I knew this day would come where I would post here, and I've had this idea percolating; however, I don't think that now, or any time in the near future will I know how to handle relationships and CF.
A bit of history:
I was married once. We dated four years prior to our marriage and were married for six. Around year four of the marriage was my lung transplant. Before we were married I felt I had properly vetted the husband for many types of health issues. He'd seen the gross hemoptysis, spent lots of nights in the hospital, changed a port needle, put the nebbies together. Still, things fell apart in a complete and unsalvageable way in the two year period consisting of the year before transplant where I was dying all year, and the year after transplant where I was recovering all year.
I think all the time really, what was it all about? It was no secret I was sick, it was no secret that I'd eventually need a lung transplant. I know for sure that the transplant was not the only reason for the end of the relationship, and for all I know it would be over now if I didn't have CF, or I didn't need a transplant. Still, I always felt the need to isolate the final straw. What I think it was, six years after transplant, four years after divorce, is that although my husband could deal with the illness, the hospital, the doctors, the coughing, the hours of therapies... really like a pro; that when it came time for him to actually give something up, change military bases to one he didn't like, give up being deployed, slow his career down - that it made him so mad, and in turn it made ME so mad.
So, what do I do with this information? Can I trust enough to ever have another relationship? I built up these walls, stay out, you don't want to come 'round here.
Disclaimer: I have Cystic Fibrosis, I had a lung transplant almost six years ago. In the next four years I will probably need another one, or I might die of something else. If I need another one I might not want one, but I might and either way it is up to me and me alone. I will probably also need a kidney transplant one day, if I live long enough. If we happen to procure some babies using one of the various methods babies come around, i.e., stork, adoption, emergency, then you will probably raise said baby by yourself one day. And oh yeah, the biggest one, I am a survivor, and as such, I will pick me over you every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
So, do you still want to date me? I'm so cute.
Question one: When do you tell them, in a way that makes the future relationship understand, buddy, this is serious?
Question two: Once you tell them, and they have the moment where they think and say, "what kind of asshole would break up with someone because of their health?" And you look over at them and think, "you would, and so would he, and him, and that one, and her too." What now?
Because let's face it, when we think, "in sickness and in health", we assume that means a lot of health and maybe a little sickness, not mostly sickness. And when we say "until death do us part", we mean when we're both really old, not in the next decade.
Personally, I have this idea that if the potential relationship is given the disclosure early, then they can walk away, no harm no foul, mitigate the damages, lessen the hurt feelings. But, it never works that way for me. Instead, it is the acceptance of the disclosure, and me proceeding like a green light GO. Until the day that we both realize, yeah, he's that asshole we both denied he is.
I think that I need a yellow light, proceed with caution.