Posted in: BrainFog
, half marathon
Okay, I’ll admit that the title of this post is extremely long but it just seemed like the right thing to title it!
I have some VERY exciting non-gastroparesis news that I have to share. I got engaged!! WOOHOO!! Finding that special someone and getting engaged is a special moment for anyone. However, I would say that it is even more special for someone with a chronic illness. When you have a chronic illness, that special someone is signing up for A LOT more than most people. They are signing up for frequent doctors’ visits, frequent medical tests, crazy diets, taking over all of the chores because your illness flairs up. Our significant others are AMAZING to stay with us throughout all of this. They know what they are signing up for and rise to the occasion and say that it will be okay.
My fiance (yes, it is going to take awhile to get used to saying that, but I like it!) and I have been together for about two years. Within the first two months of dating is when I became extremely ill. (Actually, extremely is an understatement.) Within these first two months, he took me for a colonoscopy. A few months later, he took me for an endoscopy. A month or so later he was checking in on me while I spent a half day at the hospital getting x-rayed after eating radioactive eggs. He took me for countless IVs. He carried me to bed. He carried me to the bathroom. He walked my dog. He cleaned my apartment. He did my dishes. He did my “grocery shopping” which basically consisted of ginger ale. He never mentioned how bad I smelled because I didn’t have the energy to bathe. He calmly repeated himself while I was in brain fog and couldn’t retain any information. He did all of this while maintaining his own residence and never once complained.
He has tried countless diet modifications in support of me. He has cheered me on at the finish line of 5Ks and half marathons that I shouldn’t be able to run due to Gastroparesis. He is my rock and has been calm and supportive as I have struggled with my health. He never tells me what to do, but listens to me work through the decisions. He encourages me to keep living life and to not give up.
I can honestly say that every day I think of how lucky I am to have him because I have no idea how I would have navigated this path without him.
Now I can celebrate that I will have my rock with me for the rest of my life. Oh…and a rather nice rock on my finger as well!
When you have Gastroparesis, you go through stretches of more bad days than good. When the good days arrive you try to jam as many things into them as you can. You want to see friends that you haven’t seen in a long time. You want to go for a walk and get some fresh air. You want to go shopping and replace a pair of shoes that are falling apart and killing your feet. You want to attempt to find some slacks that will handle your ever expanding/contracting stomach. You actually want to do laundry. (No joke, laundry becomes exciting.) You even get excited to clean.
However, when making all of these plans and cramming your good days full of things and people that you have been missing out on, you inevitably leave out time for your caregiver. They never say a word or ask for time to be saved for them. They are so incredibly excited that you are feeling good enough to go do the things that you enjoy. To go see the people you haven’t seen. They know that these days are few and far between better than anyone else in the world. They support you and encourage you to make the most of the good days.
But it is important to try to contain your excitement over a stretch of good days and remember to reserve one for your caregiver. They do so much to keep us afloat and support us. They are the only people in the world that see us at rock bottom. To see us barely able to get out of bed. To help us off the bathroom floor. To see how many doctors’ appointments we have to go through. To see how disappointed we are when we once again hear a doctor say “there is nothing we can do for you”. To see the radioactive eggs we have to eat. To see us put the yogurt in the cupboard instead of the refrigerator because our brain is in such a fog. To see us spiral into a deep depression because we can’t easily do the things we used to. They watch us go through all of this and never once ask for us to keep a good day for them.
It is so important for us to give our caregivers the best present we can ever give them…one of our good days entirely for them!
That is why tonight I am skipping my glass class to stay home and watch a movie with my caregiver, my rock, my shoulder to cry on. Without him, I truly do not know how I would survive while battling Gastroparesis.