There are a lot of people around me that do not know my story. Coworkers for example. I do not go around broadcasting my troubles. But if I get into a conversation and it comes up, I am happy to share. I almost feel like it helps explain why I might look stressed or be a bit wacky some days! When talking to people about my life and situation, they always have the same reactions: You are so awesome! How do you do it? Your going straight upstairs. Did his disability start before you were married? yada yada yada I get awkward with this. I don't know how to reply. I don't always feel as strong as they make me out to be. I don't always think I can keep going. How DO I do it?
Thinking back, the majority of Vince's disabilities began to happen while we planned our wedding in 2007. It started a bit before that time, but that is the point when I remember everything really crashing down around us. His pain went from a little to a lot and his vision went very quickly; almost overnight. It was such a scary time. I remember sitting with Vince outside the first emergency eye doctor's appointment in the car when we left and we just cried. We bawled. We had no idea what was going to happen and how we were going to handle it all. We had just been told that BOTH of his eyes were in serious trouble and the doctor did not give much hope at all. He referred Vince to a specialist and in not so many words, said good luck and that specialist was Vince's best chance he had. We were scared to death. I remember going home and we went straight to bed. No dinner. No nothing. Straight to sleep. I remember thinking, if I just go to sleep, it will all go away. And it did. Untill I woke up and literally said to myself, "No, it wasn't a dream. This is real" I remember working and sleeping for the next few days. We didn't even tall family or friends at first what was going on. We were terrified.
Now, remember when I said the vision issues happened in the middle of us planning our wedding? It wasn't until years later that I realized this when someone asked me when it happened and proceeded to praise me. I never understood why they praise me. I still don't. To be completely honest, I NEVER once in that process can remember thinking maybe we should stop, not get married and end this. I honestly can't foresee having that thought if you are truly in love with someone. How would you want to leave them when they need you most? Doesn't that go against what marriage stands for? It's just not rational to me. Sure in my weak moments I ask myself how I can go on. How can I keep doing this. That it's just too hard. But once I calm down and think clearly, those thoughts go right out the window. I would never dream of deserting Vince over a medical problem. God knows, he would never do that to me. If I even have a sniffle, he sends me straight to bed with a hug and kiss to get my rest.
So what keeps me going? Well, some days, it feels like nothing. It feels like it's all too much and I just want to stop. But those days are few and far between. There has to be a good amount of bad days in a row for me to start thinking like that. So, I don't have one clear answer but I can honestly say that Vince is one thing that keeps me going. Although, most of my stress comes from his illness' he is the one that is by my side, wiping my tears, and telling me it will all be okay. He is the only one that can say it will all be okay, and I actually believe it. It's the truth. And knowing I have that and can rely on that is all I need to keep me going.