Right on the heels of a wonderful birthday party we threw for two great friends Saturday night, I began having health issues Sunday morning which resulted in a full scale intestinal block by 4:00 pm and 12 hours of intense pain ensued until at around 4:00 am Monday morning, some combination of all the different medications and treatments I tried finally kicked in and resolved the block. I was physically spent, sore and emotionally weary, having barely escaped heading to the ER once again.

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.

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8 Responses to >Carried

  1. ArichNY says:

    >I am in tears too, from this post and from Jeffrey's comment. You both are a great example of true love. You both put it in words so beautifully. Love does truly conquer all! Love you both! I miss hanging with you!

  2. Allogenes says:

    >It is regretful that anyone has to be sick… that we can’t at least find a cure or symptom-masking treatment that will return us to “normal” daily living. However, we can’t stop living, loving, or being loved just because our health issues are inconvenient, stressful, or even overwhelming. One of the points I appreciated in the movie was that a possible negative future was presenting to Jake’s character by a man whose wife as been ill for many years. It appeared that Jake may have truly considered what that man said. Jake could have responded by staying away from Anne’s character once she told him to leave, and probably have felt no guilt because that was her decision. [I believe the characters names were “Meg” and “Jamie”.] However, Jake loved her and realized that he didn’t want to face life without her. There are plenty of people and movies that use the word “love” to mean virtually nothing beyond this brief moment. However, love is not meant to be merely a passing moment of happiness. Love is a verb. To love someone is to long to be part of their life in a way that enriches them – and ideally, yourself as well. Real love is “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health”. While many will only consider Anne’s needs and the burden those needs will likely put on Jake, it is also important to consider Jake’s needs. Jake loved Anne and because of that love needed somewhere deep inside himself to be with her. Who is Anne to decide that Jake should not be allowed to love her? The story wasn’t all about her. It was also about Jake. They both had parts to play and lives to live.I love Sean, and his health issues are issues we deal with the best way we can. I don’t love him because he has health issues. And I certainly don’t love the health issues themselves. It is utterly wrong that this amazing man has been so unfairly afflicted. Sometimes I react by crying, or wishing I had someone at which to yell. Sometimes I want to withdraw, or to binge eat. It really sucks! However, Sean is a wonderful, beautiful person, and my life would be greatly diminished if I could not share it with him. While some may say I only try to carry him out of duty, that’s not at all true. It is my desire and honor to carry him when he cannot walk on his own, and to walk beside him hand-in-hand when we are able. In a million little ways he carries me too, although I doubt that he realizes it. Our relationship is not a one way street, with all of the work of love going in one direction. The miracle and greatness of our relationship is that, despite the various issues we both have, and despite the pain-in-the-behind we can both be, we still choose to love each other day after day and are both enriched as a result. Thank you for sharing your life with me, Sean. I love you.

  3. Ur-spo says:

    >you are so fortunate to have him.

  4. Buddy Bear says:

    >Hope you're feeling better soon, friend! I know Jeffrey receives every bit as much from you as you receive from him. Hugs.

  5. anne marie says:

    >(sniff) I need tissues…spouse and I live with his heart condition and my allergies/depression. why do we do it? the old "for better, for worse, in sickness and in health".you two love each other so much; it's posts like this that tell the world how you feel.smooches!

  6. D@vid says:

    >Very touching… it's stories like this that make me believe in love 🙂

  7. Sean says:

    >"Jeffrey , however, is living with a disease he does not have to live with, yet chooses to."Wrong! Jeffrey is living with YOU! Loving YOU!And you give him/do nothing for him? I don't believe it for a second.Feel better and love your husband. If you want to ease the guilt you shouldn't have, get him some flowers or a bj.

  8. Nick says:

    >it's called love

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