Since becoming engaged last May, my life has been a whirlwind of dress shopping, venue searching, color picking, and the countless joys and challenges of planning a wedding. My fiancé and I have both worked hard to ensure the focus of our wedding continues to be our shared faith in God, and excluding some struggle with the guest list, planning thus far has been quite enjoyable.
As long as I’ve known him, my fiancé has been incredibly compassionate and patient when it comes to my EDS diagnosis. He’s taken time to learn about the condition, my prognosis, what works for my body and what doesn’t, and never second-guesses when I’m just too tired or in too much pain to do something. He pushes me to stay committed to my physical fitness and does little things every day that make life so much easier for me.
When two become one, finances inevitably enter the conversation at some point. All along, I’ve been so thankful for the grace my fiancé shows when dealing with my health, and he’s made it clear that I shouldn’t feel guilt about this “burden” he is now helping me to carry. And until this point, I’ve agreed with him.
In the last few weeks, as we’ve been figuring out health insurance options, I’ve begun thinking about my medical costs. All things considered, it’s not bad. A few prescriptions, office visits and spinal procedures with my specialist here and there. But because I won’t turn 26 until after the wedding, I’ve been fortunate to always be included in my mother’s insurance coverage which, because she is a teacher, is the Cadillac of insurance plans.
Tonight I realized that I’ll soon be paying more for my medical care than ever before, and a large part of that burden falls on my soon-to-be husband. The amount of guilt I feel for this fact is colossal. I know that my health has nothing to do with why we are getting married, but I can’t help feeling regret for the enormous responsibility he is incurring by marrying me.
Fortunately, my fiancé does not feel this way. As he once again told me tonight, “it’s only money.” I’m abundantly grateful for the understanding and unequivocal love he has for me. Not only in the face of this financial burden, but in everything that comes with loving someone with chronic pain. He’s going into this knowing about the good and bad days I have. Days where I’m talking to him at million miles an hour because for once my brain isn’t foggy, and days where I can do nothing but lay on the couch out of sheer exhaustion and pain.
Words cannot express the thankfulness I feel for finding such a good man. I suppose the true cost, or rather the price to pay, for marrying someone with chronic illness is unconditional love. Because that’s what it takes to love me on my bad days. On those days, where I feel most guilty for asking him to put up with all of this, I also feel awfully blessed to have found someone who will love me through it all.