I know all my readers have heard the phrase, “At least you have your health…” for much of their lives. When we are young and healthy, and surrounded by people who are young and healthy, it is easy to miss the true meaning of its sentiment. Even when you are close to people who have health problem, like my parents in the last ten years of their lives, it remains an abstraction, since you don’t see the results every day.
I, however, am married to someone who suffers from a phalanx of health issues all the time. Abby’s underlying heath problem is her immune system, which is dysfunctional and misguided. It attacks her joints and organs, and even on her good days, she still deals with more pain that I have literally ever experienced.
I update this today as Abby is having an outbreak of MRSA, a dangerous cutaneous infection. Initially misdiagnosed as shingles, it has since landed her in the hospital. She is responding to treatment, and I may be able to take her home tomorrow.
I try to be as sympathetic as I can about Abby’s health problems. One of the things I tell her is, “If I could, I’d bag it up and haul it to the trash.” But sympathy and empathy only go so far, and I can neither feel it with her nor can I do anything about it. All I can do is love her, which I will no matter what.