Bream told People magazine in November about her struggle with the extremely painful chronic condition that first struck her in the middle of the night shortly before her 40th birthday and persisted for nearly two years.
“I was in searing pain,” she told People. “I couldn’t get any rest.”
The on-going condition — that Bream said felt like she was being stabbed — prevented her from sleeping for more than two hours at a time. She suffered from double vision and migraines and had to constantly use eye drops throughout the day.
Bream said that she thought that she couldn’t take anymore after being told by one doctor that she was being “too emotional.”
“Those were definitely my darkest days,” she remembered. “I felt suicidal at one point — living in chronic pain.”
Bream’s husband, Sheldon, had previously overcome his own serious health challenge. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 24 years old, and after surgery to remove the benign growth, he was left with temporary but severe facial paralysis.
In those moments, Bream said that both she and husband leaned on faith and each other.
“I feel so blessed, where do you go if you don’t have a faith cushion to fall into… because there are moments for both of us just praying, ‘God help me.’ Those three words. That’s it. That’s all. Even when you can’t put out a prayer, I think he knows what’s in our heart and soul.”
There is also a Bible verse that Bream said helped her face her ordeal.
“This is from Second Corinthians,” Bream told Earhardt, “where Paul had a thorn in his side and he kept asking God to take it away from him and God didn’t and he had to learn to live with it.”
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,'” she read. “‘Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.'”
Thankfully, Bream eventually found a doctor who was able to diagnose her condition as chronic erosion syndrome exacerbated by corneal map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy.
“She prayed that God would send her the perfect doctor and that will help heal her,” said Earhardt, telling the other women on the couch. “And she went to the doctor that diagnosed her immediately the next day.”
“My faith is the only thing — and my amazing husband — that got me through that,” said Bream. “I think that people watching this have suffered so many things, maybe they’re suffering right now, and I pray that they would just know that God is a source of unconditional love and acceptance and he can pull you through anything,”
“I think our greatest moments of pain can be our greatest chance to grow in our faith and to share it and hopefully bring someone else back from the brink,” she concluded.
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