Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Loved One

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | January 05, 2012 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: love, Loved ones, recovery

I have been off the air the past few weeks, busy with what we in this degenerate age languidly call "caring for your loved ones." Hospital ward, 1920s, New York City, photographer unknown. Courtesy of Library of Congress

My partner, S., is a very private person, and I will choose to keep her and private details mostly out of it. But I feel impelled and commanded to take a break from the political and speak of the personal before I can resume my usual discussions. Indeed, I am burning to vent the raw personal experience of caring for my partner through a surgical operation that involves impaired mobility and weeks of pain, spending long days at the hospital arguing with nurses, staying at her apartment and walking her dog, bringing her home afterwards and staying with her to help navigate the painful initial recovery, and broaching the difficult (yet undeniably like escaping from a caregiver's prison) separation when it comes time to get back to my own house and my own life.

Yes, it's true that the personal is the political, but in this instance, it feels entirely too personal to say or even think anything political about it, and, frankly, I'm not too entirely sure what I'm feeling.

Except to say that I believe this is what love is.

All I be sure of right now is relief, relief that she is recovering well, relief that I still have my own life, relief that I have the time and ability to help her with the things that need my help, and relief that this has brought us closer, though not in that claustrophobic way that once caused us so much grief.

All of the political goings-on in the world seemed to have come to a stand-still for me, and about all I can seem to do this week is to breathe a long, labored, freeing, loving, to the bottom of my toes sigh of relief. Love is a nice word, but I don't know that the greeting-card obsessive-compulsive hash we as a society have made of this word fits what I feel for S, which involves intricate syncopations of the heart, complex brain waves that would break any oscilloscope, and emotional ties of iron, rubber and silk that make the Gordian knot seem like a simple bow-tie.

Ah well, I am glad then for the simplicities of politics, and look forward to a return to the uncomplicated matters of nation, state and law.


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