How My Husband Has Supported Me Through My Journey With MS
April 2009 is when my life was forever changed. After the car accident in December of 2008, something was “off.” Deep down, I knew it. Tingles shouldn’t last this long in my leg. My doctor confirmed: multiple sclerosis. After two MRIs (lesions on my spinal cord and brain) and a spinal tap (T-cells present in the fluid), the diagnosis was clear. And so began my life living with a chronic disease.
At the time of diagnosis, my boyfriend (and now husband) was supportive. I told him he could leave me, no questions asked. He looked at me, shocked. That wasn’t an option to him. If I had any question in my mind that this was who I wanted to do life with, they were all erased in that moment (for the record, I didn’t).
My disease is “silent.” This means I don’t look sick. My mobility is normal. Every part of my disease is my subjective experience. It’s mostly bouts of extreme fatigue, which I manage with exercise and rest. My tingles in my right leg (lesions/plaques that won’t ever heal) come and go and become stronger with infections, allergies and hormone shifts. The double-edged sword is, I don’t look sick. My husband will say he forgets I’m sick. I never forget, especially with the weekly injections I administer. Good thing I’m not afraid of needles!
I’m learning to take care of myself. I say no when I need to and no longer feel guilt for resting. I ask for help, which is still hard. I delegate responsibilities around the home and errands. I used to burn both ends of the candle. If I do this now, I pay for it the next one to two days. My disease forces me to be more gentle with myself. This has been my blessing.
There’s not a day goes by that I don’t give thanks for my husband. It is my belief that MS has brought us closer. It forces us to work on our relationship and communicate with one another on a regular basis. I can truly say I am married to my best friend.
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Thinkstock photo via altrendo images.