Chronic Illness & Dating Part 3: Women with Lupus, RA, Myasthenia Gravis, & Endometriosis Share Their Stories

Dating With Illnesses--Women Share Their Stories
Dating With Illnesses–Women Share Their Stories

In Part 1, Emily, who has Cystic Fibrosis, shared her uplifting story of finding love.  In Part 2, I reviewed the book, Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder.  Now, for  final part of this series, I’m sharing quotes from Fashionably ill readers who wrote on our Facebook page, which is where we vent, support each other, and share survival tips.  I am blessed by the honesty of these women in sharing the good, the bad, and the say what!?!  

DIANE’S STORY

Dx: RA/Lupus, Endometriosis, a survivor of Thyroid Cancer

I don’t know much about dating with ilnesses, but I can attest to sickness and health part and happily ever after.  We met in Chemistry class, and we just hit our 20th anniversary.  We were healthy when we got married and ended up with our own sets of disabilities. He understands my crazy and I his. I’ll recheck the car doors for the fifth time; he can carry a large load of groceries in hand while holding a cane. He can knock on a door for me. I’m willing to make phone calls. Together we make one rather functional awesome person.  He’s the logic, I’m the art.

We spend most of our time in bed too. He works the game controller (I can’t hold it) while I provide Intel…He watches Chuck Norris movies over and over with me. I make him one of a kind clothes.  Every day is Valentines day! 

LESLIE’S STORY

Dx: Chronic Pain from a Thoracic Injury

I could write a book on the subject of dating with chronic pain/illness! I’ve been dumped by more guys than ever, even ones I knew I was settling for and wouldn’t have looked twice at before. Things always go well, until I have a flare-up and then they think I’m blowing them off or making it up. I’ve been asked up front if I can still “perform”. I even had one man be so bold as to outline how he believed that I am an addict and faking pain issues to get drugs. It’s been an awful ride and I have plenty of stories!

KAIT’S STORY 

Dx: Myasthenia Gravis

I dated my husband (in college) while chronically ill!  We have been married a year and are 26 and 24.  He is an incredibly patient and motivated person.  He is one of my biggest health advocates, but it wasn’t an easy road.

Finding Love Despite Illness
Finding Love Despite Illness

We started dating right around the time my symptoms recurred after being in remission for almost 3 years. We had a few really serious and tearful conversations where he was not sure if he could handle the myasthenia. He was afraid of the hardships of seeing me struggle, and of potentially losing me. A lot of it had to do with me letting him in, and allowing myself to be vulnerable emotionally. We sought one on one premarital counseling for 6 months before we got married. I blogged about this a few times, this best sums it up:

“There was a time not long ago when I couldn’t imagine inviting someone in to my life to love me and know me, to take my broken body as their companion. I couldn’t imagine sharing the pain of losing remission, of residual symptoms, of days hooked up to intravenous medication, and how awful some side effects can be. I couldn’t imagine how amazing and wonderful the man would be who would want to take this mess on…. who would dig through the dirt, research medications, motivate me, and do everything he could to make me stronger. I couldn’t imagine how he could feel knowing that things I once loved to do were just out of reach.”

Follow Kait’s blog here.

KARLY’S STORY

Dx: Lupus

I met my other half for our first date and I was straight with him (once we’d gotten formalities out of the way) and told him that I have lupus. Luckily he is a very big fan of the show ‘House’ and so was fascinated about it. We’ve been together and happier than I’d ever thought I could be.  For the past 4 years,  he’ll work extra jobs to ensure bills are paid when I’m having a very bad flare and off work. He does all the cooking and pretty much all household chores. If I’m in hospital, he even requests if he can stay with me and sleeps next to me! He’s a one in a million man. Past relationships almost destroyed my faith in finding love due to ignorance and them believing that it was all an act.

Happy Valentines’ Day, everyone!

–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno

JessicaGimeno

Hi, I have five illnesses--bipolar disorder, myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular autoimmune disease), polycystic ovarian syndrome, asthma, and psoriasis. Most of the organs in my body are affected. I'm dedicated to being a stylist for sick women. As someone who has experienced changes in my appearance due to my 12 meds (including Prednisone), I know how hard it can be when your face and body change overnight. (In fact, because of treatment, between 2008 to 2010, I went from a size 0 to a size 10. While I lost the weight, there are permanent changes in my face and body, which I've grown to appreciate.) My blog will also help women deal with other issues like surviving chronic pain and fatigue. Healthy people can also use this blog as a window into what life with illness is like. Let this website be a place where we can draw strength from each other despite our illnesses and find solutions to our everyday challenges!

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