This month I am tackling (again) a very strict and regimented cleanse, with no room for error. Going the natural route for medicine really puts a lot of responsibility back into your own hands, which I both love and hate. When I had started seeing medical doctors, they wrote me prescription after prescription, barely looking at me and never once discussing what they were giving me. Occasionally I would find out when I got it filled, the most memorable time being told I was given an anti-depressant and if my thoughts of suicide increased to call 911 (umm… what?!). My illness having nothing to do with depression or mental illness, just a presumption by my doctor that I might need them to “cope” with my pain, this was my final straw. I called a Naturopath, and haven’t looked back since. So here we are, a year later and a half later, and what feels like my 100th diet and lifestyle change.
So often when we’re sick, especially with chronic, serious or unknown illness, all the attention gets put on that one person. Copious amounts of sympathy, help, well wishes, and cheering up, all for us sicko’s. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it tremendously, but this month I want to put the focus on the ones that get very little credit, the ones that keep us going, and are there 24/7, even when we don’t ask. For me that person is my sweet and lovely man friend, Graham. True there are many others that contribute, but especially since living on my own, he is always there for me. Graham hasn’t known me without being sick. Sure there are better months than others, but he came into my life just as my illness was peaking. He’s been there for all the tests, hospital visits, breakdowns and breakthroughs. New doctors, old doctors, Chinese doctors and Natural doctors, even Fijian doctors on one ill-fated trip. Worst, or best of all, he’s been there for the uncertainty. The countless, “I know what I have” which proved to be false, to the “I’ll never know what I have”.
Those who are with us through the worst times often become our emotional punching bags. It’s easier to release pent up anger and frustration on them because we know they’ll always be there for us. They let us snap at them, and turn right around and cry on their shoulder. In one day I have asked Graham to prick my finger for an allergy test, yelled at him for trying to prick my finger, yelled some more when he started to laugh at me, and cried with him when it was done because I just wanted all of this to be over. That’s the wonderful world he voluntarily lives in.
Many of our customers come in with questions about illness, and so many of them are shopping for their loved ones. Constantly looking for new things that may help their children or spouses or friends get better. It’s one of the most beautiful aspects of my job, seeing the effort and dedication and lengths they will go to.
Graham talked me off my metaphorical cliff this past weekend, as the temptation to modify my cleanse smouldered within me. And while I sure wish he wouldn’t bring in a steaming, gooey, cinnamon bun into the car when all I’ve eaten and will be eating are vegetables and plain yoghurt, I certainly could not do this without him.
So if you’re battling an illness, chronic or not, unknown or known, even just a head cold, and you have someone wonderful who you can rely on and takes care of you, do something for them this month! Whether that means buying them some bath salts so they can relax, taking them out, or in my case, most certainly doing something bicycle related, just show your gratitude. And don’t forget to tell them how much you love and appreciate them (Love you tons G-Mads)!