An M.E. I Do

24 Aug
Wedding Breakfast Dining Room © Jess Bruce 2015

Wedding Breakfast Dining Room © Jess Bruce 2015

Hello dearly beloved blog readers.

I am so very sorry that I have neglected you for so long.

How are you? I hope you are doing well.

In my defence, my absence from blogging has not been due to laziness or a lack of love on my part. I should also add that my absence from blogging has not been due to a catastrophic health relapse either.

My Bouquet © Jess Bruce 2015

My Bouquet © Jess Bruce 2015

In reality, the last few months have been very busy – wonderfully so given how little I was physically able to do a year or two ago. Moving house and planning a wedding in the same six month period does not much time for blogging  make. More acutely perhaps given my health history, house moves and wedding planning leave very little energy for anything other than the essentials of daily life.

Not to mention that May saw Mr B, my parents and I travel to Philadelphia to see my amazing sister graduate with her PhD. So yes, the last 6 months have been fairly frenetic. My health, whilst infinitely better than a year or two ago, has had its ups and downs thanks to the stresses and strains of so much activity.

But now I have time, and my energy is returning, albeit slowly. The move is done and the wedding was successfully planned and executed – yes I got married! And I am still standing to tell the tale.

Waiting to make my entrance with my Dad into the Ceremony © Jess Bruce 2015

Waiting to make my entrance with my Dad into the Ceremony © Jess Bruce 2015

Mr B and I married on the 8th of August in Cambridge, the town where we met as first year undergraduates at University nearly 12 years ago. After a short civil ceremony, we had a champagne reception on the lawns of our old College. With harp music playing, overlooking the River Cam,  it was perfectly picturesque as we played croquet and chatted with friends and family in the English sunshine.

Our Wedding Breakfast followed in one of the College’s oldest dining rooms with much love and emotion in the speeches before an Evening party, saw lots of dancing, eating and drinking as well as gaming at our fun money casino.

We had the most amazing day and as we took our first dance as husband and wife to the song ‘Best Day Yet‘ by Blue Confession, I literally felt on top of the world. It felt such an achievement to be standing there twirling around with Mr B on the dance floor. A few years ago, I was essentially house bound, only going out in a wheelchair, and even then suffering days of exhaustion and enforced rest following any outing or activity. Our wedding day was very much a celebration of how far I have come.

First Dance, Best Day Yet by Blue Confession © Jess Bruce 2015

First Dance, Best Day Yet by Blue Confession © Jess Bruce 2015

Whilst we didn’t want my health and ME/CFS to overshadow the day, it was a factor in all of the planning and arrangement decisions. It had to be. I think I’ll write a separate post about how I managed the wedding with ME/CFS so won’t elaborate on the details now. But suffice to say, we knew there was a clear risk of me doing too much, of pushing myself too far in the run up to, and during, the wedding and so we constructed our day to minimize that risk. As much as I wanted the best wedding day, I also didn’t want to break myself over it. Having made such strides forward with my health over the last 18 months, nothing is worth triggering a relapse into the severe ME/CFS symptoms that I used to endure.

The setting for our afternoon drinks reception, the college where we met in Cambridge. © Jess Bruce 2015

The setting for our afternoon drinks reception, the college where we met in Cambridge. © Jess Bruce 2015

ME/CFS also came up in the wedding speeches.  We didn’t want to depress anyone by discussing how bad things had been with my health a few years ago but I also didn’t want it ignored. It is a huge part of who I am today and has been a huge part of mine and Mr B’s life together. My Dad set the tone just right by talking about how ill I had been but then framing it in a positive light – our wedding day was extra special because of what I/we had been through. It was a real achievement that we had made it through. It was so incredibly poignant for me to be able to stand up and make a little speech thanking my loved ones for all of their support over the last 5 years. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room when my Dad talked about how much he admired Mr B for supporting me. I mean, who at 26 years old, wants to have to push their girlfriend in a wheelchair?

Throughout my illness I have always strived to see the positive, to hang onto the silver lining. And that is what we tried to do with ME/CFS at the wedding. I wanted to acknowledge my illness and celebrate how far I have come. It was also important to me to thank those who have supported me, my friends and family but also I wanted to acknowledge and thank the ME Association. This is a UK charity that helped me a lot, especially at the beginning of my illness, by recommending a specialist in ME/CFS. Their recommendation took me to the man who has been my doctor for the last 4 years. He is the man that I credit with getting my illness under control and my recovery thus far.

Some of our roulette raffle prizes © Jess Bruce 2015

Some of our roulette raffle prizes © Jess Bruce 2015

At our Evening Reception we sold raffle tickets for a roulette wheel raffle and had loose change collection boxes on the bar to raise a little money for the ME Association. We sold the raffle tickets for £5 each. But our guests were incredibly generous and many gave much more than that thanks to the fantastic prizes we had that everyone wanted to win I think!

My best friend and her Mum sourced the prizes from local businesses – Kempton Park and Lingfield Park races each gave complementary race day tickets for two, a Tassimo coffee machine from Sainsbury’s supermarket in Larkfield and a luxury chocolate hamper from businessman Gary Haffenden, as well as a a bottle of fine wine donated by my best friend and her husband and a bottle of St John’s College Port donated by Mr B and I.

We were hugely grateful for all of the kind donations and a special shout out goes to Sainsburys of Larkfield whose representative, Mirrelle, really went the extra mile to get us an extra special prize. Thanks to all of the donations and the hardwork of my friends selling the tickets, we raised nearly £500 which was amazing. I hope this will help the ME Association to keep on giving invaluable support to people such as myself 4 years ago, those struggling with a diagnosis of ME/CFS and in desperate need of hope and guidance.

Now this married lady needs to go and have a rest. I thankfully, knock on wood, did successfully traverse the wedding without triggering a full on relapse of ME/CFS symptoms. But my fatigue levels have been much worse since the big day. So my days are mostly rest and relaxation at the moment until the fatigue lessens and my energy levels pick up once more. I know they will, it just takes a little time. It is only just over two weeks since our big day and I am already much improved.

Bye for now, but I will be back with more tales of getting married, moving house, travelling and life as a wife, all with a pesky friend called ME/CFS by my side.

Jess x


24 Responses to “An M.E. I Do”

  1. nicolanoo August 24, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    Congratulations! This post makes me so happy!

    • myjourneythrume August 24, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

      Thank you 🙂 I’m glad it made you happy, it makes me happy to know that 🙂

  2. jule August 24, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    Doing a happy dance for you! Congradulations!

  3. Dead Men Don't Snore August 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    Congratulations. So happy to hear your news. Wishing you and Mr B. every happiness together.

  4. Marlyn Exconde August 25, 2015 at 6:48 am #

    best wishes…stay in love

  5. thehomeschoolingdoctor August 26, 2015 at 2:36 am #

    I am so happy for you and Mr. B! Proven by fire, and may you be blessed from now until the day you turn 101!—Your wedding sounds beautiful! Just like a picture book! And you raised money for the ME foundation which helped you! That’s cool!—You deserve it all! (Not the money. LOL! The happiness and joy.) — Terri

  6. silencekilledthedinosaurs August 28, 2015 at 3:51 am #

    Congratulations! It’s great to hear that you managed to have your special day! I’m currently also planning a cfs wedding. It’s really heartening to hear how you managed it.

    • myjourneythrume August 28, 2015 at 9:03 am #

      Thank you! And congratulations on your engagement! Good luck with the planning. I’m planning a post about all the modifications and things we did to help me through the day so that might be helpful for you to read when I get it up!

      • silencekilledthedinosaurs August 28, 2015 at 9:47 am #

        Thank you! Yes, that would certainly be helpful. I’ll look out for that!

      • myjourneythrume August 28, 2015 at 11:37 am #

        I’ll try and get it up in the next week or two. When are you getting married?

      • silencekilledthedinosaurs August 30, 2015 at 7:21 am #

        March next year! It will be low key.

  7. Continuing with M.E August 29, 2015 at 8:36 am #


  8. Emma (@LondonKiwiEmma) September 2, 2015 at 7:50 am #

    So very many felicitations!


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