This is a collaborative post
Once upon a time I was single and carefree
Actually I am not sure I was ever carefree but still. Up until about ten years ago I didn’t know I had Crohn’s disease. I was diagnosed after having what was suspected to be appendicitis, following a scan it appeared to be Crohn’s disease and this was confirmed by colonoscopy a while later.
For years I had suffered from the symptoms of Crohn’s disease but I was told it was IBS and given medication for that instead. Sadly, by the time I was diagnosed the damage was irreversible and I had to have a bowel resection. To cut a long story short I ended up with a month long stay in hospital thanks to a leak which resulted in two stomas.
Not every disability is visible
I think I am living proof that not every disability is visible. To look at me you wouldn’t think I had the scars I have, the incisional hernias, take medication every day with some serious side effects, have immunosuppressants every 8 weeks via drip in hospital, have arthritis the list goes on.
I met Monsieur Incidental prior to my Crohn’s diagnosis. We had even already had our first child before I knew I had Crohn’s disease so I guess I didn’t date knowing I was or would be disabled, although I was living with the symptoms.
I am out and proud about my disability. I write about it a fair bit and have a good following of people who also have Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis and other IBD. I cover all aspects of living and parenting with Crohn’s disease from diagnosis, medication, operations, relationships, disability dating and so on.
There is quite a community of people living with similar illnesses which is great. But some people are shy about their illness, some people worry about being taken advantage of and that is why it can be difficult dating for people with disabilities.
Meeting new people can be daunting at the best of times and possibly even more so when you are disabled, especially when your illness is bowel related. Bowels aren’t very sexy! That’s why websites, forums and groups of like minded people are so important. They can give you the confidence to be more open about your disability or illness. When you see people living their best life while having a similar illness to you it is very empowering.
My top tips for dating with a disability
- Find a community of people living with similar disabilities – they can boost your confidence no end
- Follow other disabled people on social media – I follow some amazing disabled people on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Some really fierce people who make you realise that living and dating with a disability shouldn’t come with barriers
- Be up front about your disability. Anyone worth dating will stick around and anyone who doesn’t isn’t worth wasting your time on.
- Never settle! Life is too short to settle for someone who doesn’t have your back or support you in every way possible.
Follow me on social media for more!
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