His Diagnosis- My Memories As His Future Wife
by Margaret Gay
I just remember finding out. I don’t remember how, I think he called me. Only a few short weeks before, the doctors had told us it probably wasn’t MS. We actually had celebratory beers and high five’s when they gave us that news. Now they had retracted this, as they had enough to diagnose him with MS, the disease we thought he had escaped. I was so mad, and sad, and upset with everything. I remember calling my mom to tell her the bad news, she felt so bad for me and was trying to convince me I needed counseling. Then I remember going to the gym. I just ran and ran on that treadmill.
See, we had only been dating a month before he had his first symptoms and only a few months before the diagnosis. It was just enough time to realize he was different, and dare I say it, “the one”. It was just enough time to fall in love before realizing this relationship would have to mature way quicker than anyone expected. After all, we were young. Why stay with a guy who has a chronic illness? We were not married, we had barely started this relationship, there was no real reason why I couldn’t leave and try for easy.
I really didn’t know a whole lot about the disease. I googled what my future could look like and ended up slamming my laptop closed, as tears poured down my face. All the online postings pretty much said that you can expect to be their full time care givers, the person will become so fatigued from daily living that they end up in bed by 5pm so don’t expect a social life, that mobility will definitely be a problem, and ultimately, that life becomes impossibly hard. Of all these posts, I don’t think I read one positive thing.
Even with all this negativity, I kept thinking this one thing – I am not sure where I got the wisdom to have this mindset, or what old soul energy was giving me this strength, but I kept thinking, “why give up on this love, when it is so amazing and it is a love that so many people hope for and never find.” People live their whole lives without finding love this good. Even though our relationship was short, I just knew deep down inside that this was different, and that I was in for the long haul. I made the decision right then and there that I would not give up on this relationship because of a disease.
My mom always said I had great gut instincts, and to always listen to it. Well, I think she is right. It has been almost 4 years since his diagnosis and Dave and I got married this year.
Am I vein thinking things will always be sunshine and rainbows? Will Dave have mobility problems? Will we have to change our lifestyle to meet his needs? Maybe. Have we changed our lifestyle now to pursue our dreams? Have we changed our perspective on what a good day or a bad day is? Have we decided to not postpone taking once in a lifetime vacations, knowing we are not promised tomorrow? Do we feel like we are living with more purpose and intensity? Absolutely!
We don’t know what the future holds, but we have this fantastic reminder that we should live each day to its fullest. We should strive for happiness. Life is too short to waste our days doing anything but. Disease or not, no one is guaranteed tomorrow.
Ultimately, I want to serve as a positive presence in the chronic illness community. No newly diagnosed person or loved one should search for help and only find negative stories and experiences. We are here to change that and make a difference for anyone who has lived or will live the terrible day when they hear “you are diagnosed with ____”.
Sending all my love and strength,
Margaret, Proud wife of an amazing man who just happens to have MS