I’ve been going through a difficult time in the past two years. I became a mom and continued running our business without a day off. That stress wasn’t nearly close to what I would go through a few months after my daughter’s birth. When she was 4 months old, I was suddenly struck with mysterious symptoms such as slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, numbness in fingers and arms – leading to or causing depression. I began a slowly progressing journey to find the cause of my symptoms. Months passed and I was convinced by doctors that it’s postpartum depression. But I continued to get worse. I couldn’t eat, I lost half of my body weight. Went on anti depressants – it helped get through the days but didn’t help my physical symptoms.
My days were filled with worry, emotional pain, confusion, sadness – I thought I was dying – even with this little baby in my arms I had this feeling that I’m not going to make it further. It was my husband, my rock that saved me. Always supportive, strong and helpful, he was there for me every day through it all. Quietly soaking up the worry, the panic about my health, our family, our business. He must have endured so much stress but he never showed it.
I am so grateful for him, for the love he gives me and the care and security he provides to our family. He himself went researching for my symptoms on the internet, and found possible matches. Myasthenia Gravis was what he printed out and brought to my attention. “This is what you have” he said. I went in to see my family doctor with my newly found information. Another few months went on after that until I had several neurologist test me for MG. Sure enough I was diagnosed. With a single pill of Mestinon, my symptoms completely cleared. I felt amazing, I could eat, I felt normal - but not for long. Sure enough the disease was worsening, more Mestinon, still worse… I won’t know any time soon how my situation will fold out. I went through two weeks of Plasmapheresis and this week I’m scheduled for a thymectomy – a surgery to remove the thymus gland.
I know one thing, my rock is still near to lean on. I am so grateful for his patience and love. Although it’s not the pretty romantic kind of love. It’s uphill, difficult and heavy, it’s the ugly kind of love. I sometimes wonder if we’ll get through this ok because mine and his strength will wear out. We promised ‘in sickness and in health’ and he’s carrying out his end of the bargain. But what if my situation won’t get better, the strongest marriage can fall apart with enough pressure. I am so angry at myself for putting him through this misery. How much more can he handle, how much longer can he take it? Maybe this is what love really is – not the kind they show on movies. Love isn’t candlelight and soft music and whispers in the ear – that’s just romance. The real love is mundane, chore-filled and argumentative. An emotional burden that often begs for perseverance or a way out. Moments of happiness come and go… It’s our mission to hold on to the good memories because it’s what lifts us and sparks us within. Still, we’re better together, nearly 13 years of mostly good days and now the bad. I know I am loved. I now need to nourish this love, handle it with care and hold on hard to what I have.
I am reminded of a dark humored quote I’ve once seen: “Cheer up, the worst is yet to come”. – Philander Johnson. And another one : “If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”-Dolly Parton
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