Al's Views, Personal Thoughts


Conquering Fear & Anxiety
THANKSGIVING DAY

22 November 2001

Fear and anxiety, our constant companions. Whether your fear is of airplanes crashing into buildings, the prospect of an auto accident, heights, close quarters, or of water, such fear and anxiety can rob one of precious energy and success. It can consume so much of your waking consciousness that almost anything else is impossible to accomplish.

Do you know what it is like to look at a bowl of stew and fear the mere prospect of eating it? Do you know what it is like to gaze on a simple hamburger and decide never to eat one again because of a fear of choking? Do you know what it is like to place your vegetable soup in a blender because of such fear? Do you know what it is like to avoid consuming anything but H2O (water) for 5 or 6 days, eventually to decide that you would rather die from starvation than to ever consume solids again?

I once knew such fear.

It was August of 1999 when my life came to a screeching hault. Although I had harbored such fears to a lessor degree for most of my life, never before had such fear and terror erupt as it suddenly did then. I found myself at the edge of a dark sinkhole, the depth of which I could not preceive.

The first mention of a problem in my daily journal was on 20 August 1999. Evidently my throat had become swollen and I noticed it on the 17th. I had gone to a medical doctor who examined my throat the best that he could. It was his belief that there might be a growth thereon. In a way I believe I had resigned myself to whatever fate that the Lord dealt me. But in a few days I found myself consumed by physical pain the likes that I have never had before.

It was on the 22nd that it all came to a head and I went to the emergency room. Here a doctor examined me and prescribed steroids. As an inflammatory, the steroids would help reduce the swelling in my throat. The hospital also took X-Rays, but the negatives did not reveal a growth. He then sent me to a throat specialist.

It wasn't long after beginning the regimented dose of steroids that I experienced even more pain. After talking with the doctor, I decided that the cure in this case was worse than the problem, so I began to reduce the dosage. I can honestly say that I will never agree to take steroids again. What a terrible trip that was.

It seems that the steroid is reacting with me. My lfet arm became cold, clammy, a little numb in fact. The doctor said if so, it's an alergic reaction and that I should finish out the dosage and not renew the prescription.
Entry: 8/28/01

In between all of this I noticed that I had pain in my upper gums inside my mouth. I had been having trouble off and on for more than a year. My usual way of dealing with such an infection is to drink lots and lots of water and meditate on the affected area. The pain would go away and I would soon return to my usual, which was as minimal an amount of H2O as possible. Over and over I went through this process for more than a year--until August 1999.

Before I went to the throat doctor, I paid a visit to the tooth doc. At first he did not believe there was a problem, but after taking an X-Ray of the affected area, he quickly realized that there was a bad tooth and a bad infection. Soon I was on antibiotics and in a few days an oral surgeon had pulled the bad tooth. This was on the 25th of August. Yet, I was still in pain, could not eat--for fear of choking, and I was in wait for my appointment with the throat doc.

Sometime before all of this began, not sure how long before, I had an unusual experience that I did not think much of but which is important for you to know of if you are to understand a significant part of the moral to this story. One evening, a tic dropped from my hair. He was as big as a dime and fully saturated with blood--my blood. It was then that I realized that he had been there for some time. It was also then that I realized that there was the potential for Lyme Disease.

On the 26th of August I saw the throat specialist..

He said the problem was probably caused by the infection. He also said that the Lyme disease, if I do have it, could also be causing some of the problem I was experiencing. However, there is NO growth on my larynx, which is truly good news.
Entry: 8/26/99

This doctor kept me on the same antibiotics that the tooth doctor had placed me on. In the mean time, a good friend of mine, Robert Manfull, TRADA Editor, began to give me colloidal silver, which interferes with the reproduction of microbes and such. Between the antibiotic and the colloidal silver, after about a month and a half, the infection was gone.

It was on 15 Sept 1999 that I took my last dose (oral) of antibiotics. I can still recall the worry I felt concerning whether the infection would return.

I took the last of my antibiotic tonight. Now I'm on my own. I do believe that my immune system will recover all right. I must have faith.
Entry: 9/15/99

The doctor said the infection appears to be gone now. I am happy on that account. He said that I am still having trouble with my sinuses and that I'll have to take a sinus cat scan on the 28th.

9/16/01

The cat scan turned out fine and a subsequent visit to a follow-up HMO doctor resulted in a complete blood work-up. The result was a phone call from the nurse. She said that whatever I'm doing, keep doing it because all of my blood levels are mid-normal.

One of the side benefits associated with all of this was a sudden and significant weight loss. At the height of all of this, one of the doctors I was seeing logged me as losing 14 lb. every 10 days. I had been working out prior to this, for about a year, and on the 20th a nurse at the general medical doctor's office said that I had lost more than 100 lb. since my last visit in 1997. This was just prior to my refusal to eat solids.

Most significant, however, is the fact that, according to this follow-up doc, the antibiotics that the tooth doc had put me on more than two months earlier was, oddly enough, one of only two that doctors use to deal with lyme disease! There was no doubt in my mind at that moment that the Lord had taken the best of care to see that I survived this ordeal.

For those who have never known such fear, all that can be said is that you are fortunate--maybe. For those who know what this is like, those who have successfully navigated their way through it, as did I, you are probably the better for it. And those who are still going through it, I can assure you, there is light at the end of this dark tunnel you now find yourself in.

I can emphatically say with full confidence that the only way I made my way out of this situation was trust in the Lord. I sat many hours outside my home in the hot afternoon sun reading the Bible and praying. Probably for the first time in a long, long time I stopped talking to Him so I could listen to Him talking to me.

Today, I can eat anything I choose without fear. The road back was long and certainly not easy, however. For at least twelve months after my physical recovery from the infection, I continued to bear psychological scares, causing me to suspect almost everything I ate. The next 12 months was much better. It was probably six months ago that I ate my first T-bone steak! Yes, I had fears, but I plunged head on into my A-1 doused steak like a trooper. smile

Today, all fear is gone.

As a side note, I had to come to the place where I acknowledged that it was His choice whether I lived or died--not mine. I was ready to do all I could to continue and the rest was up to Him. Therefore, if you're going through a similar situation, pray a lot, read the Bible, and have faith that if it is His will that you continue on in this life, you will.

Today is Thanksgiving day. I am thankful to be alive. The Lord saved my life in August and I'm so grateful. He is so good to me and I do not deserve it.
Entry: 11/25/1999

If you have had a similar experience, or if you are now going through one, I'd surely like to hear from you. If you don't mind my publishing it on www.GiantKillers.Org, then please say so as well. You can write me at giantkillers@tpromo.com.

Al Colombo, publisher
www.GiantKillers.Org

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Allan B. Colombo

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