Don’t Let Your Diagnosis Destroy Your Dreams— Finding The Love Of My Life While Battling Crohn’s

On December 14th, 2014, my family sat beside my hospital bed praying for a solution to my severe episode of Crohn’s/Colitis. I had experienced chronic G.I. reactions before, but nothing like this. I was newly single and 26 years old. Uncertainty and fear flooded my world that night in that small hospital room. We prayed together for relief from the 20+ bloody bm’s daily paired with severe G.I. pain which required 3g’s of IV Dilaudid daily to get through the agony. Ironically, I lay in that bed and thought, “Will I ever be good enough to be married and have children now?:

Throughout my healing journey, I got the courage to start dating again. Sometimes embarrassing moments of bowel urgency, loss of control, or frequency in the middle of the night would have me screaming “Why God! She’ll surely run away and make fun of me with her friends now.” But I kept moving forward despite the paralyzing shameful times, learning how to heal my gut and treat root causes which I had dedicated years to understanding.  As I marched on, a bit of serendipity entered my dating life. I started to notice women were becoming increasingly more attracted to my journey, my transparency, my commitment to health, and the moral standards I used to rebuild my life. Instead of shame and empathy, I exhibited strong character traits and inspired other “normal and healthy” people around me to change their own lives. How funny life is. 

The pain had turned to purpose. For the first time in my life, I knew what I wanted and what I stood for.

Immersed in a new life perspective, I met my wife on a dating app, in January 2019. Hinge was the app’s name. She had never had chronic G.I. disease much less heard of Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. When I explained what it was, my past, and how the experience shaped me, she seemed surprisingly unphased and comfortable with the discussion. She quickly became comfortable sharing some of her own deeply personal experiences which usually didn’t happen on a first date from my experience.

3 hours later, we both knew more about each other’s hardest struggles and life values than a person would normally learn in a month or two of dating. We both had pain which brought clarity and then conviction to our lives. After two dates, we both deleted Hinge off our phones and focused solely on each other. I had met a partner I was falling in love with. After three months, we moved in together. Within seven months of dating, we got pregnant with our first son!! But we’ll save that story for another time 3 ½ years later we were married in front of families, friends, and our 2-year-old son. 

My son is extremely healthy and a deep-seated fear has finally laid to rest inside my soul. I could have healthy children and keep my family safe from a past nightmare that once ruled over my life. Nearly 5 years later we are expecting our 2nd son and have built a happy, and health-focused home in Orange County, California. We enjoy eating organic local foods and cooking at home. We are both gluten and dairy-free, ingesting limited processed foods, and minimal sugar intake. We both practice mental, spiritual, and physical health while raising our children with the lifelong values that shaped us earlier in life. We practice functional medicine, use natural herbs & supplements, fitness, biohacking, and even gardening (one of my favs).

So the question remains, how on earth could such a beautiful marriage sprout from such a chronic nightmare? The best explanation I can offer is the worst thing that ever happened to me transformed my world with the beautiful gifts of values, standards, a life mission, and helping others heal around the world. Perhaps a bit of serendipity mixed with the harsh lessons of life is the journey God gives us all. We learn the deepest from our pain. We manifest a life we deem purposeful. We fall in love with a partner who walks alongside us with more adversity surely to rise but never breaking the love we have and the love we choose to prioritize in life.