One of things I was most worried about when I initially got engaged was my health. At the time I got engaged my chronic headaches and migraines were a real problem for me. I've talked about my life with chronic pain a few times, and for more specific details on it you can read about it here and here, learn about my treatment here, and watch my vlog about it here! I'm not going to go into specifics about it today, but instead talk about how my health has affected my wedding.
When you have a chronic illness, you tend to know there are certain things you can and can't do. I've been incredibly lucky to begin having Botox for my chronic head pain which means I can now do things I couldn't do before. When we got engaged I didn't expect to be able to wear a veil, flower crown, tiara, anything that would sit on my head basically! It would mean more pain than usual, and really paying for it the next day. It's just not worth the risk to potentially end up misterable on your wedding day.
For me, it was about compromise. Looking the way I want to on my wedding day vs the repercussions of essentially knowingly exacerbating my pain. A headband was an absolute no, but could light weight cute clips work? I could probably abide those for a few hours for the reception and photos, and then ditch the for the evening do. Could I plait ribbons into my hair? Or wear a veil that draped over my whole head front and back without being attached?
Being 'you' on your wedding day is so important, but not at the risk of damaging your health further. More recently I have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel in both of my wrists. I struggle to hold weight in my hands, grip properly, and they ache or hurt almost all of the time. One of the things I've dreamed about is my bouquet. A giant thing, full of my favourite plants and nature, my 5ft 11 frame meant I felt I could carry off a larger bouquet than most. And now I can't open a bottle of Pepsi Max, or have to get Stu to help me cut up my food. So reality hits. I can't carry that dream bouquet.
And now I have to reconsider my options. My florist is coming up with ideas for me, but it looks like I'll have to opt for a different design, with a wrist strap of some kind, or risk being unable to use my hands properly the next day. Or, I can wear wrist splints on both of my wrists and aim to get help carrying my bouquet during the day. I must admit, this is the option I like the least. My splints give away my pain, and don't match my outfit! If I do have to wear them, I could glam them up, wrap them in ribbon, or glitter them up. There is no avoiding seeing them, so if I do wear them, they'll have to be made to look like they belong. I will admit I cried when I realised that I might not be able to have the one part of my wedding I was so set on, I cried a lot. My health has impacted upon my life so much, but my wedding day.... I had been desperate to avoid that.
Spot the wrist splint!
You should feel amazing on your wedding day. Try to get a good nights sleep the night before (which I know is going to be so hard with how excited I'll be!). So when I wake up I will ensure I take all my usual medication, drink plenty of water, take some painkillers, and make sure I have more in my wedding bag. I will eat an appropriate breakfast. Self care is hugely important, and a good start to the day can really help. I plan to rest if I need to, the bridal suite is there to sneak off to if I need some down time.
2 of my 4 bridesmaids!
The key thing is asking for help. I plan on roping my bridesmaids in to help carry my bouquet so I can rest between photos. They'll be commissioned to keep me hydrated properly too. My wonderful and enthusiastic florist at Fleurtations is determined to find me a way to carry my dream bouquet. You never know what suggestions people might have, so ask for help! It's OK to acknowledge that there are things you can and can't do, but it's also more than OK to ask people to help you with your health on the day. Your bridal party love you, so explain the situation and I am sure they will help look after you.
Do you have any tips for the spoonie Bride-to-be?