To the Man Who Stayed When My Health Declined and I Told Him to Run

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Author: Rida Hassan

To the man who stayed in my life when I asked him to leave. And today we are together since 18 years of marriage. I really don’t know how that happened. Sometimes it feels like we are the same as we were 25 years old. Sometimes it feels like we are like a team that unifies together. But today, since these 18 years we stand by in front of family and friends and made a vow to love and cherish “in good times and bad, in sickness and in health.” “In sickness and in health”. Reminding these words give me a feeling that past 20 years have entailed in sickness than in health.

I was not the person who thought I would get my happily ever after. May be this was meant for other people or novels with fairytales etc. I remember all the things like when you entered into my life and see the beauty behind my flaws. It is such an amazing feeling when you trust someone so badly after you has hurt so much. Some doubts that let you awake all night, some thoughts and then I started to have strange symptoms.

Firstly, I got Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which was supposed to be lifetime medication because my body was attacking itself (it was the first of many daily meds). this was an addition to the joint inflammation, hair loss, fever, fatigue, stomach problems and consistent infections. I was in my 20s and felt like a senior. I used to hide problem in front of you and you always get them. You canceled all the plans when I wasn’t fine and say, “we will stay at home and watch a movie:” and that became our weekend routine. All gone like a hell.

Time passed and the mornings were like going to a doctor appointment to deal with the new symptoms and ended up calling 911 for hospital. My limbs were not working. It was the first time anyone said a new term that is “CNS lupus”. All the things went so serious. My future became risky as my brain was not being in control and something was attacking on my brain.

I still remember that time when I was all on the machines, that beeps,, the sounds, the smells, everything was scary. All I wanted was to set you free and give you a life of freedom. You didn’t deserve a life of just being a caregiver. You were just 24 and there was a life that will brighten up your future. You didn’t have to spend a life with someone whose future is at stake. We were just engaged at that time.

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You refused to leave me and I failed to count the power of your love. You told me that you were staying with me ever after. You took me to bathroom and gently washed my hair. And you did every single thing.

It really very hard to be with someone who is chronically ill. There are days when you cooked for me, being my nurse, my dad, my mom, my therapist and a zookeeper. You are like a gum stick that holds the family together. Whenever I feel, you picked me up. You got me to the land of reality. You always set me right when I acted as a stubborn lady.

There were nights when it’s you who helped me and took me to bed. Too many nights were there when you were alone missing out the old you since we were in bed at 9:00 p.m. there were nights when you didn’t slept because of me just to check if I am okay. There were times when you missed every get together, events for me because I was in hospital and you stayed there with me. You supported our kids and advocated me.

I am not the one who is easiest to live with. Yes, I have admitted it. I am a difficult person and stubborn at the same time. I get moody due to steroids. My weight fluctuates and still you always look at me with love. These medications always made me feel a useless person but you always tell me how valuable I am.

I don’t know where the future will take us. All I know is you are with me in this crazy adventure. And I  am thankful for you that you didn’t listen to me and didn’t run.

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