Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine


Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine

Losing My Mind

Last week I shared how fifteen months of medical mayhem surrounded the era in which my son and I received our mitochondrial disease

Susan Schreer Davis, contributing writer and Voice of Hope for all those seeking inspiration in their day-to-day lives. Follow along each week at, and on social media.

diagnosis. The constant jarring kept me in crisis management mode, hyped up and on edge.

For one, I never knew when to worry about a symptom. So, I battled stress over them all. I already needed a cane and walker to get around. But my son was functioning at a rather high level. So, any time something seemed off, I worried if it signaled decline.

My concern led to conflict. He wanted to spread his wings and live life large, unencumbered by a mom worry. I wanted to hover and protect my baby chick to keep him from harm—and a walker.

Other factors gnawed at my sanity: Blended family strife. Financial stress. The impending empty nest. Marital discord.

It all took a toll.

By the time our lives calmed and medical interventions slowed, I caved to an emptiness called depression. Back pain and sadness hit with force and I spent many hours one summer, sitting on our living room floor, with my back against the base of our sofa, watching reruns—especially the NCIS kind.

There, I grieved. My pace was slowed. I struggled to function. And rejection, confusion, and isolation held me firm on the floor.

Two things happened that saved me.

First, a friend invited me to a mito mom’s gathering. Sitting in a room with others who knew prominent doctor names and the ingredients in the mito cocktail cut through my loneliness. Our small club had members far and wide and their presence mattered to me.

Second, my brother-in-law found an old VCR tape, taken only months before my first husband died of a brain tumor, and had it converted into a DVD. My faith was strong and confidence high when we recorded what we hoped would simply serve as verification of my husband’s illness prior to the miracle.

So, we spoke of the hope that buoyed us and our faith that had been made real. And we weren’t faking. Favorite scriptures had encouraged us throughout the journey and God’s love had become overwhelmingly evident in the crisis.

So, toward the end of my dismal summer almost twenty years later, after my brother-in-law gave my son a copy of the DVD, Sam watched it and quipped, “What happened to you, Mom?”

His question startled me. I stammered a reply. But ultimately took the challenge.

Sam was right. Something had happened to me. Something that sucked the life out of me. Something I didn’t like. And I wanted the old me back more than he did. And mostly, I wanted him to know we both could overcome.

I began a journey to find the old me and in time I did.

So, if you’re losing your mind, unable to cope, don’t give up. Press in. There is life to be lived and a path to healing.

You are never alone.

About the Author: Susan Schreer Davis lives with her husband, their cat named, Eggs, and the challenging effects of mitochondrialdisease. Learn more about Susan, her latest book and many songs at:

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