Being sick has been very hard on my marriage, as it is for most folks that are chronically ill I assume. I got hitched when I was a healthy and vibrant 24 and thought we would easily skip off into the sunset of happily ever after. Buy a house, get a dog, have a baby. Do those things everyone else in the world seems to do. But first we needed our great adventure so we moved to San Francisco. And a great adventure it was! But on Thanksgiving three years later I was in the hospital, watching my husband eat turkey dinner from the cafeteria and giving my thanks to God I survived a very severe pancreas attack. After eight days I was sent home and jumped right back on that train of great adventure. That was how I was raised, to persevere, forge ahead and keep going no matter the obstacle in my way. Fall off a horse, you immediately jump back on, right?
But two months before my fourth wedding anniversary I started having symptoms no doctor could diagnose, no blood test or imaging would confess. Life as I knew it slowly swirled down the rabbit hole as misery and sickness overtook me. My husband kept me together, from falling completely apart and blowing my life to smithereens in the depths of my despair. The personal cost he paid was high but that man meant the vows he promised me on our wedding day and by my side he stood. His faith in me, that unwavering devotion, gave me strength to cling to as I scoured for health. I searched high, low, under every rock, behind every tree. I foraged, hunted and scrutinized the world (wide web) over for a way to get better. I could not accept this no treatment no cure junk the doctors were telling me. I could not live like this for the rest of my life. It was maddening.
Years passed and I slowly started improving and gaining stability. And my husband fell apart. See he had been holding everything together for both of us out of sheer necessity. But because of my psychotic sickness spewing all over our lives he had lots of feelings, too. Feelings I could not handle when I was really sick and sleuthing for my own sanity. But once we were out of "crisis" mode his dam burst and those compacted and rotting feelings deep inside him rushed out, stood miles high between us. I had to get right in my head, for he was going down fast and it was of course all my fault, I blamed like it did anyone any good. So I learned how to listen to him and try not to own his rage. I encouraged him to talk about his feelings. I heard him tell me he was mad at me for getting sick, with more guilt in his voice than I ever thought possible. Hell, I was mad at me for getting sick, why wouldn't he be too? And after a few years of that we finally reached our balance. Yes I am still sick, he works very hard to support us and life is not peachy keen. But sometimes he looks at me and tells me I am the strongest person he knows, having survived pancreatitis, CFS, Fibromyalgia and strokes. All I can say back to him is I did not have a choice, but he did, and he chose to stay. That easily makes him the strongest person in the room.
Thanks for joining,