I wrote earlier in the year about our daughter Katie. She was diagnosed with Severe Chronic Neutropenia. We discovered it in December. ( For more about that, you can look at my January 1, 2011 post. I gave the details about our experience there. )
I wanted to write a bit about this journey for others who are struggling with ongoing health issues. It's scary as a mother to watch your child for every little sniffle. Does she have a fever? Will she develop Leukemia? Did I hurt her when I gave her the shot tonight? I bruised her leg...again. We didn't have to hold her as tight tonight. I heard her coughing. Will she wake up in the morning? She's sleeping too long. She's not sleeping long enough....The list goes on.
Part of the list is normal...part of it is the attack of my uncontrolled thoughts. As I continued to put on a happy face and live life, these thoughts assaulted my mind day and night. Mostly night. Often I didn't even realize I was worrying. There had just been so many talks of Leukemia and all that goes with it. I would see all the little ones at the Oncology office. They were in my heart. I was praying for many of them. I met their mothers and felt compelled to pray for them.
By March, I had evidently crossed over the line from concern, worry to all the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. I didn't even see it coming. One night I sat up with my heart racing, sweat pouring off my body and thinking...well this is it. I'm going to die. I finally went to the ER about 6:30am.
I was not having a heart attack. I was having a panic attack. Me. The girl who rarely worries. I'm fairly strong. I believe God is a healer. I know He loves me. Why was I panicking? They asked me if I had any abnormal stress in my life....uhh yeah. I guess I do.
They sent me home with Zannac. It worked like a charm. I knew from the beginning, that I probably shouldn't get to comfortable with this medication. By the end of June, I had taken all ten tablets. Then I thought...hmmm how am I going to get some more? That's not a good thought!
I decided to mention it to our pediatrician. She told me upfront to NEVER take another. She said you need to identify what's happening. You need to address the panic attack for what it is. It's uncomfortable. You will not die. You need to think on things that are good and choose to relax.
She added that she had seen perfectly good parents become complete addicts and literally have to be placed in a mental institution due to the side affects of the drug. I did not want that. (By the way, this is for me. There may be instances where you may have a prescribed medication and need it. Please take what your Dr. prescribes you unless you feel the leading of the Holy Spirit to do otherwise! There are instances where medication is very necessary!)
Driving home I felt the Lord confirm what she told me. I felt that I was to acknowledge what was going on in my life. I was to speak to the symptoms for what they were. I then began to just sing peaceful scriptural songs in my mind. It was amazing! It worked!
I began to not fear going to bed. I began getting real rest. The heart racing still comes on occasion, but I don't sit up all night worrying I'm going to die! I have peace. The peace that only God can give! Truly God does give sleep to those He loves!
Katie is still considered severely neutropenic. her numbers are considered extremely low. Clinically she stumps them. She is doing great. She has had very few illnesses since last winter. God is a good and faithful God. I continue to press on in the things of God, knowing that He holds us in His hand. He loves us and He has good for us! He has good for Katie!
I pray that if you are struggling with things in your life, that you would be comforted by the power of the Holy Spirit. Please know that real peace comes from Him. If I can pray for you, please let me know. If you know anyone with this disorder, please let me know. I would love to meet others who are struggling with this rare disorder.