I do apologise for missing the Confessions of a Spoonie post on Sunday, but don’t worry, it (hopefully!) won’t happen again! This Outside Looking In is by Michael, who is married to Kat and you can read her confessions here.
I’m Michael, I’m 34 and live in North East Scotland with my wife Katrina, and our 2 cats and 2 dogs. If I’m not working as a qualified HGV Mechanic during the day you’ll find me out with the dogs shooting and training them to be working gundogs. I have been with Katrina for 16 years now, and although both our lives have changed due to her Chronic Illness’ we are still together and stronger than ever.
What is your relationship with the individual who suffers with a chronic illness/es?
Katrina is my wife. We have been together since 2001, and we were married in 2010.
Did you know them before or after they were diagnosed?
I knew Katrina before her illness’ were diagnosed. It all happened/started 3 months after we got married.
In your opinion, what changed in your relationship after the diagnosis / as the condition progressed?
I don’t really think much has changed, we are still the same people, but I think I understand her better. When she says she’s “fine”, she’s really not. I can also tell when I come home from work what kind of day she is having by her face, usually it’s a look of pain!
Have you been able to support them with their condition?
Yes, I support in any way I can. I am the only one she can talk to about everything, that understands how she feels too. She can be open and honest with me and I’m not going to judge. I also go to appointments with her when I can, even if it just means I’m the designated driver!
Do you find anything about their condition frustrating when you are together?
Sometimes I find it frustrating that we cant do all the things we used to do, things like simple car journeys and walking. For example, we used to go to Knockhill to watch the BTCC but now that’s almost impossible due to the pain from the car journey, never mind the walking and standing around all day. I know she desperately wants to do all these things, but its difficult for her to manage everything in one go. She will often say she is fine to go and do something when she really is far from fine!
What do you find difficult to understand about their condition?
I don’t really find it difficult to understand anything really. Of course I’m not the one living with her illness’, but I like to think I’ve a pretty good understanding of how she feels. She often tells me how it feels, and to describe a pain she will try and describe it in the best way she can so that I can understand her.
Have you ever had a question you did not feel able to ask them about their condition? If so, what was it?
Not really, I can ask her anything about any of her conditions, and we can be honest about things we need to discuss that are important to us both.
Had you heard about their conditions before meeting them / them being diagnosed?
No I hadn’t heard of any of her conditions and illness’s prior to her being diagnosed. Although now, I realise that all these/her issues are common, just not widely spoken about.
What has their condition taught you about life with a chronic illness?
Katrina having these chronic illnesses has shown me that it is a big strain on a relationship, it’s sort of the elephant in the room, it’s always there. But I think we are stronger as an outcome.
What main piece of advice would you give to someone in your position?
Be there to support the person. Chronic illness is so hard for the person to deal with, but it’s also a strain for us who look after that person. Be open and honest with each other, and just remember to talk about things. Just being there to support, listen and be the shoulder to cry on (or be the person to vent at) can mean so much to someone.
- Remember to take a look over on Jodie’s blog for Tuesday’s Confessions of a Spoonie.
- The NEXT Confessions of a Spoonie will be posted by me, on Sunday!
- Jodie will be posting another Outside Looking In on her blog, on Saturday!
If you would like to get involved, you still can! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get something organised!