Let’s kick off the first ‘Outside Looking In’ where my boyfriend, Angus, will be answering questions about me and my chronic illness! Don’t forget to check out the previous post over on Jodie’s blog – it’s my Confessions of a Spoonie!
I am a student currently studying History at York St. John university, while additionally also working as a Barista Maestro at Costa Coffee. I am a huge fan of sport, but in particular rugby which I can’t get enough of! (Even though I haven’t played in years, whoops!) I have been in a relationship with Amy for over 4 years now and have loved every second of my journey with her and can’t wait to see where we will go in the future.
What is your relationship with the individual who suffers with a chronic illness/es?
I’ve been in a relationship with Amy for over 4 years now.
Did you know them before or after they were diagnosed?
I met Amy 6 months after her Glandular fever diagnosis and had been in a relationship with her for a year and a half before she was diagnosed with ME/CFS.
In your opinion, what changed in your relationship after the diagnosis / as the condition progressed?
When I met Amy she was still dealing with the Glandular fever, so I experienced some of what she had been going through. However, she did improve dramatically and we could do a lot more than when we first met.
After the ME/CFS kicked in this reverted back to what I had experienced when we first started going out, all be it at a much more extreme level than previous. My prior experience with Amy’s glandular fever did very much help me in this situation, so I knew what to expect.
However, after Amy left university due to the illness she got to a very low point that I couldn’t get her out of. At this point I was still at university, 21/2 hours away from each other. This in addition to everything Amy was going through really started to affect us and we agreed to take a break just after Christmas. Safe to say that didn’t last very long!
Have you been able to support them with their condition?
- If yes, in what way?
In regards to offering support I am always there for Amy; hot water bottles, cuddles and cheeky takeaways are all part of my arsenal for helping her when she is struggling.
- If no, please explain why or how that makes you feel.
Although, sometimes Amy would prefer to be on her own, which I can understand, but it can make me feel rather helpless as all I want to do is be there for her.
Do you find anything about their condition frustrating when you are together?
It doesn’t allow for the partaking in a lot of things that we would like to do together, for example I love climbing the mountains in the lake district and would love to do this with Amy, but this is unrealistic with her condition.
What do you find difficult to understand about their condition?
That the symptoms can vary from day to day, and it can be extremely difficult to keep up.
Have you ever had a question you did not feel able to ask them about their condition? If so, what was it?
From the outside a lot of the symptoms can look like severe tiredness and it was hard to tell the difference at first, but though time and experience I have learnt to notice the things that differentiate them.
Had you heard about their conditions before meeting them / them being diagnosed?
I had heard of the conditions, but had very little knowledge of them.
What has their condition taught you about life with a chronic illness?
That it is incredibly frustrating to be wanting to do things and then be stopped dead in your tracks out of nowhere and not be able to continue.
What main piece of advice would you give to someone in your position?
It is by far not a simple task that will require a lot of patience and understanding, but it is more than worth it when you care about the person as much as I do.
- On SATURDAY 1st April, Jodie will be posting her partner’s Outside Looking In questions and answers so remember to head over to her blog to see that!
- On SUNDAY 2nd April, I will be posting JODIE’S Confessions of a Spoonie on this blog so come back then to check it out!
- On TUESDAY 4th April, Jodie will be posting the first PROPER Confessions of a Spoonie from one of our guest posters so get excited for that!
If YOU want to get involved, you still can! We have two sets of questions so everybody can get involved! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know which set of questions you’ like to complete and I can sort that out for you!
You can read more about both the series here:
Confessions of a Spoonie
Outside Looking In