I have chronic pain. I am constantly sick, not feeling well, in pain…and in return, I’m often moody, emotional and crying. So, you’re probably wondering how I know what it’s like living with someone like me. My husband has chronic pain, too, due to military injuries; however, he doesn’t let it show. I learn a lot from my husband. He may not feel appreciated, but I wanted to write this so he knows I do see him.
I see how hard he tries in the mornings. He not only has to set his alarm, but then get up, move my legs for me, lend me his arm to pull up on, sit my (adjustable) bed up and then help me stand up.
He stands there holding me as I stand up for the first time every morning, watching to see how strong my legs are. Some days I can stand by myself while other days he has to hold me up.
He helps me to the shower and often has to wash me and even wash my hair for me. Some mornings he even has to hold the shampoo bottle as I can’t get my hands to grip anything.
He cares for me in the shower so long that by the time he gets around to washing himself, the water is ice cold.
He makes sure the kids are ready and gets them out the door to meet the school bus.
He will call me on the way to work so I can talk and keep myself focused on the road on days he knows I’m very distracted from pain.
He checks in on me throughout the day, hoping I am feeling better, or asks if I can meet him for lunch on some days (even though he has to drive from Marion to Carbondale – a half hour drive – and back in his lunch hour).
He comes home and, even when he’s tired, knows he doesn’t cook much and has homework to do, still offers to finish making supper so I can go rest.
He also takes kids to practice, comes home to do homework, then goes to pick them up when he knows I don’t feel well enough to drive anymore for the day.
He also drives most places at night or makes sure I limit my night driving since it is hard for me to see at night.
He is also the one who brings me orange juice to get some vitamins in me when I need that little extra boost, or comfort food when I’m having a particularly bad day.
He tucks kids in and sends them to me for goodnight kisses when I just can’t get my legs to work anymore for the rest of the night.
He holds me and lets me cry without trying to rationalize.
He reassures me it will all be OK.
He wakes up and comforts me as I cry in the middle of the night due to pain, insomnia or a migraine.
He is always willing to go get my medicine for me.
He keeps up with my doctors, medications and diagnoses.
He pushes me to keep going, while also understanding there are days I just can’t push anymore.
I feel so guilty most of the time because “for better or worse” wasn’t supposed to be so negatively lopsided. He is my rock when I feel like I’m crumbling. He is my breath of fresh air when I can’t catch my breath, and he is my heart medicine when my pain meds aren’t working at all.
I truly appreciate him. So, while I am the one who always feels like I’m struggling, I know his life is completely altered, too, all because of me. Living with someone with chronic illness is just as tough as being chronically ill. It is hard to see someone you love suffer. I’m one lucky gal to have such a loving husband.