Then in the fall of 2011 the Pidge started to get very very sick. We spent the next 3 months fighting with doctors to try and get a diagnosis. She was wasting away in front of me, slowly starving to death, and in constant pain. Nothing else really mattered as much as keeping her alive. All of our relationship issues went to the back burner. Finally, they took her gall bladder out and we hoped things would improve. And for a while, they did. She gained weight, was able to eat regularly, and although we still related more as best friends than lovers, things were outwardly getting better.
Then in August of 2012, her health took another nose dive. Again, I watched her starve, and fought with doctors about what was wrong. Finally, out of desperation, I started trying to devise a plan to save her life without doctors. I prepared all of her meals, determined what she could tolerate, read everything I could get my hands on about motility disorders, and joined online forums for people with the same symptoms. We found a drug, not prescribed in the US (Die, F.D.A, bastards!!!) and started ordering meds for her from New Zealand.
We tried herbal remedies, over the counter combinations, anything we could think of. The doctors ordered useless test after useless test, tried to imply all of it was in her head even with the proof that she had lost over 30% of her total body weight in just 4 months.
Slowly, we discovered what worked for ourselves. We patched together a plan that works, and now she is heading into a remission of her gastroparesis/CIP. None of her doctors except one sanction what we have done, but the prooF is there in that she can eat again, she has stopped losing weight, she can do her job, and she actually feels good part of the time. By this time, we've been in best friend/health aide mode for 18 months. Our romantic relationship is functionally gone. We still love each other, but we sleep in separate beds, we don't have sex, we don't go on dates, we don't flirt.
About 2 weeks ago, I had to admit to myself that this relationship has changed so fundamentally that it no longer fits any definition I know of for lovers. I spent 7 years nursing MD Guy, trying to pretend that sexless, passionless relationships based on friendship and support were the same as love affairs. Having to face that they aren't, and that not once but twice in a row I have gone from lover to health aide just about burst my brain. I still have no ideas what conclusions to draw from that.