Hope Wissel

In Sickness and In Health

This morning, I am sitting at the hospital waiting… Rob is having a right and left heart catherization today.  To me it is a lot of complex terms that I don’t understand.  About 4 weeks ago, he went to the primary doctor for what we thought was a sinus problem.  After almost 3 weeks, he was getting worse instead of better.  Due to his past heart attack, they started to do tests.  The end result – a leaking valve, a weakened heart muscle, irregular heart beats and  pressure around his heart/ lungs (unknown cause).  

During all of this, I have come to better understand my marriage vows.  I know, strange, right? All of this testing in on the eve of our SECOND wedding anniversary.  Rob and I have been together for almost 11 years but only got married 2 years ago.  His second marriage and my first.  Tonight, we were supposed to be in Atlantic City celebrating with dinner and fun at Harrah’s which is his favorite spot.  Instead, we are learning to be a team “in sickness”.

I am a caregiver by nature – helped my mom after her car accident, helped both my aunts as they struggled and then lost their battle with cancer, and helped my dad as he went for testing. I remember my grandmother taking care of my grandfather at home while he died of lung cancer.    Her countless hours spent caring for him because he wanted to be at home and not in a hospital.  I never thought about what it would really mean in my married life.  I just figured it would be the same social worker/ caregiver mode but it isn’t.  My heart breaks seeing him uncomfortable and struggling to keep our life normal. 

My hubby is not a good patient, frustrated with being sick; he hates to be taken care of by anyone.  Most of all he is not good at sharing how he feels about being sick or what is happening.  Thankfully, he has let me be in the exam room so that I can ask questions and try to understand all of this.  He is good at being short-tempered and then apologizing.  Honestly, I am not sure what happened when he had his heart attack 15 plus years ago but from what I can tell, his first wife did not handle things the same way.  I am not saying there was anything wrong with it but it just makes it difficult for us to communicate about health issues now.  Despite my reassurance, I think Rob is afraid that I will leave, not being able to deal with the health issues.  WRONG!  When we married, I made a commitment that I intend to honor – no matter how cranky he gets.

Through all of this, I am growing and becoming more of the wife that I want to be.  The independent, do things on my own without talking them over days are drifting away.  We are a team.  I am blessed to have a hubby who loves me despite the fact that I make him crazy.  I have spent a lot of time in reflection and prayer with God whose arms comfort me when I am weary.  It is with his help and that of my Thirty One sisters that I am learning what marriage is truly about.

If you are married, take a moment to think about your wedding vows…don’t let life get in the way.  Work, kids, debt – whatever the struggle can all be worked out when you focus on those vows you took oh so long ago.  Cherish the little moments for life is too short and can be gone in a moment.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.

7 thoughts on “In Sickness and In Health”

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