Meniere’s and Marriage
I needed one more day without rain.
For two weeks I had checked the weather forecast every day, praying for sun. It hadn’t rained in so long.
A year of planning all rested on mother nature giving us one more good day. But as I opened my eyes on the morning of my wedding, it was pouring, and it was hard to stay calm.
All of the work, all of the money and time, I felt like it was all for nothing.
You see, Megan and I were getting married at a place called Morakami Museum and Gardens. A beautiful park set up as a Japanese Zen garden in the middle of South Florida. It’s one of our favorite places…we just needed good weather to make it work.
My friends and family all tried to reassure me. But it wasn’t working. “Rain on your wedding day is good luck” is a hard pill to swallow when you plan an outdoor wedding.
Megan was with her bridesmaids getting ready, and I knew she was freaking out, too. It was hard not to feel like the universe was working against us.
And all the while I worried that my Meniere’s would make an unwanted introduction.
But somehow, through all of the stress and turmoil of changing the plan at the last minute, it all worked out. When the rain broke for a little while, we got our pictures. We moved the ceremony indoors but were able to have our cocktail hour by the lake outside. In the end, it was really beautiful.
Looking back, it was a whirlwind of family, friendship, emotion, and love. It was chaotic, and amazing, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
It was an incredible reminder on the importance of letting go, accepting change, and the beauty of being present in the moment.
It Takes a Village:
Planning a wedding is a massive undertaking.
There are so many details to consider that it’s easy to get lost, and even easier to get overwhelmed. There are so many moving parts. It really takes a village to get it right.
And the weeks leading up to the wedding were stressful.
Not just from a planning perspective, but from a health perspective, too. The stress was agitating my Meniere’s symptoms, which in turn were causing me more stress.
The closer we got, the more concerned I became with my ability to manage my energy and symptoms over the long weekend ahead of me. And it was hard to explain my fears in a way my family, or even Megan, could understand.
But I wasn’t the only one stressing out. Megan had her own worries and so did our families. I had to be careful to not make it all about me. It was hard.
It often felt like I was planning for something else entirely. They were planning the party; I was planning on how to get through it without incident. I felt like everyone was getting tired of my worrying. In reality, they just didn’t want me to expect the worst, but I couldn’t help it, and it created a sense of guilt I couldn’t shake.
When we finally had a timeline for day of the wedding, and a schedule for the weekend, I made sure to have a plan of my own. I scheduled time to relax, and I also made sure to let other people help, something that has always been hard for me.
My groomsmen, made up of my two younger brothers as my best men, and my 2 closest friends, really came through for me. My parents did too. They made everything as easy as possible for Megan and I, and took the burden off of us when problems arose.
The feeling of love and family was profound.
Planning Makes Perfect:
In a strange way, my wedding was like a microcosm of my life with Meniere’s disease.
I had to try to go with the flow. I had to make changes on the fly and adapt to new circumstances. I had to focus on the positive, and let go of the negative. I had to manage my stress and expectations. And above all else, I had to plan for every possible outcome.
When planning a big event, its usually safe to assume that something will go wrong at one point or another. My wedding weekend was no exception to the rule.
It started when one of my groomsmen missed his flight.
Protests in Philadelphia caused gridlock traffic in the city and my friend missed his plane by three minutes. Fortunately, he was able to get on a later flight, but there was tense period of time when I wasn’t sure he was going to be able to make it down for the wedding at all.
The next disaster, as I mentioned earlier, was the rain. The entire night was planned around an outdoor ceremony. The whole reason Megan and I chose the venue was for the beautiful backdrop, but the rain threatened everything.
In the event of rain, the plan was to move the ceremony indoors to the auditorium, though, Megan and I both felt this defeated the whole purpose of choosing Morakami in the first place. What we didn’t plan for, however, was how we would get our pictures.
In the end, we caught a lucky break. The rain let up for a brief window and we were able to do our first look pictures, and get some incredible shots around the park before the rain picked back up. We were also able to find a dry place, still overlooking the lake, to get our formal pictures with our families.
The last major disaster happened after the wedding, when we got back to the hotel. The thermostat in our room wasn’t working and had been pumping out heat for hours. Our room felt like a sauna and the staff on site couldn’t fix it.
It was three in the morning on my wedding night and I was exhausted and angry.
I feel guilty for getting so upset about it, but at the time it felt like such an injustice and a terrible way to end an incredible night. I had worked hard to keep my emotions in check throughout the day. As stressed out as I was at times, I made sure to keep my cool to be supportive to Megan. But by this point, I was all out of patience. Fortunately, they were able to give us another room at the last moment.
A lot of other things went wrong as well, and with each minor catastrophe, there was a moment when I felt like it would all fall apart.
But in the end, we had planned properly, and were able to roll with the punches. Despite my fear, my Meniere’s symptoms stayed in check, too, with only minor passing dizziness to contend with.
I count the night as a resounding success.
Enjoy the Moment:
In the weeks leading up to our wedding, a lot of people gave me the same advice: to enjoy myself.
But it wasn’t until the middle of the reception that I truly understood what they meant.
Sitting at our sweetheart table, waiting for dinner, I suddenly realized I was somewhere else. I was caught up in the details; worrying about everyone else having a good time. I wasn’t paying attention.
I tried to think back to how the night had progressed, and it all seemed like a blur. The whole week leading up to the wedding, too. I took a deep breath. I wanted to remember.
And for a brief moment, I let it all go. I was present. I was having fun. I danced and laughed and spent time with the people I truly care about. It felt good.
The whole night still feels like a whirlwind; more scattered images than story book. But I remember how I felt. I remember the moment when I started to enjoy myself.
If I had to sum it all up in a word, it would be family.
My family has its flaws, but it works for us, and on my wedding night, I felt a sense of family like I never had before. I’m grateful I was aware enough to notice it.
Meniere’s disease can make life seem impossible at times. If you are an analytical person like me, it can take your anxiety and worries to new heights.
But your life isn’t over. And no matter how hard things may seem, you will also have moments of beauty and peace. You will have opportunities for happiness and experiences of love. You will have good days, and great days too.
The only question is, when they happen, will you know? Will you appreciate it for what it is? And will you be present enough to notice?
On my wedding day, I noticed, and I am forever grateful.
Always remember, you have the power to notice, too.
Thank you to everyone for all of your well wishes and congratulations over the last few weeks. Megan and I really felt the love, and love you all for it.
9 thoughts on “Meniere’s and Marriage”
Great narrative, beautiful pictures! So glad you enjoyed yourself & stayed well!
You are amazing glenn xx beautiful words x amazing photos too xx menieres 0. Glenn 1
Thanks Fran! These are just cellphone pictures too. Once I get the professional photos I’ll post a few as well.
Congratulations! Many happy years together!
Once I went on a trip to AI resort in a Dominican Republic. It was a spur of the moment thing. No planning, just booked the trip and 3 days later I was on my way. I had just moved to a new city from which it was 2 hours drive to the Tampa airport, in darkness of early morning hours. Needless to say, I got lost, missed couple of exists,could not find parking, but made it,barely. But I decided beforehand, no matter what happens I will take it without emotions and find positive in everything that happens. We landed in Puerto Rico and I noticed that there were hardly any people for the next leg to DR. JetBlue cancelled the flight stating bad weather,(clear sky and sunny) and said to come back tomorrow. What??? The other option was to take a flight to a different city and then 4 hr drive in a taxi to the resort. I took that flight having found a companion who was going to the same resort. We split the cost of the ride and I enjoyed exploring Dominican Republic through the window of a taxi. Otherwise I wouldn’t have had such a chance. 2 days into my 6 nights stay I was offered to be transferred to a different resort, due to overbooking and the fact that I occupied a suite all by myself. The new resort was 5 stars, adults only, all for no extra charge. Plus a voucher for 3 charge free days for my next visit. WOW! Speaking about going with the flow! I got lost on my way back from Tampa airport again, plus it was a foggy night. 2 hours trip ended up to be 4, but I made it home all right and very happy that I made that trip. And travel insurance reimbursed my taxi ride ($200).So going with the flow, literally and enjoying every minute of it is the way to live life. Expectations make us unhappy.
I too just experienced this. I got married Oct 3, 2015. I appreciate this story! I can relate so well
Renee Van Uytven
Being scared when you plan to get married is normal , but you, Glenn, you are a source of positive thoughts, and that too me was the most important thing , from the planning to the ceremony. You worked long and hard on overcoming this abominable disease , you not only shared with us , helped us but you also helped yourself.
Bravo! Excellent , and you know what, you will remember what happened at your marriage and before and in a better light. You might even have a laugh with Megan about it.
I do , and this is 51 years ago, I am not kidding you,My husband forgot to buy a wedding ring and had to run at the last minute, He went for a haircut and it was so short, it looked very much like a crew cut.
Our photographer took photos on top of other ones of a baby, and you know he was an artist and made them so
that they fit in an album with his comments. Something like” there is a baby in the future….’
No digital photography in that time, it all happened in Antwerp. And I was healthy, sigh…..
Oh , and I have two sons
I wish you all the luck with your beautiful wife, and just keep doing what you are doing,
Renee Van Uytven
Sorry I just shaw that your hair was also very short , but it looks good , Guy’s hair looked like a shaved porcupine
Not fashionable at all in that time. It would pass now, I think, maybe I should marry again,,,,:D
My daughter’s wedding was at 8000+ ft in CO so I was worried about thin air (although I’ve spent lots of time in CO it’s not usually quite that high). It often rains on summer afternoons in the mtns but generally clears by 5 pm, which is when we scheduled the ceremony. At the rehearsal dinner the night before, it hailed …but cleared and b/c dinner was inside it was fine. BUT I woke at 1:00 am on wedding day to thunder can crashing against mountains (echoes make it very loud to hyperacusis ears) and lightening flashing everywhere – a dizzying sight for someone with Meniere’s. I tried to believe it would clear by the ceremony, and it did, just in time for pictures and then the ceremony. Guests and wedding party tried not to shiver in almost-freezing temps and unfortunately we moved reception indoors. Dinner was to be inside anyway. When dancing started, snow drifted under the tent but we all were having so much fun no one cared. A friendly snowball fight capped the evening as guests piled into vans to go down the mountain. I’d completely forgotten any worries about altitude vertigo or dizziness from lights and moving colors and people. The weather actually made it memorable, as did the enormous porcupine that came out from under the restaurant ‘s porch to see what all the noise was about. I’d planned as much as I could, but I couldn’t control Mother Nature as you couldn’t, Glenn. And it was a great wedding .