Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine


Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine

Not Alone


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.

A pirate patch covers my left eye. Recent pain warned of changes, but I ignored it. Then it happened, my up-close prism lenses failed. Instead of seeing one image, my eyes split the world into two. They fought to work together, but between the pain and pressure, I dug out an eye patch today.

Sobered, I remembered the orthoptist’s words, “We’re pushing the limits of what we can correct with this prescription. When you need a prism correction above 18, the lenses get distorted.”

“What happens then?” I asked.

“People use an eye patch or they have surgery.”


Surgery may become an option for me, but not until my eyes stop getting worse. The double vision has to remain steady for a year or two before a surgeon will consider operating.

So here I sit, half pirate, fighting a twinge of overwhelm. Will it ever end?

I pause and breathe deep, thankful for my diffuser and peppermint essential oils. While I’m not yet convinced of their lasting impact, the fragrance lifts me above the moment. Outside, a baby blue sky and fresh green leaves defy the recent cold and assure me the weather will warm. So, between the refreshing smell and promise of spring, emotions calm.

About four months before my first husband died after a long neurological shut down, new symptoms threatened to cement our souls in loss. But something broke loose inside and I declared, “You may be going blind in one eye, but you can still see. You may be almost deaf in one ear, but you can still hear. It may be hard for you to walk, but we’ve got a wheelchair I can push. And even though you can’t sign your name well, you can still draw pictures. So, we can keep living!

Call me the ultimate Pollyanna if you will, but deep in the human psyche, we are hardwired for life. And that desire to fully live rises up in me time and again. Sometimes it takes a few days or weeks to push through lingering doubt and grief. But in time, just like the azaleas that bloom in the spring, the darkness lifts and I determine to live.

Medicines help for sure. Effexor is my friend. But I also fight to believe that I’m created for a purpose a loving God understands most.

So, I’ll wear my eye patch and breathe in the peppermint. And then linger in the sunshine long enough for nature’s beauty to warm my soul and remind me I’m simply not 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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