Monday, September 12

I think Dorky would have been a better choice.

Last year at Christmas time, John and I attended a dinner for the officers in our church.  It was a particularly rough evening on a multitude of levels.  We had friends who were hurting pretty badly.  It was a large-ish gathering, which I don't do well, and it was at the tail end of a very long weekend.  So needless to say, I was not at my best, not even close.

The staff thought it would be fun to make the guys t-shirts that read "Deacon of the Month" on the front and a funny nickname on the back.  It was funny.  They introduced the deacon, told a few little funny quips, and read  the nickname on the back.  There was a lot of laughter, and if you knew this group of men, you would have totally laughed, too.  Handy.  Brainy.  Grouchy.  It was great fun...until they got to John.  The nickname on the back of his shirt was "Sleepy."  The room was filled with laughter, and his sleepiness is funny...for everyone but me.  All I could do was smile and pretend to laugh.  It probably lasted just seconds, but for me, it could have been an eternity.  There are so many other funny adjectives I could use to describe John, but I think the reality hit me hard that night.  It is his narcolepsy that defines him among his peers.  That's never an easy pill to swallow.

And the thing is, I hate narcolepsy.  For me, it is a husband-stealer.  Sure, it is funny that John can and does randomly fall asleep.  We really do laugh about it sometimes.  But for us, it means that there really isn't any point in paying to go see a movie, and there really isn't any point in sitting down in the evening to watch television.  We can't discuss anything after a certain time in the evening.  Naps and downtime are necessary.  John LOVES college football, but he can't even stay awake watching those games most days.  It means that I worry when he's out late at night, and I always drive if it is dark.  It means conversations are meant to be had multiple times, and I feel an extreme pressure to remember everything.  He can't.  His brain doesn't get enough of the right type of rest, and so it makes up for it during the day.  He's tried medicine, several different medicines, and we've yet to find the right one.  They are either way too expensive to try, or they have horrible side effects.  He has spent the last year off of medicine completely.  It has been a long year.

I will admit that it isn't the worst thing in the world.  He's still here.  We've had years to learn to live with it.  We've adjusted our lives, and our children have grown to understand it.  But it doesn't mean I like it, and it sure doesn't mean I handle it well.  I often feel like the most boring wife in the world.  But I know that isn't the truth.  The truth is that God planned for John to develop narcolepsy in his mid-twenties.  He planned for us to walk this journey together, and regardless how it seems, it is a perfect plan.

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