This is a question that crosses my mind a lot especially when I am at a wedding and I hear this as one of the vows. This is very traditional and been around for a long time. What you don’t hear is “Do you really mean it?” Everyone vows to love their spouse for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse… Wait right there. Seriously if things get bad and I do mean the Worst are you really going to stick by each other’s side? Well I recently was introduced to a couple that know the true meaning of this vow.
First off let me tell you why I was introduced to this couple. A friend of mine was super excited because she had just purchased a piece of art and was getting ready to pick it up. She sent me a picture of her awesome find and told me I had to go check out this great artist Andrew Ploof. I went and saw this picture.
I was obviously very impressed and then I noticed a few things on his page about medical issues and different health stuff. Then my friend filled me in on Andrew’s situation. He was diagnosed with Cervical Dystonia and is not able to work anymore. For those of you who are not familiar with this it is a neurological condition that affects the muscles in the head, neck and through out the body. When he was diagnosed with this he was not able to work and as you can imagine put him in a great deal of depression. He was unable to care for his family and struggled with that a great deal. In January of 2017 he had a deep brain stimulator put in as he was told this would curb his symptoms and improve his life. You can imagine how devastated he was when he found out that it didn’t help but actually made things worse. He lost the ability to speak and express himself.
That didn’t stop him though and in August of 2017 he decided to try spray paint art after seeing a video on YouTube. He fell in love with it instantly and as you can tell he is very talented. He still struggles with pain and cramps and so it makes it hard for him to do his paintings, but he keeps on going.
After hearing this story and seeing how much he loved his wife and kids it brought me back to this very thought. For better or for worse? I think we can safely say that this couple has definitely seen the worst. I contacted them to ask if we could do an interview on how they got through all of this together as a couple and luckily, they said yes. Please follow me through this interview of how a couple goes from better to worse to forever.
Brooke and Andrew Ploof
Interview with Brooke and Andrew:
Kaylee Shadows speaking
Hello Brooke and Andrew, thank you again for agreeing to let me write about you on my website.
How long have you two been together?
We’ve been together 8 years
Brooke what was the first thing you noticed about your partner?
I don’t really remember since we have known each other since we were in diapers. When I was little I would tell people, I was going to marry him, and no one believed me, but I have always loved his eyes!
Andrew what was the first thing you noticed about your partner?
We have known each other since we were in diapers, but when we got together I loved her smile.
How long were you together when the diagnosis came in?
We had been together for 6 years and married for three.
Brooke what was your first thought when you heard the news?
Originally, I thought it was a relief to know of the diagnosis because we had been searching for months and didn’t know if it would be terminal. After researching the diagnosis, it turned to what ifs. What if he can’t work? What if he goes into depression and what if he needs to have brain surgery? All of which ended up happening.
Andrew what was your first thought when you heard the news?
My first thought after the diagnosis was Crap! I’m going to be this way for the rest of my life.
What was the hardest part of this for both of you?
The hardest part is him not being able to talk very easy or very well. He can no longer call me beautiful like before. The expression in his voice is gone. Which means when says I love you it comes out plain and almost unmeaningful. I know he loves me but as a woman it is hard to from a very playful and expressive person to almost none at all. We have learned from a recent doctor appointment the dystonia is in his vocal cords, so we will never know if his voice will change.
The hardest part for me is knowing that I can’t work or do normal yard or house work without being in pain for days.
How did you overcome this struggle?
I don’t feel like we have over come the struggles yet because everyday is a struggle. Financially, physically and emotionally. I do know that we do not give up. We keep fighting.
With me falling in to depression I was watching spray paint art on YouTube and asked my wife if I could try, and now I love doing it.
Do you have any advice for other couples who are going through
stuff like this?
My advice is to not give up. Love each other and you will make it through.
What I can say to other couples that might be going through medical issues is just stay positive and love your significant other. Everything will eventually play out and you will get somewhere.
Brooke what is your favorite thing about your partner?
I love that he has a very funny personality and can make me laugh even though it is a struggle for him now.
Andrew what is your favorite thing about your partner?
Honestly there’s so many things I love about my wife. The main things are how she has stuck by my side throughout this ongoing medical issue of mine. How awesome of a mom she is to our 4 kids.
Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me and answering these questions. You two have an amazing story and are a great example of what true love really is.
You can find Andrews art on Facebook under A.P. Spray Paint Art so please check it out.
Here are a couple samples of work he has created.
This story has truly touched my heart as I wish that there
were a lot more couples like this out there. Love is not always easy but in the
end, it is worth everything.
Lots of love