To the One Who Helps Me Cope With Chronic Illness

Most people call my husband “coach.” There are times when I call him that, too, because he coaches me to do my best in life. My husband is truly is my soulmate, my best friend, my partner, my love and my coach. This letter is for him as he helps me cope with severe anxiety, a brain tumor, low blood sugar and fibromyalgia.

My dearest,

You love and live with someone with a chronic illness.

You ensure my medication is always purchased and my pillboxes are are filled so I may take them on time morning and night. We learned that I tend to be unreliable at this task, and you keep me prepared. I feel so much better when I have my medication, and I cannot thank you enough for the time you take to do this.

You always ask me if I want to join you for family plans or to go on errands knowing my answer will often be no due to my anxiety. But still you ask. You know I want to go but am fearful, and you know I want to be asked, so you do. You are so kind. I am certain it’s not easy to hear “no,” and I think you are a wonderful husband for being so strong and thoughtful to keep asking even if it might be difficult for you.

You offer to cook for me when I do not feel like cooking or eating. As our whole family will attest, you are a great chef! You add a little something extra to the food that makes it something special (love), and I do eat. Thank you for cooking when I don’t feel like eating.

You have helped with or taken on many chores while holding down a full-time job. One specific example of this is grocery shopping. When I could not grocery shop, you simply took over this task with grace and no complaints. Slowly, you have helped me to join in again at my pace. You have ensured I do not get overwhelmed by anxiety or fatigue. You are an amazing man and a true help.

You have chosen to do all you can to be my partner and be supportive. You continue to live a full and healthy life and model this for me. You encourage me to find a “new normal” and be happy each day. You coach me to continue to strive to reach my potential in all areas of my life — to volunteer, to socialize, to exercise and to try new things despite pain and fears, and with your support and encouragement, I do. In fact, I have done things I may not have done before I was disabled.

When I married you, I did not know what a blessed woman I would become. I did not know we would grow this much as a couple. And I did not know the depths of the wonderful, caring man I married. It took my disability and disease to share that with me. Thank you for being you.

Love always,
Your wife

Husband and wife holding hands

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