Thursday, September 8, 2011

To Marry a CFer. . .

To marry a CFer. . . you have to be a really special person.  
I would be interested to see a study done on the divorce rates of CFer’s and their spouses.  I may be wrong, but I have a feeling they would be lower than the national average.  Why? Because to marry a CFer, you have to really really be in love with that person.  Because by the time you reach marriage, you have probably gone through some really rough times.  Because you go into marriage both realizing how precious life and love actually is and you are determined to make the most out of your time together.  Because who did or didn’t forget to take the trash out last night is hardly as important as the other million things going on in life for a CFer and his/her spouse.  The list could go on and on, but I think you catch my drift.

My husband is amazing.  Plain and simple – amazing.  Again, to marry a CFer, you pretty much have to be amazing.  I’m not saying that we are a horrible choice (on the contrary, we usually appreciate life in ways many others can’t fathom), but we certainly come with a lot of “baggage.” 

By the time my husband and I were married, we had been through one hospitalization and two surgeries.  He was by my side with my (2nd) PICC line, and he was there when my diabetes diagnosis came through.  This all happened prior to exchanging vows.  In addition, he was used to me coughing up green phlegm at all hours of the day, having to routinely ditch out on activities because I was sick, and he lived with my flatulence and bowel movements, which as other CFers can attest, is NOT an easy task.  We talked about my life expectancy in depth, we talked about the financial strain CF will put on us in depth, and we talked about the expected hospitalizations that occur when you have CF.  Not only did he still propose and walk down the aisle, but he jumped in with both feet. 

After our marriage, he dealt with my first instance of hemoptysis, which was absolutely terrifying, but he handled it all in stride.  He also has been the rock beneath my feet when it comes to my treatments.  He is the reason I am compliant with them and despite his busy schedule, he makes sure I’m doing everything right to take care of myself.  Even when I’m exhausted, he’ll push me to do a treatment because he knows it’s best for me, and he takes my yelling and pouting in stride.  I must say, some days I am NOT the best wife, but he treats me like I am an angel. 

This year, we made the decision to have me stay at home to help keep my risk of infection down.  Since we are trying to conceive, it seemed like a logical choice.  I will continue to sub when asked but I won’t hold a full-time job.  So, all the pressure to provide for us comes on him and when you are a one-income family living off of a teacher’s salary, it makes it a little difficult.  Again, he handles it beautifully.  It just blows me away how wonderful of a person God gave me to spend the rest of my life with – I am truly blessed.

So then, back to my divorce comment:  I believe that by the time many CFer’s spouses actually walk down the aisle, they have dealt with some of the hardest things a marriage can have thrown at it.  Typically, they have dealt with illness, surgeries, weeks to months of IV antibiotics, and financial strain or at least a realization of the financial burden, and yet they still vow to be by the person’s side through sickness and health.  That’s a big statement for a CFer spouse, but they already know what they’re getting into before the vows. 

So, while some marriages break apart when finances are rough, or an illness causes one spouse to be less capable than before, or because of petty bickering, I think often a CF marriage pulls through with flying colors.  When you marry a CFer, you learn to value life a little bit more than the average person and petty things don’t tend to matter quite as much. 

I think all the spouses of cysters and fibros should be given a pat on the back and a giant thank you.  It’s not an easy life but it’s a wonderful one and I’m just grateful I have someone walking by my side, holding my hand for the entire ride.


  1. I came across your blog from the forum. I'm in a pretty similar boat - my husband and I have been married for 3 years, and have now been TTC (so far very unsuccessfully!) for about 7 months. I completely agree that people who choose to marry CFers are true heroes! I am amazed on a daily basis by my husband and how much he puts up with. I was in the hospital 3 times while we were engaged, and 4 times in our first year of marriage. I had a "year off" in 2010, but overall in our 3 years of marriage I've been in 7 or 8 times. Plus, we live 4 hours away from the hospital so while I'm in, my husband can only see me on the weekends. He handles it all like such a trooper - and supports ME when I'm feeling frustrated! I really am SO blessed.

    It's nice to "meet" you, and I look forward to following your blog - here's hoping for BFPs for us both soon!

  2. Cindy, thank you so much for your comment! I'm so glad you found my blog, and I'm glad I now have another blog to follow also!

    I'm sorry that the past years have been rough for you and I can't imagine having to be that far away from my hubby when in the hospital. Mine is 1.5 hours away and I think THAT'S bad. I think a lot of us cysters are blessed with amazing hubbies! I'm so glad that you are one of them! :)

    It's nice to "meet" you as well :) and I am hoping for the same thing for the both of us and all of the other cysters TTC right now - BFP!!!

  3. Mrs. Murray-I came across your blog after reading Inhaling Hope. I love this post. I have to say that my husband is the most amazing man ever. At times I feel like I am not pulling my weight in the relationship because I know how much extra he has to go through with me.

    I have to share my story about the moment I knew he was meant for me. We were discussing the life expectancy of a CFer and I was straight with him and told me that I take care of myself and am healthy but some people aren't as fortunate as I am. Then he said, "Well I will take you for as long as I can have you." That was it.....I knew I was set for life with him.

    Good luck with your journey. I look forward to reading about your experiences and TTC....we are starting next month!

  4. JWags, thank you so much.

    I feel the same way as you do - like I'm not pulling enough weight, and it's not a fun feeling. It's wonderful that they love us enough to either 1) not care or 2) not even see it that way.

    I love that story! What a beautiful response. I'm so glad he is there for you and able to take care of you. We all need a wonderful spouse in our lives :)

    Congratulations on TTC next month!!!! That's so exciting!! Keep me posted! :)


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