Sometimes It Takes Two…

courtney and dillanIntro:

My name is Cortney and I am 20 years old. I am currently wife to the love of my life who is battling the physical, mental and emotional pains of Ulcerative Colitis.

My Husband’s Colitis:

The main reason I’m writing this entry is not for my husband, but instead as encouragement and to connect to the people who may very well be haunted by the thought “If only there was something i could do,” for the rest of their lives.

There are thousands of people – maybe even more – who would argue that their home is comfortably on that cold porcelain chair. But there are even more who are waiting behind every bathroom door for them. And if any of these supporters are like me, they are spending every waking second doing anything and everything in their power to make our friend/family/love comfortable and in the least pain as possible.

I spend countless hours on the computer researching new tips or tricks to help UC symptoms, and when i’m with my husband I exert all of my energy on keeping him stress-free and comfortable. But the hardest part about that is the fact that my husband and I have been separated for about a year and a half pursuing our military careers. We see each other about once every two months. So when we’re not together i’m ALWAYS on the computer getting more familiar with the disease and it’s treatments. But when we are together I’m making sure he’s taking his meds, eating right, giving him massages and keeping him as happy as he can be with this terrible disease.

My husband and I met about four years ago, and although at the time I didn’t know it, he had already been diagnosed with UC. It took him just about two years to tell me that he had UC – I know what you’re thinking, how can he hide that? – but the truth is we’ve been a long-distance couple ever since we’ve met.

He’s been on almost every medication doctors can think of (Remicade, Asacol, Prednisone, 6-mp to name a few). He’s tried serveral different diets include the SCD diet, which he was on for over a year and it didn’t help too much. I even talked him into seeing a chiropractor to see if it was cause by pinched nerves in his back. But nothing has been able to help very much; and lately it’s been a lost cause.

With stress from work and our separation along with several other factors, his UC has spun out of control, and quite frankly, I’m terrified for his life. I couldn’t imagine losing him. But to be blatantly honest, I feel like I AM losing him – losing him to this disease. I feel like he’s giving up on this fight – it’s getting harder for me to keep his boxing gloves on.

We know our next step is surgery and it will be sometime this summer probably. But I’m so scared.

I could probably argue that, as his supporter, i’m going through just as much mental and emotional strain from his UC as he is. I’m ALWAYS going to be there supporting him and nurturing him into the closest aspect of normal he can be, but sometimes I think he can’t see the person he is behind his UC. I’m here to show him that UC does not define him.. It may be a part of his life, but in no way does that make him who he is.

This disease is probably at its worst for him and if he gives up I’m not sure how I’ll be able to not give up with him. I don’t want to see him struggle with this anymore, but again I’m running in circles around “If only there was something i could do.”

And if nothing else, I just want my wonderful husband to realize how much in love with him I am.

I love you Dylan, and I’ll ALWAYS be here for you – “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

Where I’d Like to be in 1 Year:

One year from now i’d like to see my husband fully recooperated from a colon removal and living happily. I’d like to see the grasp of UC loosened from our lives.

written by Cortney

submitted in the Colitis Venting Area

10 thoughts on “Sometimes It Takes Two…”

  1. Hugs to you Cortney, how wonderful he has your support! I can’t imagine having a military career with this disease. You are so right to point out how it affects not only those suffering from UC, but friends, family, and our significant others. He is truly blessed by you.

  2. I had UC for 8 years and I tried many drugs. None worked long term. I had my colon removed March 4th and I now have an ostomy bag. I am living life completely normal again. i almost forget what it was to be sick and most times I am not even aware of my bag. I am working full time and living an active lifestyle, eating almost everythinng again. Enjoying dairy alot for the first time in years. I was only off work 9 weeks and felt amazing by two weeks after surgery. I wish you both well and hope everything falls into place for you both :)

    1. I am not trying to be gross but after the surgery does the stoma make noise and also how do you hide your bag when you are out. I know that there are several ways. Also do you go out to eat with friends and family? I really enjoyed your story!!! It helps me to stay positive!!!

  3. Beautiful…you are amazing.

    My husband has been as supportive to me, as you are to your husband.

    Just always be understanding…that’s all we want from our partners.

    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being so lovely…


  4. california karen

    courtney, lots of respect to you!my hubby and i have been marryd 5 years and i was just diognosed in jan, been in the hops 4 times sinceand hes been amazing but scared’ so much meds and they are gross. sometimes test are worse. mon i have to swallow a vidio capsule. im a think i have just turned the corner on this flare but anyway’ keep looking for new things for all of us suffers!

  5. Hey Courtney,
    I’ve had UC for about a year now, and I know what your husband is going through. It’s an incredibly difficult disease to deal with. One thing that I have found that seems to have really helped reduce my symptoms is called Cats Claw (Uncaria Tomentosa). It’s a supplement that you can buy at just about any supplement store (I got mine at GNC). I really don’t know where I’d be without it, so try it out if you haven’t already!

  6. Thank you everyone for you encouraging words.

    Shirl, you’re right, UC isn’t a great thing to have with a military career, and he fights with that a lot.. But he’s getting out soon and will finally be with me so I can take care of him every day.

    Sharalee, it’s really really great to hear that you’ve almost forgotten what it was like to be sick. I honestly can’t wait to see Dylan like that. Your story is amazing! Thanks for sharing.

    Bev, thank you! I know that he just wants to be understood. That’s why I spend so much time researching UC – and so much time on this site honestly. :)

    Peter, Thanks for your concern, but trust me, we’ve thought about that. We’re not having the surgery until we get everything figured out with the military.

    CaliforniaKaren, I encourage you to take FULL advantage of this site as you were recently diagnosed. I’ve learned so much from this site and have read some amazing stories. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

    Joe, I’ll have to check with my husband on the Cats Claw. Thank you for the information.

    Again, thank you everyone.. Stay strong and know that my thoughts are with you.

  7. Hi Cortney. I know what it’s like to watch someone you love suffer with this disease. I remember my 19 year old daughter telling me she felt like her life was over. She had been strong for as long as she could, but it all became too much. I know what it’s like to worry about all the possible, devastating side effects of all the medications. Thank God all that is behind us. She had a colectomy in January, and jpouch surgery 2 weeks ago. she felt so wonderful after the first surgery. It felt like a miracle. She was so excited about life again. She didn’t even mind the bag. She got used to it very quickly. She is having an amazing recovery from the jpouch surgery.

    We thought the stoma ‘noises’ were cute. If my daughter wanted to muffle them, she would just put her hand over the stoma. My daughter’s ileostomy bag didn’t slow her down at all. She finally felt well enough to go out with her boyfriend, and friends.

  8. Courtney, as the wife of an uc sufferer, I totally understand EVERYTHING you’ve written. The worry, the encouragement, the fear, the hope. I get it. My husband has lost his job and filing for disability. I go to work and just hope that he’s ok when I get home everyday. “Hang in there” never seems adequate enough. You hate to ask them how they’re doing because I get the line, “I’m doing the best I can.” It gets hard to stay encouraging after 4 years. Courtney, to you I say, you are wonderful. Even if/when you feel like you’re not doing enough, just being there is really all he needs. It means the world to him. After reading your post, I’m going to hug my hubby now.

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