As his birthday approaches

Even though this relapse has lessened its grip to a certain degree, it is still very much present. So I’m reminding myself of a note I wrote this time last year, and adding a little bit extra.

A selfie of Anna and a camera shy Mr Tree Surgeon, taken a couple of weeks before Anna’s relapse started.

Note to self:

It will not be your fault if you are too unwell to celebrate his birthday in the ways you’d like to. It doesn’t mean you love him any less. Your wellness is not an indication of how much you love someone. What an absurd way of measuring anything, other than how sick you are, that would be!

It will not “ruin his day” as you claim.

The desire to do all the things is there. The physical capacity to do those things may not be. You have given yourself the best chance possible by being sensible beforehand.

Take the pressure off now; it will not help in any way to lay here willing yourself to be “well enough” come his birthday.

Being a grumpy, miserable, frustrated little so-and-so because you cannot do all the things you want to on his birthday does have the ability to “ruin” the day though.


It is totally acceptable, and normal, and okay, to be annoyed if you wake up too ill. Just try not I throw the mother of all tantrums about that on his birthday. While there’s little you can do to mean you wake up at your best, not being in a mood about it is something you can control.

As disappointed as you may be, and it is disappointing for you both, the day is not about you or your physical limitations. There is added stress and pressure (both self-imposed) because no-one can come to celebrate his day with him if you’re too unwell to do much at all. But, as ever, all he wants is to spend his day with you. Trust him on that. He doesn’t need the all-singing-all-dancing version.

“But I’m too unwell to do anything!” Define “anything” Anna. Can you smile? Yes. He’ll love that. Can you hold his hand? Yes. He’ll savour that. Can you chat? Sometimes. He’ll make the most of when you can. And can he sit in bed with you for a bit at a time? Yes.

Okay. It’ll all be okay then.


When you have someone like him in your life, you want to give them the moon on a stick because they deserve nothing less. But I can’t. I can’t do the things my nasty inner voice is telling me he deserves on his birthday. But what he deserves more than anything is to be loved. And I can do that. No problem at all.

Saving every ounce of energy and wellness I have to play a board game with him if I can. We’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.

Published by Anna Redshaw

Blogging about life in the slow lane with an invisible, chronic illness. I wasn't always a sick chick so this is somewhat of a life changing experience!

One thought on “As his birthday approaches

  1. Thanks for the reminder, Anna – I always feel so guilty at ruining my husband’s birthdays. This week I am about to miss my own, yet again…

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