I have been absent from the blog—and from many areas of my life—for the past few months due to a health situation. At times it felt like it would never end. But on the other side of the tunnel, there is light. There is life. And I’m returning to it at last.
For the second time in my twenty-eight years of life, I found myself in a debilitating health situation that was solely caused by that silent thief of time and joy: stress. I randomly started having what was later diagnosed (after many seizures, several ER trips, and a hospital stay) as psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. I was having up to five seizures a day at one point. I had no warning when they were coming on, and it was very frightening. I had no recollection of what happened during a seizure. I would just wake up wherever I either slumped or fell with no idea how long I had been out.
It was a terrifying period that lasted from the beginning of October to early December. I am still receiving treatment for the seizures and another issue that sprang up with the nerves in my left leg after my hospital stay. I should be off crutches soon!
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
This has been a very tough time for me for obvious reasons. But, more than anything, I have been reminded how blessed I am and how faithful God is through everything that’s happened. When I came home from the hospital and needed 24-hour supervision, I was able to stay with a friend for a week so that I wouldn’t be alone. After that, my other friends created a Google schedule and took shifts so that I wouldn’t have to be alone and in danger of falling and injuring myself. God has provided in ways I would never have expected. I have received gift cards from my coworkers and from anonymous sources in the mail to pay for groceries. I have received kind words and cheering visits. I have received so much love.
I have also been blessed with wonderful doctors, who have taken excellent care of me. I am so grateful to the friends who have gotten me to every appointment, as I am not able to drive until March because of the seizures. This will prove challenging once I start work again in January, but I know that something will work out.
Most of all, I am thankful for how much my faith and trust in God has been tested and grown throughout this experience. It has been hard, but it seems I needed a wake up call—and the message has been received. I need to stop being ruled by fear and rely on God more. I need to practice taking things one day at a time. I need to find joy in the little things. I need to focus on relationships rather than my circumstances.
I’ve read a lot about dealing with and eliminating stress and anxiety in the last few months. I’ve acquired some new methods of coping, as it seems my body just doesn’t process stress in the way that other people’s bodies do. But I’m ready now to start living normally again. I can’t wait!
Here are two recommendations from the books that I’ve read to help me through this time:
Becoming Resilient: How to Move Through Suffering and Come Back Stronger by Donna Gibbs
The Stress Cure: Praying Your Way to Personal Peace by Linda Evans Shepherd
May you find peace and stress-relief in your own life. I hope that my next lifestyle post on stress reduction, full of practical tips, can help with that. Look for it next Wednesday, January 3. Cheers to a better 2018!
P. S. To read about the first time my health was rocked by stress, read my previous post, “Walking in Step With the Lord.”