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I Have the Privilege of Loving Someone Who Has Lyme Disease

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“It isn’t their fault,” you may think to yourself, “I just don’t think I have what it takes to love someone who’s chronically ill.”

If you can relate to this thought process, you have most likely fallen for the common misconception that people with chronic illnesses are hard to love. That they are high maintenance, low energy, or simply just feel too sick to be much fun most of the time. Fortunately, I can tell you that all of these assumptions are false. And I know this…because the person that I love most is chronically ill.

She was diagnosed with Lyme disease just this past summer, but her journey with chronic illness began a year and a half before then; ironically, just a couple months after she met me.

If I could describe her in just a few words, she is extraordinary, fun to be around, and most of all, brave.

She was the kind of person that you met and instantly loved. Full of life, humor, and a smile that could light up a whole room. Then she fell chronically ill…and absolutely nothing changed.

Before she was sick, we laughed and ate junk food together.

Now we laugh and eat salads.

Before she was sick, we would run around the amusement park together.

Now I push her around in her wheelchair, and we have just as much (if not more) fun.

Before she was sick, she was my favorite person

But now, she’s my everything.

Some days she wakes up and she can hardly move because of the intense muscle pain and fatigue.

Some days she wakes up and doesn’t want to take her medication.

Some days she wakes up and is grumpy and irritable because being sick sucks. And it’s on those days where she needs me to love her even more. God knows she deserves it.

I hate that the person I love most is chronically ill. I hate that by some twisted bout of fate it was her that was chosen to carry this burden…this unbelievable pain.

But it doesn’t make her difficult to love. In fact, it does the exact opposite.

Since her diagnosis she has displayed bravery, resilience, and determination on a level that I didn’t know existed. She has displayed faith, hope, and love that I didn’t know the human heart had the capacity to hold. Since she was diagnosed, she has fought her own battle everyday, and shown me that you don’t need to be healthy to conquer giants.

The fact that I was chosen to be the one to stand alongside her and help her fight this monster baffles me. I find it hard to believe that I could be considered worthy of such an honor.

There is nothing special about me that gives me the strength to love someone with a chronic illness.
It just so happens that in my experience, it was the easiest thing in the world.

You are never gonna find someone who’s perfect.

You’re never gonna find someone who is 100 percent physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy.

So don’t be afraid to love someone who’s sick.

Who knows? It just may end up being the best thing that ever happened to you.

I have the privilege of loving someone who’s chronically ill.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Thinkstock Image By: CarloneGiovanni

Originally published: November 6, 2017
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