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Confessions of a Chronically Ill Bride

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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.

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Originally published: February 7, 2018
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