Cup of Humility

I apologize for not posting yesterday. Usually I try to post every day, but sometimes life has different ideas. Let me paint you a picture of my morning hours, so you can possibly understand what’s happening.

On good days, I wake up around 5 AM. The Atheist Wife brings me a cup of coffee, part of our deal to ensure I get up and moving, something that my mental health often prevents. I am always surprised that she does this. After she leaves, I consider how lucky I am to have a partner so caring, so willing to help me succeed and take care of myself. Then I head downstairs where my computer waits next to my chair and ABC 24 is already on. I rarely eat breakfast. Instead, armed with coffee and a warm cat by my legs, I write a blog post that sets the tone for my day.

It’s a lovely way to spend a morning and the best part is always my partner. She makes everything better and happier. So when she is not feeling well, many things don’t work. And she often does not feel well.

My partner has endometriosis and for those of you who do not know, it is very painful. Essentially, uterine tissue grows outside her uterus and it is very painful. There is no real definitive cure. Everyone’s endo is different so what works for one person may not work for another. She’s one of the ones who can’t find a treatment that helps. Her pain is severe enough that she takes strong prescription painkillers just to lessen the pain. It never goes away, it is only manageable or less manageable.

She really is my hero for how she handles her endo. It does not slow her down. Every day she is up, she works, she takes care of people and smiles, but I know she’s in pain. There are times that I can’t believe she’s standing, but not only does she stand, she carries weight that would crush others.

Living with someone with chronic pain is a lesson in humility. The sacrifice that she makes to take care of me just in the simple ways that partners do is amazing. That cup of coffee in the morning is something that I appreciate because I know how much it cost her. When her pain is very bad, our morning routine slows, but she struggles through. I appreciate that she goes to work despite her pain. During the day, I try to check in on her, to offer what support I can, but it never feels like enough. Around the house, I try to tidy and clean things in order to make her more comfortable, even though I’m pretty hopeless at it. When she is home, I do as much as I can to help her rest.

Lately, her pain is worse. At her doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, we found out that there is little they can do just to manage her pain. She won’t be able to refill her normal medication until the first. And through all this she is still going to work and bringing me coffee.

If you live with someone who has chronic pain, everything they do takes on a different cast. Everything they do is a personal sacrifice and when they do something for you, that awareness changes you. You begin to feel humbled by the simple kindnesses and to appreciate them in a way that creates a desire to give back in kind. There is nothing you wouldn’t do to help them, to make them happy, to lessen their burdens. Everything else takes a back seat when they need more help and that’s how it should be.

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