Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: The Caretakers

*This post could also be called: I Love My Husband. Be forewarned: it’s a little sappy. Deal.*

Good morning, everyone! May I just say that it is absolutely gorgeous in New York City today? 42 degrees when I popped out for my pre-dawn (gee, thanks for not letting me sleep, steroids) run this morning with the other early birds in Central Park. Despite my stomach refusing to cooperate, I had a seriously awesome and speedy 7 mile run.

Good morning, New York!

Perfect way to start this Tuesday–Better Than the Alternative Tuesday, no less! Great run and a fun new headband that *gasp* didn’t slip once on my sweaty run! Hooray for Sparkly Soul Headbands!

Ooooo, it's early and I still have those Moon Face cheeks. Don't judge, just check out the flashy new headband.

I’m a good Caretaker. I learned from the best (hi, Mrs. Obi-wan!) and my husband marvels at my ability to swoop in and take care of most any emergency/sickness that arises. I will travel where I am needed and bring presents and food and good company. Ask anyone. I’m an awesome hospital companion. I will bring cookies and cross-stitch while you get your treatments. Caretaker is a role in which I am comfortable, far more comfortable than being the patient.

2011 was the first year when I was the patient, the sick one. Being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis didn’t really seem like a big deal in 2010 and they got my symptoms under control quickly with relatively innocuous medications. No biggie, right?



Like I said, 2011 was the year of me being the patient. Weekly doctor’s visits, “procedures” where I needed JB to be there to make sure I got home safe and didn’t end up sleeping on a curb all day, drugs I never imagined I’d be taking (you don’t want to know), fighting with my body just to get through the day, humiliation (or humbling experiences, you might also call it) beyond belief…I have a whole different perspective on being the patient. And now I’m the one needing a Caretaker.

Iron/Potassium IVs every week? Well, ok. If you say so, Dr. Boz.

I have a whole new perspective on the hell that The Caretakers go through watching their loved one endure these treatments. And mine aren’t even all that bad. I see it in my gorgeous husband’s face when I’m in pain and completely worn down from this f-ing disease and he doesn’t know what to do for me. I mean, I’ve been on the other side of it as the Caretaker and I have to say, there is no pain worse for me than seeing that helpless look in my husband’s eyes. It’s worse than any symptom I have and I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for him.

We are like two peas in a pod, JB and me.

Some of the main side effects of my symptoms is serious fatigue, irritability (like, perma-PMS), lack of physical strength and, well, frequent trips to the restroom. Romantic, right? How does he do it? He listens to me talk in detail about every little symptom/movement/horrific experience, waits patiently for the *one* bathroom in our apartment, asks about my appointments, holds me tight when I’m pissed off (see: irritability), indulges my cupcake cravings, and otherwise talks me down from the ledge on which I find myself these days.

I know what you’re thinking. That’s his job, right? I mean, he married me “in sickness and in health” and all that. But, do you ever get married at age 31 and imagine that your 29 year-old wife is about to be diagnosed with a chronic auto-immune disease that will turn her and your world upside down six months into marriage? No. You sure don’t. But he takes it in stride.

We take our vows seriously. Seriously.

And so today I would like to shout out to ALL the Caretakers in the world, but especially mine. JB, you deserve for everyone to know how amazing you are at taking care of me and loving me the way you do every single day. Thank you for being strong when I am not. You make every day Better Than the Alternative. I love you.

Hey, Run Stronger Nation, my husband is awesome.

Who takes care of you? Who deserves a shout-out for being YOUR caretaker? Share it here!

Now go out and run!

6 thoughts on “Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: The Caretakers

  1. This is a seriously cute post — you are obviously very lucky to have such an amazing husband and I am sure this will only make your marriage stronger!! Ps I love your blog, so happy I stumbled upon it!

  2. Aw, I love this! You two are clearly amazing together!

    On the flip side, I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough year and that this disease has been a total pain in the @$$.

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