Anyone who has ever struggled with autoimmune disease understands that even for their loved ones, getting it all the time, understanding the struggles and knowing when to help and when to buzz off can be a daily battle.
That makes Rob Thomas’ new hit single “Her Diamonds” all the more amazing.
The song was written for his wife Marisol Maldonado Thomas who suffers from a rare autoimmune disease similar to lupus. The beautiful Puerto Rican model doesn’t seem like the poster child for autoimmune disease, but with her husband’s words, anyone suffering from one of the autoimmune disease recognizes her pain.
In the first verse, Thomas’ writes:
Oh what the hell she says
I just can’t win for losing
And she lays back down
The sentiment is very familiar to those of suffering with autoimmune disease. Most days, I feel as though the disease is just a memory, haunting me with fears that it will someday take over my life. I live with multiple sclerosis, but I refuse to let it get me down. But other days, the things I do to treat the disease seem like torture in themselves and having the energy to do anything takes a sheer force of will that I sometimes don’t have.
Like any loving husband, Thomas is concerned about his wife’s pain and writes eloquently about his inability to make things better for her.
And I don’t know what I’m supposed to do
But if she feels bad then I do too
So I let her be
And she says oooh
I can’t take no more
Her tears like diamonds on the floor
And her diamonds bring me down
Cuz I can’t help her now
The sentiment behind the words is something that everyone suffering from autoimmune disease and the people who love them understand well. There is no easy explanation for why the disease flares up or the pain it causes when it does. As an MS survivor, I both understand my husband’s confusion and get angry about it. Some days I need him more than anything to understand the pain; other days I need him to let me work through it on my own. The changing attitude along with the changing pain threshold and changing ability levels can be confusing and downright devastating to our family members as they try to help us along.
Though the specifics of Marisol Thomas’ health issues are not public, “Her Diamonds” definitely addresses the pain and fear the disease can cause as well as the vision deterioration that can occur with autoimmune disorders.
“By the light of the moon
She rubs her eyes
Says it’s funny how the night
Can make you blind”
Many autoimmune diseases put pressure on the optic nerve, causing patients to see less clearly in dim lighting, but it doesn’t make much sense to people who have never experienced. The pressure on the optic nerve can vary hour to hour and day to day and so can the impact it has on vision. Some people are confused that an autoimmune disorder would even affect the eyes.
Though Thomas’ single was obviously written as a love song to his wife and not as an anthem for the millions of people suffering with autoimmune disease, the depth of the emotion and understanding for our symptoms, our needs and our pain makes “Her Diamonds” a hit even if it never goes any higher up the charts.
To see the video for “Her Diamonds” featuring Alicia Silverstone, click here.