experiences always do, especially those that try to bring you down on a daily basis.
11.) He tries to understand you. – His condition is very misunderstood by many, so he knows the feeling. It teaches him that understanding other people and their circumstances in important. I mean really, aren’t we all longing to be understood?
12.) He’s patient. – Learning to deal with a chronic disease, especially Crohn’s, can take a lifetime to master. He understands first hand that great things take time, and so he’ll have no problem being patient when a situation calls for it.
13.) He gives. – He starts noticing those around him in need, and is pushed to give more and become involved in charities and initiatives related to health (not necessarily just Crohn’s).
14.) He can be a great role model for your kids. – Positive attitude and striving for excellence WITH a chronic disease? How is that NOT inspirational?
15.) He appreciates the little things in life. – Walks in the park, sharing a slice of cake, small tidbits of affection – these are what make him feel alive because…
16.) He appreciates life a lot more. – When you live with something like Crohn’s (or any chronic disease for that matter), you feel the weight of the world every single day. The more serious stages of Crohn’s CAN kill you, and the disease can evolve as it pleases. Date a guy with Crohn’s, or at the very least, a guy that genuinely appreciate being alive. You won’t regret a moment of it. To a guy with Crohn’s disease, love is a verb, and he will make an effort to show you every day that he loves you. Because like others with a chronic disease, he just doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be in good health to experience and explore each and every bit of you.
Let’s face it. No one wants to be sick, let alone chronically ill. But life deals you a hand, and you make the most of it. I wrote this article because I know quite a few people with this debilitating condition. I knew of a friend that went through several surgeries and hasn’t been the same since. I knew of a mother of a friend that passed after just a few years after she was diagnosed with it. I knew of an older gentleman that now lives at the hospital hooked up to a machine.
When you have a chronic/terminal condition, you inspire others in the same situation. You give them hope that life isn’t over just because of a bad circumstance, instead, it’s just starting and blossoming into something great. All you need to do is see and show others the silver lining.