Monday, November 19, 2012

Sometimes Love Is Just Love

I’m not in a super awesome place right now health-wise.  Unfortunately, my RA seems to be back with a vengeance.  I’m having a lot of issues physically. 

It’s hard for me to use a knife to cut my food.  My boyfriend and I were out to dinner and I was struggling.  He grabbed the plate and the knife and did what I couldn’t do.  I was mortified.  I’m 27 years old and my boyfriend is cutting my food like I’m a four year old. 

This hasn’t happened since I first got sick.  I was home for the holidays and we were having dinner, I was sitting next to my sister, and she had to cut my food for me. 

Clasping my bra is a struggle.  Sometimes managing to get my coat on takes a ridiculous amount of time and energy.  Buttons of any kind are difficult to do with my somewhat useless fingers. 

And when I lay down, I feel like my bones are crushing in on each other.  Again, I haven’t felt this way since I first got sick. 

Lying down is so painful at times.  And when my boyfriend moves his body closer to mine, I don’t want to sound like I don’t love him, but him being that close physically is painful for me.

I don’t want it to be, but it is. 

And he can tell without me saying anything.  And he tells me he has an idea.  He leaves the room and comes back with two ice packs.  He places one against my back and the other between my knees.

At first I’m hesitant, not just because of the pain, but because of the physical and emotional closeness that ensues. 

It’s hard to struggle so openly in front of the person you love. 

It’s feels vulnerable in a way that nothing else does.

And I’m not good at accepting help. 

As frustrating as some of his quirks can be, in that moment, they don’t matter.   Nothing else matters.

He rubs the ice pack up and down my body.  Not in a sensual way, but in a healing way. 

And it feels like heaven.  Sometimes heat feels good, but when your joints are hot and angry, heat actually hurts. 

As I face the wall, I cry silent tears.  For my pain, for being sick, but most of all, for having this amazing person next to me who I’ll never be able to repay in kind. 

No one has ever done anything like this for me before.  Not that I’ve asked.  And while I tried to protest, I immediately felt better.  I slept with them (him and the ice packs) through the night. 
And the thing about it is, if this isn’t love, I don’t know what is. 


But all of the insecure illness feelings come back in a rush of anxiety. 

This should be our lives 40 or 50 years from now.  Not right now.  These physical struggles disgust me.  I can’t hide them, but I so wish they weren’t happening.

And then I have to remind myself that things won’t always be like this.  There will be better days and worse days. 

I don’t know how to do this.  And I don’t feel that I deserve someone like this.

And sometimes, when someone does something so unselfishly, because they want to and not because of they have to or because of the recognition they’ll receive, it makes you want to shout it from the rooftops. 

Love is not just a noun.  It’s a verb.  It’s more than a word.  It’s an action.  And sometimes actions speak louder than words.

They speak volumes, so loud, that there’s nothing left to say.


  1. *hug* Sounds like a good guy. I'm glad you have him there with you as you go through this flare. And yes, asking or accepting help is one of the hardest things.

  2. Oh, honey... so sorry you're having a rough time. And so glad that you have a legitimate Good Guy at your side through it.

    I used to struggle with this idea that because I couldn't physically give back, I wasn't giving as much in the relationship. Thanks to some really lovely people, I finally realized that relationships aren't about each person giving the exact same thing. They are about giving what the other person needs and I am very sure that you give your boyfriend when he needs. A friend once told me that she didn't care if I couldn't help her move. She knew that if her house burned down in the middle of the night and she needed someone to organize emergency clothes and shelter, I would be the one to do that. It helped me see that I wasn't useless or just a passive recipient in the friendship.

    One more thing on giving and receiving help. Sometimes, the biggest act of trust and love is to let someone help when you're hurting. When you're in pain, it makes the people who love you feel really helpless. I bet seeing how his (brilliant) idea helped you sleep peacefully made him feel really good. This was a big deal for both of you, but as you go forward, try to relax. I know you have your pride (I can so relate), but at the end of the day, someone cutting your food when you can't is no big deal. (PS, I've always found that asking for a steak knife is a great help, regardless of which kind of food you eat - they're much sharper and you don't have to press so hard when you cut)