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When Loved Ones Fall Ill

Someone close to me has been in the hospital over the past few weeks and it has triggered a lot in me. I don’t want to get into details about the reason for the hospital stay but lets just say, it reminds me of a lot of the things I have experienced as a person with inflammatory bowel disease.

This led me to think about how many of us are survivors of horrific things because of our Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis, yet we still have to be there for others in our lives who may become injured or sick.

If you suffer from post traumatic stress disorder related to these medical experiences, it can take it to a whole new level.

I know a lot of you reading this have had to care for a loved one or be in a hospital setting visiting someone, and it may have brought about negative feelings. Not just for the obvious reason that someone close to you is hurting but because it forced you to then face a lot of things you have either tried to keep buried or are currently working through. And if you are currently working through some of your emotions related to a lengthy hospital stay, surgery, a procedure, etc then having to think and deal with someone else’s body and medical issues can be overbearing to say the least.

I wish I had an easy answer for you. Or some brilliant tip that would make the emotional pain go away.

I do, however, know that someway we will all get through it. I wish I could tell you how but I do know that most of these situations won’t last forever and the best thing to do is listen to what your heart is telling you. If it becomes too much, do not be afraid to tell someone. Even if you have no choice but to continue being the caregiver or a sympathetic loved one, it is important to let your feelings out to someone. Maybe even a therapist who has no connection to the situation, provided insurance will cover it.

As much as it pains me to go to the hospital to see the person I mentioned initially, I know it is something I need to be able to do. Not just for him/her but for others in my life. I also know that I will adapt and slowly re train my brain to understand that it isn’t me who is going through something awful; I am there to support someone else.

If you are currently in or have ever been in a similar situation, I just wanted to share this with you so you know someone else gets it. These things are difficult to say and I know I also don’t want it to be “all about me” when someone else is going through a terrible time. However, it is necessary, in my opinion, for us to acknowledge these feelings and the fact that they are OKAY to have. And it is okay if you need a professional to work through them with. It is okay if it takes a long time. It is all okay.

It is also important to remember that everything that has happened to you in your life is unique to you.

No one, and I mean NO ONE, can fully understand your experiences and how they have shaped you like you can. It is human nature (and I do the same) to compare how we are handling something with how someone else in a comparable situation is getting through a terrible event. Oftentimes, this makes us feel badly about ourselves which can then cause a downward emotional spiral. I have been there. In fact, I am there to an extent right now.

I understand.

So many understand.

You are not alone.

Always, always remember that.

Can you relate or have some tips, advice or words of encouragement? Please post them in the comment section below!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    9 months ago

    This is so real. Thanks for writing about this.

    It’s definitely a challenge to see a loved one fall ill, and when they are hospitalized, since we are so familiar with the environment, I feel like we can become overly protective and also overwhelmed ourselves.

    I think it is so important to see a professional to sort out these emotions, just like you suggest. I think we can forget how much we have gone through, and how it effects our mental health. Life is tricky and often full of trials, and unfortunately we will have to deal with moments where loved ones fall ill. So, I think it’s important that we seek out support professionally, so that when those moments come, we are well equipped to handle those situations.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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