Having someone share with you that they do have a chronic illness means that you are special to them, that they love and care for you enough to share something so private and important to them. It’s something you may not immediately understand, the signs are hard to notice and in most cases the symptoms are invisible, but it’s there. It’s real and could be happening to your friend, family member or loved one.
The hardest thing is understanding. Understanding from the start that you will need to have a little more patience with this person. Understanding that they have their good days and also bad days that will heavily fatigue them, physically and mentally. The hardest thing for me is not being able to help immediately when seeing my wife in pain or upset. It frustrates me which in turn frustrates my wife also. It’s not her fault, there are times where I forget and think is it something I’ve done? She doesn’t want to talk to me or is avoiding me, but it has just been one of those bad days.
When dealing second-hand with a chronic illness; support, space and patience are essential. You must always be supportive, picking up more of the odd jobs around the house, allowing for rest and relaxation. Your loved one has probably already run out of spoons for today. Give them the space they need when they have just come home, let them have a moment to relax whilst you start dinner. Every chore you can lift off their shoulders will help more than you can imagine.
At the beginning of my relationship with my wife, we made a deal were the person who brought home more money did ‘less’ of the work around the house. Knowing full well that I was earning the most at the time, my wife agreed to the deal, 1 point for men. This lasted a week. My wife was instantly given a pay rise and after almost 5 years I have never earned more. Whoops… However, I enjoy doing my fair share and more around the house. I want my wife to recharge her spoons so she can enjoy her own time when she gets home from work. Not to have to worry about cooking or cleaning.
Having sat through every doctors and specialist appointment, I have tried my very best to understand Fibromyalgia. But it’s one that even the doctors are unable to understand completely. Some of you reading this will know what I’m trying to get across. The fact that even though we would help any other person normally, the ones we love that are affected by something out of our control. They need our help the most. It’s heart breaking when you are unable to make this all go away. Someone who you would do everything and anything for is in pain on a daily basis with no cure.
Thank you for reading. I hope this has helped anyone who has someone at home with a chronic illness. If you have any questions or any advice that will help please contact me via the website.