One of my spouses makes me laugh whenever I'm around him whether I am mad or sad. He is an amazing person with a big heart, especially for animals. He likes the Ninja Turtles and can give you a whole explanation why the new Star Wars movies are horrible compared to the old ones ("They're classics!") And without a doubt, he is the strongest person I know.
My second spouse is mean and he is relentless. He hates pizza and salad, and is very picky with any other foods he eats. He can turn any day into a bad one and will even attack in public. The worst part is my first spouse and I have to deal with him for life.
He is Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
My husband was diagnosed in 2008, shortly before I met him. In the summer of 2013, he was admitted into the hospital for a week and half because of complications.
From his prospective, he could give you every in and out of what it is like to live with a chronic disease that any one walking past him on the street wouldn't be able to see just by looking at him.
But from my perspective, I just see my husband in pain from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed.
Every meal has to be carefully chosen and prepared because there are so many things that could make him ill if he eats them.
Going to work or going any place for that matter is a big deal especially if he is having a flare up.
His joints ache constantly and he isn't able to do as much as he wants or would like to.
He takes an array of different medications that are constantly being changed or altered, added to or subtracted from. Most of these medications are not cheap and are not covered under many insurance plans INCLUDING Obamacare. This means that under any insurance plan, adequate treatment can still cause a patient to fall into debt.
The hardest part?
There is no cure. He can be in remission, making his symptoms less noticeable. But for the rest of his life, he will always have Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.
As a wife, this is a hard reality. You want to make it better. You want to stop the pain or make what he wants for dinner. You want to live a day without fear of hospital stays or surgery. You want HIM to live a day without this same fear. You want him to be able to go out and live a normal life without the anxiety. But that's not possible.
And the saddest part is many people don't know what Crohn's or Colitis is even though at least 700,000 Americans, if not more, suffer from this each day.
I write this post not only for my husband and those who suffer with him, but for the people who have no clue what this disease is or how it affects the people who have been diagnosed.
December 1 through 7 is Crohn's Awareness Week, and I challenge you, dear readers, to become aware and learn about this disease and the lives that it affects.
You can learn more about Crohns and Colitis here.