It’s hard to believe that this coming August it will be 11 years since Brad & I said “I do.” What’s even more surprising is just how much in a blink of a eye life can change.
Almost 11 years ago we stood before god, friends and family pledging our love to one another. We just got done building our dream home , both working full time in jobs we loved with lots of dreams for our future to build together .
Looking back today I was reflecting on how in our marriage vows we all breeze right through sickness & health. For I know at least in my eyes I quickly thought the flu or something minor and acute. But how often do we ever in that moment think of something more serious or chronic illness.
After our first year of marriage my body was already putting our vows to the test. We got pregnant with our first born (Paigey) . I was so sick the entire time I had a feeding tube for months making sure the both of us would thrive. Thankfully after 36 long hours of labor baby Paigey made it here to us safely.
Next Paige's first birthday party I have still yet to have my cycle for nursing her I realized smells were really bothering me again. So the next day I found out indeed I was pregnant once again. The same sickness began once again. But by the time we went to the specialist 12 weeks in we found our baby girl (Anna) had went to heaven.
After months of my body being crazy with weird things happening one right after another. We found out we were pregnant with our son Brady. This pregnancy was a lot different this time as far as being sick but I would just gush blood for no reason at all. And I mean to the point my blood level was critically low. But our prayers were answered when Brady made it here safely in January 2011. I ended up nursing Brady for a extended length of time due to some respiratory issues he has early on. 2 years 5 months to be exact .
Here is where my health began to show its true colors. One thing after another began to happen with none of it making sense. Fainting, shaky, vomiting, headaches non stop, fatigue that I couldn’t even handle, dizziness with every movement, digestive issues, chest pain, achy, and a bunch of other weird things. But the kicker of it all is we were finding no answers at this point. Well at least until the day it began to all come to ahead. February 11, 2014 I was admitted to the hospital after fainting at work which was at the hospital ( so a good place to be right). My nurse Shawn couldn’t believe my heart rate & blood pressure. The original ER dr just assumed I wasn’t eating right. But I was indeed eating I mean I love food here.
The cardiology team was paged and after discovering I had a heart asd( hole in my heart) they also diagnosed me at first with a form of dysautonomia, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia. Isn’t that a mouth full , huh?
But you see that day I was handed papers about my diagnosis never knowing what our future was going to hold. I just assumed ok they will put me on medicine and I will get better.
NOPE, that’s not what happened, atleast not in my case. Most of the medicine I am highly allergic to & my reactions have been reverse to what it’s supposed to do. I was stuck. Feeling like total shit, and stuck.
Well atleast until my mom & I found Dr. Blair Grubb along with his assistant Beverly. These are the 2 that changed my world. The started seeing me September 2014. They explained what exactly my body was doing. And they made it crystal clear to me that I was unable to work ever again. You see for a lot of us with chronic illness , you only have so much energy each day. For when it’s gone, it’s gone. So in order to have any quality of life at all you have to limit all that you do each day for every moment is precious. And for me my babies just being a mama is all that I can do each day. And that alone feel like a lot on certain days too.
You see I am now 4 years into my chronic illness journey with no ideas a lot of what the future will hold for us. I have now been formally diagnosed with dysautonomia, pots, mast cell activation, chronic fatigue syndrome , ehlers Danlos syndrome, pxe, chronic pain dysfunction, chronic migraines , brain tumor, ibs, snycope sezuires,and I am sure I am missing some of my medical chart that has now become a book.
It has taken me these four long years to finally get a great team of drs together that understand all my medical weirdness. And yes I call it weirdness for I don’t understand myself what my body is doing half the time.
I never imagined that I would be where I am today writing this to share with you all. Today we are getting ready to put our dream home that we built on the market tomorrow for this mama’s health needs something different than what we originally planned for. Some of my main outings seem to be dr appointments, medical testing & hospital visits . I battle my body every single day to be the best mama I can be. I have been fighting health disablity for 4 years with no luck, since I am unable to work. So every single thing rides on my husbands shoulders .
But somehow despite it all Brad and I’s marriage is stronger than ever. We are a team committed through sickness & Health . We have learned a very valuable lesson through it all too....things are just that things. And love and happiness can be conquered through it all for you could never put a price tag on that. Our beautiful babies have a happy life, our family is super supportive and so of them don’t get my weirdness either but they sure try. We are truly blessed through it all.
Has it been hard I have been asked... well hell yeah. We have struggled mentally, financially, physically and emotionally all the way. But we still stand by each other today no matter what.
It’s hard through life when we have this vision of our future and just what we want it to be. But I think we sometimes forget that life is always moving and we have to sometimes change our vision for our future so we can start a new.
Chronic illness is one of the most misunderstood issues someone can have so I have learned. For me people would never know for you can’t always see it from the outside. But I fight my body every single second of everyday just to try to make it through something normal. But what’s normal anyway , right? Stop comparing yourself to normal if you have chronic illness like me for it will destroy you. Yet instead let it allow you to appreciate all the little things in life that make this just so precious.
I hope that by reading this today. It helps you understand someone with chronic illness or how quick things can change.
I know I am so blessed to have Brad by my side through this all. It just makes us truly Cherish those vows we said for today they feel like they mean a lot more.
Know that if you are struggling with something today you are never alone. There are lots of chronic warriors just like you and me. Keep fighting to get answers & try to stay focused on the good times even if they are just a few moments a day .xo