Everyone loves Weddings, don’t they? Well actually doing some basic research by observing social media the answer seems to be no they don’t. Furthermore, it depends who is getting married! Well, today is the eve of a British Royal Wedding, and I am just going to put it right out there I am incredibly proud of our heritage of monarchy. I may not condone every action of every member of the family since records began… Crusades and Beheadings are not something that sits comfortably on my shoulders from my twenty-first-century vantage point. But they are not what has prompted this post; it is the topic of Weddings and particularly the altogether more delightful prospect of the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In spirit, I am camped out on the streets of Windsor in anticipation. However,  Fibromyalgia reality, I will be glued to the TV.

Weddings and the Fibro Connection

For those of you thinking that sitting watching a royal marriage service as someone with a chronic health condition is a very tenuous link between wedding and Fibromyalgia. Read on; I was merely setting the scene. In fact, personally speaking, weddings feature prominently in my Fibromyalgia story.

My first experience of Fibromyalgia

The first person I met with Fibromyalgia before I knew the word or was remotely familiar with the condition was a friend’s father. I met my friend doing our PGCE (teaching qualification). She took me to her parents home for a weekend and to be honest from that snapshot of his life I wouldn’t know that he had a chronic health condition because let’s face it who want’s to use their health as an introduction or conversation point. The first time I noticed something “out of the ordinary” was at my friends, yes you’ve guessed it, wedding. I was one of her bridesmaids so was naturally aware of everything happening around me. What was this big thing that “gave the game away” that he had a chronic health condition? They brought an extra cushion to the Church for him to sit on. Yes, that was it!
Living Creatively with Fibro | Sometimes all a spoonie needs is a cushion. A physical cushion to ease our pain. Or a mental cushion to calm our fear. Not everyone has the power effect change. But we all have the gift of providing a cushion.

My Wedding my Fibro

Just like a lot of married people who have not become parents my wedding day was the happiest day of my life. I think everyone who was involved in the preparations will agree that I was not a BrideZilla. It was nevertheless a significant job planning and arranging my perfect service and reception, and there were lots of elements to organise. As well as crafting the invitations, designing the service booklet and creating the tags and putting together the favours. Although I didn’t knowingly feel stressed by it all much of the time I was very invested. Thankfully all the work was worth it, and we had a beautiful day.
Living Creatively with Fibro |weddings wouldn't exist without the happy couple. A casual photo of The Bridge and Groom leaning into each other after the service

An Emotional Crack

The honeymoon was a lovely relaxing week at a cottage in Wales. It was, in fact, the first time I merely stopped and relaxed for months. But during this lovely week, something happened that ultimately took me by surprise. Due to the fact we were travelling by car and staying in the cottage, I was able to bring my bouquet with me. About three-quarters of the way through the honeymoon I noticed some of the flowers beginning to die and without warning found myself crying my eyes out.  Naturally, this scared Michael for a moment until we talked it over and I realised it was because after all the months of planning the Wedding has been and gone. I was in a way bereft of it. Yes, I gained my husband who is terrific, but we needed to return to normality now and go back to living our everyday lives.
Living Creatively with Fibro | My beautiful bouquet featuring my favourite gerbera's in pink along with white and pink roses and purple flowers. Weddings wouldn't be the same without flowers!

An Avalanche of symptoms

Within two weeks of returning from the honeymoon, my Fibromyalgia symptoms began appearing and gathering pace. Nearly three years later my health has levelled off.  I usually know what I can manage to do on a good day, although I do keep foolishly pushing it. I have come to realise what the worst days will look like as well. The problem is that which type of day you are going to have is entirely unknown until you open your eyes in the morning. That is, of course, what you have to get used to when you live with a Chronic Health Condition. It always brings to mind the scene from the movie “The American President” when Michael J Fox says that all the dates he plans are “loose plans” until he confirms them. In the case of the unseen character, she has someone else playing with her life. For us with chronic health conditions, it is our health treating us like dirt.

Getting Married with a Chronic Health Condition

I was fortunate that the Fibromyalgia appeared after the wedding. Although I won’t lie, I wish I could have had at least a few healthy years to enjoy married life first. What if you already have a chronic health condition and you are hoping to get married? Well, luck would have it I have found a few articles to help. How to Plan a Spoonie Wedding by Katarina Zulak Planning a Wedding with Chronic Illness by Emily at Bespoke Bride When Chronic Illness gets in the way of planning your wedding by Sarah Weikel (on The Mighty) If you are planning your big day or you have been invited to witness other peoples weddings, I wish you every success and hope your pains are few and spoons are plentiful.

I would love to hear from anyone else who’s chronic health journey began shortly after their wedding. Or maybe you are planning a wedding whilst managing your health. I always love reading your comments below.

I hope everyone else who is looking forward to Prince Harry and Meghan’s big day tomorrow has a great day celebrating it. Let’s not forget of course any other couple’s who are having weddings tomorrow; I hope they do not feel too overshadowed. Wearing my genealogy hat for a minute I wanted to leave you with the remind to capture all the important moments of life, not just weddings. If you were expecting to see other posts from me this week I suggest you catch up on my latest blogging news.

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