living with chronic pain – someone else’s: part 2
by nikki meredith
My husband walks in the door from work. I’m in the kitchen chopping vegetables. He kisses me and asks how I am. I shrug and then place the tips of my three middle fingers over my right eye – the sign that I have a migraine. “Oh no,” he says. “I’m so sorry.” And he does look sorry though I wonder how he can keep feeling sorry when it’s such a frequent occurrence. But even more than that, I wonder, why do I do this to him? Why do I need to tell him?
It’s easier for me to answer why I shouldn’t tell him than why I do. I shouldn’t tell him because I assume that the hardest part of living with someone with a painful medical condition is the feeling of helplessness. I know how I feel when he’s suffering from any malady, large or small, especially if there’s nothing I can do to make him better. When you love someone, you want to alleviate his or her suffering and when you can’t, it’s terrible. And when you can’t alleviate the suffering, over and over and over again, it must be terrible over and over and over again. So, I repeat, why do I tell him? If I love him, why don’t I spare him this ordeal? Read the rest of this entry »