Everyone with MS has a partner.
At least it feels that way. Sometimes. I follow and read several MS blogs now, and there is one recurring theme that I just cannot relate to; how it involves their partners.
This is not necessarily a complaint. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. We all know that the grass is always greener, and I am fully aware there are things about my life that are literally the best because I am single. I’ve had my share of long term relationships and I know it’s not all sunshine and unicorns. I also have my fair share of friends who wish they were single. It is all about perspective.
I am also acutely aware that having a partner would make things a hell of a lot easier. Especially when dealing with a disease that shows up daily in the form of fatigue, numb extremities, clumsiness and bouts of what feels like the flu. I drop whole bags of groceries, bang into things constantly, and often sleep 10-13 hours. There are moments I could use some help. And a good snuggle.
Today I got my day-long infusion that comes around every 6 months and I did it alone. I didn’t ask anyone to come. Several friends asked if they could join or at least stop by, and I said I wanted to try this one alone. Just in case someday no one is available and I have to go it alone. If and when that happens, I’ll know it’s no big deal, that I can do this.
I sat down in the infusion center of the UCLA Oncology Department – MS infusions don’t have their own ward yet – and looked across to a cheerful man in his 60s. Matt. Matt has Leukemia. Matt is close to beating his disease; he is very upbeat. Matt feels he absolutely could not do this without his amazing wife of 30 years. Matt’s wife has an IQ of 147. Matt’s wife keeps track of all of his meds, and appointments, and doctor names, and insurance claims. Matt wanted to tell me about all of this in the first 5 minutes we met; needles in arms, immediate compadres sitting in reclining lounge chairs in the bright and sterile Oncology Hall.
I understand Matt, because he is grateful and so am I. But sometimes I am lost because I don’t know how to relate. I don’t know what to say or how to get a two way conversation going so I smile and tell him that’s so wonderful. And I mean it. But I don’t know what else to say.
I want to know: is there anyone out there reading this who is single with Multiple Sclerosis? Male or female – doesn’t matter. Just single with MS, dealing with this all by your lonesome? I would love to talk to you.
Because I have loads of incredible friends to talk to, but sometimes I want to relate.