Robyn Pollman

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To My Husband, after One Year

It's 4 a.m., and I'm up in a fit of insomnia. I was watching my husband sleep so peacefully and had to come out and type him a little thank you note.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Robyn. My husband Todd and I were married June 1st, 1996. Todd and I dated off-and-on during the last few years of college, and he proposed the fall after graduation. He never knew me as a "sick" person. I was in remission during the years that we dated. I had briefly mentioned CFIDS/FMS to him -- and that they had caused me to miss out on the majority of high school -- but we never really discussed them.

Two weeks after our wedding, I got sick and just never got better. I got worse. About a month after the wedding I had to quit my job. (Who knows if I'll ever be able to work again. I'm currently applying for Social Security Disability.) I was also diagnosed with NMH (neurally mediated hypotension) shortly after the wedding -- to make things even more interesting, for lack of a better word.

What we've been through in the last year is definately not in the "Newlywed Brochure. But, for those of you that know Todd -- you know what an incredible, supportive, loving man he is. He chooses to face life and its problems with humor rather than bitterness. He never fails to make me smile, and to make me eternally grateful that somehow I deserve his love.

The following really isn't a poem, but just random thoughts that have been floating through my head as we approach our first wedding anniversary this weekend. I thought I'd post it here. Since so much of our relationship, and the effects of these DDs on it, has been made public -- I feel my thank you to him should be made public as well.

To Todd

Who would have ever dreamed a first year
of marriage could have been so difficult?
Most couples are left deciding who gets
what side of the bed --
We were left wondering if I could ever
earn an income again.
A lot of newlyweds stress about little things,
such as tubes of toothpaste --
We had to sell our possessions just to buy
the toothpaste.
Instead of planning romantic weekend
get-aways, we were in and out of
Emergency Rooms.
Rather than moving across town for more
"space," we moved across the country so
that I'd be in less pain.
Because of this illness we can't go out
and purchase the latest clothes and toys --
you have to literally scrape pennies
together each month to buy my medications
and keep us fed.

It just doesn't seem fair sometimes, what
fate has dealt to you, and to us.

But, despite all of this and more,
you've still managed to love me.
You've still managed to see through
the bad and somehow find the good.
You've held my hand when I needed a
friend, and held my head when I
couldn't lift it myself.
You've remembered that deep below
the surface of this illness, the
woman you fell in love with so many
years ago is still in there -- and is
still vibrant and alive. She's the one
you talk to everyday. You don't talk
down to me like I'm a weak child.
You've faced this disease with more
dignity and strength than anyone could
possibly hope for or expect -- more than
sometimes I can even comprehend.

I never dreamed marriage could be like
this. Never imagined just exactly why
those vows were written the way that
they are... But as we close this first
year of marriage and move on to many
more ahead -- I suddenly understand
just how important (and significant)
those wedding day promises really are.
And, it makes me love you for keeping
your vows all the more.

I'm blessed more than I can put into
words -- CFIDS or not -- because
I have you.

Happy Anniversary Todd --

© Robyn Pollman, 1997

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