One of the things I have wrestled with a lot is fear. We have silly, far-fetched fears sometimes. But when something like this happens to you without warning, and you think it could happen again, it does create a very real and not too far-fetched fear. Symptoms will flare up sometimes, making it feel like another impending attack. The first year or two especially I was in great distress when symptoms flared up, partly because I hated it and was so frustrated by it, but partly due to fear – fear of another attack, a worse attack, or MS. Now I have pretty much learned to roll with the punches, and to know that these things are most likely a temporary flare-up, though they still throw me for a loop sometimes. For a while I was having panic attacks, and I think it was an outgrowth of all of this. We all know our life is “but a vapor,” that we don’t have the promise of another breath, that good health is no guarantee: some of us don’t fear death as much as we fear the thought of being an invalid. But we pretty much think that kind of thing will happen years later, not any time soon. Then when it does, we are shaken and feel insecure. What helped me most, again, was Scripture. Verses like
Ps 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
Isaiah 12: 2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
(One blessing of this verse is that He is not just my strength, and I have to grin and bear it – but He is also my song.)
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Philippians 4: 6 Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Sometimes I had to very deliberately go through those verses word by word and deliberately exercise faith. That is what it comes back to: trust in Who God is, that He is good, that He is in control, that even if He allowed another attack to come, He would be with me and help me just like He did the first time. This is not a “once for all” momentous breakthrough, but rather a sometimes daily exercise.
I’m 15, and I found that whenever I was fearful of anything, the scripture Joshua 1:9, always inspired me, and made me believe there is nothing to fear…
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Thank you for this. As of late I have really struggled with fear… fear of the unknown, fear of sickness, etc, etc. Thanks for the reminder of God’s goodness even through the rough spots. I will keep these scriptures close by to meditate on in my times of fear. Love your blog! 🙂
Thanks so much, Sarah! I’m glad this was of help to you. I’ve found that even though I “know” these things intellectually, sometimes it helps immensely just to go over them again, phrase by phrase.
I was so happy to stumble upon your website! I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis on March 1 2011 and although I have been recovering well and have very much to be thankful for I sometimes struggle. I read so much information but I have not found much that has really answered my questions. I have a leison on C2,C3 and was told that all of my symptoms would be from that point down. Yet I started with blurry vision and eye twitching and numbness across my face and I really thought that although I had no brain leisons on my initial MRI that it was just a matter of time. I have also had a flare up recently and felt weakness in my legs and arms. No one really was able to explain any of this to me so I was so truly thankful to see your posts. It has calmed my fears and brought me some perspective.
I will pray that you have continued healing and that the Lord continue to touch many lives through you. I guess we all do the best we can with what we are given. Please contact me if you ever want to talk to a fellow TMer!
Thanks so much for writing!
I experienced some of the same things — blurred vision, twitching and numbness on my face, and an area on top of my head that was very sensitive to touch for ages — whenever I went in for a haircut I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. I was confused, too, because TM wasn’t supposed to affect those areas. I’ve never heard a good explanation, either — all I can figure is that either they may not be totally right about what areas TM affects, or there are exceptions every now and then.
Have you ever checked out the Transverse Myelitis Internet Club (http://www.myelitis.org/tmic/)? It’s not quite as active now, but when I first found it it was a great place to ask questions, compare notes, etc.
For what it’s worth, a lot of my TM symptoms have “settled down” now — Sept. 1 will mark my 16th “anniversary” with TM. There are still symptoms, but some I have gotten used to and some I can just regard as an annoyance, but for the most part it’s not as much, as intense or as often as it was the first couple of years. I wish you the best possible recovery!