My Crohn’s Vows
I attended a wedding in Connecticut recently. It was a very nice affair on a pastoral farm in an area that felt more like Iowa. It was nice to gather with family and friends after a year of lockdowns, the weather held up, and the wedding officiant was amusing. Perhaps best of all were the marriage vows.
My life partner?
The couple delivered them in a way that was both personal and heartfelt. While sitting there watching, it occurred to me that since I’m still unmarried, I ought to make vows to my current life partner: Crohn’s disease.
After all my connection to this disease affects me in almost every way. Yes, I may often regret my partnership with Crohn’s disease. I may wish to be divorced from it. But, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, it seems it will be with me 'til death do us part. Anyway, here it goes:
My dearest Crohn's...
Dearly beloved, I Matt Nagin, pledge to stop eating those yummy cheese ball appetizers regardless of how scrumptious. To cut out delicious frozen pizzas, ice cream sundaes, nacho sauce, milkshakes, and a thousand other dairy items, since dairy is a trigger. And I need to treat you right, Crohn’s disease. So I can occasionally get off the toilet.
I also promise to stay away from alcohol, even when I’m at a wild party and everyone is getting crunked. Hell, even when they are giving out free champagne at an open bar. It will be tough. There’ll be times I’ll want to indulge. But I’ll refrain out of respect for you, since I know drinking triggers you, my darling.
I pledge this to you, Crohn's
I further pledge to do my best to stay upbeat, to keep the dark jokes to a minimum (although a bit of gallows humor is therapeutic, no?), and to try and always maintain a degree of composure.
To help make this easier, I further pledge to take my nutritional supplements, to meditate and write regularly (to keep me grounded), to take my Crohn's meds, and, most importantly, to laugh at the absurdity of this crazy disease, particularly when it makes life awkward... Like after getting locked in the bathroom at Starbucks when the toilet I just used starts to flood.
These are my Crohn's vows
Finally, I vow to treat you well, to respect you, and to not be too angry with you, since I know you can make my life hell if you so desire. Yes, for better or worse, in good times and bad, I’m committed to you dear Crohn’s and I trust that if I honor these vows you'll allow me to find my way.
Rabbi: I now pronounce you man and his disease! Matt, you may kiss yourself!
The crowd cheers wildly as I make out with myself before walking between the aisles. As I do so, I shake hands with friends and relatives while celebrating this new marriage contract between Crohn’s disease and myself. There’s no telling, really, what the future might hold!
Thanks for reading, and, if you so desire, feel free to leave your own Crohn’s vows below.
How open are you about being diagnosed with IBD?