Friday, May 31, 2013

An Exceptional Husband (repost)

I have to say that Fibromyalgia is much easier to manage with a supportive husband.  My silver lining is that I not only have a supportive husband, I have an exceptional husband.  Ray is easy going, laid back and hard working as well as a rock solid support for his entire family.

Just today he's exemplified the type of person each of us, with fibro, depression, chronic fatigue (did I forget to mention chronic fatigue in my last post?), etc. have to manage on a daily basis.  The type of support I get from Ray reminds me of the pet companions veterans are utilizing.  Not that he's like a pet...oh, my...this is not the direction I meant to go in.  Let me just tell you about my day.

I woke from a terrible nightmare at about 6am this morning and I remember opening my eyes but not being able to get my bearings.  It felt as though I was back in the waking world but brought the frightening storyline with me.  Just when I thought I had a handle on where I was and the awareness that it was just a dream, I was overwhelmed with sorrow and fear.  Long dream short, I lost my son in a strange town and no one would help me find him.  I burst into tears and got sucked back into questioning whether or not it was a dream.  Ray usually takes some time to wake up in the morning, but not today.  He was awake and present very quickly then wrapped his arms around me telling me over and over again, in the most compassionate voice, that it was just a dream.  I heard him tell me that my son was home safe, everyone was home and safe, including me.  I slowly felt calmed and grounded enough to open my eyes and see for myself that we were all OK.  Ray had gently guided me to become grounded again and it gave me strength to begin my day on a positive note.  I felt strong enough and safe enough to go for a nice walk to start this beautiful, sunny day.

I feel it's so important for a support person to know when to guide a loved one to feel strong enough and confident enough to move forward on their own.  It would be very different if he assumed that my nightmare was going to render me incapable for the rest of the day.  I need to feel as though he believes that I can pick up where he left off and be the strong woman who continues forward.  He sees me.  The true me.  The me that is sometimes shrouded by the greys of illness, pain and despair.  And he expects that the true me will emerge each and every time the illnesses try to push me down.  Yet, there is no expectation of a timeline.  Ray allows space and time to take its course and never forgets that the real me is underneath, somewhere, ready to bounce back.

Also today, my wonderful husband has been talking about cooking some soup and quinoa salad.  He showed me the recipes that he found online and asked some questions about the ingredients, but didn't say much more.  He enjoys cooking, but doesn't have much experience in the kitchen.  I just assumed that he was looking to gain more experience with some recipes that he liked.  I offered to go to the grocery store with him to help him find the ingredients needed and on our way to the store, Ray tells me that the meal he's making is for me.  Just because.  What!?  On his day off.  His day of rest!  He is making me dinner.  Try to understand, this is no easy task.  My diet has changed quite a bit over the last couple of years.  I eat a clean diet.  That pretty much means, vegetables, some beans, no dairy, no gluten, no sugar, no meat, no processed foods (definitely no Monsanto products if I can help it) and low carbs.  Granted, I'm not perfect and the occasional chocolate finds it's way into my day sometimes :) He took on this task with a smile and pride!  What a treat!  Both dishes were very delicious and I'm happy to say there are leftovers, so I don't have to use much energy trying to find meals for the next couple of days.

There are many stories I can tell about how my husband is an exceptional life partner but I'll share just one more from today.  As I mentioned earlier, I accompanied Ray to the store to pick up groceries.  While in the car, I asked one of my usual questions and that is how I slept last night.  This is a typical question because with pain, restless leg syndrome and some intense twitching, I don't always know these things are effecting me through the night.  Although, Ray knows and last night was no different.  He has told me, in the past, that I 'run' in my sleep sometimes.  I grind my teeth and recently my arms have been swinging, as if I'm swimming (which is the most recent exercise I've taken up to try to manage pain).  Now that I've written all of that, I'm surprised he hasn't moved out of our bedroom.  Anyway, I found out that last night I was kicking him and it must have been pretty intense because he mentioned possibly wearing one of those sumo wrestler suits to bed so he'd be protected.  I'm sure the kicking was just a long stride run, but he never wakes me.  He tells me that at times he just needs to gently, put his hand on my shoulder and I stop.  I'm glad to hear, that's all it takes for me to settle down. I must know, even while I'm sleeping, that Ray has always been and will always be there for me to comfort me after a bad dream, to cook me a healing meal and to gently touch my shoulder when I'm kicking the crap out of him in my sleep.  I'm grateful to have found a good and loving person, who I love with all my heart and soul.