To Marry a CFer. . .

To marry a CFer. . . you have to be a really specialperson.  
I would be interested to see astudy done on the divorce rates of CFer’s and their spouses.  I may be wrong, but I have a feeling theywould 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 throughsome really rough times.  Because you go into marriage both realizinghow precious life and love actually is and you are determined to make the mostout of your time together.  Because whodid or didn’t forget to take the trash out last night is hardly as important asthe other million things going on in life for a CFer and his/her spouse.  The list could go on and on, but I think youcatch 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 beenthrough one hospitalization and two surgeries. He was by my side with my (2nd) PICC line, and he was therewhen my diabetes diagnosis came through. This all happened prior to exchanging vows.  In addition, he was used to me coughing upgreen phlegm at all hours of the day, having to routinely ditch out onactivities because I was sick, and he lived with my flatulence and bowelmovements, 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 talkedabout the expected hospitalizations that occur when you have CF.  Not only did he still propose and walk downthe aisle, but he jumped in with both feet. 
After our marriage, he dealt with my first instance ofhemoptysis, which was absolutely terrifying, but he handled it all instride.  He also has been the rockbeneath 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 doa treatment because he knows it’s best for me, and he takes my yelling andpouting in stride.  I must say, some daysI 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 tohelp keep my risk of infection down. I will continue to sub when asked but I won’thold a full-time job.  So, all thepressure to provide for us comes on him and when you are a one-income familyliving 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 aperson 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’sspouses actually walk down the aisle, they have dealt with some of the hardestthings a marriage can have thrown at it. Typically, they have dealt with illness, surgeries, weeks to months ofIV antibiotics, and financial strain or at least a realization of the financialburden, and yet they still vow to be by the person’s side through sickness andhealth.  That’s a big statement for aCFer spouse, but they already know what they’re getting into before thevows. 
So, while some marriages break apart when finances arerough, or an illness causes one spouse to be less capable than before, or becauseof petty bickering, I think often a CF marriage pulls through with flying colors.  When you marry a CFer, you learn to valuelife a little bit more than the average person and petty things don’t tend tomatter quite as much. 
I think all the spouses of cysters and fibros should begiven 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 Ihave someone walking by my side, holding my hand for the entire ride.

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