Dating while Sick

With Valentines day come and gone I’ve been thinking about dating again. I just can’t wrap my head around how anyone would want to pair themselves with someone with constant pain, random illnesses, and perpetual exhaustion that occasionally ramps up until they spend all their time in bed or curled in a chair fighting to keep their brain churning and lungs pumping.

Who would want to step into a mess of a life like one controlled by a chronic illness?

I never know how I’m going to feel day to day so it makes planning for anything precarious. How are you spontaneous when at any moment your joints could flare in agony, energy draining away to nothing, leaving you brain dead and fighting to even make sense?

The last attempt at dating had a guy trying to convince me to drive over two hours to see him. There was no way it was happening that week, I was exhausted, in pain, and probably would have been bedridden by the time I got back home. Telling him I was sick had no effect, he couldn’t comprehend someone being unable to drive two hours and watch a movie or go on a date and still have energy to get home.

The last time I went out with my best friend she didn’t understand how I could be laughing and joking with her while also saying, “Yes, I’m in pain.”

People don’t seem to understand that right now I’m always in pain. Even if I’m having a good day and moving easy, something hurts. I’m never totally symptom free I just generally narrow down the list if someone asks to the one most annoying thing at that moment. If I didn’t go out unless I’m pain free, I’d never get out of the house. Not for work, fun, or errands.

Dating or even going out with friends means that all my extra energy for that day is getting committed to that person. I’m not going to have anything left generally when I get home.

Pacing is a major deal with chronic illness and the only way I’ve managed to do it so far is to narrow my actions down to my top three priorities for each day. At most I’m probably going to get two done, the third is optional if I feel up to it.

So if I have a date planned, that becomes priority two at the very least, generally getting to work and dealing with my 18 year old dog take the top slot. If I have energy after that I get chores done.

I work a full time job and do call with the occasional night shift and 12 hour shifts when we have a go live. It can make for a stressful week with little energy left over at the end of the day. Add in various hobbies like writing, going to the gym, and general life events like holidays and my time disappears faster then free snacks at the office.

You’ve already got to be something special for me to be willing to give you my time. Add in the energy drain of being chronically sick and it makes that time all the more precious.

Added to the fun of being chronically ill you also get random other infections and viruses easier then most people since there’s a good chance you’re on immune-suppressants. So you’re sick randomly along with your regular illnesses.

Then there’s the money situation. Medications and doctors visits can get expensive even with insurance. My extra cash tends to get drained away easily like this month when I got an ear and throat infection and had to get $200 antibiotic ear drops. Add in the rest of the antibiotics and it was closer to $300 total.

I get charged a small amount for every doctor’s visit and a percentage of every lab and test run. Those small amount add up but it’s still not enough to even count it on my taxes. So there’s often not a ton left over to go out to eat or spend money on drinks, if I can even drink on top of my meds at that time.

So broke, exhausted, sick, and in pain me isn’t exactly up for spending extra energy on dating right now.

Will I eventually?

Of course, it’s waiting like most of the shit in my life for the latest trial of medication to make me feel human.I still have goals and get out and have a life but the extra things got cut out for when my joints don’t ache so bad. Eventually I’ll find a guy willing to go at my pace but for right now I’m only willing to work on fixing me.