When My Diagnosis Brought Me a Sense of Relief
I thought I was ready for the phone call today. My neurologist called to give me the results of my latest test.
It was a double-edged sword. Either I would get a diagnosis, which I wanted but would still be scared, or the test would lead nowhere, not be definitive and leave me still searching, still not knowing.
After a long week of waiting, the labs came in and I received the call. Even though it wasn’t a surprise, I was shaky and shell-shocked. And relieved. I cried. Not because I had something, but because I had something. There was a reason — a proven medical diagnosis to explains all my bad days, pain, symptoms.
This time, I didn’t hear, “Sorry, we don’t have an answer.” This time, they knew.
And now I know.
I know there’s a reason why my speech sometimes comes out garbled and why I frequently mix up syllables.
When my world spins, someone can tell me why.
If my muscles are spastic, tight and knotted, it’s not just stress.
If my joints are sore, it’s not just the fact I’m over 40.
When my sight isn’t normal or when I see flashes and floaters, I’m not imagining it.
My multiple temperature sensitivities or intolerances are attributable to more than just being picky.
When my appendages turn several colors in a short amount of time due to those temperature intolerances, yep, there’s now a reason for that, too.
Oh yeah, when my skin feels like there are creepy crawlies all over me and I feel like there are bugs in my hair, that can be explained, too.
When my muscle strength is only a fraction of normal, it isn’t because I didn’t work out the past two weeks.
Those times I choke drinking water or when meals are hard to swallow, it’s not from eating too fast.
And maybe someday my mobility might be sidelined. I know I’m not lazy or clumsy — well maybe a little of that, too — but I’m not imagining anything.
Now I know I have multiple sclerosis.
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