I sent Jeffrey off to bowling at the onset of my troubles, to send my apologies and regards to my teammates, but he returned home right after and laid by my side the whole night while I moaned and groaned and cried and tossed and turned. The relief I felt at 4am is indescribable, as was the pain that preceded it. Jeffrey and I both gave into our exhaustion and stayed home Monday. I carefully sipped fluids and feasted on apple sauce between naps. I took today off as well, as I am still exhausted and, despite getting myself up, showered, dressed and in the car, I did not have the energy to actually drive to and make it through work, so I went back inside, called in and have been resting most of the day, increasing my fluid and soft food intake slightly, as I rebuild confidence that this has really passed and I’m OK again.
Monday evening we watched the movie “Love & Other Drugs” which I really knew nothing about. We just picked something randomly on Apple TV that looked watchable and had at least one cute actor in it (Jake Gyllenhall) Little did I know I would be in tears by the end of the movie as Jake’s character has to accept what loving and being with his girlfriend (Anne Hathaway) will mean down the line: caring for her as she battles her disease (Parkinson’s). A little too close to home and recent events.
I am not suggesting that my health issues are even remotely comparable to someone dealing with Parkinson’s disease, but what got to me is the reminder that Jeffrey, by marrying me and living his life with me, has signed up for a lifetime of care-taking beyond the norm: sleepless nights as he listens to me moan and cry hours on end, feeling helpless to do anything accept lie there with me and suffer through it. Rushing me to ERs at crazy hours of the morning and then having to sit there while we wait for a room. Spending his time outside of work sitting in a hospital room for all hours keeping me company. Spending money on all my co-pays and doctor visits and prescriptions and over the counter remedies. Missing out on events I have to cancel because my health has slipped. Taking care of more than his share of chores and errands when I am laid up for long periods of time, in too much pain or too tired to leave the house or help out around it. I have no choice to live with and deal with this. It is my body and my burden. Jeffrey , however, is living with a disease he does not have to live with, yet chooses to. There is guilt in that, for me. Putting him through that, watching him suffer to see me suffer. It is hard to do and yet, I truly do not believe I would survive all of this without him by my side. Without his patience and support and understanding. His willingness to do whatever, whenever to help me get better or take care of me. I don’t like being a burden to anyone, including my husband and I hate that my health issues continue to impact our lives negatively. But I love him so much for sticking by me through all of this.
In the final scene of the movie, Anne is crying about her disease and how it will impact her: “There are things I need to do. Places I need to go. “
Jake replies: “You’ll still get there. I’ll just have to carry you.”
Thanks for carrying me, Jeffrey.