“Are you okay?” If my husband had his way, he’d never hear me utter these words again. I can’t help it. If he coughs, I ask him. If he looks puzzled, I ask him. If he stretches, I ask him. No matter what it is, I’m convinced it’s a symptom of multiple sclerosis. I’m a woman obsessed. I’m sure he’s completely exasperated by now. I’m even irritating myself at this point.
I wasn’t always like this. When Khoren and I first started dating, I was pretty cool about his disabilities. If he had to walk 30 yards through a crowd to get somewhere, it didn’t bother me. Now, a walk like that ties my stomach up in knots. I keep looking after him and waiting anxiously for him to return. I wonder if he’s fallen, and if so, if anyone is helping him. I wonder if he’s somewhere needing me and I’m not there.
I think at first my concern was probably endearing. But now it’s just too much. He’s the one with MS and I’m the one totally freaking out. Initially, I just freaked out on the inside and now, well, I think I’ve already painted that picture. I want to go out and do things, but I’m so afraid it will be hard for him, so I find myself making excuses to just stay home.
Could I be dragging his MS down? I have to find a happy medium. I’m fairly certain I’ll never go back to my quasi-cool ways, but I have to at least try to get halfway back there. I can’t always protect my husband from getting hurt. I can’t always make things easier for him. And that really bothers me. I have to learn to let go.
It sounds corny but maybe having a mantra could help. The next time I start to hail the crazy cab, I’m going to try to tell myself (multiple times if I have to): “He’s okay.”