I am a very, very blessed man, and I know it. I get a few emails in response to “My Story” where I give a brief synopsis of my journey with sarcoidosis and heart failure, and I get at least one email a week commenting on how “hard” my experience has been, or asking for advice, or just to offer support. And for all, I truly do appreciate the thoughts.
In reality though, I have been through a lot, but compared to others, my journey is but a foot step on their trail of life. And I am fully aware of that. And to others, my journey is way beyond their limitations. It is all perspective.
I do have to say that with all honesty, there is absolutely no way I would still be alive today if it were not for the love of one person, my beautiful wife. Long before my illnesses, long before I even heard the word Sarcoidosis, always at my side, supporting me, believing in me when no one else did, was, and is, my wife.
Not only does she support me emotionally, but she has my back. Literally. She is my protector as much as I am hers. We are a genuine team. We are together 24 hours a day and yet we never stop talking. We amaze ourselves. I really and truly know what it feels like to give and receive equally, real, unconditional love.
I pride myself in the fact that I have stayed alive and actually gotten better with my very positive attitude towards life and my illnesses, but that would never be possible without the love of my wife, my best friend, the only person I can truly confide in and express my inner most thoughts, fears and dreams.
In a chronic illness, when you are a devoted couple, you are not the only one going through a hard time. I may have the illness and the physical manifestations of the disease, but it is my wife that has most of the emotional strain. Quietly worrying about me, watching me for signs that all is not well, yearning to intervene, but holding back when it is right so as not to smother.
It is a fine balance being the spouse of a person with a chronic illness where your actions can become either over bearing or non caring, and my wife balances that amazingly. She never seems distant and she is never over bearing, and that is amazing, because I am sure there are many times she just wants to slap me and tell me to take better care of myself, but she holds back when it’s right, says something when it’s right, and just let’s me have it when it’s right.
If you are a person with a chronic illness, and there is a significant other in your life, just take a moment to think not of yourself, but of that person going through this journey with you. Think of all the worry they have, the fear, the uncertainty. In some ways, it’s harder in them than you.
So thank you my darling wife. Thank you for always being there for me, being with me in body and spirit, always supporting me even when I don’t think I need it, for loving me in the good and bad times, for letting me know when I am not taking care of my self, setting me straight when I am having my “prednisone moments”, loving me for who I am unconditionally, and most of all, for allowing me the blessing of having you to love.