The 30 Day Chronic Illness Challenge was created by @cfs_zombie.  I learned about it through Tumblr.  Every day, for 30 days straight, there is a brand new writing prompt.  Each topic focuses on chronic illness and/or what it is like to live with one.  I’m rather impressed that I’ve made it this far through the Challenge, despite having a sinus infection this month.

Day 26: What impact has this had on your friends, family, partner, parents, etc.?

Several of the previous topics for the 30 Day Chronic Illness Challenge ask at least part of that question.  Or, that is how I’ve interpreted them.  So far, I’ve discussed how my parents, friends, and family have decided to react in regards to my chronic illness. I may not have focused specifically on how it impacted them, but I figure I’ve at least touched on it.

Therefore, today’s blog will focus on the impact my chronic illnesses have had on my partner, my husband Shawn.  I’m trying to avoid redundancy as much as possible, even though the Challenge’s primary focus is on the same thing every day: chronic illness.

How has my chronic illnesses impacted Shawn?  I didn’t ask him before I started writing this blog, so what you see here are my impressions of how he has been impacted by it.  Overall, I should note that Shawn is incredibly understanding about my chronic illnesses, and accommodates for them all the time.  I am very thankful that this is the case.

There are days when I cannot drive.  Sometimes it is because I am too sick.  Often, it is because I had to take medication that makes me feel unsafe to drive.  Shawn is legally blind, so he cannot simply hop in the car and drive himself somewhere on the days when I can’t drive.

Fortunately, we live in a town that has a really good public transportation system.  Shawn is excellent at navigating it.  There are many times when he doesn’t actually need me to drive him somewhere.  If I’m sleeping, or really sick, he just gets on the bus and goes where he wants to go.

There are times when driving is a necessity.  Grocery shopping is one example of that.  Putting groceries in the car is a lot easier then trying to carry many bags of groceries home via bus.  We typically work grocery shopping around when I am well enough to do it.  Usually that isn’t difficult.  There are days when I have limited energy and choose to use it up on grocery shopping.

There are times when he has to attend family gatherings without me due to my chronic illnesses. It isn’t often.  I make an effort to go to as many as I am able.  When I can’t go, he has to get a ride there from someone else.  He also has to wait until whomever is driving him wants to bring him back home.  I figure that’s not very fun for Shawn.

Over the years, there have been times when I’ve needed medical care that we simply did not have the money to pay for.  I hate when my chronic illnesses put a strain on our already precarious finances.

I’m certain this puts stress on Shawn because of the cost of the medical care and because I’m sick enough to need it.  Sometimes, I wonder if he would have an easier life if he happened to fall in love with someone who wasn’t chronically ill.  Then, I remember that he is legally blind – a condition that very few people seem to understand.  My mother, and her mother, were both legally blind, so to me, that’s “normal”.  Perhaps this provides a unique balance to our relationship.

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