Dating with inflammatory bowel disease

Once I was admitted, I called my then-boyfriend to let him know the news. He couldn’t make the three-hour drive to see me because gas prices were too expensive. I was very excited for our first date, but there was just one hitch: A few hours before we were supposed to meet for dinner, I ended up experiencing a bout of terrible pain that left me bent over on the toilet.Since I’d only just met him — and we’d only spoken for a few hours — I hadn’t told him about my Crohn’s disease.For months, he had talked about our future together and about his love for me.

It was a beautiful day, and as a surprise, he had my parents drive in from Chicago after he popped the question. Unfortunately, a month later, I was hospitalized with my third bowel obstruction in 16 months.

He gets me, and he’s witnessed firsthand what a beast inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is.

It’s those vulnerable moments in our relationship — the times when I’m too weak to stand on my own — that have brought us closer.

The good news: I finally learned what was causing my symptoms. Even though I was only 21, I immediately thought this was how all of my romantic relationships would end once a guy found out about my invisible battle.

The bad news: My college boyfriend, who “loved” me, never came to see me in the hospital. During the week that I was hospitalized, he emailed me a couple of times, and even called once or twice. I feared that I would never become a wife or a mom.

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