Today is a very special day, because sixteen years ago, I met my husband Alfredo. Many people want to know the story of how we met. This morning as we woke up, our minds and thoughts went back to when we met and we shared our special memories and others from our time together so far.
Alfredo was living in the apartment we shared with another lady. I immediately liked Alfredo’s welcoming personality and his smile. The way he was prepared to support me with anything and was a great listener too.
I started feeling like I was falling in love day by day, as I felt more comfortable around him. We’d talk and laugh and support each other. I lived with him since January 2006, but we knew we wanted an apartment to ourselves one day.
Two months later, Alfredo took me to square we liked and asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. I burst into happy tears and said yes. All my life, I dreamed of falling in love. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me, and that Alfredo had picked me out of anyone else he could have falllen in love with. knew then that he saw past my disabilities.
We got engaged on the night of my 27th birthday in 2008. I was relaxing in bed and Alfredo presented me with a white gold ring with a single diamond. Cue the happy tears again.
We married on the 11th of April 2019 and will celebrate our third wedding anniversary soon.
In the sixteen years we have been together, we have been through happy times and sad. I’m happy that my husband is so giving, kind considerate and caring. He has never judged me because of my disabilities and accepts me for who and how I am. When I am sad, he comforts me, when my Cerebral Palsy, hydrocephalus or visual impairments are giving me a hard time, he’s there. When my eyes are uncomfortable or I have a headache, he makes sure I get enough rest.
He understands why I can’t control my body temperature
On the days when I’m struggling to move or when I’m too exhausted to speak, he does what I need him to do, and knows instantly what I need. When dysarthria makes me just make sounds instead of words, he’s patient, and when I pause he doesn’t finish my sentences like others would do but makes suggestions that make me laugh. When I move my mouth but sounds don’t come out, he tells me he can see how hard I’m trying to talk and if I’m exhausted, he just says relax.
He impresses my doctors with his knowledge of my disabilities and medications and care, and they commend him.
My disabilities don’t scare him. When I explained more about them for the first time, he listened before saying that he didn’t see them as a problem and that he just wanted to be with me.
The first time I told him about my medical history, it made him cry and from then on I knew he was sweet and sensitive, too. He was fascinated by the fact that I was an identical twin and supports me in my sadness when special days come and my sister Natalie can’t share in them. He knows I am living life for her too as she can’t and she is a part of me.
He knows what to do in a medical emergency and does not let anything get the better of him. He makes sure I get the best medical care possible and respects my wishes and does his best to get doctors to as well.
He has seen my Shunt Alert card and the Spanish translation and knows to tell people about my shunts and the emergency timeframe for getting me to a hospital if things go wrong with it (4 hours).
He knows about my symptoms of shunt failure and blockage and about all the surgeries I’ve had. He helps with the side effects I still have from those and says I am beautiful as I am with my scars as they make me me.
He respects me and celebrates me as I am and fights for me.
When I am feeling like things are hard, I draw strength from him.
He’s used to my stretches and massages. He’s used to the fact that my movements will be voluntary in a stiff, shaky and jerky way and that many others will be involuntary. He’s used to my low tolerance for pain and the fact that daily pain is part of how my disabilities affect me.
He’s always there to move me. He knows what I mean when others don’t understand or take the time to listen to me and gives me time to explain what I want, need. or think when others would have given up or lost interest in my conversations.
He’s used to the fact that some words will be better pronounced than others and that I take my time to say what I want. I am a thinker, too.
When I’m struggling with brain fog and fatigue I will sigh more, and just be silent. He knows this is just what I am like and understands that my lack of strength and stamina is part of my disabilities. He knows what I want when I can’t tell him.
He values me.
He’s a wonderful cook and the best person to relax with. He has a cheeky sense of humor and a contagious smile which makes me smile and laugh.
We each know each other so well.
He is a great advocate and always does the best he can for us.
I’m looking forward to many more years together as he’s so special to me. I love the times when he tells me he’s glad I’m alive and with him. People say we are great together. That is something I have always known and I am happy to have a soul mate in life.
We celebrated our day by eating Peruvian takeout.