Social Support

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Social support was something I could have used when I first became sick with Toxic Black Mold Syndrome. At the time, I did not even know that is what I had. I just knew that I was very sick like I had never been before in my life. Yes, you heard it all you nonbelievers, I had never been THAT SICK! I thought maybe I had cancer.

So, in my sickness and worry, I turned to doctors, my fellow colleagues. I thought that they would listen and lend a sympathetic ear and try to figure out what was wrong with me. I could not have been more wrong!

I went to a neurologist and he did not know what was wrong with me and on the follow up visit suggested that I was crazy and that my symptoms did not match multiple sclerosis(MS) even though I had many symptoms I knew to be that of MS. It was maddening!

Another neurologist handed me a prescription for the antidepressant Zoloft and said that he had a few cases like mine that were helped with Zoloft....I was very offended that he was implying that all my physical neurological symptoms were in my head.

My family doctor, I know, thought I was crazy and on several occasions politely suggested that most of my symptoms were probably just in my head.

So, the medical profession had failed me big time! So I turned to family and friends. But, when they asked about what the doctors had to say about my illness, guess who they believed? The almighty medical profession is who they believed.

Forget support from family and friends. All I got was people telling me to go ahead and stop being stubborn and take the anti-depressant even though I knew I was not depressed. I was frustrated because I was sick but I was not depressed. I have had severe depression before...I know what it feels like and this was not it!!!!!!

Friends told me to buck up and pull myself together. And my favorite line "we all have days where we don't feel so good, we don't carry on like you are"

And, then when I finally figured out what was wrong with me, I thought I would finally get support and sympathy from family and friends. Wrong again!

My mom and dad were probably the only people who really believed me...that's what moms and dads are for.

I would say I have probably lost some friends because of all I have been through. I found people did not seem to want to be around me anymore. Only my very closest friends who have known me a long time supported me and I am grateful for them. But even they did not understand and would say things that made me feel that they wanted to believe but were having difficulty. It was like I was telling them that I had been abducted by space aliens and now have some mysterious aliment. They would say uh huh, yeah, but I could tell that they really did not believe my symptoms were as bad and debilitating as I said they were.

One of my friends said to me as I was having trouble breathing because my throat had swollen up from breathing in mold spores released upon remediation of our basement, that we all have allergies and aren't I getting a little carried away. I later that night ended up in the Emergency room to get steroids and medication to decrease the swelling in my throat. I remember the ER nurse looking at me a little exasperated because my complaint was that I could not breathe but my pulse ox was 99 percent. Oh the judgmental look I got! If she was smart she would have known that a swollen throat will not give you a lowered oxygenation...not until it swells completely shut. Lucky for me she was not treating me and the ER doc was smart enough to know an allergic reaction when he saw one. I was treated and sent home.

So, social support I have not had much of in my bout with toxic black mold syndrome. One good thing came from it. I have learned to rely more fully on God. And I have learned that only His support is a truly comforting support. He knows all and knows the truth about all things, so His comfort is above all. I have prayed to the Holy Spirit for guidance in my recovery from this horrible illness and I know that I had been led by God to some of the treatments and the things that would help me the most.

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