The title of this post is the line my husband used to pick me up. I was working as a personals ad writer, transcriber and approval department all in one for our town’s weekly alternative newspaper. He attended one of the events I hosted for folks to come meet other singles, win prizes and write their personal ads with personal assistance. Most of the people, the core group I called (only in my head) The Dating Damned, showed up for every single party, in the same stained t-shirts they wore to each party, staying long enough to eat the free food and win a prize from a local business. At one such event, held right before Halloween, my soon to be husband asked how I liked that line in his ad. I loved it, and soon after I loved him.We have been married for nearly a decade now!
The last few months have been horrible for my husband. He is a disabled Army veteran, who has been in pain for much longer than I have. His Army injury and severe pain were set off four years ago when the work van he had parked and was sitting in, was backed into by a woman in a mid-sized car who claimed she did not see him. It was a huge, stationary white van, but who knows, maybe she needed a new eye glass prescription.
Right after my husband’s work van was hit he began having really bad migraines- but usually only after his usual 60 hour work weeks. He had worked hard his entire life, so for a time we simply thought all the heavy lifting he had done in past jobs, combined with his Army injury and now car accident were causing his weekends to be the point where his body knew he could rest for a moment, so he would be overwhelmed with exhaustion, nausea and a pounding migraine for the entire weekend, and often on Mondays as well, but he would still force himself to go to work, regardless of the pain.
My husband’s pain has been getting increasingly worse over the past four years, but he is the very definition of stoicism, and sees no point in complaining, as it won’t stop the pain. He has had some “treatment” that actually worsened his pain (left to hang upside down in a traction machine equaled a massive, permanent increase in his neck pain), and had the same lackluster results I did from Botox, though he also got a few epidurals thrown in the mix. All the procedures and medications do are make him very physically ill. We had made the decision some time ago that I would get better- most likely through my next brain surgery- and then we would concentrate on his finding out what was needed to stop his pain. He has always been my best friend, and will always take the back seat to my needs if required. (Thank you honey- you’re a wonderful man!) Doctors were already throwing around terms like spinal surgery that scared us immensely. His pain radiates from bone spurs at the top of his neck, and his pain worsens if he doesn’t sleep well or if he sleeps at an odd angle, and always when the weather changes, as it has for the past few months as we have monsoon season here.
Not a day goes by that I don’t feel guilty and worried that my husband insisted I get fixed first, and then he’ll see how he can get the bone spurs at the top of his spine fixed. He suffers in silence each day, watching our girls so I can lie down when the raging pain in my ear is too much. Today he sees a chiropractor, and I hope they take the time to listen to him and see if they can help. It breaks my heart to see my husband in such pain he cannot turn his head, sleep or be the official heavy item carrier, without wincing- sometimes the only evidence I have of how badly he hurts.
My husband is living with extreme pain each day, as I am, but he is at the beginning of the long journey of finding out exactly what is wrong and then getting someone to at least lessen his constant pain. I watch helplessly as the pain that was once only in his spine continues to give him near daily, crippling migraines, and I catch moments that scare me to death when his legs go weak or his balance is nearly lost as the pain shoots down his spine. He has always been the strong one. He has watched for over a decade as my body weakens due to the cerebral palsy I was born with, and he has cared for me during numerous illnesses and ailments. He has always been strong, invincible, working through pain, snow, hypothermia and raging summer heat.
I can’t stand to see him hurt so badly each day and not be able to fix it, with one of my kitchen witch blends, sending him to rest, or anything. This GoFundMe fundraiser is for both of us- his doctors need to find out what exactly is wrong, whether surgery is required and what the heck he’s supposed to do while waiting for me to get better. I hate seeing him in pain, knowing that he has chosen to focus on getting my pain lessened or erased before his own. So, today in addition to my thanks to all of you that have donated and are making my trip to Pittsburgh for brain surgery possible, I want to thank my husband for all he does for our little family. We love him so much. It is my sincerest hope that I raise what I need for brain surgery with a few hundred extra dollars so that he can go to the chiropractor (who doesn’t take insurance) and the natural pain relief clinics that do all many types of care- acupuncture, herbal medicine, and more, as he does not do well taking more than ibuprofen for his horrible pain.
As much as I want my own pain to end, I want his to end even more. I daresay everyone in our small town knows about my cranial nerve pain- I am an introvert, but in times of frustration and loneliness I have shared our story with the folks at the library, feed store, convenience store and post office. I love our little town. Now that the residents and business owners that run it see us each week they share our triumphs and offer help when they can. I hate that both my husband and I hurt nearly every minute of every day, but I am grateful we are surrounded by family, neighbors and friends online and off line that truly care about us. I’m also grateful each and every day, no matter how rough this journey is, I share my life with my best friend. I will help ease his pain if I have to earn a PhD and do it my damn self.
If you have not already donated to our fundraiser, and you can help with any amount, even a dollar, our link is:http://www.gofundme.com/likeaholeinthehead. Thank you. Be well friends.