Stay Social When You Have UC
Ways to Deal With Dating Jitters continued...
Digestive problems may not be sexy, but a medical condition like UC isn’t something to be ashamed of, either. It helps to have a sense of humor about it, Starshak says.
"I could tell my dates which stores or restaurants had the cleanest bathrooms and which places to avoid," she says. "It may sound like a weird conversation, but it gave them a glimpse into the seriousness of my problem -- 'Hey, she really does have to use the bathroom a lot!' -- without me having to go into too much graphic detail."
When Starshak and her boyfriend started to date several years ago, she used a fundraiser for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) as an icebreaker.
"I was biking in a charity ride, so I gave him a CCFA brochure and told him, 'I'm raising money for this organization because I have colitis,'" Starshak recalls. The information in the brochure, including the link to the CCFA's web site, gave him a background to start asking questions.
Stay Close to Loved Ones
Treatments you use to control colitis can cause other problems, like acne, weight gain, and fatigue. That can affect your sex drive and your self-confidence. And you probably don't feel in the mood when you have a flare.
That's OK. Open communication with your partner is key. Let him or her know when your self-esteem needs a boost. Try other forms of intimacy when you don’t feel well, such as a foot rub or cuddle time on the couch while watching a good movie.
Take advantage of the times when you do feel better to shower your partner with affection.
Remember, there is give-and-take in every relationship. When you're sick with UC, it can seem as if you're doing more of the taking. But you can return the attention when your health improves.
Be sure to let your friends and loved ones know how much you want and appreciate their support.