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Every Crohnie Needs A Best Friend

Let me start by saying, Happy 40th Birthday to my heart, my soul, my Ryan. Ryan is a very virtuous and kind man who is full of integrity. If you're looking for someone to be on your team, Ryan's your guy folks. He always has my back, and remains in my corner. He has a gentle nature about him with a soft heart that he gets from his lovely mother, and then there's his goofy, playful self he inherited from his charismatic father. Throw in some stubbornness, determination, wit, intelligence, grit and good looks, and you have my best friend. His larger than life dimply smile is one of the bazillion reasons I fell for him. He's not big on birthdays, so he has to put up with us making a BIG deal about him on his special day. His two requests were to go for a run, and smoke a brisket. Done. We have a few surprises up our sleeves, but our 4 1/2 year old is bursting at the seams to tell him, so we'll see if she can keep it a secret. It was our daughter, Lucy's, idea to throw him a Chicago Bears party, and although I just might have thrown up in my mouth a little bit, I ordered him those orange and blue colors that he loves so. If it makes him happy, it's all worth it.

Back to when it all began. Ryan and I have only been married for six years now, but we met over 20 years ago and dated in college. We shared a footlong corndog curbside during Oktoberfest. At that moment, I knew we would be friends for life, LOL. Little did we know that we would find each other again years later. I didn't believe in soul mates, or fate until we reconnected. We had a fast courtship and I knew I wanted to marry him when he accompanied me to Washington D.C. for the D.C. marathon. He saw all my flaws, all of my imperfections, all of the things that embody.....well, me, and he still wanted to be with me. Crazy, right?

He witnessed my anxious side, my somewhat annoying competitive side, my vulnerable side and my first display of crohn's symptoms. Several bathroom trips later, and Ryan has stuck with me through it all. He knew I had Crohn's disease, but I don't think he was aware of everything that entailed. It gets really, really tough.....and then even harder then that.

Ryan lived up to his promise when he vowed to love me in sickness and in health. He has seen me doubled over in pain, on the prenidsone roid rage train, and had to accompany me to the hospital in very, very dark moments. He has told me everything is going to be okay, even when it's not. He put up with my paranoid and delusional state when blasted with steroids intravenously. He has been the strong one when I've needed him the most. He's the one who pushed me to start this blog. By the way, he's also my proofreader, so I apologize if there are more grammatical errors then there normally are.

He is the best father to our three children. Ryan cared for them when I couldn't get out of bed during the worst flare of my life. He works tirelessly, so that I can stay home with our kiddos because he knows that's important to me. His work ethic is unparalleled. He learned this from his parents, and he speaks of their commitment and perserverance often. If Ryan says he's going to do something, he's going to do it, and I guarantee it will be better than the next guy. Ryan challenges me to be a better person. He makes me laugh until I cry. Our banter might be silly sometimes, but he gets me. If you meet Ryan, you might think he's shy. That's really not the case. He listens and observes, and when he speaks, it's important.

Family comes first for Ryan, and we're so incredibly lucky that he's ours. I can't imagine not having Ryan right beside me during all of the trials and tribulations Crohn's disease throws our way. I say "our" because he goes through it to. Thank you Ryan for being my best friend and giving me a beautiful life. Every crohnie needs a best friend like you. One last thing. Welcome to the 40's babe! It only gets better from here.

These are scary and uncertain times. Please hug the ones you love and keep them close.

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