One of the more difficult things for me to deal with over the last few weeks of waiting for a diagnosis and finally beginning treatment for my daughter has been just how differently my husband and I deal with stress. I have been contemplating this post for awhile, and I'm still not sure quite how to approach this issue. I don't want to sound like I'm ragging on my husband. I'm not. But I also know that differences in how spouses deal with grief, stress and other Big Events can create a huge amount of stress in a relationship. And it is all too common.

Some of it is the male/female thing. Some of it is personality. And some of it I think is related to the fact that my husband already suffers from depression. But one thing has been made clear in all of this with my daughter's illness: I want to process what is going on by talking about it, reading about it and taking notes on everything I find. My husband wants to push it aside. We can't control it, so why dwell on it?

But of course I don't exactly see it as "dwelling" on anything. I'm just still trying to come to terms with it. And as my two year old has now been to the doctor twice for general abdominal pains, my anxiety increases with every one of her frequent bowel movements. I know ulcerative colitis has a genetic factor. I also now know a woman who has two young children, both of whom suffer from this disease.

When I give voice to my anxiety and my concern, I don't think my husband quite knows what to do with it. He sort of shrugs it off. And this is where the female emotions get the better of me because I then feel like I have been shrugged off. Rather than just feeling a little uncertain of what the future holds, I feel isolated and alone as if I were bearing this alone. I know that isn't true, but it is still responsible for more tears than anything else thus far.

So I made a decision. One to remind myself that my husband just "talks" about things a little differently than I do. And to appreciate that fact.

Rather than reading about how ulcerative colitis progresses, he walks around the backyard digging up dandelions. Rather than reading side effects of medications, he hoes a section of the yard for the pole beans I have been wanting to try for the last three years since my daughter and I read about making forts amongst them in a book. Rather than wondering if there is more to our two year old's ailments than some sympathy pains, he orders a flat of day-neutral strawberries for our raised garden bed.

Our backyard is turning into a small farm. We have an herb garden containing mint, lemon balm and parsley with basil, rosemary and thyme planned to follow next week. We have a tray of tomato and pepper plants sitting in the kitchen waiting to plant tomorrow since storms were in the forecast for tonight. We have pole beans, bush beans and corn. We have raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. And we have decided on two gala apple trees and possibly some honeyberry for a shady portion along the fence.

So when I start feeling a little alone in all of this, I look out at my backyard. It might not be quite the language I am looking for, but it means the same.