Involved with a great guy who wont deal with Crohn's diagnosis - need advice

Not dealing with treating Crohn's?
6
Self defeating - 66.7%
0
What the heck? - 0.0%
2
Utter stupidity? - 22.2%
1
Other - 11.1%

 
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imzadi
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/4/2009 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello!
I've recently become involved with a wonderful man (40 yrs old).  He shared with me that he has recently been diagnosised with Crohn's although he's suspected for over 20 yrs that he's had it. It runs in his family and his aunt died from complications arising from her denial of the disease.  He is choosing to not do anything other than just 'deal with it'.
 
I've been reading up on this disease, and his behavior seems self defeating.  I am totally aware that the only person one may control is self, but it hurts my heart to see him do this.
 
I am not trying to control his behavior.  I'm looking for guidance & support to better educate myself from a personal perspective.  I can read all the articles out there, but the human element is missing. 
 
Thank you for reading and for those who choose to share feedback, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
 
Imzadi
 

ISF13+
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 202
   Posted 8/4/2009 10:38 AM (GMT -7)   
You are so right.  Nobody can help him but himself.  It's his body and his symptoms.  Personally, I don't know how anyone can be in denial with Crohns.  The symptoms are usually in your face 24/7.  Perhaps he's embarrassed.  It is an embarrassing disease to talk about.  It involves our bowels and nobody likes to discuss that - it's private.  I commend you for offering your love and support to him.  We all need a good support person in our lives.  See if you can find a local crohns support group in your area.  Maybe once he see's that he's not alone and that we are all basic, normal people going through the same things that he is, then he'll be more open to being pro-active with his own healthcare.  I wish you the best of luck as you try to help him and sort this all out.  :-)
Crohn's Disease. 
Diagnosed 13+ years ago. 
Been in remission for short periods of time but each time I come out of remission my disease seems to have spread.  No longer isolated in my ileum, now from stomach down to rectum. 
Current Medications for the Crohns:  Humera 40mg injections every other week, Imuran 150mg, 3xday, Hyomax, Welchol 625mg, Flagyl 250mg, 3xday, Calcium, Acidophilus & Potassium
Previous Medications I've been on:  Asocal, Pentasa, Cipro, Prednisone & Entocort


HabsHockeyFan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3130
   Posted 8/4/2009 2:42 PM (GMT -7)   
My first question would be...How much patience do you have? My dear husband met me when i still did not talk about my disease. I was getting care, but I am a minimalist for care unless I am knocked to the floor. I forced the issue some on our first date showing him my high pill count, but I expected that would keep him quiet and he wouldn't want to know more.
He, very slowly and bits at a time, asked questions and gathered information from me. He got me to talk more about as he asked educated, non-threatening questions. I honestly don't remember ever having a conversation about the disease, but in our first two years of dating he asked enough small questions to know most of what happens. I guess it was a very slow approach that made me comfortable.
As far as his not getting care....depends on what symptoms he has. I went with no care before my emergency rupture, then I had very little care for 10 years. The disease made new adventures in the last few years and I have no choice but to get more care. perhaps that will be his route too.

Keep coming here with your questions and we can help as possible. Maybe he will feel comfortable to visit us or a support group with time.
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....


Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 8/4/2009 2:49 PM (GMT -7)   
The head in the sand method is not my way, so it is a bit hard to see how to shift him. It may be possible to persuade him to try a diet modification since that does not involve giving up control to the doctors and hospitals. Since his family history may have given him a distrust of hospitals, he might be willing to try something non-medical. For some info on that option, see:
PecanBread
and
http://www.scdiet.org/

It would be ideal if he were to take control of his diet/health, but you may be able to get him to try things.

aoccc
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 455
   Posted 8/4/2009 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Good question, poll answers not exactly oozing with support(utter stupidity?). If tough love worked on this board, most of the people would not like the answers giving. It is a sensitive topic, one thing said wrongly at first could close up the kind of communications you want to have.
SCD since 01, remission since 01, occasional random junk food breaks :)
No meds ever.


Valerie3
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 529
   Posted 8/4/2009 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Is he taking any medication at all? By not treating it, he's increasing his chances of ending up like his aunt, sorry to say. It isn't an easy diagnosis, but by ignoring it he won't make it go away either, unfortunately. I'm surprised that since it runs in his family and he knows what the consequences can be, he isn't taking a more serious approach to it. I really hope that he rethinks his choice to ignore it, and tries to get better for his own sake.

WriterMum
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 8/4/2009 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Let me tell you my story, and I hope it may help you a little. I just married a man I met 2 and a half years ago. He is 48 and I am 44. I was in remission when we met and although I told my husband that I had Crohn's it had little impact except that I did not eat certain things and that I was working half time in order to reduce stress etc. I didn't tell him when I went to the doctor at first, or show him the medication I was taking.

I am just (hopefully) coming out of a major flare up. I have been sick since December. It has been very hard for me because I feel that I have put a big burden on my husband that he didn't sign up for. I had not experienced a flare up like this before, and he has had to deal with 2 hospital stays etc. He is now intimately aware of my medications, my appointments etc.

I would prefer to "deal with it" myself too. That doesn't mean that I would ignore my disease, but that I would do what is needed to be done without it involving others, except for my doctors. Unfortunately I have 2 children and so due to my flare up my husband has had to become much more involved in their care and MY care than expected by either of us. I think that perhaps your boyfriend wants to retain the romance, and talking about intestines and such like is not romantic!

My husband, like HabsHockeyFan, has gently made it clear that he is willing, able and happy to share in my life - good and bad. That is all you can do. It is wonderful that you are taking the time to understand your boyfriend's condition, and I am sure that he will slowly welcome your support as your relationship deepens. Good luck, and thank you on behalf of your boyfriend for caring!
44 years old. Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's in April 2005. Hiatus hernia diagnosed in 2008. Had Crohn's under control until March this year when I had a major flare up and ended up in hospital. Diagnosis is now CD and IBS. Getting it under control again.
Currently taking: Prednisone 5 mg, Salofalk 2000 mg, Nexium 40 mg, Calcium and Vitamin D, Matamucil, Yogurt for probiotics, Salofalk suppositories as needed.


MissCris
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 8/5/2009 4:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Dealing with the fact that you have a chronic disease is difficult...even if you knew there was a chance. I definitely grieved for a long time after my dx and grief can make people act in ways that don't seem rational. It is possible that he has given up, he might be depressed, he might be embarrassed, he may feel that there is no point in treatment since he saw someone die from it, does he have health insurance? Crohn's is an expensive disease. There are a ton of possibilities that could explain the way he is reacting to his dx but I don't think its really fair for you to judge him so harshly (from looking at your poll options).

I think the best thing that you could do is to just talk to him about how he feels about his dx and why he has decided not to seek treatment. Its important for you to go into that conversation as nonjudgmental as possible. If you approach him with facts and statistics (especially as someone who doesn't have the disease) and make him feel like he is wrong, he is very likely to shut down and not want to talk to you about it. It is important for him to seek treatment but its also important to realize that on some level he is grieving.
"Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity" ~ Horace Mann


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 8/5/2009 5:48 AM (GMT -7)   
he is more then likely going to go thru the stages of grief after such a dx especially due to his aunt's death
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…


MikeB
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 8/5/2009 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Well the unfortunate truth with Crohns is that it is like the old saying directed at a pacifist who said that he was not interested in war -- "yes, but war may well be interested in you." Crohns has a way of breaking through denial when you wake up at 2 a.m. with a painful obstruction and wind up before dawn in emergency surgery. Hopefully that won't happen with him, but the reality is that CD left essentially untreated almost always causes major damage and complications sooner or later. For now if he is living a relatively normal life, there really is no reason for you to expect him to change. Only you can make the decision on what your combined future holds, but you can take some assurance that, despite the relative's reported fatal outcome, Crohns is really not a mortal illness. It is one that can severely compromise quality of life and even lead to periodic medical crises, but it is very rare for someone to out and out die from.

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/5/2009 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree 100% with MikeB. I once enjoyed a 20 year remission med free. It ended in an ugly manner with an emergency surgery much like Mike described above. Will I ever be med free again, heck NO!! That really woke me up and made me realize that I really was sick and needed to take better care of myself. Hopefully, things don't happen the same for your BF, but he if keeps denying the disease I am sure it will remind him again sooner than later. Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*
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