It started with a new baby….
By Cindy Tham
In June 2013, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Sienna. Life was pretty good for me then. I had a great family, a good husband, two lovely twin boys, a new baby girl and a great career as a pharmacist. In fact, I had my life mapped out for the next ten years. Little did I know it was about to take a major turn.
Two months after giving birth, my sleep deprivation suddenly turned into persistent insomnia induced by a breastfeeding drug.
I could only sleep for three hours a night or wake up every hour.
I was completely exhausted!
After one week I developed a lot of anxiety symptoms: waking up with hot flushes, cold sweats, palpitations and irregular heartbeats. In the morning, I would feel dizzy and not able to concentrate. I tried acupuncture and nearly all the natural remedies without any success.
I sought many different doctors’ advice and none of them could solve my insomnia. They just prescribed me sleeping pills after sleeping pills. After a while, the medicine lost its effectiveness as I developed tolerance.
I decided to take a trip back to my hometown in Malaysia hoping to break away from the insomnia cycle.
Under my mum’s persuasion, I saw a very popular psychiatrist there but the medications he prescribed didn’t agree with me.
To make matters worse, my mum suddenly got very ill with kidney infection. Within weeks, she went through a major op and had her entire left kidney removed.
In the midst of it, I contracted dengue fever- a very debilitating viral infection. There’s no cure for the infection except plenty of fluid and rest.
When I came back to Perth, I was in an absolute mess! I was plagued by uncontrollable anxiety symptoms and post dengue viral symptoms. I had no energy and no appetite at all. I could not look after myself let alone my children. The hospital just discharged me with Valium and referred me back to my GP. It was at my lowest point of my life when I lost all my strength and hope in living, that God comforted me promising never to leave me or forsake me. My mum recovered well and she flew to Perth to take care of me. My husband and my mother-in-law also helped to look after the children. My pastor was there to counsel and guide me. I also received a lot of help and support from church friends.
God also led me to the right medical professionals. I soon ended up with a cocktail of anti-anxiety pills, tranquilizers and sleeping pills. Even though I had so much fear taking those medications, I knew God promised His protection saying, “when you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; for I am The Lord, your God”. Isa.43:2
I was finally stabilised on five tablets daily. It wasn’t easy as the medications made me very tired and drowsy. In moments when the future looked bleak and uncertain, I experienced God’s love and “His grace is sufficient for me, for his power is made perfect in my weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2Cor.12:9
I am now only on a quarter of a tablet at night. I sleep pretty well most days and I got most of my energy back. I can once again enjoy the abundant life that Jesus died to give me. He has turned my seemingly hopeless situation around for His purpose and His glory. I’ve discovered my security is not found in my intellectual ability, my achievement, my youth, my career, my bank account, my marriage nor my children but in Christ alone. “God is my only source of strength and hope when everything within me and around me failed me.” Hos.2:15 END
Note: Cindy is doing fine and is in a discipleship class in her church. She is working partime.