How It Honestly Feels to Receive Yet Another Diagnosis


I have relapsing polychondritis, an autoimmune disease that destroys the cartilage in my body. The rule with autoimmune diseases, like the rule when seeing deer along the side of the road, is: “When there’s one, look out for more.”

I was recently blindsided by a new, third diagnosis. I try to be a grown-up and take things as they come. “No big deal!” I tell myself.

The reality is that it’s a bigger deal than I first acknowledged to myself. I’m sad. I’m angry. I don’t want another diagnosis. I don’t want more pain, more drugs, more side effects. I wish I had a choice. I get tired of smiling. I get tired of being the one to make others feel better about my health. I get tired of apologizing to my husband who is amazing and doesn’t deserve to deal with all of this. In short, I get tired.

I’ve been in this mental space a time or two before and have a name for it: grief. I’m mourning the loss of who I was yesterday, the loss of the already limited future I thought I had. I have already accepted my limitations and the side effects of the medications I already take, but I’ve lost that too.

I will make whatever decisions are necessary to manage my pain and deal with medication side effects. I will learn to accept this, and that acceptance will come soon.

Until then though, I’m being nice to myself and giving myself the time and space I need to get there.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via a-wrangler.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Relapsing Polychondritis

Midnight Pinball

Why I Use 'Silly' Terms to Communicate My Serious Pain

I have learned many new things since my diagnosis four years ago. I now know relapsing polychondritis is an autoimmune disease which causes my body to attack all of my cartilage — and cartilage is everywhere. I never thought I’d know that, but I now know about inflammation, infusions, immunosuppressants and so much more. I learned about costochondritis, inflammation in [...]

Focusing on What I Can Do With a Relapsing Polychondritis Diagnosis

I was adopted at birth. It has never been a secret and it has never been a problem in my life. You may have, at least once, looked at your family and thought, “How on Earth can I be related to these people?” I’m not.  Score! There is one less than perfect aspect, though: I do [...]

When a Boy Told Me, 'You Aren't Handicapped, You're a Junkie'

Today I woke up knowing it was going to be a rough day. My pain was somewhere between a grimace and the crying face on the pain scale. I don’t even use numbers anymore; my face tells the story. But I had a meeting today, so I woke up, showered then lied down for 10 [...]

When My Pain From Endometriosis Was Brushed Off for 12 Years

Pain: one of my least favorite words. It reminds me of the struggles I have faced for over a decade. I was 9 years old when I started my period. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. In fact, my mom was over zealous with welcoming me into “womanhood.” It wasn’t until [...]