Tuesday, October 9, 2012

An Enlightening Experience

Last week has been a difficult week for our family.  At the same time, it has been enlightening.

My husband, caretaker, and children's father was ill all last week.  He was sick for 9 long days.  He has had a horrible sore throat, headache, and extreme fatigue.  Most people, especially the people with chronic illness who read my blog, would say, "Sore throat?  So what!"  You know what?  I would normally say that too.  However, I know my husband.  He does not just lay down and take it easily.  In the 10 years I have known him, I have never seen him this sick and for this long.

The first clue to me that he was feeling absolutely horrible was that he actually let me help him.  I was getting up and getting things for him the majority of the week.  This oh-so stubborn man must be feeling extremely horrible if he's letting me take care of him, despite the fact that I am ill as well.

So, the first half of the week, luckily I was feeling pretty good, above normal by my standards.  You god freaks out there can blame it on god setting us up... I blame it on adrenaline from feeling the need to take care of my family with no help and a lot of rest the week before because of a mito crash at that time.  However, after a few days of taking care of everything around the house and with our two daughters, I was starting to struggle and things were starting to pile up.

Now, my family knows my hubby has been sick.  I even went to a family gathering a week ago Sunday without him, and everyone was asking why he wasn't there, etc.  So everyone, at least almost everyone, knew I was taking care of the kids, house, my husband, myself, etc. on my own.  Everyone must be really busy in their lives right now because I didn't hear from anyone wanting to help.

After making myself sick the night before from all of the activity (fixing dinner, grocery store, gas in the car, showering with my daughter, putting her to bed, etc.), I finally sent an email out to family asking for help or at least suggestions.  Luckily my parents and my aunt came to our aide.  No surprise that that's who it was.  I don't need to go on about our support system or lack there of in some instances.  If you've ever read my blog, you're well aware of that part of my life.

As I said in the start of my post, this last week has been enlightening.  Now, you may all think that it was enlightening because I realized how much my husband does around here since he wasn't able to do it.  However, that wasn't it at all.  I am already WELL aware of how much my husband does around here.  I tell him all the time how awesome he is and how much I appreciate what he does for this family.  I know how screwed I would be without my husband.  I am thankful every day that he has not, and will not, leave me.

"So what was so enlightening," you say?  A few days into his illness, my husband took an antibiotic that made him sick (nausea/vomiting).  For the majority of his illness, especially the first half, he was in a lot of pain in his throat.  I could tell he was really struggling from the pain.  Watching him grimace from pain and listening to him getting sick in the bathroom really upset me.  It's so hard to know that someone you love dearly is suffering.  Especially when you can't do anything about it.  I just sat in bed listening to him getting sick wishing I could do something to make him better.  I just couldn't stand seeing him in pain and vomiting.

THAT is when it hit me.  Not only does my husband and best friend (same person btw) have to take care of the kids by himself, do all of the housework and chores by himself, and take care of me ever since I got sick, but he also has to deal with the emotions of watching me suffer and not be able to do anything about it.  My oldest daughter has to deal with this as well.

I've always been SO appreciative of everything my husband does for me.  He cooks all of the meals.  He does the laundry.  He transports the kids to all of their activities and me to all of my doctor's appts.  He cleans the house.  He works over 40 hours a week.  He finds ways outside of work to make more money for us to pay off medical bills, prescription costs, etc.  All of these things are the obvious struggles of having a wife who is chronically ill.

The not so obvious struggle is the emotional one.  He, and my oldest daughter, have to watch me in pain, vomiting, too exhausted to get out of bed, too weak to walk, and more.  This has got to take a toll on him.  However, I very rarely see that it does.  That doesn't mean it doesn't affect him.  It just means that he is so strong that he hides it from me.  Instead of showing me that my illness is bothering him, he does whatever he can to make me laugh.  He is always trying to make me feel better, even if it's just a quick smile.

I have always thought I appreciate everything my husband, best friend, and caretaker goes through when dealing with this illness.  I now know that I didn't... until now.

1 comment:

Chris Jones said...

Thank you sweetheart, you were a champ!