Chronic illness changes us as people but, we can often forget the impact that our conditions can have on the people closest to us. The people who see us when we are in pain, when we struggle from day to day and our mood is unpredictable. We forget how difficult it must be for them to helplessly watch us in pain. I first met my boyfriend at the beginning of 2015 before my diagnosis. He has seen me go from happy and energetic to a tired and somewhat fragile young woman but, he has never looked at me any different. He has not only been my partner but, my best friend and my rock. I wanted to ask him a few questions about how our relationship has been affected by Fibromyalgia and whether he thinks anything has changed.
How did you first meet? We went on a tinder date in Wembley. I pretty much stood her up a few hours earlier as my phone had died so I couldn’t let her know I would be later. I travelled to the other end of the line to somewhere I had never been to meet her.
What were your first impressions? Well thank god, she agreed to meet me in Wembley. Because she may have just though fuck it, he didn’t turn up earlier so why should I bother. I thought wow! She looked beautiful, such a gorgeous face and such amazing eyes. I thought her personality was so similar to mine. I liked her from day one.
How did things change when she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia?
The way I looked at Jodie didn’t change and still hasn’t. I wouldn’t say our relationship has changed much either really. We have had to slow down a bit but we are still very close if not closer We keep out relationship strong by communicating. We always seem to be on the same page. I can always tell when she is feeling a bit down or tired.
How has she changed Physically?
She has struggled with walking and getting from a to b and gained a little bit of weight due to her medication but I am still highly attracted to her. I haven’t really noticed much physical change, just that she struggles a bit more now and she can get tired quite easily.
What do you know about the condition?
It is a chronic illness which inflicts pain and fatigue on the individual of whom has the condition. A lifelong illness that ultimately changes your life. There has not been enough done to research into the condition which often leaves people suffering with little help.
How has it affected your relationship?
I think it has brought us closer together. I may have become more protective and caring over hew but, I have always been like that.
What do you find the most difficult?
Having to watch her struggle is really difficult because there is not much i can do to help. Some days are worse than others. Also, having to change plans and not been able to do certain things because of the effects of Fibro.
Do you ever feel like it gets too much?
I suppose sometimes yes I do. We tend to have the same conversations about the condition and where to go from there. Sometimes it can feel like we are going round and round in circles.
What do you do to help?
I help her with emotional support, getting ready for the day and travelling around. We are a team and work through everything together. I always like to make sure she is ok.
What do you think is the single most important piece of advice that you can give to a couple dealing with a chronic disease?
I would say, stick together be calm and take things slow. Live everyday like you are not going to see tomorrow and just take each day as it comes because you don’t know what will happen the next. Take care of each other and always look out for your loved one.
What does the future look like for your relationship?
Our future looks bright despite fibro and we can only get closer and stronger as a couple in the future. I look forward to all the memories we will make in the years to come. We will not let her condition come between us. Together we can get through anything.
No matter what happens, we stand together side by side, hands intertwined, through thick and thin. I guess that is what love is ❤