Erb's Palsy was my biggest wedding day fear
Updated: Apr 17, 2018
I love my wife. She accepts me for who I am and supports me through all my crazy ideas! We got married 18 months ago on a beautiful late October day. There were only three things that made me nervous about the day. The first one was my speech (which I nailed by the way). The second was seeing the wedding photos of my arm and the third was my wife putting my wedding ring on my erbs palsy hand.
I always wanted to wear a wedding ring because I love what it represents. A never ending circle of love, commitment, friendship and dedication. It’s something that I can wear for the rest of my life, to honour our love and the promises we made to each other. Having said that, when we started looking at rings it made me a little nervous about putting it on during the ceremony. I struggle to straighten out my fingers and turn my hand over so that it’s flat. I often use the exercise in this video to help with this.
A couple of months before the wedding we went on the hunt for our wedding rings. I didn’t want anything too chunky because my erbs palsy hand is a little thinner and smaller than my other hand. I didn’t want to feel it on my finger, or for it to get in the way. I didn’t realise how tricky it was going to be to keep trying on all of the different rings. My fingers naturally rest with a bit of a curve, so it was a little bit troublesome having to put the rings on and of all the time. The thing that made it a little awkward was when the man who owned the shop tried to give me advice on how to take the ring off. I had to explain that I had an issue with my hand and it’s not that simple. For some reason it gave me a feeling of dread.
" If you are lucky enough to marry the person you love, then they are marrying your arm too. Love and marriage is a beautiful thing, don’t let your fears about erbs plasy ruin the most important, memorable and fun day of your life."
Anyway, after trying on lots of different rings, all different shapes sizes and prices we found the one we were going to buy. My wife and I practiced putting it on and taking it off, ready for the big day. I wanted to put it on myself, but that’s not allowed in the ceremony! The wedding day came I was naturally very nervous. What worried me was that I was getting really hot and my hands started swelling up. Not what you need when you’re about to put a wedding ring on. I don’t really remember too much about the actual wedding. I just remember crying a lot (due to being happy I must add). I do however remember the moment that it came to putting on the ring. Everyone in the room knew me and knew that I have erbs palsy. It didn't matter if it was a little awkward to put on the ring because they were there to share this special day. To be honest, it wasn't easy to put the ring on. It took a little bit of effort, but we just laughed about it and everything was fine. Often we play scenarios out in our head and convince ourselves things that aren't true. We try to picture how life will pan out, but it's just wasted time and energy. Things are not always as bad as they seem. The good thing about the slight curve in my fingers is that the ring will never fall off!
Nothing is ever as bad as it seems
After the ceremony it was that dreaded time for photographs. One of our good friends took the photos for us, which we were delighted with. I know a lot of people say that they don’t notice that I have brachial plexus injury but I’m still self-conscious about seeing photos. Especially ones that people will want to have framed and on show to everyone. It might sound a bit silly, but I was really nervous about this. We have some beautiful wedding photos, but I can’t help but think that I’ve ruined them. It’s just weird that I feel this way, even when I found the love of my life. All I see is the wrist and the shorter arm and think how much better it’d look if it was “normal”. But this injury makes me who I am. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m getting to a point of love and acceptance and it’s bothering me less and less.
I know there will be people out there who also worry about these things, so remember that you are not alone. Also remember that you are beautiful and if you are lucky enough to marry the person you love, then they are marrying your arm too. Love and marriage is a beautiful thing, don’t let your fears about erbs plasy ruin the most important, memorable and fun day of your life. It is truly magical.