Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. --Matthew 7:7-8
I pray all the time, and I even prayed about the testing last week... But I've never gotten really down and honest in my prayers about the seizures like I have in the past about my eyes and about the bronchitis which is now gone and migraines which are now mostly controlled. Hmm... Well, in a way I have, but I think I need to do it again.
Last year someone asked my thoughts about praying for healing. I meant to discuss this all here, and it seems it's time. I'm sure it will be controversial; but who said I was into anything less than being controversial?
For several reasons, I feel that in whatever time God feels is appropriate, He will heal my eyes. I have not felt led to stop using the care of eye doctors, and in fact the care of medical doctors has provided verification of some important changes that have taken place in my eyes since the time that I began to hold this conviction. I will post the eye background separately for those who are interested because this particular entry is supposed to be primarily about my brain.
From 1994 until 2002, I suffered chronic bronchial pneumonia with the exception of three years. I attribute most of this to spiritual warfare, and that is another story I will post separately in detail. In 2002, I began to pray about it in 1998 but did not receive the answer to my prayer until 2002. In 2002, I felt that if I made some particular changes in my lifestyle that God would heal me. He has been faithful even though I have not remained faithful after making those changes. I have not used an inhaler or antibiotics since January 2003.
Last year I told my friend that I felt that the "answer" regarding what I believed at the time to be all migraines was that I would not be healed and that they were a reminder to me that God required discipline in my life and perseverance in the face of adversity. When I moved back to Indiana, the migraines were much better. In fact, my plan of dietary restrictions and nutritional supplements worked fairly well and I was down to two or three migraines a month instead of four or five a week. Sometimes I didn't have any at all, so it was very hard to get a good idea about migraine frequency. I quit charting because I was very happy with things with the exception of the disorientation episodes, which seemed to be more frequent. I had been unable to track them previously because I had assumed they were all related to migraines.
In April, I spent a week on a heart monitor due to episodes of racing heartbeat. It didn't take long for me to figure out that the problem was panic attacks. I was charting every episode in relation to what I was doing. Oh, I'm exerting physical stress, lifting something and walking up stairs. Oh, I'm talking about something emotionally charged. Oh, it's thundering and we have a tornado warning... I accepted a prescription for Xanax but also dived back into my DBT stuff because I didn't want to get hooked on Xanax. The result was that the panic attacks decreased quite a bit and in time so did my Xanax usage. But I was very aware that my thoughts tended to be very obsessive about whatever was bothering me. That's what led to the Topamax prescription. Dr. U. (my primary care guy) felt that controlling my rapid cycling might help with the obsessive thoughts and also with the anxiety level. He was right.
The Topamax also led to a decrease in the number of disorientation and memory loss episodes, which is what led to the testing which showed absolutely nothing. And that's where we are today. I've been very confused and upset, and the panic attacks are back. The fact that I had a panic attack at all upset me badly, and I'm afraid that will just lead to more panic... I took a Xanax this morning and then a nap. I have an appointment with Dr. U. in two weeks to discuss where to go next. I accept the fact that I have panic attacks. I'm not ready to concede that these are all panic attacks. But in order to demonstrate this, I have to keep charting. That is all I can do at this point. Dr. R. suggested raising my Topamax dosage. I'm not going to do it yet. I'm going to continue charting at 75 mg for a while, mostly because I'm afraid to raise the dosage again. And if Dr. Z. is right in his interpretation, even though I don't want to accept it, I don't need the extra meds. So I need to go back to square 1 and play his game for a little while and treat the problem as panic attacks and see how much of it can be gotten under control with the same approach I used in April and May and then whether I can taper the Xanax back down. I tried Atarax, which is not addicting; but it is too sedating and actually too relaxing--I was having episodes of lashing out at people inappropriately because I could not censor my comments as the medication was wearing off. So I think that even though Xanax is not the greatest med in terms of potential for abuse in the general population, I have demonstrated that I don't have a risk of abuse and that it's safe to prescribe for me.
Now for the prayer part... Father, You know the answers here. You know what is epilepsy, if anything, what is panic, what is dissociation, what is food sensitivities, what is anything else. I know that I am taking the verse out of context a bit; but I also know that You said whoever asks receives, that You promised healing for the sick and wisdom for those who lack it and that Your works would be made manifest through illness. If I am having epileptic seizures, I am willing to accept them and to do what is wise in treating them and living the lifestyle that I need to live. If these are panic attacks, I ask that You would reveal it as You did with the episodes on the heart monitor. Most of all, I need Your peace because there is no peace in this situation otherwise.
I also know that I need to return my focus to You and not spend all of my days trying to solve this problem on my own. So to that end, I am leaving this in Your hands. If I am inspired to write something, I will write it. But otherwise I will return to my Bible studies and other things that You have set before me to do.
Thanks to all of you who have been reading these entries and listening to me talk on the phone and MSN/AIM. I appreciate you more than I can put in words.