Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

05 Feb 2014, 12:38 p.m.


Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2014 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I've been sick for something like the last six weeks, so Leonard booked an appointment for me and I finally saw a doctor. It's such a nasty trick that illness leeches away the energy one needs to fight illness properly; I'm so lucky to have a partner who's willing to manage those details and take care of me. He made an extra trip, tromping through the slush in his boots, to get my meds at the pharmacy.

In recent years I'd gotten better at not confusing momentary physical fatigue or mood weather with persistent problems that need fixing, but it gets harder to distinguish when the ought-to-be-ephemeral things last for so long. Various boxes with lots of fine print now surround me and soup is in the offing. I hope they help.

Once, Leonard and I had to have a difficult conversation. As I gulped breath and tried to get up the gumption to go into the living room and talk with him about this thing, I did a bit of math. There are maybe 350 million people in the US, which means tens of millions of couples - maybe even a hundred million couples, just in my country. Some tiny fraction of those couples had the same problem, so, maybe twenty thousand? And it might take years for the couples to talk about it, and there are three hundred and sixty-five days in a year, but even so, I thought, there must be at least a few other couples having this same hard talk tonight, maybe five. I imagined them as points of light, with bright lines crisscrossing the continent to connect us.

Just the hypothetical existence of this community calmed me. We are not alone, we can't be. We talked and came out the other side together. This illness will pass. Spring is coming.


05 Feb 2014, 15:11 p.m.

You are very lucky; he's good at taking care of people. Make sure you take care of him back!