Lupus sucks. So do other chronic diseases. It sucks to be in pain all the time. It sucks to be exhausted constantly. It sucks to live in a swirl of brain fog. It really sucks to be completely unable to open jars without whacking them on the side of the counter until they shatter.
But guess what? Lupus doesn't only suck for the patient. And we know that. As the daughter of another lupus patient, perhaps I know that better than most. It's awful to watch a family member, partner, or friend suffer. There's no feeling of helplessness that matches watching a loved one fight a disease that is slowly draining their life away. And yet, from observation in my own and in my friends' lives, I would say that a supportive partner makes an indescribably large difference in one's quality of life. So this is for those of you who stand by us during our darkest moments: thank you.
Thank you for spending those long, long hours in the ER with us.
Thank you for visiting us in the hospital when we're stuck there for days or weeks.
Thank you for driving us to and from appointments, drug infusions, etc. when we're too sick or tired or drugged to drive ourselves.
Thank you for holding back our hair when we're barfing from the latest chemo dose, or because of gastroparesis.
Thank you for stepping in to do the housework we can't do.
Thank you for giving us back rubs when our muscles are going through spasms.
Thank you for letting us nap when you'd rather be doing something else (even if we're napping in front of the TV and you can't watch your favorite show!)
Thank you for not judging us.
Thank you for making our excuses when you have to, yet again, go to a social event alone because we're too sick to accompany you.
Thank you for taking care of the kids when we just want to crawl into bed (not something I've experienced, but I know it's huge for parents).
And maybe most of all, thank you for the little things: opening jars, picking up our prescriptions, and even getting us treats.
We know it's not easy to have a sick partner. We know there are times when you wish you could just walk away from the situation. But you don't. And we love you for it. So thank you, and may God bless you for all you do. (Or Karma, or whatever you believe in).
P.S. Other patients: feel free to add anything I missed in the comments, and I'll add it to the list.