A few months ago, I changed things up a bit and shared my daughter Chanel’s thoughts on living with a parent who suffers from a chronic illness. Now I want to allow my husband Carl the opportunity to share his experience. Carl has stuck by me and has been my rock through this journey and I think it might be helpful for others to hear things from his perspective. I’m sure when we were married, neither one of us could have ever imagined walking through this journey called Lyme Disease! #insicknessandinhealth
So here’s Carl in his own words, I pray you find this helpful.
Q: Carl, what has been your experience living with someone who has a chronic illness?
A: My experience has been challenging and overwhelming, at times. This may sound crazy, but I’m so glad God chose me for the task. In my eyes, it has made me a better person and definitely allowed me to have a better relationship with Him.
Q: What has been the most challenging?
A: I say this in the most kind and forward way I know how to. Please hear my heart and not read this answer as me complaining. One of the most challenging things I tend to navigate through is not knowing who or what I’m waking up or coming home to. Some days I may come home to a wife that is full of energy and ready to conquer the world and other days is one where she needs to be nursed/taken care of, because she is having an episode of excruciating pain that will not allow her to move.
Q: What would you say to other spouses or family members living with someone who has a chronic illness to encourage them?
A: Not just learn, but become as close as possible to an expert about the illness (the more you learn, the more you will be able to understand and help your spouse/family/partner to navigate through it). Join some type of support group, if not a group then a person that you are able to vent to (or talk you off the ledge). Finally don’t give up! For every reason you can think about leaving, I can give you ten for staying.
Q: How do you stay positive?
A:First and foremost GOD. Staying in the word of God is key to overcome all obstacles life presents. I have lived long enough to know today is Windy that is ill, but tomorrow that could be me. I try to live everyday (to be transparent some days I fail) loving and caring for Windy, the way I would like to be cared for, if it was me suffering from an illness. I know there will be times that I must wear a shield not just to protect and guard my feelings, but also to protect others from my flesh.
Q: Is there anything else you want others to know?
A: This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Be mindful that depending on the illness it might take years to overcome it (if it has a cure). Extend lots of grace and empathy to your spouse/partner. Pace yourself and don’t walk this out alone!
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My favorite picture of us!
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