Sometimes being sick, we tend to forget about the ones we love the most and how THEY are doing and coping as they are going through it too, whether you realize it or not, or our loved ones don’t seem to recognize what we are going through and how difficult it can truly be. There can be a battle between the two.
This photo was from about 5 years ago 🙂
Dave and I have been together for almost 9 years, and our 5th wedding anniversary is coming right around the corner. We have had a pretty happy and healthy relationship since the start. But having a chronic illness is a test to any marriage. Some are lucky, and some are not. So, I decided to interview my husband, Dave, to get his perspective on this past year of treatment and what it is like through his eyes.
He says he was a little hesitant to do this interview, as he didn’t know if I would have any Lyme rage issues and come after him. Haha. He is a lot like me, and uses humor to offset the bad, but I will warn you, he is not much of a talker when it comes to feelings, so I am surprised he actually helped come up with the idea and was willing to do it for me 🙂
I am already compiling research and studies and I will do a second blog post with more on the topic, as I am interested in statistics, wanted to share my experience and learning, how being sick effects relationships between spouses, friendships and families, and of course would love to hear more stories about other people’s experiences. But today, I am just sharing his thoughts and trying to pick his brain 😉 :
What did you think when I was first diagnosed? I was sad and scared because I didn’t know any real information about it. Whenever you hear a diagnosis you always think the worst, so there was a lot of unknowns. I didn’t know how bad Lyme could be.
What is this experience like through your own eyes as I am going through treatment? I know I have my own story to tell, but what is your prospective on it?
Nobody enjoys seeing their loved one having to take 40+ pills a day, not be able to walk and struggle on a day to day basis. It sucks. It really sucks knowing there is nothing I can really do about it, other then do my best to help you out.
To me, it looks like everyone is playing a guessing game with you, from my point of view. It is like people are dumping drugs through your body, and seeing what your reaction is going to be. There is no set cure, and I would rather not see it happen to someone I know.
Is there any moments that scared you?
There were a few. The first time doing the IV’s making sure we were doing it right, making sure the tube was working right, and worrying about bubbles. We were never told the little tiny bubbles were okay by Dr N or her staff, so I was afraid something was going to happen.
The moment when you were on the floor in the bathroom, in severe pain and couldn’t move, not knowing whether to go to the hospital or not. I think that was before your gallbladder surgery.
July 4th, the “grand mal” seizure, as that was different from your other seizures. I learned about your other seizure types so they did not bother or scare me as much as I knew what they were and how to handle them.
Is there any moments that really made you angry?
I haven’t been angry with you, I have gotten angry with the doctors. From the hospital treating you bad, Dr N mostly, and feeling like everything was just thrown at you and I saw you get worse and worse. I feel like you got completely screwed up from everything. I was mad that you got so sick and it didn’t have to be as bad as it was for you.
One of my obvious symptoms is the verbal and physical tics. Has it bothered you? How did you react when it first happen?
At first we made light of the situation, we watched videos online when researching and we saw others with similar symptoms. I just didn’t think that would actually happen to you.
The tics don’t bother me at all, they haven’t effected anything. Just a little noisy during my tv shows sometimes. I use to get defensive in public, to see if anyone would say anything about you, as I wanted to protect you and shield you from insult because people can be cruel.
What has changed in our relationship since going though treatment?
Our patience toward each other. We are both much shorter with each other. But it is what it is. Your Lyme rages make me tired, but I know you can’t control it so I deal with it. It has also changed our “love life” 😦
How do you cope with me having a chronic illness?
I spend a lot of time outside. I tinker. I hide with the dog somewhere, stare at the ground, whatever. I look for things to do. Move rocks, sticks. Sometimes I need to do things to just get away because it can be completely overwhelming.
What is the worst part of dealing with a wife with Lyme?
Your mood swings. The rage and the crazy.
Do you miss anything in our relationship? What do you miss the most?
Naughty time at 9, haha. I miss my wheeling partner, motorcycle rides, just how we use to do a lot together and now there are a lot of limits.
You do a lot for me, taking over household duties and taking me to DC. Is there any resentment for having to do this?
There is no resentment. We are married. For better or for worse! There might be a time one day that you have to wipe my bum! You ask me to do something and I am glad to do it. Isn’t that the job of a husband? That is love.
Have you ever considered leaving? Why or why not…
Every day I go to work I sometimes wonder if I should come home or not… then I realize that everyone I know would hate me! Just kidding. No, I definitely have never considered leaving. We will get through this and you will eventually get back to where you were and life will be back to somewhat normal once again.
Have you learned any lessons throughout all of this? Have you changed any?
I don’t think I have changed. I have learned you should do a full background and health screening before getting married though! Just kidding babe! (I said his hairline moved back some more, but we agreed to disagree on that one) I think if I have learned anything it is to take appreciation in things that we often take for granted, like our health.
And there you have it! An interview from Dave himself. Feel free to share your stories! Hopefully many more of you have positives to share than negatives. It is hard to be in a relationship while you are sick, but I think the most important thing is an understanding of each other, knowing that they are facing this terrible disease right beside you, and they matter too. For some, unfortunately, it might just be too much for them to handle. As you have read throughout my blogs and my mini interview, I am one of the lucky ones! 😉