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To My Husband, My Nurse, My Everything

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Dear Husband,

We have been through a lot in the past 12 years, but these past seven weeks have been the hardest. I am lucky to still be here. I am lucky to be alive.

If I did not go to the emergency room on September 25, I would probably not be here right now to spend our 12th anniversary with you. I could barely walk that day. I could barely breathe. Thankfully, I followed my instincts and had you drive me to the emergency room, where they took a few days to diagnose me with multiple bilateral pulmonary emboli. This diagnosis, and the treatment, will save my life.

It all seems like a blur now. I was so scared. Scared of what they would find. Scared of not being here for you and for our young children. Scared of leaving my precious family who need me so much. Scared of leaving this world, which contains all I hold dear.

It has been a tough three years battling Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, anxiety, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). You stood by me through it all. You took care of me and the children, even though you were tired and fearful. You tried to remain hopeful I would be healthy one day, but I worried this latest incident would affect you more.

If all goes well, it will take me another five months to recover fully from my pulmonary emboli, and then I will be off the blood thinners. Blood thinners you inject twice daily into my tender, bruised abdomen. I am so lucky you are a registered nurse with the skills to care for me. But that is not what makes you so special. It is the man you are.

The man who has the strength to always take care of me, the giant heart to love someone like me, the arms to hold me when it feels like the world keeps crashing in on me, the hands to wipe my tears, the humor to make me laugh.

You buy me food, you wash the dishes, you watch “Downton Abbey” with me and you take great care of our kids. Even though you work full time and are going to school, you always come through.

That is true love. It always shows up. It always comes through.

I have sometimes seen your anger and despair over my health. But you hold onto hope. Though it may sometimes seem like you have had enough, you pull hope right back into your grasp. You see, you never could let it go. That would mean giving up on me. That would mean giving up on us.

I am still the woman you love. I may not be as active or funny as when you first met me, but I promise you I will keep fighting to get back as much of myself as I can.

I will keep walking miles for you. I will keep taking my medicine and getting my injections. I will keep doing whatever it takes.

Because I love you and always will.

You are my Sam. In “Lord of the Rings,” he says there are some things in life worth fighting for. You are one of those things.

I promise to keep fighting. I promise to try harder to show my appreciation, even on days when I can barely function. I promise to stay alive for as long as I can so you can see me as I once was. So we can enjoy the wonderful life we’ve been given. So we can share many more happy memories.

I hope we get to fulfill your dream of going to Scotland one day. You have given me two beautiful children and all of my dreams. You deserve to have one of yours.

Thank you for always being there for me. I could not have picked a better husband. I could not have chosen a better friend.

Happy Anniversary, my dear, sweet husband.

You are my heart, you are my love, you are my dream come true.

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Originally published: November 18, 2016
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