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Chronically Ill and Alone: Do You Have Fears of Being Sick and Single?

One topic of discussion that isn't often broached often are our feelings and fears of being single and chronically ill.

Many of us are not married nor have a significant other. Many more do not have immediate family and lack other support systems.

What are some of your fears being chronically ill and single?

  1. I realize this is an issue for a lot of people, but I came to terms with being chronically single long before I had any health diagnoses. I never wanted kids. Wasn't really sure about the whole marriage thing, especially after my dad passed. And now, due to the surgical changes I've endured, I don't even have the desire to be physical with anyone. I always planned to live a full, complete life without a partner and chronic illnesses haven't changed that. I have a diverse, eclectic group of people in my life and don't wait on others to do things I want to do. I am whole on my own.

    1. This is kinda close to home for me, my used-to-be long distance best friend turned boyfriend has cirrhosis/ end stage liver failure when we began talking during Covid. He was diagnosed in the end of 2019, he was living alone in Oregon, his ex wife & daughters were the only people he knew there. After a zillion hospital stays alone and him coding twice he moved in with me.

      Taking care of a sick person is so much work, I listened to him do it alone for over two years. I can't imagine how hard it is to grocery shop, and schlep yourself to appointments, force yourself out of bed for exercise. It looks exhausting.

      I see the benefits of both situations he used to be able to make a mess, and not clean up after himself. I come home from work 5 days a week and clean up what he's spilled since I left at 7am from drinks, to food, and pop sickles that dribble daily on him, sheets, blankets, my wood and carpet floors. He is oblivious to such messes, however its the first thing I see when I walk inside. He sits home alone like a puppy waiting for me to walk in and sadly also for him, the first thing I want to do when I get home is go on my patio and detox from my day. It hurts his feelings because he spends 85% of his time in bed watching tv & half conscience, but even on weekends I can not lay in bed all day. I feel bad for him, I don't want him to be alone - however the stress of watching someone else get sick, deteriorate and become a shell of themselves isn't easy to watch. I would not mind if he moved in with his mother in another state for the end of his sickness. As for my own wishes for dying I'd love not to be a burden on anyone.

      1. Oh my goodness, this is so relevant. I think one of the biggest things is that is is ALLOT our conditions and I am yet to find someone who can stick it out with me. Is it my mind set alone or are there others out there who could actually put up my conditions and look past it long term? The mind wanders.

        1. Interpersonal relationships are difficult as is. Once you add in chronic illnesses and the level of difficulty goes up. However, I know many who have found either a great support system, or a special someone, who sees past a person's chronic illness... So, here's to hope, and the right universal circumstances, that we all find our person!

        2. I agree 100% , I remain hopefully, cautiously optimistic. I have certainly seen it happen for many others.

      2. Since I have difficulty walking plus being epileptic my fears are great. I have 16 steps to go downstairs to take out my garbage and recycle at different times.

        1. That is a very valid fear! I'm sorry you have to worry about this. I can relate somewhat - I don't suffer from epilepsy but I do have narcolepsy with cataplexy, and was having forty cataplexy (sudden paralysis) attacks per day when my narcolepsy first developed. It's better now due to the copious amounts of medication I take for it but I still try to avoid situations that may trigger my attacks, especially in situations like climbing stairs or taking baths. (Once I had a cataplexy attack in the bath and had a drowning scare). It's why I got a service dog, actually, to be able to feel more independent as a person living alone. Hang in there, stay safe! Warmest regards, Tatiana (socialhealthnetwork.com Team Member)

        2. thank goodness for our service animals that promote our safety and independence! Thank you for sharing your experiences to help shed light on this topic and provide perspective on living alone with a medical condition

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