I Beg of You — Please Stop Trying to Diagnose Me


I know you mean well. I know you care. I know you’re only trying to understand a bit of what I’m going through. I know you’re only trying to make sense of it in your own mind, because we much prefer problems that have labels don’t we? People don’t like when there is not a clear definition of what something is because then they don’t know how to cope with it. Believe me, no one would like a label for my condition in the whole world more than I would. But please, I beg of you – stop trying to diagnose me.

It happens everywhere, all the time. I will either be having a small chat with someone I have just met, or I will be catching up with someone I know, but haven’t seen in a while, when the inevitable question comes, “How is work? What do you do?”

“Well,” I reply, “I am actually unable to work at the moment due to some health problems I am sorting out.”

This usually comes as a shock since I have an “invisible” condition and appear to be in good health as I am walking down the street. Of course, they don’t see the days where I can barely walk to the bathroom due to the crippling pain. Humans are curious creatures and since they can’t see what’s wrong with me, they always ask questions. I don’t really mind this part. I have to admit that if the tables were turned, I would be asking the healthy-looking 30-something why she is so sick that she can’t have a job at the moment. The problem, for me, comes after I explain my situation and the person inevitably tries to diagnose my condition.

I have been seeking an answer to what is wrong with me for two years with little luck. I have seen more doctors than I ever knew I would need. I have seen specialists in different areas, experts in their fields. I have had dozens of tests run on me, sometimes more than once. I have tried countless diet changes, medications, treatments, all with little to no success. It has been the most difficult experience of my life thus far and I struggle at times to stay motivated in my search for an answer. So, somehow I doubt that my diagnosis will finally arrive via my hairdresser as she highlights my hair, or my dental hygienist as she cleans my teeth. But they always try.

“Have you tried blah blah?”

“Could it be blah?”

“My sister’s cousin’s dog’s groomer had something similar! Did they check if it’s blah??”

 Yes. Yes, they checked. The dozens of doctors have all checked every condition you’ve ever heard of, or read about, or watched on an episode of “House.”

I know you’re just trying to make sense of it all and I’m not angry at you for your questions or suggestions. I’m grateful that you would try to help me. I am, however, very tired from a two year struggle to find an answer and from asking myself these same questions. I am asked these same questions by someone new almost daily, so please, just tell me,”I hope you get better soon,” and let’s talk about something else. The answer won’t come from you, no matter how much both of us might wish it did.

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Thinkstock Image By: ruddy_ok


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