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Love Means Never Having To Say … Anything

Wednesday 30 May 2018


From The New York Times:


Drawing by Brian Rea
(Image: Brian Rea)

Love Means Never Having to Say … Anything

A relationship between a young man and woman with similar illnesses presents unusual challenges. For starters, he can’t speak.

By Jamison Hill
25 May 2018
© Copyright The New York Times 2018

After dating Shannon for several months, I needed to say something to her, but I couldn’t. It’s not that I was nervous or unsure of the phrasing. It’s that I couldn’t speak. My lungs and larynx couldn’t create the air pressure and vibrations needed to say the words floating around my mind.

This is our reality. I can’t talk to Shannon about anything — not the weather or her day or how beautiful she is. Worst of all, I can’t tell her I love her.

This was never a problem in my previous relationships with women I thought I loved or perhaps didn’t love at all. These women knew my voice; they heard it every day. But they never knew what I was actually thinking.

They never knew how miserable my body felt because, back then, I was able to function at a relatively normal level and hide my illness well enough to seem healthy. I could go on dates, talk on the phone and even drive to my girlfriend’s house to spend the night.

But over time my condition worsened. Lyme disease had exacerbated my existing case of myalgic encephalomyelitis, an inflammatory multisystem disease that can leave patients unable to speak or eat for years at a time.

I’m now 29 and have been sick for eight years, the last three of which I have spent bedridden, mostly speechless and unable to eat solid food. I used to be a bodybuilder who worked out for hours every day, and I was blindsided by the rapid deterioration of my health. I couldn’t care for myself. I had to delay love and many other things while I waited for my health to stabilize.


Full article…



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