I often feel dizzy. I frequently stumble and trip or sway and stagger (especially when I’m tired). I accidentally bump into people when I walk through a crowd. It’s kind of embarrassing actually. Sometimes I feel like a drunken sailor – minus the colorful language, of course.
There’s nothing like a chronic illness to put a marriage to the test.
Shortly after my diagnosis, I found myself reflecting on a promise Curt and I made a couple of decades ago. At the time, I didn’t give it much thought.
“And do you Sheri; promise to love Curtis in sickness and in health?”
Man, he looks good in a tux … Oh sure, sickness and health … This dress is itchy…
So who could’ve guessed that in February of 2016 my husband and I would sit in a neurologist’s office and learn that I have an unpredictable and potentially disabling chronic disease?
Like I said, MS can do strange things to a girl’s brain – and I can’t always blame the scar tissue.
The more I heard about MS, the more my insecurities crept in. How was Curt feeling about all of this? More importantly, how was he feeling about me?
Curt is an energetic guy. He loves to play sports. He likes to travel and have fun. And then there’s me. I’m often tired. I can’t walk a great distance. It’s frustrating when your body doesn’t allow you to do what you want. But I knew one thing.
My husband didn’t sign up for this.
One morning Curt was heading out the door when my emotions got the best of me.
“Let’s be honest,” I said, a bit over-dramatic. “We don’t know about my future. There are people with MS that can’t even walk. What if that happens to me? What if I end up in a wheelchair?”
Curt set his work bag down and looked me in the eye.
“You’re right,” he said. “I don’t know about the future. Except whatever you go through, I’ll be going through it with you.”
Recently, a friend asked me, “So how has Curt been through all of this?” One word came to mind.
Yes, he is concerned about my health. But he isn’t flustered or freaked out. He loves me just the same. He is simply unshaken.
When you think about it, “In sickness and in health” is a pretty broad statement. If I had to re-write our vows to specifically reflect our marriage today, it would sound more like:
“I Curtis, take the Sheri to be my wife. I promise to run the girls to softball and volleyball when you’re feeling extra tired and take time off work to go with you to doctor’s appointments. I will drop you off at the door so you don’t have to walk, and I will still honor and keep you – even when you stumble through a crowd like a poor drunken sailor.