When to tell someone...

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FightingChance
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 5/14/2009 1:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys and girls...

So...this is probably the most interesting predicament I have found myself in a longgggggg time.

Here goes:

I have Ulcerative Colitis/IBD for about 6 years already, I am in my 20's. So, a month ago, I start dating someone new...and guess what he does...yeah, he's a Gastroenterologist! Now, if anyone can appreciate the irony of this, I'm sure it's you guys. But, now it leaves me in the position of should I tell him about my condition? Normally, I would think that I would treat it like any other guy I would date and just tell them whenever the time felt right/aka. I was comfortable enough with him. I have only gone out on 2 dates with this guy and I think I could really like him, but not 100 percent sure yet.

So, the issue is that I was just in the hospital over this past weekend for a flare. I was admitted for 3 days and then released. I had had a date planned with this GI doc during that weekend (a 3rd date) but let him know I wasn't feeling well and cancelled...of course didn't tell him I was in the hospital...and told him I would have to reschedule. I think I might see him tomorrow for the first time since getting out of the hospital... Should I tell him the truth? That I was hospitalized, that I have this condition, ect?

The reasons why I am hesitant are I'm sure apparent, as it is not the most attractive quality in the world and I don't want him to think of me as a sick girl, but in reality I kind of am. I don't want it to ruin the possible attraction and make me I guess less attractive, because then he'd be thinking of me like that maybe...maybe even like a patient.

But, on the flip-side, I don't want to lie to him about what is going on with me either because then it's like almost being deceitful. And....he works for a research hospital where I might actually want to see the cheif of that department, because that doc might be able to be of a great resource to me, but I know they discuss cases and such and I wouldn't want him to know the details of my case....I feel like he might even inquire moreso because it's me too and as you guys know, this condition is so embarrassing...who wants to talk about going to the bathroom or your probs with it with a guy your dating??? Especially in the beginning?

I don't even tell my friends what is exactly going on with me, condition wise, I mean they know I was in the hospital but only a handful of people know what my condition is, and it's mostly family...I am very very embarrassed about it and it causes me a lot of stress to think that people would see me differently as a result of having this condition. I am very weird when it comes to bathroom issues, it makes me extremely embarrassed. Either way, I want to make the right decision, but I really am torn on when the right time to say something is...and whether or not to go to his research hospital, because if I go there, then I really think I should tell him ahead of time.

Part of me just doesn't even want to date him because I value my health over some guy anyday, but I kinda wonder if this can work out where I could still see where it goes with the guy while getting the best possible treatment. Stressed!

Please let me know your thoughts...

Thanks!

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 5/14/2009 1:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I totally get where you're comming from and everyone handles these situations differently (whether there's a GI involved or a regular person) for me I would be honest and upfront cuz the way I look at it GI or not if they are not accepting of the fact that I have this disease then why waste anymore time with that person...also, I appreciate people being honest with me so I have the same respect for others...plus the way I look at it is, the longer you wait the more decietful it seems (my perspective anyway). Ultimately the choice is your when it comes to how soon you want to share with him that you have UC, some people think the timing of telling a person is key, I think if you let the timing run too long it looks bad on you.

Good luck, and if he's worth your time, it won't matter to him that you have UC (whether he's a GI or not).

:)


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16719
   Posted 5/14/2009 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't know what I would do either. The worst part for me would be if I wanted to go to the research hospital and see the director and you feel like they are speaking about you. I hate people speaking about me when I am not present. I am sure they just want the best for you. It's not like they would be saying what a pain in the ass you are. I would probably be honest. The longer you wait to tell, the harder it will be to open up. Seems like a good opportunity to get it out there. If you see a longterm relationship with this guy it will come out eventually. If he finds it unattractive, he will find it unattractive whether you tell him now or in a year and at that point you would have invested a lot more of your time and energy into the relationship. I think he will be understanding and want to help.
Diagnosed with mild proctitis in March 2007: Treated with Canasa (as needed)
December 08: Began treating with Asacol 400mg (9/day) + Canasa 2x/day - Anemic
May 09: Off Canasa, taking Asacol (9/day)
Back on Canasa every other night + Asacol (9/day) + Probiotics + Iron
 


Serenity Now
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2153
   Posted 5/14/2009 10:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow, that is an interesting dilemma! How ironic to end up dating a GI doc! I'll just mention one thing, he will be one person that you definitely don't have to be embarrassed about discussing bathroom issues with... he does it all the time and will think nothing of it. Look at the way we all discuss poop in great detail here and don't bat an eye.
ack, 42, Vancouver BC
 
DX: UC (Pancolitis) as of Jan2009.  Symptoms first began June 2008.
Current Meds: Ferrous Sulfate, plus various supplements
Previous Meds: Jan-Mar 2009: Asacol 800 mg (1 pill x 4 daily), stopped Mar14/09. 


fruitgirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 5/14/2009 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
If I were you, I'd handle it just like I would any other new relationship. I'm very open about my condition, though, and have told a lot of people. :) I think ack is right, in that he's not going to think as much of the fact that you poop a lot as someone else would! And, when you tell him you have UC, you don't have to explain what it is, he'll just know. Another benefit I see is that when you say you're not feeling well and cancel plans, he'll know why and be understanding, whereas someone else might not be.

At any rate, best of luck with the new relationship!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).


FightingChance
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 5/14/2009 12:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys! I know, it is sooooooooooo ironic...

I still don't know how I am going to handle it, I think I need to just feel it out.

The only reason why I don't feel that it is deceitful is because it's my personal medical history. I mean, yes, if he and I were in a committed, long-term relationship and I kept that from him then I would consider that deceitful but the fact that we have only gone out on a few dates kinda leaves me to believe I can tell him bits and pieces of whatever I feel comfortable with so far. But....the fact is that I would be keeping that I was in the hospital from him....hmmmm. Decisions...Decisions. They suck :(

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 5/14/2009 1:16 PM (GMT -6)   
It's not decietful, but it can come across that way (thinking of other people's perspective), also any time someone keeps from telling others info, it may be veiwed as deception regardless if it's something minor or big. There's nothing wrong with sharing bits and pieces, again, the sooner you start doing that the less deceptive it will seem, know what I mean? Three dates certainly isn't a commitment but for him he may already feel you're the right person for him and if you start to feel the same way about him soon then not telling him anything until those feelings really start to develop may backfire (I've seen this happen to freinds in new relationships).

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


basa0806
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 2103
   Posted 5/14/2009 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
That is quite a pickle...
If you tell him he might understand because he knows the nature of the disease. And he might not find it disgusting (I mean he IS a GI!)
I'd treat it like any other relationship too. There is nothing wrong with being honest. If you tell the guy and he is uncomfortable then he probably isn't the guy for you. Like pb said, if he's the right guy he won't think anything of it.
Good luck :)
Sam(antha)
20 year old college student diagnosed in March 2005
Remission since January/April 2006->THREE YEARS!!!!!
Trying Colazal 3 750mg x2 (NOT for a flare, just some linger symptoms?)
25mg Elavil
75mg Effexor XR for GAD
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."
Maya Angelou


FightingChance
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 5/19/2009 5:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys...you know what's so funny...I think I am going to tell him...

I mean I am young and I thought it was kinda fated for me to meet a GI doc that is close to my age and that I am somewhat attracted to...almost like I had to see how it played out...but things are moving really slow with him and we had another date and I am not so convinced that he is the one for me...he could be but who knows.

So, I really kinda want to see how he would take this news, especially because he complains about all the stuff that happens at work...not so much about the patients but about the system...and that's really the last thing I need to be hearing about right now. Also, he is really active in the IBD community in my area...he goes to support groups and all these things...I feel like keeping it from him would be a mistake given it makes me have anxiety feeling like I might be hesitant to use some resources in my area that he might be involved in so that I wouldn't see him. Part of me wants to scrap the potential relationship...we'll see if he even calls this week. haha.

Anyways, thanks for the advice.

FightingChance
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 5/19/2009 5:14 AM (GMT -6)   
You know what's also so funny...I haven't told most of my friends either...at least not what the actual diagnosis is. I don't want them to look at me like I am gross you know? How do you guys handle it with your friends...do all your friends know?

notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16719
   Posted 5/19/2009 8:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I tell them that I have gut issues. I never say what I deal with exactly. I don't want to discuss it too much or make it a topic of conversation. I hate when people pry. Sometimes I lie and say whatever comes to mind. I always hide my medications. I don't think it is anyones business what I am taking or how many times I use the can. One of my ex-friends kept asking what kind of medication I was taking. I know she would look it up and find my condition and throw it in my face. She is the type to look into it and act all smart because she knows what my problem is. She would then go discuss it with whoever would listen. I don't tell people things because I don't want them discussing it with people I barely know. It's better off keeping things to myself I have learned. Many times I have regretted sharing information with people, never have I had any regrets about keeping things to myself. Kind of sad but true. I am more likely to tell people things if we share no mutual friends or enemies. People I just met, I don't care, my bestfriend, no way in hell I would tell her anything.
Diagnosed with mild proctitis in March 2007: Treated with Canasa (as needed)
December 08: Began treating with Asacol 400mg (9/day) + Canasa 2x/day - Anemic
May 09: Off Canasa, taking Asacol (9/day)
Back on Canasa every other night + Asacol (9/day) + Probiotics + Iron
Reducing to 6 Asacol/day + Canasa at night + Probiotics + Iron - So far so good!!!
 


bookworm21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 5/19/2009 9:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I just say autoimmune or chronic disease. Luckily, I'm in remission so I get to act pretty "normal." And when I've been flaring, I just say "I'm not feeling well" and just become a hermit. I know that if I told one friend, then everyone else will know as well. As much as I want to educate people on IBD, I feel like telling a few people won't get anything done and in fact would cause a backlash on me. My friends usually never ask what kind of medications I'm on or for any specifics; when they do ask, I just say "oh, it's complicated" and they get the message to back off.
 
Let us know how the situation with your GI date turns out!
Female, Age 20
9 Asacol, Rowasa1000 mg Canasa, Proctofoam, Rifaximin 2/day
Digestive Advantage (Crohn's & Colitis)1 Florastor, 50 mg 6MP,1 Primadophilus reuteri, Remicade (7 infusions), 2.4 g Lialda, Forvia, 6 Colazal, 1 Anucort, Culturelle, Fish Oil, Calcium/Vit D supplement, 20 mg Prozac, VSL #3 DS, Turmeric
 


fruitgirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 5/19/2009 10:18 AM (GMT -6)   
All of my friends know (well, the ones I've spoken to since being diagnosed. I have a lot of long-distance friends that I don't talk to very often). I'm a pretty open person, though, and think it's good for as many people as possible to know about UC/IBD. Anyway, I just say that it's thought to be an autoimmune disease like RA (most people seem to know about it), but that instead of attacking my joints, my body has decided it would be "fun" to attack my colon. Then I say something along the lines of them being able to imagine what kind of symptoms that causes and that when I'm in a flare, I'm nervous about being too far from a restroom. Some people ask questions, but that doesn't bother me.
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 5/19/2009 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
I would tell him. He is the one person who could actually understand! I'm sure he would have great info for you. And if this became a serious relationship wouldn't you want him being able to get you top notch treatment. I guess i am just pretty open about my disease anyway but I wouldn't be able to keep this a secret. As soon as he said GI I would have been like, wow, what a coincidence, I see one all the time lol. What if he was the covering doctor when you were hospitalized? You wouldn't want him finding out that way!
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 5/19/2009 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't keep my IBd a secret, it would have been too hard to do that anyway, what would people have thought if they saw me running to the can every 10 minutes during the worst of flares? People (including friends/family) will automatically think the worst (seems to be human nature for most) so often I'd be crying on the toilet cuz of the lower back pain issues I used to get with each bowel movement, I wouldn't want people thinking I was doing drugs or something every 10 minutes in the can so I'd rather they know the truth...as embarassing as this disease is, I'd rather people know I was ill rather than think something bad of me that wasn't true, how they handle it is their problem I'm the one that has been living with it. I usually tell new hairdressers too cuz if I have to run to the can during a hair appointment I want them to know the real reason rather then speculate.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


Sweetie31105
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 5/19/2009 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, I can give a personal opinion, but.. how my hubby and I got together was quite different. I like to tell things up front. I like to be completely open. When my hubby and I got together we were just friends, we told each other our dark secrets before we got together. He knew something that was a scary thing to face before we got together. The thing was "God promised me that the next guy I would date would be the guy I'd marry" That was totally true. That scared him... it took him a week to ask me out... but he did and almost 2 years later we got married. I think that if you are serious in finding your soul mate you need to be up front about your situation. You don't really need to tell the entire story though, you just need to say that you have an illness that is life long or something like that. If you are comfortable and feel like you need to then you can tell more. It's just up to you. Everyone comes with baggage and the other needs to be willing to take it on if they are willing to be committed to you for life. My man sure has stuck with me through the thick and thin, he's been my rock through out these 7 years we've been together.
27 year old, Married, Female.
Diagnosed with UC since March 2007

Taking Humira and Imuran since May 2007 (Currently in remission since May 2007)
Taken off Imuran 1/15/09
Only taking Humira.

Can't take Asacol, Allergic to Remicade

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