Coping with my wife having Chron's disease.

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Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/5/2017 9:30 AM (GMT -7)   
My wife and I have been together for 18 years and we have two kids. about 5 years ago she was diagnosed with Chron's disease. It has been difficult for the both of us especially her of course because she is the one with the illness. She has been to the hospital at least 40 times. I am always by her side in the hospital. I feel awful she is going thru this. She is a great mother and wife. She has not been taking any medicines as recommended by the doctors. I try to make her healthy meals because I know eating healthy is best with Chron's I feel guilty because sometimes I get upset about her junk food habit. She has been eating junk food 4 to 5 days a week. She has given up a lot of foods but will not stop eating junk food. I try to express to her the junk food eating habit plays a part in her sickness. Sometimes we get in arguments about her habits. Because she is not taking any medicines as she should be and keeps eating junk food I feel like she is making it worst. When she is in the hospital I miss work and the kids even miss school sometimes. Am I wrong for getting upset about her junk food eating habits? I try to tell her the decisions she makes as far as her eating habits effects all of us. I express to her when she is in the hospital the family very stressed especially to see her in that position. Am I wrong for feeling this way? I feel like she doesn't understand that we are both effected by her habits. She feels like I have no say so I what she eats even though I am impacted when she is sick. Is any one else experiencing this.

Post Edited (Mark99) : 10/5/2017 2:01:17 PM (GMT-6)

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15546
   Posted 10/5/2017 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Louis & welcome to the forum. Sorry to read your story. Your wife is very fortunate to have you in her corner. Not all spouses, family & friends understand this disease. Five years is a long time for someone to stay in denial. Many of us have denial when we are first given the diagnosis, however we learn to accept it & move towards making ourselves better & that means taking care of our health & taking our medications. Do not get offended by this next question, but is there a chance your wife enjoys the extra attention she is getting from you when she gets sick or continuing to eat junk food?

A decent diet is a must for anyone with or without a disease or illness. Does your wife's dr know she is doing everything in her power to sabotage her health? If not, then it is time he/she be informed. A dr cannot properly treat a patient if the dr is not being told the truth, plain & simple.

Here is my thoughts, she is a grown woman, you cannot force her to do anything & shouldn't. I suggest that you stop reminding her about the eating habits. Something tells me you will struggle with this. In fact, just stop discussing all of it, how it affects the family everything. Stop everything you have doing trying to help her, it hasn't worked in what 5 years. My mother had a favorite saying "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink". This applies to your wife. I know you mean well, but you may be making things worse if that makes sense. Continue cooking for yourself & the kids& eat as you usually do.

As far as how you feel, I do not think you are wrong for feeling as you do. In my opinion, your wife is being very selfish. She does nothing to help herself. You are right, when she gets sick it affects the entire family. She has to take responsibility for herself. You cannot do this for her & should not have to.

When she gets sick & say gets put in the hospital there is no reason for you to be missing work. She will get all the care she needs while in the hospital. It is not necessary for you to be doing a hospital vigil. Take care of yourself & your kids. Same if she has a flare & is at home. You cannot afford to end up having issues with your employer. Make sure she has what she needs at the house.

I am sorry for what you are dealing with. You may want to consider some counseling either together or individual. If she refuses to go, then go for yourself. A good psychologist can be very helpful. Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10155
   Posted 10/5/2017 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
People invariably think that healthy eating is a valid way of treating Crohn's - it isn't. Or, more accurately, it isn't a proven way of treating Crohn's. There have been no large-scale, random controlled trials on Crohn's and diet. All you will find on the internet are anecdotes and a lot of pseudo-science, frequently to be found on commercial websites with supplements and diet regimes to sell.

Even if a diet makes somebody feel better, feeling better is meaningless on its own. Loads of things might make you feel better; that's not the same thing as stopping or slowing the underlying disease process. There have been people on this forum who've gone on the SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) and then had an obstruction out of the blue months/years later. Alternatively there are people who weren't on any meds and not on any special diet who were in remission for 20 years.

Please, for the love of god, stop nagging your wife about her diet. Partly because it's none of your business (it's not your disease or your body) and partly because it's clearly, and unsurprisingly, completely counterproductive. The sort of diet she would have to go on to make any potential difference would be so insanely restrictive, most people cannot do it long-term (e.g. the SCD, enteral nutrition). Diet is NOT curative: I cannot stress that enough. There is no food under the sun which possesses 'healing' powers. If only.

As for medication, do you know which ones your wife has been offered and what she is refusing to take? 40 hospital admissions are an awful lot - are they all for Crohn's and has surgery ever been mentioned?

PS: Just so you know, a lot of people with Crohn's have to eat a bland low-residue diet. If they have strictures, it's a must that they avoid fibre. Let adults with Crohn's make up their own mind what they eat: they are adults, not children, when all said and done.
Dx Crohn's in June 2000. (Yay skull)
Tried: 5-ASAs, azathioprine, 6MP, Remicade, methotrexate, Humira, diets.
1st surgery 20/2/13 - subtotal colectomy with end ileostomy.
2nd surgery 10/7/15 - ileorectal anastomosis. Stoma reversed and ileum connected to the rectum.
Current status: Chronic flare. Do I have any other kind?
Current meds: 50mg 6MP; Entyvio (started 3/11/16)

Post Edited (NiceCupOfTea) : 10/5/2017 12:21:22 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 3370
   Posted 10/5/2017 11:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome! I'm sorry for what you and your wife are going through. My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years and have two kids. I've spent a lot of that time in the hospital, so it sounds like your situation is similar to ours.

I have a few questions:

1) What medications is she on? Does she say why she doesn't take them?

2) What do you mean by "healthy" meals? Yes, diet IS important like you mentioned. However, healthy is different when you have Crohn's. Foods with fiber, like raw fruits and vegetables or whole grains are EXTREMELY painful to eat, and they actually make things a lot worse as opposed to better.

3) What are your wife's vitamin levels like? I know when I get low in certain nutrients and vitamins, I start craving things like sweets. Or when I'm not hydrated.

4) I also have cravings when my hormones are off or I am feeling depressed. Or bored because I'm sick and stuck in the house. Has your wife been assessed for depression? Being in the hospital as much as she has can cause situational depression. My snacking habits got a lot better when I started an antidepressant for postpartum depression after having my second kid.

I'm sorry with what both you and she are going through. I can't imagine how easy it is. With us, my husband and I made the decision that when I am in the hospital, the kids are his first priority and THEN time with me is second. That helps keeps things smooth. I've been admitted over 35 times in our marriage (the number of ER visits without being admitted is probably double or triple that.)
"For this thing I besought the Lord thrice that it depart from me. He said, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities; I take pleasure in infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, distresses, for when I am weak, then am I strong" 2 Cor
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