Why My Functional Neurological Disorder Diagnosis Gave Me More Questions Than Answers

How many of you heard the words, “Functional Neurological Disorder (FND)” for the first time when you received the diagnosis? How many of you asked yourself, What on earth is that? I know I did.

Years ago when I first heard of FND, I Google searched it. I got nothing. I then typed in Functional Neurological Disorder and still, nothing. I battled for years trying to get a name and then when I did, it was like it didn’t exist. At that moment, it felt as though I didn’t exist. It felt like there was no treatment. No support. No information. No doctors. What was the point?

My pain was excruciating, and my symptoms were compounding. My life felt like it was ripped out from underneath me. I was tired. Tired of fighting my body, my emotions, my right to care. My health continued to decline to the point that I couldn’t walk, carry a conversation or sit up, unsupported. It was at this time that I was re-diagnosed.

My new diagnostic label brought with it a little information, some support, a doctor and even treatment. I can now walk, speak and manage my own health. I never did get my old life back, though. But once I got the right diagnosis and treatment, I was able to heal and I am grateful to those that supported and encouraged me. In my journey for answers and better health, I learned so much more.

When we unite our voices together and share the burden of illness, we change lives. Our efforts both big and small can have a profound effect on not only ourselves, but on others. We send the message to all those who struggle: “You exist!” We need not carry the label or feel the same symptoms as others to spread their awareness. All we need is compassion for others.

Please, join with others and let your words echo around the world for generations to come.

I urge you all to please help bring much-needed awareness to FND, April 13, International FND Awareness Day.

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Thinkstock photo via openeyed11.

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