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Much time has passed since I have posted an essay here on Visions of Song! Some time ago, I shared my thoughts about living with chronic cluster headaches (trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia), a devastating experience of facial nerve dysfunction. I have traveled the country, following leads for novel approaches to care, and have participated in clinical trials through Yale University.

For more than four years, I have lived with this condition. It has affected me in many ways, both emotionally and physically. Staying hopeful is difficult at times, but essential.

It was with the greatest astonishment, then, that I entered into a serious relationship. He and I have been dear friends with for many years. We realized that we had new feelings for each other, though there were many things we needed to think about, in order to move forward.

Orrin is a remarkable, kind and wonderful person. A key question, considered at length, was: could I be a good partner, with the toll that my condition has taken on me? I am still Deb: loving, generous, intelligent, and creative. Nevertheless, I am not nearly as patient as I used to be. The daily grind of doing all I can to “keep it together” and often failing, becoming astonishingly emotional over things that I might have readily let roll off of me in the past, is distressing. I can see it happening, yet I don’t always have the inner resources to be calm, collected, and fully express my wisdom and compassion. This is hard on both of us.

We have decided that the kind of challenges we’ve faced over the past couple of years are things we can withstand, and which we can work on together. We are certain that we love each other very much, that we can be good for each other, and a help to one another.

It is this introduction that leads to an exciting and wonderful announcement: Orrin and I shall be married in the coming weeks. We will be able to share it with a small gathering of family and friends, and look forward to having additional celebrations with other friends and loved ones in the future.

Please send all your prayers and hopes and care our way!

With love and affection.