Where I’ve Been These Past Few Weeks…My Healing Journey

To say I have been shocked is an understatement.

I wasn’t only shocked, but completely gutted and disappointed. When I received the news, I cried hysterically, sinking to my knees, and asking God why it was His will to punish me.

As many of you know, I am the survivor of a life threatening syndrome that occurred to me over 10 years ago. And although I survived, I was left with a multitude of symptoms and illnesses that I have been told would forever plague my life, possibly even kill me in the end.

One of the unfortunate things I have been left with is scarred lungs – damaged from being ventilated and in a coma for three months while I battled death. This scarring has resulted in severe COPD/Asthma like symptoms. I cough daily, have trouble breathing despite medications, and cannot do any strenuous physical activity, even walking up the stairs sometimes. I’ve been told “this diseases just gets worse as you age” and I never wanted to believe it.

Well, because of this, I am more susceptible to becoming ill with infections, something I never thought would happen to me until 2 weeks ago when I saw a new doctor for my lung issues.

Do you ever go in somewhere knowing you’ll get some good news?

That has always been me.

Surviving what I did, I thought I was unsinkable. My strength has carried me and others though many difficulties in the past 10 years. Never did I imagine or believe I would get a call a few days later saying:

“You have a bacterial infection…don’t know how you got it or when, but we need to treat”

Anyone else would think “Ok, let’s treat” but here was something that was undoubtedly scaring me….the medication used to treat this bacterial infection could cause the thing syndrome that almost killed me 10 years ago.


The Great Struggle

That very next day I picked up the medication from the pharmacy and cried as I held it in my hand.

“What would happen this time?” I asked myself

I read the list of side effects…as if my fear of taking this medication wasn’t enough already. This medication came with a three page pamphlet of side effects that seemed too horrible to risk. Even more upsetting news. This infection was deemed a “super bug” with antibiotic resistant strains. It was 3 days of absolutely panic attacks until the doctor let me know it WAS susceptible to antibiotics.

I asked my doctor “If I don’t take this….what happens?”

“Nothing…or…you get sicker. If it comes back, we just leave it alone” was his reply.

You can bet that night was one of the toughest decisions of my life. Absolutely everything went on hold: my blog, my business, everything.

Well two weeks ago, I took my first dose of the medication and it’s been a hell of a whirlwind since. When I open my eyes each morning, I’m met with the ugly thought that today is my last. That something bad will happen. That my lungs are slowly falling to bits.

The feelings of sheer panic and depression are one of the many side effects of the medication, ciprofloxacin, used to treat bacterial infections. The depression is so bad, sometimes I wake up crying, ready to give up hope for recovery.

Other mornings, I am numb to the world. I sit on my couch for hours just stating off into the distance, waiting for something.

People close to my have told me I am just a shell of the person I used to be because of this set back. Everything has changed for me and my mentality. How does someone go from being one of the most positive people in the room to someone who couldn’t care less what happens to her now.

And that’s just the emotional symptoms. While on this medication I have lost a lot of weight, have nasoues spells everyday, have migraines which cause me to cry, and my lungs feel like they’re on fire.

This morning I texted my doctor “I thought I was supposed to be getting better”

The sad part about all of this is I’m waiting until the all clear to even motivate myself to do anything. I am so stricken with the fear of dying and having an illness that I have abandoned my blog, my business, and sometimes, even the people closest to me.

Feelings of immense guilt and shame cloud my mind. Writing this is one of the many way I hope to cope with what’s happening. And it’s my due diligence to let you know what’s been going on. Believe me, I hate the fact that I haven’t published a single post for weeks. Or the fact that I am too tired to even do my client work.


Keeping Faith

Despite this – I have kept faith.

Faith that I am getting better…that all of this is just a stepping stone for something much greater. Is there doubt in the back of my mind that It won’t get better? Absolutely.

But I’m not letting this win. I’m not letting that fear stop me today or tomorrow.

10 years ago my body fought to stay alive and I’m not done on this beautiful earth just yet. I have a destiny to fulfill! The Petite Bijou is part of that destiny.

So although the suffering has been immense, the pains great, my faith is even bigger.

I know this post is rather personal. I don’t do many personal posts here. But I hope that it has given you some insight into what my day to day has been for the past few weeks, the health issues I suffer with, and despite those issues, my persistence to serve and keep moving.

I hope it inspires you.

I am not out of the fire, I am walking through it.

You may not be out of the fire, but you can go through it and move forward!


Behind The Blog

The Petite Bijou is an online destination featuring wholesome yet sophisticated living and styling tips for women. The site is run by the family and friends of survivor, lifestyle influencer, and writer Mariam, who passed away in the summer of 2020.  Mariam also hosted The Bijou Show, a self help podcast.

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Leave a Comment


  1. Emilie wrote:

    Thanks for this post I needed to hear it. I’m sorry that your in a dark place. I hope we both get to a better place in our lives soon.

    Posted 1.1.20 Reply
  2. Peg wrote:

    I sense a will of iron that will fuel your journey back to being well. Guilt and shame have no part in that, of course. They are as poisonous as anything you might ingest. Stay on target and know you have perfect strangers out there who care about you and are praying for you.

    Posted 12.7.19 Reply
  3. Colleen wrote:

    Kudos to you for your courage. Though I don’t have any idea what you are experiencing, I’m sure it takes tremendous courage to just get out of bed each day, let alone run a business and blog. You take care of you and make no apologies to anyone for doing so. Good people will always understand. Do take care of yourself and know that there are many people rooting for you in every way.

    Posted 12.7.19 Reply
  4. Margaret wrote:

    I am so sorry you have had such a hellish time. You should not have such negative feelings about not being here. I am sure we all only want you to heal in your own good time and come back when you are ready to. Wishing you a complete and swift recovery.

    Posted 12.7.19 Reply
  5. Karen wrote:

    I am so sorry this setback happened to you. I endured a bout of pneumonia this summer. Thank you for the personal post that let’s me know how difficult it has been for you. Chronic illnesses rock our world. It seems there is no controlling when we are sidelined, Thank you for persevering. I hope to see you soon.

    Posted 12.2.19 Reply
  6. Amy wrote:

    I am terribly sorry you are going through this health hell. I am thankful you shared such personal news with your readers. I don’t want to assume that my advice will be helpful since I cannot know what you are going through, but I would just ask that as you walk through the fire you mention…keep going.

    Posted 12.2.19 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Hello Amy,

      Thank you so much for your kind comment. I will keep going, even if it leaves me a little burned. I want to see this through and live the rest of my life in peace and prosperity. I just want to survive long enough to help other and make an impact. I want to fund programs to help find cures…I want to support my family. This is extremely difficult but I know that because I have been saved many times before, I should have hope I will be save again.

      Posted 12.2.19 Reply