Whether you married him knowing about his health issues or his health issues where news to both of you living with a disabled husband is a challenge to the best of wives. I am in the former group, before I married my husband I knew he had back problems, specifically degenerative disc disease. Knowing this I chose to marry this man because of the love in my heart for him. The love in my heart does not always take care of the stress in my head over his health problems.
In 2004 I met and married my husband with full disclosure of his back problems. All was well until July 12, 2007 when he slipped going down the stairs of our apartment and life has not been the same since. My strong protector of a husband has now become the one I protect. The man who wanted me to stay home to raise our children is now the one home with them.
We have been through pain management, multiple tests, and a myriad of doctors all trying to figure out a way to help this once proud man regain his place as the man of the house. We have had doctors tell him that because of his age he could not possibly be in as much pain as he is in and that he just needed to work out more. That was one of the worst days of this experience. My husband looked at me with tears in his eyes and said that he wasn’t faking the pain. I know that and he doesn’t have to explain it to me but for some reason he has had to explain that fact one to many times.
Through all this I have become not only the breadwinner for this family but also the primary house keeper. Some days I wonder if I am ever going to get to lay down and relax and then I remember that because of his health issues my husband can never really relax. When I moan and complain about having to cook dinner for the family after a long day I remember that this used to be his job, a job he loved, until standing for the amount of time it takes to cook a simple meal became too much. Yes there are days when I just want to give up but something inside me always reminds me that this was not his choice but it was mine. I chose to marry him knowing about his health issues. I chose to take vows that said I would be here for better or worse. I choose to continue to stick by his side through wherever life’s journey takes us.
We have two children, a boy and a girl. Our daughter turned one recently and took her very first steps. Her father can walk along side her, holding her hand and keeping her upright right now. I hope that is the case twenty some odd years from now when she needs him to walk along side her and give her to the next man meant to keep her upright. Our son is four and has started playing football for the pee wee league and his father goes to his practices and attends games right now. I hope that when he plays his last game his father will be right there whether that be at the end of high school, the end of college, or at the end of a professional career.
Never give up hope. The tough times are temporary and that once magnificent provider of a man you call your husband will come back around. He will regain his momentum. He may not be the same man you once married but his love for you and your love for him will remain.