You know my common-law spouse has been with me 22 years. And that means he was there for my fibromyalgia diagnosis. For the migraines. When the migraines went chronic. When we began to struggle financially because of it.

But. Then my MRI came back with a crapton of lesions and possible demyelination. And so maybe… MS. May not be. Maybe migraine lesions. Maybe autoimmune. Maybe… a crapton of things. Maybe nothing at all. I sure hope it is just migraines. I will find out mid-October so not thinking about it anymore.

But I felt Compelled to tell my spouse what MS was and what could be in the foreseeable future. Just in case he wanted to ditch. I told him I can survive alone. I can make it. He doesn’t have to stay in worries I will crash and burn. And I gave him permission to go, if that is what he wanted.

Of course, he thought this was ludicrous. He has been with me through it all. I have been with him through his health issues. And he says we cannot predict the future. And if a time comes when things change we will also deal with that.

Chronic illness: I had the talk

What I wonder is… why was I compelled to even have this conversation?

People do leave when someone gets sick sometimes. Our divorce rate is higher than those that are healthy. And people sometimes can’t handle illness and the stresses of it. And maybe that is why I mentioned it.

But maybe I mentioned it because I am not sure I want someone to see me get sicker than I already am.

And maybe I feel he doesn’t deserve that life.

And maybe I just feel worthless now and I think I may just feel more of a burden later.

And maybe I don’t like the idea of someone sticking around from obligation or pity.

And maybe it is just that I feel so very sick and utterly useless right now. So tired. So dizzy. And I think maybe if it gets worse I won’t want to be around someone I love who would see me suffer. Like save him from me. Which is pretty presumptuous.

But that is me and the inside of my head. Not him.

I have no control over his emotions. His choices. And his love. I can’t tell him how he will feel or what he will do. So it was really a conversation based on my innate fears of becoming sicker. Which amuses me because I AM sicker. This vertigo has just nailed me. And for two years now I haven’t been able to do much at all. When I try… I just get worse. And I feel fundamentally useless. If I have MS… I have it NOW. I have had it likely for some time. This is literally what it feels like because I already have it. Not like a diagnosis means BAM there are the symptoms. I already have them, if that is what it is. I am already dealing with them. The label changes literally nothing. All the diagnosis means is that I might have to adapt to future changes in specific ways I might not otherwise have. Like how I now use a cane, and never had one before.

I have never once had that conversation before. But I have felt like a burden to him for a very long time. And to those around me as well. And when you feel like a burden already and then think, hey, this could get worse… you feel like you’ll just drag them down into the abyss. So you get it into your head you should offer an out. Just in case they are sticking around out of pity or fear that you won’t thrive on your own.

Weird, eh? I mean, I am still me no matter my illnesses. That doesn’t change. And the me I am is a pretty awesome person. I like being around me. Who wouldn’t? I have an awesome sense of humour, for one. I laugh a lot. I make others laugh. Yeah, it is rough being disabled and having these infernal limitations which ruin my potential for pure awesomeness… but I am still me. And if someone cannot value me for who I am, then sucks to be them, really.

But I am human. And as a human, I do feel like a burden. And guilty for being sick. And I get frustrated at my limitations. And I am the cause of 80% of our financial instability which makes me feel like a big old ball of crap. And I can work through these emotions and I do work through them. I feel them less intensely than I used to. But when faced with yet another diagnosis, even the potential of one, I feel them all roll back in. I know I can survive. I know I can persevere. I have the evidence of surviving as long as I have. I am strong as fuck. But you can’t help but give your loved one a potential out in case they are not strong enough.

And I felt good about it. Like… at least I gave him an out. At least I mentioned it. As silly as it sounds it made me feel better to know that I did. You can’t know for sure what is going on in the minds of others. So just throwing that out there and having it rebutted felt better.

I may or may not have MS. But this vertigo seems to be sticking around for the long haul and it makes it very hard to do just about everything you can think of. Added to the migraines and fibromyalgia I already have to cope with. So. Yeah. It isn’t easy for me. It isn’t easy for him. I didn’t choose the chronic life, the chronic life chose me. And it comes with relationship challenges others will not understand. Because until someone you love becomes chronically ill with pain and other limiting symptoms… you can’t fathom how it will affect a relationship. What I would loathe is to be with someone who was with me out of obligation. And that would suck. So ensuring that isn’t the case made me feel better.

And if he took that out? Well we had a long haul. And I would go forth and carry on as always. Because I can deal. I have dealt with so much that I can deal with the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune. And not blink when staring at the abyss. And I have others that care for me and love me and would support me. When things end sometimes that is just the way it was supposed to be. And I am no fortune teller. I cannot say we will be together for another 22 years… or not. And I can’t say that because no one knows what the future holds. But, again, I know I am strong as fuck. I will deal, one way or the other.

See other posts:

Our relationships and fibromyalgia

Relationship: Nostalgia 

Relationships and others
Buy Me a Coffee at

5 thoughts on “Chronic illness: I had the talk

  1. I think you did well with telling him, and giving such an honest approach in this post because it’s better not to tip-toe around the issue – some partners do leave, just like some friends walk away or give up. Some partners stay and stick it out no matter what. I’m glad you got this response from your partner, and even though you’re right that you could continue as you were & don’t technically need someone there because you’re strong enough alone, I think it’s good to have him by your side. xx

    Liked by 2 people

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