I still remember the day that my husband asked me to be his wife. I still remember walking down the aisle as we eloped without our friends and family knowing. I still remember my vows and those words, “in sickness and in health.” Being twenty and some odd years you never think of the sickness part of your vows. You never wonder if your mate will be able to stay by your side as well.
When I started having syncope(fainting) episodes we pretty much thought it was nothing. Off and on through my life I had these but not as bad as it was becoming. So much that last year I spent my youngest son’s birthday in the hospital. I never in my life had I imagined that I could end up with something so chronic that it could change my world as much as this has.
So how does POTS/Dysautonomia affect a marriage? In more ways than I care to admit to but will try to for educational reasons. There has been a huge strain on our marriage. I can’t work at all. We all know the saying that money makes the world go ‘round. I can honestly say money makes my world turn upside down. My husband works a full-time job and 2 part-time jobs. I feel very guilty for not holding up my end of the deal. For not being able to work and most of all I also feel terrible because I can’t always keep up with the housework as well.
There are days, well a lot of days, where getting out of bed to go sit on the toilet is even hard to do. With the huge number of appointments that I have and the syncope episodes this has also caused a big strain on my husband’s full-time job. Bosses don’t always understand nor do they care. They have a bottom line and that’s really all that matters. This is one of those moments when I wished I lived in a country that would pay for family medical leave. My doctor has offered to write my husband off for family medical leave but our bank account is just not padded enough to allow this.
With the daily issues of having enough energy just to get out of bed has also come with the inability for me to clean my house on a daily basis as required sometimes when you have children. I’ve always wanted to be the one to help take care and have a 50/50 household. This is no longer possible.
POTs has a way of changing your world and those around you. It has a way of making you sometimes doubt if you’d be better off in a nursing home during those bad days. So when I say it’s changed my marriage a big way, I’m not even touching the surface.
Do you know someone with a chronic illness that has changed their quality of living? Visit them so they know that they are not alone. Play with their children so the impact can be just a little bit easier for them. Push for the government to make it so that medical leave is a paid benefit. And lastly I ask that your pray for the marriage that has a huge strain on it. They need it.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (New King James Version)