Mabel, in Argentina, led an active life and worked as a physical-rehabilitation therapist. In 2007, she began to feel especially tired and to have severe headaches daily. “I went to several doctors and tried all kinds of medications,” she says, “but nothing helped.” Finally, Mabel had an MRI scan, which showed that she had a brain tumor. She says: “I was stunned! I couldn’t believe that I had been living with this enemy inside me.
“Still, I didn’t really understand how serious my situation was until after I had surgery. When I woke up in intensive care, I couldn’t move. All I could do was stare at the ceiling. Before the surgery I had been active and independent. Suddenly I could do nothing. My days in intensive care were filled with confusion and noise from medical equipment, emergency alarms, and moans from other patients. I felt as though I could breathe the pain and suffering in the air.
“Today, I have recuperated to a certain degree. I can walk without help and even go out by myself at times. But I have double vision and still lack muscle coordination.”
COPING WITH TRAGEDY
Maintain a positive viewpoint. At Proverbs 17:22, the Bible says: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit saps one’s strength.” Mabel recalls: “During my recovery, I faced the same challenges that my own patients had faced. The exercises were very painful, and at times I thought of giving up. I had to force myself to dismiss such negative thinking, knowing that the effort would eventually bring good results.”
Build hope in order to endure. “From the Bible, I knew why tragedies occur,” says Mabel. “But I also knew that with each passing day, we are closer to the time when pain will be gone forever.” *
Recognize God’s concern for you as an individual. (1 Peter 5:7) Mabel recalls how this helped her: “When they took me in for surgery, I experienced the truth of Isaiah 41:10, where God says: ‘Do not be afraid, for I am with you.’ I felt an immense peace knowing that Jehovah God cared about what happened to me.”
^ par. 8 For more information, see chapter 11 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach?
BIBLE QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Yes! Learn three steps that can help you to cope with chronic illness.