A little known factoid: My darling Fred, Life Partner Extraordinaire©, was diagnosed with ADHD eight years ago, eight long and interesting years, but not as long, or as disturbing, as the eleven years before that! Bless his everlovin' bones, he has struggled all his life to achieve emotional balance, and now seems to have done it, as much as one can.
Even on what might seem a superficial level, he had to struggle with life's little things, things others may take for granted.
But what I love the most is the return, or rather, the preeminence, of his wonderful sense of humor.
He came roaring into the room last night, laughing.
"I've reached a new ADHD low! Not only can I not remember where I put the thing that I am looking for, I cannot remember what the thing I am looking for... IS!"
On a purely selfish level? I also love that it is now safe for me to laugh, and luxuriously, too. Once upon a time, I never knew the reaction that might be coming my way. Even when I knew that he was lashing out at the world because of the pain he was in, that was no protection against the extreme energy of his anger.
He now has his own social outlets, outlets and people that go beyond me. I mean, face it, living with CRPS/RSD, not to mention the problems of unresolved bone infections, lupus, avascular necrosis, adrenal insufficiency... face it, I have lost my world. At first, I thought it was issues of access -- for the longest time, I was stuck in a manual chair that I could not maneuver (you try it without shoulders, 'kay?). Then, when my own tenacity solved that problem -- a new car, a wheelchair lift, a new wheelchair -- I had to face the truth. I simply can't go out all that much. I can't do much, period.
PITY PARTY ALERT! RUN, SAVE YOURSELVES!
Okay, I'm over it. All problems, solved. All issues, resolved. All difficulties? Scoffed at! I am, afterall, the *real* Bionic Woman.
Back to darling Fred, Life Partner Extraordinaire©. I am trying to reduce his role as my caretaker, as who wants to see that reflected in their lover's eyes? He does not need to be greeted daily with a laundry list of complaints -- nor does he need to be greeted with laundry!
There are little tricks, things I have learned late but hopefully not so late that all is lost.
Such as -- pausing before I speak. That one thing, alone, has salvaged our relationship. Asking myself whether what I am about to say really needs saying. Is it about pain, discomfort? He knows I am in pain, he knows I am uncomfortable. He knows I don't sleep. He knows I can't do x, y, and z. It is caving into the seductiveness of "sick behavior" to point it all out as if he had not a clue. And I don't have enough Official Pity Party Paraphernalia to host a soirée all that often.
Honoring him includes being proactive around The Manor. I do more than I think I am able to do, and, occasionally, more than I ought. But it is key that he not feel that the welfare of Marlinspike Hall falls on his shoulders, alone. We are honor-bound to maintain this place in as pristine a condition as possible, else we are poor friends to Captain Haddock, and his trust means a great deal to us.
I mean... think of what Captain Haddock might say, based just on the things he's said before:
Pachyrhizus-eses-eses! Parasites! Patagonians! Pestilential Pachyderms! Phylloxerae! Pickled herrings! Pirates! Pithecanthropic montebanks! Pithecanthropic pickpockets! Pithecanthropuses! Pockmarks! Politicans! Poltroons! Polygraphs! Polynesians! Profiteers! Psychopaths! Purple profiteering jellyfishes! Pyrographers! Pyromaniacs!
And that is just the letter P.
*Photo credit: The Hero Construction Company