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Having A Wedding, When Life Has Other Plans

A month before my wedding, I was hospitalized for a mini-stroke

Shannon, Floral Designer and Business Coach & Anthony, Computer Programmer

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One month before my wedding was a flurry of social gatherings, stress, anticipation, and excitement. There was a hope that everything was going to come together and lots of prayers that the weather cooperated for a beach wedding. While I was making plans for this day, life had other plans for me.

On April 10th, one month before our wedding, I was hospitalized with left hand, left leg weakness, trouble finding words, trouble speaking, and a sharp headache. The doctors at the hospital first diagnosed me with a mini-stroke. I was hysterical in the hospital, my fiancé stayed with me the whole time, never leaving the hospital. Even through his strength I could see the fear in his eyes. What did this mean our future? Was I going to have a real stroke soon?

After many follow-ups with my neurologist I was diagnosed with hemiplegic migraines. They’re stroke like symptom migraines, and I still have about four attacks a month. These types of migraines make you more at risk for strokes and you have to wear a medical bracelet in case you have an attack in public.

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Our wedding day came the following month and there was a little bit of a deeper gratitude on that day. I didn’t have an attack that day and I could have. I could have had a stroke the month before and I didn’t. We had this beautiful beach wedding full of happiness and joy. My favorite memory is yelling “Woo hooo” before walking down the aisle. It was like me saying to my husband, we did it, we’re here. As I walked down the aisle to my husband I was surrounded by everyone in my life that I’ve loved. They were standing and cheering, my eyes were full of tears of happiness and my husband’s eyes were too. It was so incredibly beautiful. In our ceremony we picked this Carl Sagan quote that spoke about the vastness of human life and love. We spent the night, dancing, and singing. We ordered pizza at ten p.m. and we opted for an ice cream sundae bar instead of wedding cake. It was such a joyful night.

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Since the wedding has past we’ve began our conquest of marriage with my diagnosis. This marriage looks different than the one we planned for, but it’s our journey. My husband has always been such a positive person; he now calls this our adventure. This is our mountain to climb; this is our beast to battle. There’s nothing more he likes than a challenge and excelling at a challenge. Our lives will look differently than what we had planned pre-wedding.

Isn’t that what adventures are? They’re the plans you didn’t make.

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