As we are quickly approaching our five-year wedding anniversary, I am thinking about what an amazing guy I am lucky enough to live this life with. I thank God for the incredible man He created, and I truly believe he was made just for me.
I am also reminded of the beautiful vows we made that day. Included in those were the vow to love and to cherish. Most of the time, this part comes easy. What’s not to love about a man who is smart, handsome, clever and driven? How could I not cherish a man that provides the incredible love and support, joy and laughter, friendship and acceptance that he does for me?
Another part of our vows we took was to remain faithful and true to each other. It has been, and will always be, an honor to be faithful and true to him. It is such a blessing to know that he, without a doubt, is accountable and faithful to not only me, but to our God.
Then, there was the part about “in sickness or in health”. This part came especially easy because I was marrying a man full of adventure and life. He is the type of person that not only loves adventure, but NEEDS to have it. He is such a morning person, which is not only admirable to me, but is also maybe sometimes annoying. He keeps me going and pushes me to try new things. Within the first couple years of our marriage, he somehow convinced me do a couple crazy endurance events that I NEVER would’ve done without him. As he continued to pursue this and other passions of his, I never once doubted that he would always be like this. He would always be the passionate one, the energetic one, the morning person, the one to push me to new levels. I never doubted that, even into old age, he would remain healthy and full of life.
It wasn’t until this past year that I ever even thought about what it meant to marry “in sickness and in health”. Obviously everyone gets old and that usually means some health problems, but I never anticipated that before even turning 30, we could be faced with the “sickness” part. I never played out what it would be like to drive my husband in frightening, shivering pain to the hospital only to leave him there for days on end. I never anticipated watching my (already lean) husband lose more than 20 pounds in a few short weeks, or to experience the lethargy, embarrassment and pain he had to endure. Just like that, we went from our “normal” life to a whole new life. A life of Dr’s visits, test after test, medical bills, medications, and diagnoses. A life of fear and uncertainty along with often feelings of hopelessness. A life of, at times, not being able to take a road trip or even day trip, to sleep in or go out to eat, go for a bike ride, or take our son to the park if it didn’t have a bathroom.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been good times, too. Thanks to God and modern medicine, there have been times in the past year that we were nearly able to forget about this disease. When he is feeling well, we live life to the fullest. We have been blessed with so many opportunities and have made many amazing memories. We live in a beautiful place, have a beautiful, healthy son, and are so blessed with a beautiful life. Still even yet, there’s no denying that IBD has changed our lives forever.
The hardest part about this disease is the unknown. As of now, there is no cure, only ways to control and relieve symptoms. We have yet to find a viable way to even control his symptoms with medicines that he can take on a long-term basis. He has tried every type of medicine out there, and yet nothing seems to be working. We have done all-natural approaches, even done some questionable and crazy things, but nothing has done the trick. We are now embarking on a new journey as he is entering case studies to see if new medicines can help him. As scary as it is, we are just hoping and praying they will find something that works for him.
As his wife, sometimes the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are unbearable. I wish someway, somehow I could take away his pain. In no way have I ever regretted the vow I took, even more it has been an honor and blessing to be by his side. Although I wish I could do more, I have decided to do what I can. In addition to fervent prayer and dedication to research, I have committed to raise funds and awareness of this disease and participate in a half-marathon. I am committing to something that I would normally refuse to do (anyone who knows me is well aware that running is probably my least favorite thing to do)to show just how passionate I am about doing what I can to find a cure. My heart goes out to any person and their families that have to deal with this. I ask that you please contribute to the cause with me and support in any way you can! Here is a link to my fundraising page, any amount at all would be such a blessing to my family and to anyone suffering from this! There is also a lot more information, as well, on the disease and foundation your funds would be supporting! http://www.active.com/donate/napaSDDA14/napa14KDekker
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope in some way it has encouraged you or enlightened you somehow. If you have any questions or comments at all, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.