Confessions of a Chronically Ill Bride


Last year, I got married and you may not think that’s anything special, but if you take into account that just six months before I was bedridden with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) – it really is. After realizing I may never make a full recovery from this debilitating illness, I decided it was time to start living my life again and the first thing I wanted to do was to get married to my long-term partner.

I went from bedridden to bride in less than six months and throughout the planning process, I questioned my decision to get married many times. What if I keel over before the ceremony? What if I throw up on my dress? Am I really well enough to be doing this? What happens if I can’t stand up on the day?

man and woman seated during their wedding ceremony

I had to make many compromises with my wedding plans due to my illness. My partner and I opted for a small ceremony with only close family and friends followed by an afternoon tea style reception. I didn’t want to invite a lot of people as not many people in my family know I have a chronic illness and I didn’t want to answer questions about my health on my wedding day. We decided against having a big meal as I have severe nausea, and due to my chronic fatigue, an evening reception was out of the question.

Months of physiotherapy meant I was able to walk down the aisle, but I wasn’t able to stand up for the vows like I’d planned, as my health had deteriorated considerably in the run-up to the wedding. I had a blue petticoat added to my dress so that it would look nice when I was sitting down. My medication has changed my appearance beyond recognition which means there are only a few wedding photos I can enjoy looking at.

husband and wife sitting on a bench after getting married

My chronic illness may have cast a shadow over my wedding day, but I am glad I made the effort as my life feels more whole now that I am a wife.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

watercolor painting of a woman with a ponytail

When Everyday Pain Becomes Your 'Normal'

When you wake up every day and think, “Oh yeah, hello. Pain again.” That’s not a good feeling. When you start expecting to wake up with the pain every day. That’s terrible. When you don’t even notice anymore, and when it becomes your normal. That’s heartbreaking. And when you start fearing that those you love [...]
A photo of the writer listening to music, laying down, with a serious facial expression.

What You Can’t Tell About POTS From This Picture

Within the last month, I have gotten my long-awaited diagnosis. Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). That’s what I’ve known it was for nearly a year now, but something about having an actual diagnosis is wonderful. And since getting my diagnosis, this picture has become very important to me. Why? It was late at night, it’s grainy, [...]
A black and white photo of a woman crying into her hands.

I Need to Grieve for Who I Could Have Been Without POTS

For me, it’s a daily struggle. I try to love my life. I try to remember that it could be so much worse. And most days, I succeed. And then there are the days I can barely stand because of the pain. And here’s the thing: Those who are healthy usually can’t understand. You only [...]

Making the Choice to Step Back When It's Necessary for Your Health

College was always my plan. Graduate high school, go to the college of my dreams and find a major I’m passionate about. I’ve accomplished all three of those things… But now I have to step back and take a medical leave of absence for the spring semester of my freshman year. I should have seen [...]