When bad things happen
By Leslie J. Barner
We were away on a beach trip for our anniversary, enjoying
great romance, good seafood, and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
It was amidst the sweet sounds of seagulls cawing and gentle
waves washing ashore that my husband got seriously ill.
After a misdiagnosis and two weeks in the hospital, he was
diagnosed with polyarteritis nodosa, which causes inflammation in the small and
But that was only the beginning.
Within a few years, the disease affected his heart, causing
it to fail.
I watched my husband—the one who played college football and
loved playing basketball—struggle with dizziness, shortness of breath,
difficulty doing everyday chores. This man who’d advanced up the corporate
ladder and swung my girls up on his shoulders now found putting on his shoes
A year later, he suffered a life-threatening heart attack.
After lengthy hospitalizations for advanced heart failure, we were told his
heart muscle had become dangerously weak.
We had to make a choice. Either he would have to have a
mechanical heart pump implanted into his chest to help his heart beat normally
until he can get a new heart, or take an intravenous medication that would
practically be to the heart what a jockey’s whip is to a horse. It might help
keep him alive for up to a year.
We opted for a mechanical heart pump. He went on the heart
transplant list six months later.
We’re still waiting for a new heart.
Faith + Love + Life
THE GOOD STUFF: Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal
upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot
quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the
wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)
ACTION POINTS: Discuss together
some things that you can do now to be prepared for a day when one of you may
have to take care of the other because of a serious illness. For instance:
might that look like?
can you strengthen your relationship now to keep your marriage strong and
protected when bad things happen?
are some ways in which you can make a practice of “living in the moment” and
make the best of the here and now, while you both are healthy?