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17 August 2005 @ 01:45 pm
The State of My Union  
Last year I wrote a piece for the Salon series The State of Your Unions. They called it Trials of the Heart. At that time I was reeling from the threat of infidelity, fortunately not fully realized. It added to my own feelings that my chronic illnesses make me damaged goods, and that the best thing for daveseeker would be to find someone closer to his age and healthy. I've been trying hard for the last year and a half since I wrote this to see what value I can still bring to the relationship. It often seems to me that daveseeker takes on more and more of the tasks that I can no longer do, and that I'm bringing less and less to the table. Yet he is, for the most part, unfailingly patient and insistent that he do these things and that I should take it easy. I sometimes wonder, though, if I should push myself to do more for my own sake, both for my health and my self image. I sometimes think that ground relinquished can never be reclaimed.

So recently I found a book that I think may be useful for those who are the healthy one in the relationship, who are nearly forgotten by the doctors and the support groups and the family members of the chronically ill person. It is called Beyond Chaos : One Man's Journey Alongside His Chronically Ill Wife by Gregg Piburn. The customers who reviewed it were very happy with it. I thought I would mention it in case anyone either needs it or knows someone who does, or needs it in the future. I think there need to be lots more resources for family caregivers. A lot of web sites and a few organizations are starting to spring up for caregivers--a quick google search with the words caregiver and resources immediately brought up a good list. I urge extended family and friends to offer as much support to the healthy spouse as they do to the ill person.

daveseeker and I are doing a lot better this year, our counseling helped immensely to open the lines of communication. While I still wish we could enjoy our marriage without illness intruding on and limiting the things we can do together, I think ultimately we've had to go deeper together in order to respond to it. If we can get through this, we can get through anything.

I hope daveseeker finds the book helpful and I look forward to reading it myself. In tandem, I got some books for helping to deal with chronic illness as the diagnoses keep piling up.
 
 
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