Archive | June 18, 2011

Relationships and Chronic Diseases

Well, feeling something closer to a human being today. Not quite, but getting there. The body is still working off the stress of the past week. And it’s telling on me. So plan to take it easy for the day. Which is going to be hard, as my To do, list and obligations, won’t let me just entirely play hooky for the day, as much as I really should.

But I do plan to make things as light on myself, as possible. The reasons for it, are simple, if I do not, all that will happen is the flare I am already in, will just get worse and stay longer.

This one comes hard for most of us with FM. This having to pace things, or just plain back off and do little to nothing for the day. You almost cannot stop yourself from thinking about all the things you need to do, obligations you have made to others, work that needs to be done. ( that one is bugging me most right now, as money is a real issue in the current day in our house, as it is for so many in the country … blessings on them all )

But it is stressful, to say the least and when you combine that, with two people, who both have chronic diseases, who are having to deal with it all, it has its effects. For example:

The old man and I started snapping at each other last night, over nothing really, as neither of us is in good shape right now and we both are feeling the pressure of money, slow social services systems and over all medical issues.

Generally we are very good and considerate to each other, but some days, we get a little snippy. It happens, and in a good relationship, you realize what it is really all about and forgive each other such lapses and go on.

Chronic illness takes its toll on both the body and the mind, and most certainly any relationship you have. And, as in our case, if you both happen to have one or two, or three, make that price the usual and then square it. As it triples in size. That we don’t fight like cats and dogs all the time, is a testament to our ability to control ourselves.

As well as the fact that we do indeed, understand how the other feels, the strain and pressure we are under, which is being increased by external events, over which we do not have much control.

This is not the case for so very many people ( for most it is called split up city for a good 75% of unions when under such pressures ) and I count myself very blessed, that we are not part of that statistic.

In short, we both ” get it”. He knows of the FM and the host of other issues I have, the sleeping issues, IBS problems, that I am gonna forget things, etc. and I understand the strain and frustration he is under right now, with four surgical procedures in the last two years, being bumped out of any work he used to do due to on the job injury ( which is what two of those operations, where for ) and facing retraining.

All of the above means of course, no work for him, and the support payments from the insurance company, stopped over a year ago. Now, as if all of that were not enough, he also has full blown diabetes, recently diagnosed, high blood pressure and Hepatitis C that has been there a long time, but has decided to raise its ugly head again. All of these, we are fighting to get under control.

It is a more severe test of our bond, that either of us, ever expected, but still, we “get it”. As that is what it takes, for any union, when disabilities of any kind enter the picture. You have to really understand, in as much as anyone who in not standing in your shoes, can understand, what it all means.

For starers, you help each other, remind each other to take your medications, you help each other with Physical therapy, you just do whats needed to be done so you can to maintain the household and divide it up according to what each is “able” to do. You appreciate everything your partner does, as anything above and beyond picking up after themselves, is a gift, make no mistake about it.

I hand my mate the list of possible side effects for any new medication I am on, so he knows what to watch for and he does the same for me. We both know what the other is on, or know where to find that information, if one of us crashes and has to be hauled off to the hospital, the other knows, what to tell them. Allergies in particular.

Now I am sure that some might say ” well that is what anyone does for their mate” and they might be right, in their own unions. However, when both have chronic diseases, that could at any time, cause major problems, the other party ” must” know, exactly what is going on. What tests have been done, etc.

At that point, we are not talking about just knowing things about each other, we are talking knowing their issues, and numbers and the like, so well, that we can literaly step into their shoes and give medical personel the info they need, in their place, that could literally make the difference, between life and death. That, takes work, do not even kid yourself about it.

So the split city that happens for so many, when you realize what it all means, is not really that much of a surprise. What is the surprise, is unions like ours, that survive these assaults.

Blessings to all who struggle with such events, and most certainly, to my mate 🙂 As I do not know how my life would be, without him.