Telling My Love Story Before It Fades

My story begins in 2003 when teaching as a professor of disability studies at our local teaching hospital, I woke up one February morning with my left eye completely dilated. I drove myself to our women's hospital while my 5 children slept and my husband got ready for work.

A challenging string of symptoms

Needless to say I was hospitalized with a suspected stroke or tumor. It turned out to be PPMS. I worked for several more years until fatigue, pain, depression, neuropathy, lack of balance, incontinence, and a host of other symptoms took over my body. We tried several different treatments, but none seem to be the one to put me in remission.

My faith pushed me through

Four years ago, I was hospitalized with pneumonia and was losing the battle. Hospice came to see my husband and myself on Valentine's Day. We discussed the opportunity and decided it would be best for me. At that point, they gave me 6 weeks to live. However, being a person of great faith, receiving the Holy Eucharist once a week, I began to feel better and my oldest daughter became pregnant with her second child, and I was determined to be with her during her pregnancy.

Then in the fall I got pneumonia again and was admitted to the Hospice Unit to live out the last 2 weeks of my life. All 5 of my children came in from all over...my son came from Italy. My Eucharist minister brought a young priest to pray over me, named Father Jason. At that point I could only eat a tiny portion of the Host.

My determination pushed me through

The next morning I asked my nurse if I could go home. She told me I would have to walk the hallway with a walker before that could happen but that I had been really out of it for 2 weeks and she wasn't sure that I should try. I told her that I felt fine and I wanted to go home. So we walked the hallway and that beautiful sunny afternoon my husband brought me home.

It took me many months to get my strength back but by May I was discharged to Palliative Care.

I couldn't remember my prayers

Everything remained very quiet until last August when I got up to do my morning prayers... suddenly I could not remember The Our Father. A prayer I have known since I was a toddler.

When I saw my neurologist I mentioned that it was so strange after coming here since 2003 I couldn't remember how to get to his office. He immediately sent me to get an MRI with contrast...and here's me thinking it's just another MS plaque. We got the results when we were driving to Buffalo, NY to see my brother and his family.

My love is getting me through

I was completely devastated. I begged my brother not to put me in some place and forget about me. I became severely depressed to the point of suicidal thoughts but all though all of this my husband's love grew for me. He joined the Catholic Church.

As my memory fads each day his love only grows deeper for me. On May 10, 2024, we were married in a very traditional wedding mass by Fr Jason the same priest who prayed over me to save my life. Fr Jason has become a huge support for both of us. I pray in the morning and evening but if I become stressed or afraid I find it hard to remember how to pray and the church is sending someone over to pray with me so I will never forget to be grateful to God for all of our blessings.

Today was a bad day full of confusion and I let it get the better of me. But now I can rest and pray and know that I have tomorrow to begin again.

God bless you and all of the work that you do in giving me the chance to tell my love story before it fades from my mind....which breaks my heart ๐Ÿ’œ
My husband and I at the beach

This is our story.

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