Last week, my wife posted an article about traveling with chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia on our couple’s blog. This week, I posted from the caretaker perspective. She has gotten better about travel, but still has a tendency to over-extend herself, which is where I come in to play. Of course, sometimes my reminding her that she has real limits ends up in a minor pout.
More after the jump.In a nutshell, fibromyalgia sucks. It is a drain on a sufferer physically and emotionally, and can bring the whole family down if you let it. However, our family has apparently adapted well to our built-in limitations. In fact, several years ago, I surprised someone else we were at a social event with (who also had fibro) by offering my help in just the same manner that I was doing with Kristen. She was, if I remember correctly, not entirely sure how to take it, because it was such an unusual occurrence for her to experience.
The kids and I are always compensating for Kristen’s difficulties, to the point that it’s as natural as breathing, and it’s just about as irritating as breathing, for that matter. In other words, we don’t even think about it, as it’s such an integral part of our daily lives. However, Kristen has long been of the mindset that she does NOT want to accept her disability, since she has such a strong personality. She used to see her limits as a weakness, something to overcome, but she’s gotten better about that in the past few years.
Chronic fatigue, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and other invisible illnesses suck, often because outsiders don’t see the struggle that they cause. If you don’t know what an invisible illness is, or how it impacts people, go read Spoon Theory. It is an outstanding and easily accessible metaphor for dealing with chronic limitations.
Anyway, being a caretaker has its challenges, but my post talks about how to have a better time on vacation when traveling with someone which a chronic illness.