What Lessons Can Tragedy Teach You?
March 4, 2016•9 min
In June 2014, formerly healthy Jim Kosal succumbed to chronic Lyme disease. What did his wife, Dr. Erica Kosal, learn from this tragedy?When Dr. Erica Kosal's husband, Jim, initially fell ill, they both thought perhaps it was just the flu that was making its rounds.But, he just couldn't get well. Jim had always been conscientious about diet and exercise, but no matter what he did, his symptoms got worse. Those symptoms included massive headaches, cramps in his legs, and his arms seizing up. Jim's fine motor skills deteriorated. Originally given an ALS diagnosis, other symptoms not explained by ALS eventually led to the diagnosis of neurological chronic Lyme disease.Lyme disease can look very different in different people. In Jim's case, he experienced neuro-muscular problems that would vary in severity. Not only were Jim and Erica dealing with his illness and disappearing self, but they also suffered with financial concerns, were audited by the IRS, and battled with insurance companies that were refusing to reimburse for many things. Plus, they constantly encountered non-supportive physicians. Eventually, Jim succumbed to his illness.Through this tragedy, Erica would continually hear from others, "You're so strong." But, in her mind, she was simply in survival mode.What she came to understand, however, is that there is a difference between strength and resilience. "It was not so much about biting down and gritting my teeth through this, but rather being proactive in how I moved forward."Resilience is the key... not just for overcoming tragic situations like this, but all of life's stressful situations. Listen in as Erica joins Dr. Susanne to share her personal tragedy, as well as what she learned about resilience and recovering through grief.