Friday, January 28, 2011

Let's Start at the Very Beginning...

     My husband and I were friends before we were anything else. That's not unusual; many romantic relationships begin as a platonic pairing and over time, evolve into something more. We began by hanging out a couple of times a week, commiserating over the dissolution of our respective long-term relationships. There was a third person then too, a mutual friend who forced us out of our houses and into human companionship when, if left to our own devices, we would've holed up and passed the time feeling sorry for ourselves.
     Instead, we started spending more and more time together, attending concerts, trivia nights and various other activities throughout the city. It was during this getting-to-know-you period that I first began to suspect something was not quite right with my (for now) friend's health. This was confirmed shortly thereafter by our mutual friend, Rose. I couldn't tell you what started the conversation, or even exactly what was said. But that was the first time I'd ever heard of Marfan's Syndrome.
     I'm a curious person by nature and usually go straight for Google or Wikipedia when I encounter something I'm not familiar with and research the hell out of it. This was no different. I read anything and everything I could find about the disorder, but I never told my now-husband of my newfound knowledge. He'd only ever mentioned in passing that he was a "medical mess" and he'd never gone into the gory details with me. We discussed this a few months ago, why he didn't want to tell me what was actually going on. As it turns out, he already had a crush on me at that point and didn't want to be seen as "defective". Breaks your heart, doesn't it?
     This is the very first issue that I ran into when I began my relationship with my husband. By the time we actually began dating, I knew the score. I knew that our odds of growing old together weren't as great as other couples, knew that I would likely be the one to ultimately take care of us financially, knew that I would almost certainly be the one to take care of us physically, knew a thousand other things that he wished I didn't. And when I told him what I knew, he just kind of nodded sadly and looked at me as if he were waiting for me to say, "So, yeah, you're kind of too much trouble and I don't have to be burdened with you, so bye." Way to break my heart again!

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