Hi guys! Sorry I’m so late posting. I’ll be posting a life update after IBD Awareness Week letting everyone know what’s been going on and why I’ve been a little distracted.
Well anyway, Day 5 of IBD Awareness Week is “How I Explained IBD To My Partner” – this is a question I’ve actually (surprisingly) gotten quite a few times before.
Im sure anyone with any illness can relate to this. Trying to explain your illness can be just awkward. My least favorite part of the “talking phase.” – With that being said, I do still believe when you share your illness is all in your hands. You should tell someone when you’re ready.
How I Explained My IBD With My Partner: Dating With UC
For me, ready is when I’m interested, I can see a future with them, and plan on spending more time with them. I don’t necessity feel the need to be official with them or “boyfriend-girlfriend” so to speak… just because, if I’m spending a lot of time with the person, I think they need to know at least a little about what is going on with me for my own safety. Not saying that this works for everyone, but the way I think, when dealing with my illness: what if something happens to me? What if I pass out on a date?
I just like to play it safe. Granted, early in the relationship, I didn’t say much. On a date one night, we were at a restaurant and something came up about food or what I did and did not eat, I found this the perfect time to at least make mention of it. That was maybe the 2nd date when I said something along the lines of I have Ulcerative Colitis, it’s dealing with the digestive system mainly. It’s an auto immune disease. – Something like that. I spared a lot of the details because we were at dinner and I still didn’t know how long he would stick around. From there he actually made mention of my old Facebook posts, he’d seen pics of me in the hospital. So very easy night that was.
Getting the Deets
So Lamar didn’t get the real details of my UC until a very odd night involving the toilet and I (coincidentally). One day I was at his / our place and the toilet over flooded. * side note: this is actually an IBD patient’s absolute WORST nightmare. When you have to go you can’t wait hours upon hours for a plumber!
When the plumber came he and Lamar kept asking what I did to the toilet and I kept telling them nothing! I hadn’t even used the bathroom when it was overflowing! But I literally could not convince them. I got so tired of the joke I told Lamar, LOOK. I DONT EVEN HAVE A COLON, THERES NO WAY I COULD HAVE DONE THIS! And it all went down from there. The plumber was asking why I didn’t have a colon and “what I had going on,” so I told him about my Ulcerative Colitis and how I had surgery for it.
We had something in common.
It turned out the plumber actually had UC too! What a small world! So he began asking me about all these symptoms from the past and if I still had mucous coming out of my butt! All infront of Lamar! We went into overdrive talking about all of the things we’ve dealt with having Colitis. He was probably taking to us for about 30-45 mins about UC alone! I was pretty embarrassed. I mean don’t get me wrong, I don’t hide my illness. I was going to explain in more detail but just not the way the plumber did. Turns out, after our lil date he did his own research and he already knew a lot of that stuff. He was so good with it that he even asked questions!
After finding out I asked him what he thought and he told me he thought I would be much worse (health wise). He thought I’d have accidents and not be able to do a lot of the things I do on a normal basis. Of course that was my past, and possible could be my future, but he understands and accepts that part of me.
At the end of the dayI’d just suggest finding someone who understands. – And of course you’ll never know if they do or not if you don’t share this part of your life with them.
As always, thanks for reading. Before you go:
Do you have IBD? Are you dating? If so, how’d you explain your condition to your loved one? Let me know in the comments below!