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To My Amazing Other Half, From Your Partner With Hypothyroidism

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To my amazing other half,

I know I perhaps don’t say it often enough, lost amongst the bad days, the sleepless nights and sleep-filled days, but thank you. Thank you for understanding that on the days I can’t help with the housework, I don’t have the energy to stand or I get everything muddled up and become frustrated, I’m battling an internal battle and I’m really struggling. Thank you for being there. Thank you for always being supportive. Thank you for understanding. Thank you for being there for me when no one else was.

photos of a couple smiling and laughing

Thank you for doing the dishes when I don’t physically have any energy to stand and thank you for relentlessly doing the ironing when my brain fogged mind can’t figure it out and I get mad at myself. I appreciate every single little thing you do for me. Even if I don’t always show you.

Thank you for the countless leg and foot massages when I’ve had a really busy day and can barely walk anymore. Thank you for aiding me up the stairs when I need the extra help.

You often notice I’m struggling before I’m even aware and you swoop in like the superhero you are, coming to my rescue.

I appreciate that my health conditions have not just put me through a hard time, but you, too. The days I haven’t been able to complete certain tasks, you’ve had to take on more – housework, cooking, running errands, organizing things, etc. You’ve had to be an unfaltering pillar of strength, repeatedly holding me and telling me that we’re going to work through the tough times and come out of it stronger. While I’ve been a collapsed mess on the floor and you’ve been going through all kinds of stress, frustration and worry yourself, you’ve always remained calm, strong and clear-minded. Whereas I have you to vent all of my emotion to, you haven’t done so to me, concerned that I have enough on my plate as it is. You’re always considerate. And sometimes our life and plans have to be put on hold due to my health conditions.

man and woman wearing heavy coats and sticking their tongues out playfully

I know it’s crap when we have plans or are invited to an event but can’t go because I’m having a bad day with my health. It sucks that my health conditions affect you, too. But you never make me feel like I’m at fault; instead, you fetch me a hot water bottle, my favorite treats and put another season of “Friends” on again. If I’ve ever needed time off work due to my health, although you encourage me to go whenever possible, you’ve never pressured me when I truly couldn’t attend. You always encourage me to rest and take time for self-care. You help keep me in a routine that promotes self-care.

We’ve spoken about how my health problems may affect our future plans, including starting and raising a family and me being able to work going forward. We’ve talked at great length about my ability to do all these “normal” things other people do without too much of a thought and we’ve made plans. We’ve worked through it and you’ve supported me.

People sometimes say to me that I’m strong, inspirational or selfless. But in all honesty, you are all those things and more. It takes a very strong person to care for someone who sometimes cannot care for herself. We often live the life retired couples do and we’re only in our early 20s. No one understands how difficult this can be for us. You’re inspirational in the way you never falter to put others first. You selflessly come to many doctor and hospital appointments and you’ve spent hours with me researching treatments and new things we can try to help me get better.

You’ve supported me in my endeavors to complete a 5k fundraiser, standing right there beside me – literally. You’ve helped me source new medication and resources to help me make progress. You’ve always been supportive in us paying privately for any testing we thought was needed to get a more comprehensive view of things. You even encouraged me to set up my blog to share my experiences with others.

And I read about other thyroid patients who have partners who question the validity of what they say they’re going through, don’t help with the housework or things they used to do or even call them lazy. And I feel so fortunate that I’m with someone who has never once questioned me, doubted me or made me feel any worse than I already do living with this chronic illness. You still look at me with adoration and you make me feel like the most special person on the planet. When I gained weight from hypothyroidism, you put all my worries about looking bad at ease, as you still looked at me in the same way you did when we first met. You still treated me like a princess.

man and woman laying down next to each other and laughing

I cannot imagine how hard it is to try and console your other half on days when they’re crying because the pain, fatigue or frustration is just too much to bear. I cannot imagine how much you must have worried over the years when I’ve been in hospital, sent for more tests or am trying another new medication. When I’ve been frustrated or angry with doctors or other medical professionals, I can only imagine how frustrated you must have been, too. Being the person stuck in a failing body with, sometimes, no light at the end of tunnel is one thing, but being their significant other who wants nothing but for them to be happy must be heartbreaking. I’m not sure what I would do if it was the other way round. I’d feel useless.

But I hope you know that you’ve been nothing but amazing this whole time. You’ve been encouraging, supportive and unfaltering every step of the way, and that is the sole reason I am still here today. People ask where I get my determination to keep on going in the dark times, and I tell them it’s from you. Without you, I know I would have given up a long time ago.

I want you to know how much I appreciate you and every little thing you do. Every single day. I am incredibly lucky to have you in my life and I love you more than any words can even begin to express. I cherish the memories we make together, good and bad, because in the end they’re what make us, us. You deserve a medal for what you continue to go through with me, consistently standing proudly by my side as we hit another bad patch in my health and holding hands tightly, ready for the next test.

Thank you for taking this journey with me.

Forever and always,

Rachel xx

man and woman holding drinks and smiling together

This post originally appeared on The Invisible Hypothyroidism.

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Originally published: March 17, 2017
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