Why I Trust My Husband When My Crohn's Flares Up
It’s 6 in the morning on a Tuesday. The overcast skies are pretty typical for Oregon. I’m in bed in the most comfortable pajamas I own, laying on my side, with the heating pad on my stomach.
We’re going to the ER this morning.
My husband is packing my bag, talking to himself as he goes while trying not to forget anything. He’s packing the bag so I can rest for just a little bit longer, knowing we have a long day ahead.
Yesterday we called my gastroenterologist’s office and my primary care physician about the bleeding and the fainting, and they both referred me to the ER. Unfortunately, neither of us drive, so we were going to have to wait until the next morning for the buses to be running to get to the ER in the next city over.
“Can you think of anything you need?” my husband calls to me from the bathroom.
“A small box for my jewelry in case they need to do imaging,” I try to sit up as I’m talking, finding it hard to do.
He came back in from the bathroom, “Already in the bag. Do you want me to give you a rundown of what I packed?”
I hesitate as I struggle to sit up. He sets the bag down and helps me to my feet. In that moment I think of all the things we’ve been through together. I think of the first time he ever took me to the ER and had to call my mom, the first time he held my hand in the hospital and kissed my forehead, and the first MRI together. My thoughts continue as I think about the first time he ever held me all night because of the painsomnia, the first time he ever saw the beginnings of a Crohn’s flare, and the first time he held my hand during an infusion. Maybe more important than the first times, though, are the times that followed.
Again and again, without fail, my husband consistently holds me together, is present in my illness, and is fully aware of my limitations and my strengths. He is my biggest confidant, and my best friend.
Later today, when we’re in the hospital, I know he’ll stand there while I try to tell the nurse what’s going on. He’ll hold my hand in the waiting room until we’re called back. When we get back into the room he’ll put my warm slippers on, and hand me Buttons (the stuffed animal he bought me on our first date), and he’ll rub my back and put chapstick on my lips when they get dry.
When the nurse finally brings me pain medicine and nausea relief, he’ll hold my hand and tell me what a good job I’m doing and reassure me it’s going to be OK. And I’ll know it’s OK.
“No.” I struggle, but I manage to smile at him, “I trust you.”
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