My Journey with NMO Part 2: Journey Into Fear
Last updated: January 2022
Fear can be your worst enemy and can destroy everything around you. It can make you choose some choices that aren't in your best interests. Fear can make you act out in ways that can make you feel ashamed and lose all hope. Fear came to visit me at a time that I was not prepared for it, and it left me regretting the choice I made out of fear.
Waiting for the next NMO attack
It had been several years since my last NMO attack and I swear every time I got a headache I would become nervous that it was happening again. I was already living in fear, and that was one thing, but when the attack finally happened, it was worse than I ever could have imagined. It can happen any day, anytime, and anywhere, and that's exactly what happened.
It was happening again
I was at work on a pretty mild February day in 2014 when I felt a headache start. I tried taking some medicine, but it wasn't helping at all. I decided to play it off since I was taking a friend out for his birthday that night. With each passing hour, the headache got worse, and I slowly noticed that things were becoming blurry. I thought to myself, "it's happening again." My greatest fears were unfolding, and for the first time, I hadn't yet been enrolled in health insurance through my job. What was I going to do?
I just kept going
I continued working, hoping it was all a nightmare. But of course, this attack was real, and I made some calls to cover my work for the following week so I could plan to recover on my own without medical care. Was this a smart choice? Absolutely not! But fear took over and didn't let go. The thought of owing thousands of dollars in medical bills scared me to death. But me losing my vision should've been the ultimate fear.
Don't let fear stop you
It's crazy how hospital bills can scare a person. I was a store manager making ok money but I knew if I had all of those bills I'd be broke, and that scared me. Trust me when I say this: Don't let fear stop you from doing what's right for your health. If I had gone to the hospital, I may have not destroyed my vision in my right eye. I could still be driving and have my freedom. A lot went through my mind for the next seventeen months.
So much was uncertain
I trained myself to learn how to function with one "working eye." I was still able to drive and do my work. It hit me hard but not as badly as the last attack, and nowhere near as hard as the next one. I was thankful I could still do most things myself. But each day that passed I continued to live in fear that the next attack could come and take the rest of my vision. What would I do? What kind of life would I live? How would my partner deal with it?
Life was great, but it wouldn't last
During the next seventeen months, a lot had happened. The store I managed was remodeled, and I was doing great. My relationship went to the next level and I proposed to him and he said yes. I had a brand new car which I had desperately needed for a long time. My fiance found a cat that we named Nathan and fell in love with. We then decided to get Nathan a sister named Cici. I was happy and life was great. I felt there were times when I truly forgot about my disease and that was ok. But then July 2015 happened, and a very rough year was about to happen and change my life.
Typically, how much time passes between attacks for you?