Requesting Advice

by Jo
(Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)

I do not actually have Crohns but I am romantically involved with someone who does. He has tried to tell me about what to expect when he has flare ups, but he doesn't really have any advice as to what he will need me to do for him.

If at all possible, I would love to have hints and suggestions for things I can do for him to make things a bit more comfortable. Perhaps if you can think about how you feel during the bad periods, tell me what kinds of things you want or wish for?

I have been searching the Net for such information but I don't seem to be wording my searches correctly because all I can ever find are web pages specifically for people who have Crohns, and it seems to be mostly about how to avoid the bad periods. I can't seem to find anything about how to cope with those times when they are actually occurring.

So if anyone can post their suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it. In the meantime I might start trying a few other search engines. Thanks again for your time and consideration.

Comments for Requesting Advice

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Requesting Advice
by: Annette Young


Thank you for your question.
When you are involved with someone who has Crohn's disease, it is certainly wise to know things that you should or shouldn't say or how to offer the best support, so I'm really glad that you have written in.

It isn't always easy, because it's hard to see someone you love suffering so much. Crohn's disease can have such a negative impact on someone's life, and often, it is embarrassing and your partner may even try to push you away, emotionally. This can be very difficult to cope with, even if they do not normally mean should now now

Crohn's disease is not all doom and gloom. There are ups and downs obviously, good days and bad days, and the important thing is to remember to make those good days -quality times for you both.
Sometimes it is better to just go with the flow and to not plan to much, this is because stress and in anticipation can sometimes trigger off a negative response.

Providing support for your partner is absolutely vital, because Crohn's disease can be very isolating. Sufferers get very down about the very nature of Crohn's disease and suffering with bouts of diarrhea or constipation is not much fun. The pain factor can certainly cause a spiralling depression.

But some people manage beautifully to work with Crohn's and eventually the disease can go into a remission period which can make life much more simple. Your partner needs to stick to a very simple and basic diet, to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, and to avoid spicy foods. In fact, anything that might cause the digestive problem to have a hard time of it.

I wish you much luck and hope it all works out through.


support people
by: shell

Jo, In my ten years of suffering I have found that a supportive partner is always a good thing. My partner is extrememly helpful & has no problems helping me in the bad times especially. He takes over the home duties , assists me with helping me to get in & out of bed etc. Prepares special meals for me & it is very helpful if you can get the support person as much information about the disease & how it affects everyone so differently. It can be very stressful for the support person as well as the person suffering. The support person has a lot to deal with because it is not a disease that you can physically see& many people can be very judgemental & hurtful. If you are there for your patient you will be helping this person greatly & as you cant take it away for them.

A little advice
by: Anonymous

First off, I think it's really caring that you're out seeking advice for how to help! That's one of the most important points anyway -- that you're caring and empathetic towards him.

For myself, it's really the fatigue that hits hardest during a flare. Anything you can do to help him out so that he doesn't get totally worn out probably makes a difference. The smallest things can wear you out at these times, so it's important to take it easy (at least, for me). And making plans can be difficult -- you don't know what days you might feel "up to" going out and having fun, or which days you might be stuck in the bathroom a lot, or too tired to run around. I don't know how long you've been together, but he might not be totally comfortable in saying "I just can't do all that today" or "No, I can't take you out to dinner tonight." It's important that you be perceptive at those times -- if you notice him being a little down and out, offer to stay home and watch a movie -- preferably a comedy! Laughter is good medicine. :) Being caring and willing to help and being understanding are the best things you can do.

Requesting Advice
by: Shawna

I am 34 and recently diagnosed with Crohns. One thing I have needed more than anything is for someone to listen. Although you will never understand how he is feeling, just being there with him through the Dr's appt.s and the flare ups will mean the world to him. Sometimes it gets to a point where you don't want to leave the house because 1. you are in pain and 2. you don't want to get very far from the bathroom. It's a very cruel disease. Good Luck!!!

Some Advice
by: Mary

My niece was diagnosed about five years ago and it was just a total shock to us. I was there during several of her flares and they were pretty significant. I sat with her and kept wiping her face and neck with lukewarm washcloths. I know that sounds silly but she has told me since that those were really special times as she knew that someone cared. I continually reassured her that she was not alone. Three years ago our son was diagnosed with Crohns and all of the time and chats that I had had with my niece were so helpful. I just rub his back and shoulders--besides calling the doctor when necessary. Your boyfriend will have to tell you any specifics but until then just reassure him that you are there. Best of luck.

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