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A Little List About What Love Is When Living With Chronic Illness

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August 30th was our wedding anniversary, and my husband and I were celebrating four wonderful years together! We were hoping to go out for lunch to celebrate the occasion, but we had to cancel (as is often the case!) as I didn’t feel well enough. Instead my husband used his lunch break to look after our toddler so I could rest. This got me thinking as to what it really means to love someone with a chronic illness.

Whether it be a partner, spouse, relative or friend – it’s those little (but oh so important) things that really help to show your love for us. It’s not grand gestures or fancy outings. It’s just being there for us and letting us know you care.


Here is a little list I compiled as to what I think love is and how my brilliant husband shows his love for me!

Love is:

  • Loving you when you’re in pain
  • Loving you when they can’t make you better
  • Loving you when you’re too exhausted to speak
  • Loving you when you’re sad
  • Loving you when you’re grumpy
  • Loving you when you’re upset
  • Loving you when you’re frustrated
  • Loving you when you’re a little bit mad at the world
  • Loving you when you can’t make decisions or change your mind at the last minute
  • Loving you when you have to cancel plans (a lot)
  • Loving you when they have to cancel their plans to take care of you
  • Loving you when you can’t do the fun things you used to do
  • Loving you when you forget things
  • Loving you when they have to look after children so you can rest
  • Loving you when you’re fed up of nobody understanding your illness
  • Loving you when you get your words all muddled up
  • Loving you by knowing when you’ve done enough and making you rest
  • Loving you by listening to how you “really” feel – day after day
  • Loving you by still asking how you are every day
  • Loving you when you’re in your PJs all day
  • Loving you when you can’t wash/brush your hair and look a mess
  • Loving you by still making you smile/laugh
  • Loving you when they have to do the cooking/cleaning/shopping
  • Loving you by having to work full-time and then come home and help take care of you – and not complain
  • Loving you by still appreciating the things you can do and acknowledging the amount of effort it takes
  • Loving you by still buying you flowers
  • Loving you when you have to go to bed ridiculously early
  • Loving you when you have to watch a movie in three parts because you’re exhausted and can’t concentrate for long
  • Loving you when you’re upset after every medical appointment and offer a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen
  • Loving you by learning everything they can about your illness and being interested in new research
  • Loving you by still listening to your hopes and dreams
  • Loving you when others have disappeared from your life since becoming ill
  • Loving you just for being you

There’s loads more I could say but my “little” list is already getting quite long!

I’d love to hear your comments on how those close to you show you their love and support. I know not everyone is lucky enough to have someone to love and care for them at this moment in time, and to you I send lots of love. Don’t give up hope of finding love and friendship. You are still you despite your illness and very, very lovable!

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Thinkstock photo via Ridofranz.

Originally published: October 3, 2017
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