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It is very difficult when a loved one is ill. My sweetheart was diagnosed with end stage renal failure (kidney failure) thirteen years ago. I think it's thirteen. I believe I can safely write this blog post coming from an area where I have a great deal of experience.

When a loved one is ill we have two choices, to rant and rave against the circumstances -- or -- to educate ourselves, help our loved one as much as possible, and treasure every day you have together.

I have an acquaintance on a social media site who has chosen to be bitter about her husband's illness and the treatment he's being given at the hospital. May I offer some advice?

Just because someone is ill doesn't mean they are not still the same person we fell in love with. My sweetheart, Alvin Salima, and I have been married for nineteen years, and he has been ill for the bulk of those years. The first year was the hardest as we educated ourselves about kidney failure. Alvin's health took some hits because we didn't learn fast enough or completely enough. But by the end of the first year we considered ourselves relatively well educated.

The next four or five years were rough ones for Alvin. He was in and out of the hospital, one visit lasting six weeks. During that six weeks Alvin came closer to death multiple times than he ever had before. At one point I was told he was the sickest man in the hospital and the next 24 hours would be touch and go as to whether Alvin would live or die. 

I'm not going to lie, it was hard. Really hard. I often went into the bathroom to sob my heart out, then I would splash cold water on my face and go back into that room with a smile on my face. Yes, I argued with doctors on occasion, but I learned when to listen and when to dig in.

Through it all, friends and family prayed and fasted for Alvin and I saw the results of that due to the miraculous nature in the events that unfolded in Alvin's life during that time. Our love for one another grew deeper and deeper, and our appreciation for life itself also grew. Our belief in God and His plan of salvation also deepened until it went past belief to pure knowledge.

Instead of becoming bitter over the circumstances we chose to simply live with it and do our best to keep Alvin as healthy as possible. It isn't easy, not by any stretch of the imagination. But we have each other and we do all we can to keep life as normal as possible. It's the very best advice I can give: Trust in God and make the very best of the circumstances in your life. Don't let them drive your life, you drive them. Learn, grow and make a difference by helping others learn to cope with similar situations.

Thirteen years later Alvin does dialysis three times a week, works full time and I pick up whatever contract work I can find. We visit with family often, go to matinees and eat at restaurants that are affordable, once or twice a month. We spend time with friends, and we spend time fighting for America. We go to church, and have nephews and nieces spending the night often. We're happy enough and looking forward to the day when Alvin gets his kidney transplant.

Trust in God and do what you must to keep moving forward.

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Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

To Fold or Play To Fold or Play Reviewed by Candace Salima on Monday, June 09, 2014 Rating: 5