The Christmas Wish List of an Undiagnosed Patient

As a person with several chronic conditions, when winter strikes, my health becomes a huge balancing act. For the last five years, my Christmas wish list has been the same thing over and over. While many of my wishes are very realistic, some are not likely to happen anytime soon. With that in mind, here are 12 things I wish for as a person with an undiagnosed condition:

1. Sit and watch Christmas movies with me. There’s nothing I like more than spending time with family and friends. The awesome thing is I don’t have to do anything that exacerbates my conditions while watching a movie.

2. An electric blanket. For many people with chronic pain, the cold is absolutely brutal to our bodies. An electric blanket will help keep a consistent temperature and hopefully reduce pain!

3. Fleece-lined leggings. Due to chronic pain, jeans are generally out of the question and no one wears shorts in a super frigid environment.

4. Someone to constantly remind me I am not alone in my fight. Sometimes I feel like I am plain crazy, and it really helps to have someone tell me I am not completely losing it.

5. A foam roller. This is the best thing for those super tight and knotted muscles. Done properly, it can improve mobility and promote blood flow to all my muscles.

6. Medication without side effects. Sometimes the side effects are worse than the condition they are trying to treat, and then you need to take more medication to treat the side effects. It’s a vicious cycle.

7. A new wheelchair. For the past five years, I have been in and out of a wheelchair. For the most part, a generic transport wheelchair has served its purpose and allowed me to get around. However, I’ve been in a wheelchair more frequently and for longer periods lately. A new wheelchair would be incredibly helpful!

8. Restorative sleep. It would be nice to have a full night of deep sleep. Many people with chronic illnesses, including myself, can’t remember the last time this happened.

9. People asking questions about my conditions instead of staring awkwardly. Without fail, every time I go to a public place in a wheelchair, people stare. I know kids are naturally curious, but adults, please ask questions! I don’t bite and I’m not contagious, I promise.

10. A diagnosis for the autoimmune disease that has ravaged my body the past five years. This condition is causing such severe muscle spasms that I wish the contractures in my feet and ankles would break to allow me to walk again. I’m not prepared to accept being in a wheelchair for the remainder of my life.

11. Doctors who are willing to work with me. This is big. My complicated medical history scares doctors and I know it. There is nothing about my body that is easy. It takes hard work to figure out whatever obscure thing is causing problems.

12. A cure for all chronic illnesses. This life isn’t always easy, but as long as we are moving toward a cure, everything will be alright.

Most importantly, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

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