It’s time… for the first interview with another watcher!
The blog series Another Watcher’s Story is a compilation of interviews with other people just like us who are in a relationship with someone suffering from a chronic illness: mental or physical. They may or may not be in an ‘official’ caregiving role, but they have a unique tale to tell.
The purpose of this blog is to remind us that we are not alone.
May this interview be an encouragement that there are others out there too, struggling to love and seeking to give, all the while figuring out what it looks like to do exactly that.
So without further ado, let me introduce Helen, the mother of a daughter who suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
My Daughter has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
How does your daughter’s illness impact her life?
My daughter has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which greatly impacts EVERY part of her life. Here are some of the difficulties:
- Rapid changes in body temperature
- Brain fog
- Bad sleeping patterns
- Continually feel like they have the flu
- Difficulty doing simple things like washing hair
- Can’t exercise or go for walks
- Can’t go shopping so does a lot of online shopping
- Sore muscles, aches and pains
- Crashes after doing something, becoming very fatigued and rest doesn’t help
What has been the hardest part of Watching them?
It is very hard as you cannot fix it, and you are limited in what you can do, making you feel helpless. They lose friends and they have no social life. The sickness is not believed by many people and others don’t know how to react so there is not much support for the sick one.
How has this impacted you?
The impact on me is that I feel burdened, have a lot of sadness, and it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel as the years go by.
What have you learnt as a result of this relationship?
We have learnt to focus on the positive and to make the most of the few and far between “better moments”. To be thankful for small things, and to prioritize by not wasting time and energy on what is not important. We try to focus on the good things and try to make little times of happiness where we can.
How has God been present in this relationship?
God has answered prayers, there have been times of blessing and providence, and we receive strength to carry on
Have you seen any fruits or purpose for their suffering so far?
I know that there is purpose in their suffering. I hope that they will be empathetic to others. That they can be a listening ear and comfort to others in similar situations. They have grown in patience, persistence, love and are a great example of bearing a load without grumbling
What does Jesus mean to you? What aspect of his character has impacted you the most?
Jesus is my Lord and Savior. God loves us despite our sin and shortcomings. He is a God of love, joy, peace and I can cry out to him at any time and leave my worries in His hands
What’s the best piece of advice or encouragement someone has given you? How have they shown they love you?
I have been encouraged by others saying that they are praying and when they remind me of His love and mercies. People show their love by text messages, cards, phone calls and praying. A big thing is just coming up and asking how things are instead of not acknowledging the situation.
What piece of encouragement would you give someone in a similar situation to your own?
Don’t give up, to keep looking forward and keep looking up and praying. The journey is slow, and it consists of tiny steps. Try to help them have a goal/dream and keep encouraging them. Stay strong and be diligent in prayer and personal devotions.
// Are you a Watcher? If so I’d love to hear from you. Please don’t think your story isn’t exciting enough, or your loved one’s affliction not devastating enough! There are no wrong answers! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be part of this series (you can remain anonymous!)
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