A gas gauge with different levels of fullness inside of hearts - the gauge is reading the fullest.

Settling For the Best

After a long, fatigue-filled Friday, I opened my eyes early Saturday morning well-rested and hungry. To my surprise, I smelled breakfast cooking. I’m sure it’s scrambled eggs.

I like my eggs fried over-easy. But I can no longer cook. And my husband doesn’t know how to prepare over-easy eggs. So, I settle for scrambled.

I stayed in bed waiting for him to help me get into my powerchair. I’m not strong enough to lift myself. So, I settle for him picking me up and placing me in the chair.

Getting ready for the day

Once he comes and gets me, we head straight to the bathroom so I can brush my teeth and wash my face. My husband wets a towel with warm water and wipes my eyes. I watch as he squeezes toothpaste on my toothbrush and begins cleaning my teeth. One year ago, I could brush my own teeth. But now my fine motor skills are failing. So, I settle for him to ensure my personal hygiene.

Next, we roll to my closet to find an outfit. Beams of sunlight filter through the blinds and light up the room. I try to match the nice sunny day by picking out a cute dress and some lace-up sandals. Unfortunately, I need assistance to get dressed. So, I settle for my husband helping me to put on my clothes.

I need help with breakfast, too

Finally sitting at the dining room table, my husband approaches and places a glass of orange juice and a plate of scrambled eggs and sausages in front of me. I was so hungry and ready to eat. But I had to wait for him to help me because I can no longer eat alone. So, I settle for him feeding me.

After we finish eating breakfast, my husband cleared the table. He began washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. I stayed sitting in my powerchair. Head in hands. Eyes closed. Holding tight. Bracing for the next humbling circumstance. Not happy with having to settle. Trying my best to hide the tears.

He must have felt the sadness in the room because he asked me if I was alright.

I was so choked up, I didn’t reply.

Receiving a call

Then my phone began ringing. I can’t activate it by myself. So, I settle for him answering the phone.

He quickly picked it up, put it on speaker, and placed the phone in front of me. I composed myself and said hello.

It was a friend of mine who also has multiple sclerosis. She began telling me about boyfriend problems. She was having a really hard time since her diagnosis and explained the neglect she was experiencing. She believed it was because her partner didn’t understand her limitations. He called her lazy and refused to help her with most tasks. She felt stuck in having to settle for what her boyfriend was willing to offer.

Comparing her situation to my own

After our conversation, I sat alone in my dining room. Thinking about my friend. Comparing her situation to my own. Recognizing how easy I could be in her position.

I called my husband into the room. I told him I was finished with my phone call and I wanted to sit on the couch and watch television.

He didn’t hesitate to help me move. Even though he helps me multiple times throughout the day, this time I felt different about him coming to my aid. I realized I was fortunate because when I settle, unlike a lot of people, I’m settling for the best.

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