Graceful ways to explain spouse's chronic illness in social situations
May 21, 2014 5:40 AM Subscribe
I am having some difficulties explaining/trying not to explain my spouse's chronic health condition in social and work situations. I need some stock answers I can give for various occasions.
posted by JoannaC to Human Relations (28 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The longer version is, he has a chronic health condition (kidney disease) that at times affects his energy level, mood and so on. For example, he needs more sleep than most people and recovers much more slowly,from illness, even minor ones. As an example, he can usually solder on through a cold, but I brought home pinkeye once from work, and it was like a plague hit :-)
I am by this point (almost three years together, two living together) much more comfortable at rolling with it and integrating his needs into my life. But I guess I said 'not much, he was sick' one too many times in response to the 'how was your weekend' question because a coworker remarked 'wow, he's sure sick a lot!' And recently, I mentioned I spent the whole weekend doing laundry and had another coworker incredulously remark that he should help me and if he was not feeling well, to 'suck it up.'
I need some graceful outs for these situations. He can't 'suck it up' the way a regular person can. He isn't always up to going out and doing all these things. We usually do get in a brunch out (we enjoy brunches) and dinner or a movie. But often, I spend a chunk of my weekend either doing my own things (reading, going to coffee shops to have a change of scene if I have work stuff to do etc.) or doing household chores which he can't manage. I am happy with my simple life, but most of my coworkers seem to have higher expectations for the weekend than that!
And if I do have a weekend where he's sick, as I did recently...well, all bets are off. I spent a day and a half taking care of him and then another day at the ER with him while he got treated for dehydration. It was a miserable weekend for both of us. And then I came back to work on Monday and just froze when people asked me how my weekend was...
So...graceful outs for these situations appreciated. What do you say about stuff like this?