Would it really be Valentine’s Day week if I didn’t talk about love? Yeah, probably, but here we go.
Those with chronic illnesses often feel alone in their experience. No two illnesses are the same, even if two people are diagnosed with the same one. Someone could live a relatively normal life with a mild case of fibromyalgia or completely crippled with a severe case of cystic fibrosis. I personally have a pretty severe case of what is officially called ulcerative pancolitis, meaning that my entire colon is inflamed instead of just a certain part of it like it used to be. Ulcerative colitis is just the name for the disease as a whole. After I woke up from my most recent colonoscopy, my GI doctor said that I’d have to start consulting with a surgeon if things weren’t healing during my hospital stay.
Luckily, that whole mess was avoided. But until I found someone who had gone through the same surgery that I would’ve had to go through, I was terrified. People underestimate how important your large intestine is until you have to get it taken out.
Now, to explain the love part. Most spoonies try to cut themselves off from other people, avoiding the trials of intimate friendships or relationships. I’ve personally done so in the past to avoid the ticking time bomb that is my immune system. I have no idea how my health is going to be even a year from now, as I’m still waiting for my insurance to approve Entyvio (an infusion immuno-suppressant, similar to the idea of chemotherapy) for me. Being chronically ill is probably more difficult for the people around you than yourself. My parents feel helpless sometimes when they know they can’t help me.
Also, I sometimes I even get embarrassed when people see me in a more fatigued or just flat out sick state. Being a generally low maintenance person, I try to deal with things by myself as best as I can. I don’t want to be seen as a sick, fragile person.
However, there is the occasional unicorn that shows up in your life. I’d probably get embarrassed and start blushing if you asked me about this in person, but I’ve been dating someone for a little over three weeks now. I’ve never been one for dating, and even more rarely to talk about it, being that my general aim is to scare people away instead of trying to attract them. However, it’s somebody who’s stuck around during my life drama for four years now, even before I started showing any symptoms. Also, none of my scare tactics worked. He even stuck around after seeing me in the hospital. He’s been unbelievably patient with me. Not to mention that he always reminds me to eat and take my medications on time.
He also finds my warped sense of humor that explodes around two in the morning hilarious.
What I’m trying to say is that there is hope, spoonies! After all this time of feeling that my illness was what was scaring any sort of romantic relationship away, and me scaring people away as a slight defense mechanism, I’ve finally found someone who doesn’t even seem to care. This is the kind of support those with chronic illnesses need and crave.
I send you off with many hugs and rainbows, and many blessings that you find your own personal unicorn. The journey isn’t easy, but it’s great knowing that you’re not alone.
Also, I’m pretty sure unicorns poop rainbow glitter, which makes up for my digestive issues.