My husband and I got married in October 2009 and it was one of the best days of my life.

Everyday I keep track of my symptoms in my daily log and looking through it the other day, it really hit me with how far I have come since I was first diagnosed with SLE. My symptoms were at its worse when I was first diagnosed, however, my flares never seemed to slow down, especially when my days were full of stress. At that time I never realized how much I was doing. We were at our busiest time at work (being a manager, I had to be on top of everything), I had numerous amounts of doctors appointments and tests because my flares wouldn't slow down and I was planning a wedding. A typical weekday would include going to work and staying late (if needed), making phone calls looking for vendors for our wedding, coming home to do some household chores, making things for our wedding and finally, bed. On my days off, I would go to doctors appointments, have tests performed when needed (i.e., x-rays, blood tests, etc.) and meet with vendors or shop for wedding things. I really don't know how I kept up with everything.

Then one day I decided to not spread myself so thin and slow down. I realized that if I kept going the way I was, I may not make it to my own wedding. So as a compromise to myself, I decided to work on wedding stuff maybe once or twice during the week and on the weekends. I also decided to take the week before the wedding off from work to take care of any last-minute or unexpected things.

When wedding day came, I remember feeling so excited and couldn't believe that day had actually come. I actually found my journal I kept that talked about that day. Here's part of that entry:

"My wedding was one of my best days of my life. The only time I experienced any problems was a short dizzy spell when myself and my girls were getting ready. It was a little hectic at that time. But I think the excitement of that day and the adrenaline helped me feel like a million bucks! A few people that knew about my Lupus have told me that they couldn't believe how I lasted that day.

One other thing that helped me was starting the wedding planning early and taking it one day at a time. And I expected that there was bound to be something unexpected to happen so the way I looked at it was that some things are out of my control and I need to take it with a grain of salt. It worked!

I lost a lot of hair from taking MTX so to help with that, I had hair extensions to hide the thinness of my hair. It would have been nice to have my own hair that day but hey, I had to work with what I had, right? It turned out looking very natural.


I'm so happy I lived to experience this day. To be in a room with all my loved ones is a feeling I can't even put into words."

Even though I made it through the whole wedding planning process, looking back, there are things that I would've done different knowing what I know now. Here are some of my suggestions of wedding planning with a chronic illness:

Do:
1.) Start planning early.
2.) Have a budget and try to stick to it as much as possible.
3.) Take it one day at a time.
4.) Hire out.
5.) Ask for help from bridesmaids, family members and friends.
6.) Take time to rest, especially if you're going all day long.
7.) When things start to get to you...breathe....

Don't
1.) Try to do everything yourself.
2.) When you're tired, don't keep going. There's always tomorrow or someone that can help.
3.) Wear uncomfortable shoes. Happy feet = Happy Bride

I hope this will help anyone out that is trying to plan a wedding. The things I wrote about may be considered common sense but it helped me a lot and maybe it can help you too.
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