Speaking with People magazine last week, Fox News host Shannon Bream opened up about a becoming suicidal while battling a chronic eye disease.
Bream says she was in pain for two years, unable to sleep, and out of answers when she confided in her husband Sheldon Bream that she couldn’t “go on” living.
“I was in searing pain,” the “Fox News @ Night” host recalled to People. “I couldn’t get any rest.”
Bream said she was unable to sleep more than an hour or two because of the pain and would set frequent alarms so she could put in eye drops. The eye pain triggered double vision and migraines, she noted.
And when she went to her physician for answers, she came up empty-handed. “He told me he thought I was being too emotional,” she told the outlet.
“That put me into a tailspin — I’m desperate for any lifeline, any diagnosis, any treatment to help me through this nightmare, and my doctor was questioning my sanity. That was really hurtful,” Bream said. “I felt like no one was going to help me.”
She then turned to medical journals, chat rooms, and message boards looking for answers. Bream found others similarly suffering, some of whom suggested suicide was the only way to escape the pain, which didn’t sound all that extreme to Bream at the time.
“There were people talking about how the only way out was to take their own life,” she said. “And that didn’t seem crazy or unreasonable to me at all. I was two years into it. I was in my early 40s, and I said, ‘No way I could life another 40 years like that. If all of my waking hours are in pain, what is the point of going on?’”
The host “started thinking about how nice it would be to go to sleep and not wake up,” the magazine noted.
“I just can’t go on,” Bream told her husband. “He said, ‘We are going to start over. I don’t care if we have to go around the whole world and we have to spend every dime we have in the bank. This is our priority, and we’re going to get through this together.'”
Thankfully, the Breams found a lifeline: cornea specialist Dr. Thomas Clinch.
Bream was diagnosed with chronic erosion syndrome exacerbated by corneal map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy, Dr. Clinch relayed to People. About 2% of the population suffers from the condition.
When Bream found out there was no cure, she said she made her way to her car and started “sobbing.” “I wanted to crash my car into something,” she said.
But things changed when Bream learned strategies on how to deal with the condition. Now, she says she’s sleeping through the night and thanking God every morning for the turn-around.