Today is ME Awareness Day – it is an important day in our house.
Yesterday was my birthday – that is also an important day in our house!
My wife makes a massive effort on both days and more than likely spends a week afterwards recovering from her exertions.
That is a fact of life with ME/CFS.
I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t mind at all if she relaxed on May 11 and conserve her energies to administer the ME Aware blog she set up a few years ago.
But that is not an option for Rachel. Ever since she was diagnosed with ME/CFS, she’s been determined to help me celebrate my birthday in style and equally committed to raising awareness of this illness.
This year we have spent a weekend in Wales with my family ahead of my birthday – even more exertion and exhaustion for her to contend with.
But she does it without hesitation and without thinking.
She does it because she loves me – and that makes me the luckiest man in the world.
This is the pop up card Rachel created for my birthday.
It sums up perfectly why I fell in love with her back in 2001 and why I was so happy when she agreed to marry me in 2006.
It shows how imaginative, creative, clever, funny and loving she is. Throw in the intelligence, the fighting spirit, the sexiness, the beauty, the love of life and countless other qualities and you have the woman I fell in love with. She is still that woman and so much more.
There is no denying that ME/CFS impacts on her life and our life together on a daily basis. But it has never taken over her life or our life together. It never will.
After helping me celebrate my birthday yesterday, Rachel will today make sure that everyone who wants to contribute to the ME Aware blog will have their post uploaded.
And she will help those having trouble posting and sweep up any stragglers who might be struggling because their illness is making life hard today. She knows it happens, after all it is something she has to deal with too every day of the week.
Hopefully her efforts will be appreciated by everyone. After all, she could just take it easy and leave it to others to raise awareness about this illness.
But she has never been that type of person. She hasn’t changed.
Yesterday was important to us and so is today.
On ME Awareness Day I remain acutely aware of just how lucky I am to be married to Rachel.