One of the hardest aspects of my diagnosis six years ago was coming to terms with how this disease would affect my love life. No disease is glamorous, but one involving your bowels has to be one of the least sexy.
Four years after my diagnosis, I met Terrell. Before we met in person, I learned that Terrell also had Crohn’s disease. It was a fortunate stroke of serendipity that we met under no circumstances related to Crohn’s and our first date fell on the exact day that I began my first injection treatment. Every other week, since that first injection, he has been by my side as my little injection cheerleader. He has not only held my hand through each injection, but through all of the stomachaches, sleepless nights, and poor dietary decisions. Often we joke that our stomachs sync up, but I know in my heart that it's just sympathy pains because we know how hard this disease can be on each another.
It's often difficult to articulate the intricacies of this disease to someone who has never experienced it. There are a lot of ups and downs with Crohn’s but I know that there will always be certain things that will remain consistent for the two of us:
-Together will strive to remember the location of every restroom in nearly every restaurant in the city
-The days when we both feel good and healthy are the most special and coveted days—we never take them for granted
-Together we can fantasize about our lust for grilled corn on the cob and consuming boatloads of popcorn at the movies (for now, we'll settle for a king-sized bag of Skittles)
-We always utilize our own hotel rating system: 3-ply toilet paper = 5-star hotel
-The stomach flu and food poisoning will always be amateur events for us
-Between our two families and all of our friends, we have the biggest support team, and are never short of encouraging cheerleaders.
This disease will always be a part of our lives, and knowing that I'll never have to try to explain it to Terrell has always been a special kind of blessing in our relationship.