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Caregiving and Sex: A Conversation

Posted Dec 03 2008 4:17pm
I used to say that my last book, When The Man You Love is Ill: Doing The Best for Your Partner Without Losing Yourself, wasn't really a sexy book. While it's true that Caregiving isn't usually considered a sexy subject, I do have an entire section devoted to taking care of your relationship. And one chapter, "Your Sex Life and Serious Illness," offers tons of psychological and practical tips on how to keep your sex life alive.Last week, I was traveling, appearing on media and speaking to groups on various subjects. Exhausted, I arrived for my final flight home. The airline attendant behind the center was someone I've gotten to know well. She's a lovely woman and as we chatted about my speech that morning at the Jacksonville Jewish Center and about her life, the subject of sex came up. "My husband was in a terrible car crash four months ago," Janine told me. "He almost died."I was taken aback at her news and as the airport was relatively empty, we continued to chat. He's been home recuperating and she's been the primary caregiver, mom of four young kids and trying to keep life functioning, one day at a time.I don't remember how the subject of sex came up. Maybe we were talking about the effect of his medications? Impishly, she looked at me and said, "My husband says the train is in the station, but he isn't able to board, but honey, come on over and hop on the caboose."Tired as I was, I left smiling. As I walked towards my plane, over my shoulder I said to her. "Consider that line too good not to be shared."
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