The Challenge of “In Sickness” and the hope of “In health.”

When I think of marriage I think of the marriage vows, especially the part where it says for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. These are promises that are made to each other and ones that should be taken seriously. There is one part in the vows that my wife and I experienced first hand in sickness and in health.  When it comes to this part, we started to learn about the challenge of sickness and the blessing of health and how both can affect a marriage.  . 

When it comes to her side of the story, I will let her share that in a future post. But in this post, I want to share with you what it meant to me for her to say I do. One of the questions that went through my mind was who would want someone that is fighting a disease, or has scars on their body that this battle has left them. But as I found out, when you look at yourself beyond your disease, you may see yourself as your companion sees you. 

In A normal marriage, there is an adjustment period. So many new things to learn about each other and things you may learn about yourself.  But add kidney disease, there was a huge adjustment period that both of us would have to make. I want to first share what my wife did and the sacrifices she made as a dialysis patient’s wife. 

  1. Cooking Renal Style- I want to first start with food. Anyone that has been on dialysis or knows someone that is on dialysis understands that there are certain food limitations that a renal patient may have. It can be a major change, especially if you were taught southern cooking. But my good wife did her best, and she surprised me each and every time with her cooking. She sacrificed much so that I could have a healthy meal… 
  2. Time- Time is precious in any form, especially in a marriage. I would say that time is the most precious thing we have. This is a big one, in fact to some, this may be the biggest one. Being that I was in-center dialysis, I had a schedule on when to be at dialysis, doctor appointments, and so forth. With both of us working at the time, this did make it more difficult for us to be together, but we adjusted. Sometimes she would visit me when I was at treatment, and other times we would try to get together for lunch when the time was available. 
  3. Not 100%- Some days I would not be 100% and would end up laying down all day and not feeling well. Things happen, and my body would say alright Anthony that’s enough today it is time to rest. When those days came, my wife would be concerned but showed a sweetness and grace that helped me through those days. 
  4. Accepting help- I was so used to doing things on my own that when my wife would get involved in my care. I was not the most open to it, from wanting to know what meds I was taking and what they did, to going to every doctor’s appointment, to seeing what my labs were month by month it bugged me. But over time I realized that she would do this because she cared and loved me.

When I look back at this time in my life, I look back with gratitude. Grateful to be loved and that I had a companion that looked beyond my disease and looked at me for who I was and I knew that one day we would enjoy the other part of that vow In Health. Throughout the years I have tried to return the love and will continue till death do us part.

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