Today is day 18 of National Health Blog Month from Wego Health. Today’s topic: Advice for someone caring with a patient with your condition.
That title might lead you to believe something big happened this weekend. It didn’t. No need to freak out. But, that doesn’t change the fact that I feel pretty damn lucky to be dating Sean.
Early in our relationship I had a flare. I stayed in bed thinking “I’ll be fine, just muster the strength to get up then you can make it home.” That didn’t work. Sean works at a hospital, and his mother works at the hospital, so he offered to help if I needed to go. I didn’t want to put that on him so I declined the offer initially. But, then I couldn’t take the pain any longer and called for help. (Sidenote: nothing like meeting your boyfriend’s mother looking frumpy, sick, and having to answer all the fun personal questions hospitals ask).
But, then I left Sean’s and went home and didn’t see him for almost a month. When I finally did see him again, I was feeling better but not 100% (probably not even 80% to be honest). My pleuritis hit one morning when he was visiting and without asking, without any previous knowledge, he knew exactly what to do to make me feel better.
A month later, Sean accompanied me to the doctor’s office. I’ve never had anyone do that before. My ex’s have been known to leave me at the hospital front door, convince other people to take me to the doctor, or call me lazy and tell me to get out of bed. Instead here I had someone wanting to go with me for support. Wanting to know what the results were, what the treatment plan was. It was so foreign to me and sometimes it still is.
I’m truly blessed to have Sean by my side. He wants to help and he doesn’t fault me for being sick. He lets me rest, but encourages me to try to walk a little bit when I can. He’s happy to pick up my medications, take care of the rest of the world when I can’t, call the doctor on my behalf (and knows which doctors to trust, ahhh the benefits of the inner hospital circle). I know he gets frustrated with my care, especially when I give up asking questions with difficult doctors. I know he wants to do more to help, and some days I’m too stubborn to let him. And I know I worry him (sorry for barely breathing in the middle of the night). It can’t be easy on him. But, he continues to worry and take care of me, asking for nothing in return and never complaining.
As patients it’s important to remember that this isn’t fair for our caretakers either. They have to watch us suffer and are often unable to help in grand ways. So just say thank you; acknowledge the little things; and cherish the days when you’re feeling better. Yes, it sucks that I’m sick and I have to deal with the daily pain, but it sucks for him too. I’m so incredibly happy that he’s stuck around despite my lupus, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to know he’ll take care of me when I need it.