A Husband’s Perspective

This coming March (2017) Karen and I will celebrate 29 years of marriage.

As with all marriages, we have faced some challenges that have rocked our little world. I have suffered with severe back pain for about 11 years. Karen stood with me hand in hand, comforting me and giving me a soft, little shoulder to cry on. I've had four back surgeries to try and get back what I lost, all to no avail. During those years there were so many events missed, so many dates cancelled. My wife fervently prayed for me. In the middle of the night, I could feel her little hand lying over on my back and I knew she was praying for me. She thought I was sleeping and unaware. She sacrificed so much for me by standing with me through it all. My back issues affected the whole family. Watching me in pain has been my boys’ entire lives and much of my daughter's as well. Miraculously, I have been pain free for almost a year now.

Three years ago, our little world was shaken again when Karen was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I watched this young and vibrant little lady crumble under the stress and depression of dealing with the reality that she has an incurable disease. Our children struggle watching her struggle and are learning to deal with the new normal. Mama can't do some of the things she would like to do with them. It broke my heart when our daughter called to invite her for a relaxing pedicure, and she simply did not have the energy to get out of the house.

I try my best to encourage her every chance I get. It is so hard to watch someone you love suffer knowing that you can't do anything to help. It makes me angry that I can't help her! Working as a Paramedic for the last 25 years, I'm accustomed to helping people, yet there is nothing I've learned in the field that makes me capable of helping her. So I do what I can. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I give her a shot that will hopefully keep her from relapsing. I pray for her healing. We choose hope and find joy in the good things on a daily basis.

By no means am I suggesting that my girl is giving up. It may have slowed her down a bit. After all, slow and steady (sometimes) wins the race. She is my little fighter and she will not let this control her. As a family, we have grown stronger through adversity. I am so thankful for my family and how they have responded to the call. We have to take care of our little lady and we will – in sickness and in health. I meant it when I spoke those vows. Karen tells me I need to trade her in on a newer model. She doesn't realize that she has finally slowed down enough so I can keep up with her!

It is a blessing that Karen has the opportunity to be a part of the Bard Care team. It has been a wonderful outlet for her and a huge source of support. This is not a path we would have chosen, but we are still finding joy along the journey before us.

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are .- Arthur Golden

Daniel (Karen)

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