Steve and I wanted to share some personal updates with you as we reached another milestone in our marriage.
- How becoming parents changed us and affected our marriage
- Our child-care setup
- Staying positive while battling a rare chronic condition
- Relying on faith and finding blessings amidst life’s challenges
Carrie: Welcome to Hope for anxiety and OCD, episode 81. I am your host, Carrie Bock, and I am here with my husband, Steve Bock. Say hello.
Steve: Hello, this is actually our second-anniversary episode. We came on episode 10 to talk about dating. That was right before we got married. We sat on the floor in the closet. Now the recording set-up is a little bit better but still in the closet, we are still in the closet. That’s a dream for the next house is we have a place to put the podcast studio. But until then, here we are.
A Long-Awaited Diagnosis
And we also did episode 50, which was on our first year of marriage. You talking about we had just gotten back from Vanderbilt, discussing, trying to figure out what was going on with your eyes and all of that. All of the tests that they did on you six hours and really didn’t find the results. Now we’re here. We’re gonna be married for two years. Yes. Yeah. And this will come right out shortly after our anniversary. So you finally got a diagnosis as of last week?
Steve: That’s correct. Finally. Yeah. It took a year and a half. I think something like that. After several visits to several places, long story short, we got a diagnosis. Knew that something was wrong, but did not know what, and a diagnosis is good in one sense, because you now know what you’re fighting against and then a little scary in another sense because you know what you’re fighting against.
So yeah. But yes, we got a diagnosis, which is, let’s see, I’ve been practicing on this one, cuz it’s a long, long name. First time I heard it, I went do what and I had to look it up, but the abbreviated version of it would be SCA, which is Spinocerebellar ataxia
Carrie: Good job.
Steve: And for the record, that is the first time I’ve said that correctly without having to look at it first. But yes, I’ve been working on that. I don’t know why that’s so difficult to say, but it is. Yes,
Carrie: Yes it is. You had been referred to a neurologist and then specialty neurologist back up at Vanderbilt and they were the ones to figure out that this actually wasn’t an eye issue. This was a neurological issue affecting your cerebellum. And part of that was you started to have balance issues that got worse progressively. Right. And that was like one indicator that we knew. “Wait a minute, what else is going on here?”
Steve: And the eye issue was secondary.
Carrie: Yeah. And this is a genetic condition that we have no idea about.
Steve: There’s I think three ways that you can get it, but we think that it’s genetic because the other two options, and I can’t even remember what they are off the top of my head, but they don’t match up. Exactly. So it could be one of those, but I don’t think so. Mm-hmm yes. It’s genetic. I don’t know where to look. The family tree was. I don’t know where to go with that because it only goes back so far for me. I can tell you who’s who to a certain point, but I don’t know their health situation at all.
Carrie: And as far as we know, none of them had this.
Steve: No. We had some other things going on. Mm. Yeah. Lou Gehrig’s and Alzheimer’s, but not this.
Carrie: Recognizing that this is a chronic condition, something that they can treat symptoms for, but there is no cure for right. What was it like to get that news?
Steve: Somewhat shocking, somewhat not. Initially, we thought when we just thought it was the eyes we thought it was, if I’m saying this right Leber’s disease because I also had the symptoms for that.
Some but that, I don’t think there’s a cure for that either. And so with thinking about that for some time, when they told me that again, we kind of, weren’t sure about that one and that was kind of a, eh, maybe not, but it mentally prepared me for the concept of having something that’s not curable. Mm-hmm and just because it’s not curable.
That doesn’t mean that I’m going to die tomorrow. There’s no guarantee of how long anyone lives for that matter, but that’s true. Very true. Also when this type of ataxia, there are 40 plus variance of it. So some of those start at childhood, some of those start later in life. Some people live to be somewhat older. There’s no way to know. And until we get further along, we don’t have enough to go on to know exactly which one that I would.
Carrie: Yeah, I think that’s the hardest part about it for me is that there are so many unknowns. They really can’t tell us anything about how this course is going to go. We’ve even heard, you know, Hey, you could plateau and not decline.
Right? We’ve heard some people decline more rapidly than others and one hopeful. That was made. Was that because it has taken you so long to show these level of symptoms that most likely your decline would be slow? Sure. In a sense, the past is a predictor of the future. That does give us some hope.
It’s hard for me not knowing if our daughter has inherited this. Right. And whether or not she will be affected by it later in life. They won’t test her because they want that to be. Her decision when she turns 18. So as long as she doesn’t show any symptoms prior to she won’t be tested, unless she decides to be through genetic counseling and so forth, that is a hard piece because when we were looking at, you know, is this disease or not Li’s disease actually has a very much quicker onset than the symptoms that you were experiencing. People tend to be legally blind pretty quickly with that, right?
Steve: That only runs through your mother’s side. So in that case, and it affects mostly, I think all males, so comes from your mother affects the males that made me feel a little better for her. Now I do the math in my head and I think of how many family members I have.
And I think, well, I’m not good at stating the odds on any given thing, but I would have to think that the odds are a little better for her only in the sense that none of my family has shown anything like this. so that would tell me maybe it’s skipped so many generations. I don’t know, but that gives me some hope.
It’s a tricky one for sure. And it’s scary. Yeah. In a lot of ways, honestly. Am I scared? No, I don’t know that I am trying to deal with it. That’s where the focus is. What measures do you take for balance? And then we’ve worked on that and that’s kind of where my focus.
Carrie: Yeah. And I just appreciate it, I think that you have had a sense of humor about the whole thing. Tell them what you asked me today,
Steve: Which one? Naming the cane?
Steve: Well, I thought of a couple of names. I think the first one that I asked you was what if we named it able. Because, you know, Cain and Abel, if you know your Bible, if you don’t, well, you’re gonna have to look that up and find it and learn it.
That’s a good story, but yes, I wanted to name it Abel. And then the second one, I think that we may have chosen was Walkie or the assistant but that just, I don’t know. I can’t imagine being in a restaurant, losing the cane and going where’s the assistant , you know, that just, I don’t know that that’s gonna work out well. Although, I don’t know that where’s walkie is gonna be any better. They’ll be looking for a dog or something. But anyway, we thought about, you know, submitting it to the Wally show to see if they would name the cane, but what would they name it? Yeah. If you have any good names for the cane, you can write into the show and that’s a Christian radio show.
Steve: Yeah. Where they try to name it for those who aren’t familiar with that
Parenting and the Joy of a New Baby
Carrie: We mainly wanted to update people on that, but then also shift gears and talk about our second year of marriage had a lot of joys to it and had some sorrows, but also our greatest joy of course, was having our daughter who is now sleeping in the crib. We had to wait till she fell asleep.
Steve: Yes. The FOMO is real. Is that a phrase? It ought to. Yes, I think so. Yeah. She definitely has a fear of missing out
Carrie: And she definitely feels like has been teething forever. Yes. I did not realize how much of a labor-intensive process it was to get teeth in your mouth before having a child.
What has it been like for you becoming a parent? How has that affected you and changed you?
Steve: Oh, goodness. I have always been a person who likes routine and a person who has had some structure. I get up early in the morning. I brush my teeth. I do certain things in order, I get my breakfast, get my coffee, give everything in order.
And everyone that knows me, knows that well, have a baby goodbye routine. Pretty much. Yeah. And the thing you have to do with a baby is what form a routine. So it’s difficult, but you know, I learned to work with the. And be prepared for any interruption because it, it happens constantly. When I was trying to make my routine work, I was constantly annoyed with the idea that I couldn’t get anything done.
And then we got some patterns going and I learned routines and what worked with her now I can actually get things done, but having the baby definitely changed my world completely. And honestly for the better, definitely. I wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world. She is just absolutely wonderful. Always happy, always smiling and sticks her tongue out at me a lot, which is just kind of funny. yeah. So it’s definitely changed me. It’s been a good experience, but getting out even to do something is like mowing the grass. If she’s fussy and having a bad day. I may have to put that off a little longer because you have things to do too.
We both have to share that. And so you just learn, you know, if your mowing day is always it on this day at this time. Well, if you have a child, you can kiss that goodbye, but it’s been good.
Carrie: I would say that if you do it right, it helps you realize how much you have to give and how much you have to sacrifice what you want for the sake of your child.
And it’s helped me really learn to let go of some control. I think that that’s something that I still struggle with, helped me learn to go with the flow a lot more and just kind of take things as they come. There were definitely some early days that were really, really hard. She was amazing for about the first three weeks.
And then she started cluster feeding. I was exhausted. She had gas and probably about that week three through, I don’t know, week seven or week 10, it was just, I thought, how in the world am I ever gonna be able to go back to work? I took three months off. And fortunately, right around the time I went back to work, she started sleeping more through the night. So that was been a blessing thing.
Steve: And she is a great child. Like all children, you know, she has her moments and it’s nice now that she’s sleeping through the. It was difficult when she wasn’t. And I would say when she doesn’t get her naps throughout the day. Oh my goodness. That’s a difficulty for starters. I miss my nap when she doesn’t.
Transitioning to Stay-at-Home Parenthood
Carrie: We have a unique situation childcare-wise too, because I stayed home for three months with her, for maternity leave, gave my clients kind of alternative people to see if they needed to check in with somebody or see someone for that time period. And then as. We were in that process of looking at daycares.
And I had looked at daycares when I was pregnant, put myself on several waiting lists. Middle Tennessee is just exploding. Booming places are short staffed, you know, right now. And it was hard to. Find a daycare that was a quality place that had an opening for an infant because, you know, the ratios are so much lower too for that age group, far as they can only have four infants per one adult.
And at some point very early in her life, I’d say probably within the first month, I just looked at you one day and, and we were both sitting there and I just said, you know, will you pray about staying at home with her? Mm-hmm. Yeah. Do you remember that?
Steve: I do. And you know, my first thought was, I just don’t see myself as a stay-at-home dad.
I’ve always been, go, go, go, gotta work. Like if you’re only working one job, something’s wrong with you? No, I do not think that any longer, but I used to bit of a workaholic. And so for you to ask me that I thought, wait a minute. So I’ll be home with the baby. Not that, that isn’t a lot of work. It is, but being stuck in the house just didn’t seem like me.
Yeah. And then I decided to do it because of health situations and financially it made sense. Mm-hmm and also I got to thinking, you know, we can raise this child with the values that we have and we want, so after I got to thinking about it, it was kind of a no brain. Why wouldn’t I do this? I thought about how many children grow up without a dad?
Yeah. Or dad’s just too busy because he’s working so often. And I thought, you know, I can be that dad that’s there for, so not that I’m trying to be the hero, but I want her to have her best life possible. So it was a no-brainer after that I had to do it. Yeah. And I have no regrets. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Carrie: I think when you’re an older parent, it’s like you have more of the mental and emotional capacity for the child, but less of the physical capacity. Yes. We’re just both like, “Ah, I’m so tired.”
Steve: Yes. There are days I’m like, I am just, I don’t even feel like eating dinner. I just wanna go to bed, but it’s good.
Carrie: Yeah, we really evaluated it and looked at how much working full time was affecting your health. And you were getting more headaches from looking at the computer screen. You were exhausted at the end of the day. And we thought, well, you know, you’re really gonna be working to pay for daycare and. what sense is that we were able to get some health insurance and that was an answer to prayer for sure.
Carrie: That worked out. And then it was like, okay, once that piece was in, you were like, what am I gonna put in my notice? And you were excited about kind of the new venture. Absolutely. It was harder for me going back to work and really trusting that you were gonna have things taken care of?
I think because I had just been so focused on her for so long and then having to switch gears into focusing on my business, rebuilding things, finding out which clients wanted to come back and which didn’t. and I will tell those of you who do not know. So I came back from maternity leave on June 1st.
This summer was probably the slowest summer on record. And summer is typically a slower time of the year for therapists because people are gone on vacation. You know, kids are at home from school, people are busier and it’s sunny outside and they. Go outside to the lake and have a good time. Whereas the winter months, times in October or in February, tend to be a little bit busier than the summertime.
So it was rough in the beginning trying to build a caseload back up. And then I would hear faith crying in the other room and I wanted to like go run and get her, but I couldn’t, That is super super tough for me. It’s easier now because you’ve had some time and I trust you that you’re taking care of it. But in the beginning I felt like this need to like to go run and rescue you and her at the same time.
Navigating Challenges as a Married Couple and Parents
Steve: Sure. It will. And when you are as a guy, I wasn’t used to that. You know, I love babies always have, but getting one to stop crying and knowing the specific cries, which is a language all in itself, but learning that and how to cope.
And if I get annoyed, that affects her. And so changing the routine around and making that work. Oh my goodness. That was a hard thing to do at first. There is a bit of a baby bootcamp to go through, I think, but once you get through it and you know, it, I don’t know if it becomes easier. It is more manageable though. Yeah. I guess it’s easier, but. I’m scared to say that, cuz I’ll wake up tomorrow and it’ll just be crazy or something anyways.
Carrie: Raising a child is a little bit like doing therapy in the sense that as therapists, we go to these conferences and they teach us something. Right. And they’re like, “This is amazing. It works so great with clients. It’s awesome.” You know, you’re just gonna see life transformation and you’re all pumped. Right. And you’re like, okay, I got my three-step process. I know what to do. And then you try it out. First client and it does not work. It like falls flat either. You, you know, you did something wrong or it just didn’t work the way it was supposed to.
And parenting for me has been very much been like that. I have the baby books I read, you know, okay. It says do this, or it says do that, but then really you have to learn your baby and you have to learn like what they respond to what’s best for them. And trust me, it is totally not always gone by the book and.
At different points made me anxious like there was a, I guess I just wanna share this for other moms too. There was a period where she just would not sleep in the bassinet. It was just like, hang it up. She was not gonna do it. And the only place I could get her to sleep was to swing. And I was so felt just this sense of angst and guilt going, but the rules say I’m supposed to lay her on her back and I’m supposed to lay her in the crib and she’s not supposed to sleep in the swing.
And you know what, if I harm her and what if she stops breathing or something, but we did it and you know what she slept. And it was important for her to get her sleep. And it was important for us to get our sleep. So our first trip away from the home with the baby, we took the swing with us.
Steve: Thank goodness we did.
Carrie: Yes. We had a little Memorial day getaway before I went back to work and you became a full-time dad. So yeah,
Steve: We traded places there. I will say the swing worked great. And also, and whoever told me this, I just, I owe you like a thousand hugs or a million dollars or something, but put the baby on the dryer,
Carrie: I think that was somebody at your work that done that.
Steve: Yeah. And yes, it was. And when I first heard, I was like, put the baby on the dryer. That sounds crazy. but then you hit this moment where, okay, this baby, she is screaming at the top of her lungs. I cannot stop her. She’s hyperventilating. I don’t know what to do.
I think I’m hyperventilating. So I pick her up and we go down to the dryer. I think you even said, didn’t you say something about the dryer? Sure. Let’s. We go, we put the baby on the dryer. She stops, she just stares at us and it actually worked. So mom’s out there. If you’ve never tried it or dads do it, it worked.
Carrie: Yeah. Something about, the vibration. Yeah. When you turn it on, they really like it. How do you feel like becoming a parent has affected our marriage?
Steve: I think, honestly, bears with me on this statement, but it will either make you or break you.
Carrie: I would agree with that.
Strengthening Communication and Support
Steve: And for us, I think it’s definitely strengthened us. The problem, I think it is is everyone has a way that they think is right. But as a married couple, you have to work together. And when the baby’s screaming, you don’t have time to figure out. Okay. What do you think? Well, what do you think? No, you gotta calm this baby down. The longer you leave the baby crying, the worse it is.
And so in most cases, I feel like, so we really had to work together and just roll with things and not get angry with one another. And we just had to make it work. And I think that we get to a point where we just know we’re like, oh, the baby’s hungry. We know that. Let’s feed the baby or whatever. Whereas initially, that wasn’t the case.
It was, why is this baby crying? What did we do wrong? And I think some couples could easily say, it’s your fault. You did this, you know, but we figured out a way to make it work
Carrie: or to give each other ideas without getting defensive,
Steve: Yes. Which is so easy to do, especially when you have this little tiny being that is screaming in a way that should not be humanly possible. I do not know how she screams that loudly. The other thing that worked really well. When we had company over, she was like the best. I don’t know how that works. Not that she’s ever that bad, honestly, we’re very blessed, but she rarely cries with company. She’s just even happier. She’s just a social butterfly. And so, yeah, we love company now.
Carrie: I knew that you were gonna be a good dad because you were so supportive. And so open, like during the pregnancy process. And that was really great. You went through the classes with me and,
Steve: Oh, those were so much fun. I remember when you said, oh, we’ve got classes, let’s do them.
And I said, all right, that’s fine. You know? And then I found out that they were gonna be on Sunday, which during Sunday evening that yeah. And I was like, oh, But, you know, you get over. That’s so stupid. I sound like an old man. I can’t miss my nap, but I did. And you know, I learned a ton out of it. I really did.
And we even went to CPR class and we did a couple of things that were just. You know, I like to learn, so it was good. it was good. And you’ve been a great mom for that matter while we’re dishing out compliments here. You’ve been a wonderful mom.
Carrie: Yeah. And there is a doula actually took a couple of pictures while I was in labor. I didn’t realize that she took these pictures, but it’s basically of you like supporting me during the labor process. And I look at those and I’m just like, oh, like it just kind of, you really like makes me. You know, warm and fuzzy inside, because that was a very hard time for me. The pregnancy was actually much tougher than the labor was. But going through labor is not super fun,
Steve: And you know how they show it. I’ve never had a child before. Well, I guess technically I still never had a child, you know, you’ve never birthed a child. Right. I’ve never birthed a child before, but that’s probably a good thing. The way that they show it on TV is not reality clearly.
Steve: And man, no one gave me a cigar. Not that I’d have smoked it, but no one gave me one of course, whatever, but I wasn’t sitting, waiting in some outside lobby, some. I was in the room with you and there was no break. I remember thinking, well, I think I’ll go get lunch now. And then I looked at you and you’re like, oh no, you won’t
And I was like, no, I won’t. And not that you were rude. I just, I thought things were good and Nope, snack borrow work, or just, well, nevermind, I don’t need anything, but we worked together and that was the first sign that, you know what? You got a parent together. I guess the birth thing you were doing, 99% of the work ladies don’t get like, oh, what’s he think.
But no, you were doing all the work, but it starts there. You know, you, you do what you gotta do. If somebody’s hurting, you gotta be there for ’em, especially if it’s your spouse, And during the labor process, my goodness, I can’t think of it a better time to give support. So we met at work. We had to work together.
Carrie: There used to be this belief that husband shouldn’t be present during labor. I can’t remember why the doctors had some theory on this. And I read in a book that this man actually handcuffed himself to his pregnant wife, smart man. So he could be with her during labor and really changed that process. And how doctors looked at it now.
Carrie: Most fathers are in the delivery room that are involved anyway. We’ve had some other stressful experiences this year. And I would say that those aren’t necessarily things that were ready to talk about or appropriate to talk about, but it seemed like when it rained, it poured.
Steve: Absolutely. It’s been a challenging year, but at the same time in those challenges, there’s always growth. Yeah. You know, you really, when you’re up against something, you find out who you are, you find out that you cannot handle all of this by yourself. And I’m very thankful that we have one another, you know, to lean on because without church and God, and, and being married and, and those things and having that support system that we have, man, I don’t know how we’d have made it through some of this,
Carrie: Right. Just people that have lifted us up in prayer and talked to us and checked in on. You know, even people that know about your health and waiting for a diagnosis, just being able to tell those people like, okay, well, here we are. This is where, where we’re at and what we’re facing. And this is what we’re looking at in the future.
I think you and I have had to lean on each other a lot. For venting about various issues and processing different things as they’ve come up in a way that spouses should do. But I don’t think everybody does. Right. I don’t think everybody opens themselves up fully vulnerably to their spouse to process through what they’re thinking and feeling about the situations in their life that happen to them.
Learning and Growing Together
Steve: Yeah, absolutely. And I’ve learned too that it’s impossible for me to have all the answers mm-hmm so I don’t try to have answers for everything. And usually, the answer to the problem is listen. And so I’ve had to really work hard. Not that I was a terrible listener. But I’ve had to work really hard at listening, which I’m still working on.
That takes time. That doesn’t happen overnight. But a lot of the things that we’ve dealt with have required listening. Yeah. Because there’s no easy answer. Mm-hmm you just, sometimes you have to get it out of your system and vent. And if I’m venting, you listen. And if you’re venting, I listen. That’s just the way that it is.
But listening is, is a big deal, you know, that’s, that’s just, I, I always hear it and I always believe it. I hear people say all the time, you know, God gave you one mouth in two years, so you probably should listen twice as much. Right. It’s true.
Very true. Yeah. And I think those things have grown us closer to God in prayer and closer to each other as we’ve kind of weaned on each other, through these processes. And having our daughter there has been helpful too, because. When you’re down or something’s just difficult. And you’ve got this baby that is just giggling and smiling and sticking her tongue out at you, you cannot be mad. You cannot be upset with life. I really believe our daughter has this gift and that is to be an encourager. She doesn’t even know words yet, but we just kind of pass her around for the hugs and smiles and it just really lightens the mood. It changes the focal point from your problem to just this happy little girl that just wants nothing more than to make you happy. Just been a blessing.
Finding Blessings in the Midst of Challenges
Carrie: I think about that too. And just that Faith was conceived and born really during some dark times and some emotional struggles, but. She’s a reminder of the goodness of God and of the faithfulness of God. You know, when people ask, like, why did you name your daughter faith? It’s like, well, you know, it took a lot of faith for us to get to this point to be alone and then to be older and find each other, not know if we could have a child or not and have her, I really believe that she was born for a purpose in, in God’s plan. And had we received this diagnosis before we got pregnant? We probably would’ve said, you know, I, I don’t think we should do this. I don’t think we should go through with this. So she showed up at just the right time and part of my process right now.
Just trusting God one day at a time to be able to give me the strength to make it through the day, but also to know that he’s in control, that he loves us and that he’s gonna take care of us, regardless of what happens that he’s gonna provide for our needs. That hopefully next time, you know, when we record this in a couple of years, that we’ll be in one storey house.
Just believing that very excited for that day. Yeah. yeah, that she won’t have to traverse the stairs that are in her home and yeah, just knowing that God is good and he loves us. And even in the dark times that he’s still here, he’s still present he’s for us. And that keeps us going just one day at a time, one step at a time.
Embracing the Present and Looking to the Future
I think for me too, living in the moment, learning so much about mindfulness, applying that during my pregnancy, just trying to get through the back pain that I was dealing with at the time it’s allowed me to manage these situations much better because I realized I can only deal with what we have today.
So today was about getting your cane in the mail and you starting to learn how to use it. Today wasn’t the day to worry about, are you gonna end up in a wheelchair because we’re not there? No, and we hope to not be there for sure. but you know, when those thoughts enter my mind, it’s like, okay, you know, pause right now.
We’re thankful every day that Steve can walk, we’re thankful for every day that you get to see your daughter grow up. There was a time period, you know, where it’s like praying that God would preserve your sight. That you’d be able to see her even be born. We just didn’t know. Right. There was so much, we didn’t know at the time that God has allowed you to do that. And learning about this diagnosis has just really reinforced the decision to have you be a stay-at-home dad because now you’re getting more quality time with her. Right. And I love being able to work from home and online and kind of see her during lunch and in between clients.
I don’t have a commute. It’s just been a huge blessing for our family to be able to. Involved in her life. And there’s so much, I think that could have derailed this podcast from continuing, but we’re still here, you know, it’s, it’s still here two years later. That’s right. And after just everything that we’ve gone through, I’m so thankful for that.
I’m thankful for the people that find us that tune. And you know, are willing to listen to me, ramble and fumble through interviewing people. And just have, you know, an amazing teammate as well, that works behind the scenes with me to do our editing, social media and those types of things.
Steve: We are so blessed.
I hope that as a listener, you don’t hear this or someone doesn’t hear this and think my gosh, they got some problems. No, I, I hope you see that we are. That. Yes. There’s something I’ve been diagnosed with, but God’s still blessing me and I was thinking I can’t help, but think of our dear friend who you just had on recently, I don’t remember what the 76 is that it, I can’t remember, but..
Carrie: Don’t remember the number was John Bennett.
Steve: Yes. And we actually spoke with him recently. He and his lovely wife. What an encouragement. He says with what he has, that God’s blessed him. He wouldn’t trade, change it for anything. And when I first heard that, I was like, “Are you crazy? No one wishes cancer on themselves.” But he has such a good attitude about it.
And I thought, my gosh, if I can just have that attitude and see the blessings and not the bad and see that I have a wonderful wife who supports me and I have a beautiful daughter and we just have a good support system. We go to church here. We just love what we have and God has blessed us dearly.
It hasn’t always been. But it’s just better and better every day. So there’s a purpose in it. And that’s the part that I have to see.
Carrie: Yes. And if anybody happens to know anybody with SCA, because it’s just so rare and we’ve looked into some support groups, but we have yet to really meet anybody that’s dealt with that.
So if you wanna drop us a line at the podcast we’d love to hear from me too and learn about your story. I think when we try to explain it to other people, they’re just like what? I’ve never heard of that. And we’re like, well, we hadn’t heard of it either. So right. We’re in the same boat with you.
Steve: And you know, the other thing is I thought when I heard of this, what’s the first thing you do. You try to find somebody famous that has it that way you can say, “well, you know, so, and so has this, you know, the actor or the singer.” There’s no one that’s famous that has this. And so I don’t know, maybe famous people, if you’re famous, you don’t get it.
Maybe that’s the key to get rid of it. I don’t know. But, there are no famous people that have it, that I’m aware of and I’ve looked and I’ve gone on to different groups. And that’s the key thing I hear is who’s famous that has it. And everyone says no one.
Carrie: If we were to ask you a closing question, this has kind of been a story of hope so far. So we won’t ask you the story of hope question, but what would you tell your younger self? Like if we could fast forward, back to our interview a year ago, when we were at first year of marriage, six hours of appointment, no answer. What would you tell yourself?
Steve: Just be patient and know that God’s in control that no matter the outcome he’s in control because there was definitely a time where even just right until I found out what this diagnosis is that I thought this is useless.
We’re spending time, money, effort, resources, whatever to find out an answer that I don’t, I’m not convinced we’re ever gonna find out. And when you have a rare disease that makes it more difficult to diagnose it. Yeah. That might be the reason it took so long. And, and when you’re going to the specialist, the people that should know, and they can’t find out and you keep, you get referred to these places and you get all these tests and they just aren’t getting answers.
You feel like a pin cushion after a while or at least I was getting, I don’t know if I was discouraged just to the point where, okay, enough’s enough. I don’t think we’re gonna find the answer.
Carrie: You actually looked at me and told me that probably about a month before your neurology specialty neurology appointment, you said, I don’t think they’re gonna find it.
Steve: I didn’t, I really didn’t. And you know, they did, and that changes me because now. As I said earlier, I know what I’m fighting against. So I think if you’re in a situation where you don’t think you’re gonna get the answers and you’re not getting the answers, you know what be patient, because God knows the answers.
God knows what you need. Yeah. And the anxiety from it is just not worth it. The amount fret that you have, if that’s a way to say that the worry that you have from it is probably not worth it.
Carrie: I would encourage people not to give up hope and to keep seeking the person that has the answers that you need, or the knowledge base that you need in order to have a diagnosis or to get better.
I know from clients that I’ve talked to in the past who were misdiagnosed, or, you know, maybe they had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but they really had PTSD. And you explained to. You’re telling me about all these traumatic things that you’ve been through. Here are some of the symptoms of PTSD.
This is actually something that’s highly treatable. We can work through this trauma and we can help you get to a better place. That’s so encouraging and so hopeful for them or for somebody who is dealing with obsessions, that makes them feel like, well, I must be crazy or I must be horrible. But then when they learn, they have O C D there’s this.
That comes to it as well. Like, oh, this is a condition. It has a treatment, you know, I can get better. I may be waxing and waning throughout my life, but I can be in a better place than I am right now. I know that we had people tell us, even like, Hey, if you have to, you know, go to the Mayo clinic, then go to the Mayo clinic.
Like don’t give up on yourself. Find the answers. Thankfully, we just had to get to the correct specialists at Vanderbilt. Yeah. That we needed to see who was just incredibly nice and compassionate were appreciative of him.
Steve: I would say too. And you said this to me before that it would be difficult if I were still single. I don’t know how I would’ve handled this. It would’ve been very, very difficult. And I would say if you are single or in a situation where you feel like you’re alone with something, don’t do it alone, get a prayer partner. You know, you can call your church. If you have one and say, “Hey, would you pray for me?”
Do not do it alone because that’s the worst thing you could do. I support the people who have prayed for me, the people who have stood beside me, Carrie, who’s been right there the whole time. That means so much. That’s what gets you through your day sometimes when you really want to give up, you’re like, I’m done with this.
This is so terrible. And then they’re right there, cheering you on. You can do this and it just, makes a world of difference. So don’t do it alone.
Carrie: Yeah, of course, as always. It was great to have you back on the podcast. Thank you everyone for tuning in and listening to us ramble about our second year of marriage.
Steve: Yeah, thanks for having me, by the way, I enjoy this.
Carrie: We had no script for this. We just kind of rolled with it off the cuff, which is not something either one of us normally does. We normally have a list of questions.
Steve: A list. Yes, I have no notes whatsoever. That’s rare.
Carrie: Yes, but I think it turned out the way it was supposed to went to encourage everyone to subscribe to our newsletter.
They can do that by going on the hope for anxiety and ocd.com website, there’s a free relaxation download for you there. And I’m gonna be working on some other free downloads for people, maybe PDFs or things like that. So when I have those. I will let y’all know about those as well. We have a goal to really double our email subscribers by the end of the year, to get to about 150.
So if you can help us with that goal, we would so appreciate it. And we’ll be giving away. T-shirts exclusively to our email subscribers. We never heard back from our last winner. Lisa. We’re gonna try to reach out to you one more time, but then I don’t know. We may have to give your t-shirt away to somebody else.
Don’t miss out on your free t-shirt
Steve: you know, Lisa, please call her and tell her
Lisa claim your t-shirt please claim your t-shirt. You don’t wanna miss that.
Carrie: You know, I really thought maybe she thought it was a scam. When I emailed
Steve: She may have,
Carrie: this is not a scam. You really get a t-shirt. Anyway, thank you so much for listening.
Hope for anxiety and OCD is a production of By the Well Counseling. Our show is hosted by me, Carrie Bock, a licensed professional counselor in Tennessee. Opinions given by our guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the use of myself or By the Well Counseling. Our original music is by Brandon Mangrum. Until next time may you be comforted by God’s great love for you.