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The Dangers of Love on the Wildwood Exit - Chronically Whole
The Dangers of Love on the Wildwood Exit

The Dangers of Love on the Wildwood Exit

January 30, 2017 | Posted in: Autism, Chronic Illness and Diagnosis, Chronic Life, CVID, Lyme Disease, Marriage

You hear a lot about happiness on your wedding day.


He just seems to make her so happy.


The bride was beaming with happiness.


I hope you two live happily ever after.


And whether she realizes it or not, every blushing bride prances down the aisle with her own vision of what her happily ever after will look like. Every bride expects to live out her own fairy-tale version of happily ever after now that she’s found true love. And no, the version I’d written for myself didn’t look anything like this life I’m living.

When I look back on my wedding day, on that bride and groom standing there on the sunlit beach with their tans and those big, cheesy grins, I realize they were far stupider and stronger than they could have ever known.

I told a lot of lies on my wedding day, most of them to myself. I told myself I was merely stressed from all that wedding planning. After things calmed down, I’d feel better. I told myself the overwhelming fatigue and back-to-back infections were wedding related as well. After the wedding, I’d start running again and get things under control. No one had to know how tired I was that day or that I hadn’t been able to get through a full workout in months. No one had to know I had an infection at that precise moment, despite countless antibiotics. My illusion of control fizzled when I cried in front of my new husband in our honeymoon suite. After donning my sexy lingerie, I could fake it no more and confessed to my UTI and debilitating fatigue. He was characteristically amazing and I was convinced I’d feel better in a day or two. Lies. I told a lot of lies.

Of course, all of my lies came quickly tumbling out in the weeks that followed. Living with someone else, especially someone so efficient, I was unable to hide my constant need to rest, the fast and furious infections, or my fear. I’d always been sick more severely, more often than other people, but I’d also always been able to hide, to push through… until now.

I added new symptoms with a terrifying regularity. My new husband added gray hairs to his head at a similar pace. I was a lot to handle, but he never complained. He did his work in E.R. waiting rooms while sitting alongside me and washed my hair at home when I couldn’t. For four long years, we knew something was very wrong, but no doctor could give us a name for my condition.

Life carried on and we did our best to enjoy the everyday moments. One evening, I was well enough for dinner out together. On the drive back we approached an exit called, “Wildwood” I suggested we take the offramp and make the most of the exit and its name. We did. Was there a price to pay? Absolutely. And no, it wasn’t an officer knocking on our car door. It was infection knocking at my body’s door. It was pain, fatigue, a trip to the E.R. and antibiotic shots. Have I ever been sorry we took that literal walk on the wild side? Not even once. Sometimes, happiness cost me more, but it also counts more. Click To Tweet Yes, intimacy with the man I love comes at a price which almost always includes a persistent UTI that sometimes makes its way to my kidneys. But to this day, I can’t drive past the Wildwood exit without a wry smile inching its way across my face.

Now, six years later, we know I have CVID, Lyme, RA and Interstitial Cystitis. Each month, I receive an infusion of donor antibodies to replace what my body fails to produce. Here, happiness is found in the stillness, in the overcoming, in the stolen moments on Florida highways. It’s found in the knowledge I can face loss, the unexpected and keep moving forward, that you can lose one self and find another. This grey-haired happily ever after is all about the adventure, it’s found in the love, the dreaming, together. For better or worse, till sickness do us part.


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  1. JAYNR
    January 30, 2017

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    This is beatiful Stacey x

  2. vp79
    January 31, 2017

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    This past week I had an argument with my husband. At this point I feel conflict about how to process and move forward. I think writing down my feelings may help me sort them out from purely reactionary to reality.
    One complaint is that my cooking sucks. He says I cook with hatred and without intent to make food appealing He’s angry I dont cook meat. He’s angry I dont like his smoking habit. He’s angry I dont serve him dinner after work. He’s angry that I dont want him to go out drinking or partying.
    My feelings are that I actually enjoy cooking. I make an effort for foods to taste good. I don’t cook a lot of meat because most of us don’t eat it. I’ve not cooked as much lately as schedules have conflicted. I dont like him choosing things that affect his kids wellbeing and future. Watching someone die of lung cancer or alcoholism sucks. I’ve had to watch both.
    I realize though that its his choice to do these things. So I won’t say anything more about it. I’m not his mother so chiding isn’t my job. I will also make sure he has meat available. Crockpot or casserole meals will be available daily.
    His second complaint is that I dont buy him the gifts he wants. My solution is he can buy his own. That way he gets what he wants.

    He complains I spend to much time at doctors appointments. I do. I can’t argue. Being chronically ill sucks the life and time out of one. So I’m scaling back my appointments. They will be limited to er visits for my kidneys and my kids dental , orthodontist and therapy appointments.

    I’ll quit seeing my nephrologist my pft my urologist and primary. Its not like they make me feel better anyway. That should free up my time and allow me to focus on his next complaint.
    I dont do anything while he’s at work. Apparently houses clean themselves especially houses with 9 people. Also friges fill themselves and tolietries magically appear. The final complaints. I’m being mean because my dad died. Maybe I am. So I will never speak of it again to him. That is the end of his involvement in that part of my life.
    Also our sex life sucks because of my IC. So from now on I won’t put it off. I’ll just have to down a few dozen Tylenol and wear a heating pad after so I’m not bed ridden for days. Oh who am I kidding I’ll feel like my insides are stabbing me but I guess if I’m going to be miserable anyway from IC, I can oblige his needs. I mean I hate his porn addiction but since I dont work I dont have the right to dictate where or how his time and money is spent.
    That last part bothers me. He sabotages my working. Every. Single. Time. Granted for 16 months I’ve not been able to work due to IC but he hates it when I work. He hates being responsible for kids doing homework or chores. He hates me working. He pouts and tantrums and causes massive emotional upheaval with the Kids when I’m working. He also sabotaged me going back to college. Taking away keyboards USB cords mouse when I had papers due, disapearring for hours when I had classes so I spent class holding a colicky baby and trying to do work. Proffering divorce papers over me working or going to school. Perhaps he has a different perspective of why he gets so angry.
    I dont know. I know that I’m reaching a point that I’d rather be homeless than be property. My kids however deserve a proper home. So I will do everything to just get along with him peacefully.

    I’ll readdress this in a few months when my feelings arent freshly hurt.

  3. Stacey Philpot
    February 2, 2017

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    This is so much. I’m not a counselor, but this doesn’t sound safe or healthy for you. Is there someone there you could talk with professionally? I hate for you or your kids to live life this, even temporarily. I’m going to be praying for you and I am so so sorry you are going through this.

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