Friday, October 1

Narcolepsy and Fiscal Responsibility - Taking the Reins

In our household, I'm responsible for managing the budget. This includes paying bills in a timely fashion, distributing our modest resources wisely, and making sure we live within our means. Now I'm no math whiz, and balancing our budget on a regular basis is definitely a challenge. Despite my best efforts, sometimes I make mistakes. It would be nice if I could share the responsibility with my husband. Actually, I wouldn't mind if I could let go of the whole thing and let him handle it. With my husband's Narcolepsy, however, that would be impossible.

My husband is terrible with money. It's not that he's unintelligent or intentionally careless, but the tedium of pinching pennies is hard for him to keep up with. Before his diagnosis, I thought he was just irresponsible. When I wanted to discuss anything money-related, he made excuses as to why he couldn't talk about it. When I could get him to sit down with me, he always fell asleep before our conversation ended. This frustrated me immensely, and it got to the point that I stopped discussing family finances with him altogether.

Post-diagnosis,  I learned that stress detrimentally affects my husband's narcolepsy. Any sort of intensity, be it laughter, anger, or tears, worsens his symptoms and makes him instantly tired. So discussions about money are extremely difficult for him. In a way, I was relieved to know the reason why my husband couldn't help me with our finances. It was better than thinking that he just didn't care.

On the other hand, now I had to accept the idea of permanently handling the budget. Over time, I've learned a bit and now find it much easier than I used to. Although it's still a stressful part of life, I can handle the stress a lot better than my husband can. I also no longer feel the need to exclude him. Instead, I update him when I feel that he can handle it. 

And when he can't, it's not the end of the world.

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