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When the Chronic Illness Diagnoses Just Keep on Coming

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I just received yet another diagnosis. It hurts. It feels as if my heart has been ripped from my chest and stepped on right in front of me. I feel hollow, confused, lost and devastated. I never knew it would just keep adding up. That my life would become a game of whack-a-mole. There was a point in my life where I was told it was “all in my head.” Since I got my first diagnosis it seems the rest are just rushing through. And I can’t seem to stop it.

I cannot help but think, “how could there be this much wrong with me?” I end up crying because I feel like I can’t grasp all that has been given to me. I am truly overwhelmed. When my journey with my health first started, I kept being promised “if you do this, you will feel better.” I was told to eat a certain diet, try meditation, exercise, drinking more water, yoga, and a million more things that have yet to help me. What happens when you try all these things and do everything they tell you to do and you still get worse?

I wasn’t prepared for that possibility because I was so focused on taking every step to finally feel better, to feel “normal.” As time goes on, I’ve gone from pills to injections to infusions. Would you believe me if I told you I still don’t feel all that much better? And my list of issues keeps growing. It’s a difficult place to be. I am thankful for answers because I know how devastating it feels to not have any! However, it is a lot to take in when your medical file feels like a novel. When I meet medical practitioners or new people in general, they look at me in shock, puzzled and dismayed.

I am not searching for pity. I don’t expect anyone to feel bad for me. What I am looking for is some understanding that right now I am going through hard times. And it’s OK for me not to be OK. I am scared of the reality and fragility of my life due to living with multiple chronic illnesses. I wasn’t given a “how-to-guide” or “chronic illness for dummies” at the time of diagnosis to help me navigate through this new life. I keep trying to build myself back up every time I get knocked down. I keep learning a new normal only to have it change again. I am exhausted. I’m spent. I could really use a break.

I never could have imagined my life would have turned out this way, living with nothing but limitations and rules. I see doctors, medical staff, labs and imagery more than family and friends. I try not to live in fear of what is or could be coming my way, but it’s harder than it looks.

All I can do is hold on to hope that one day it won’t be this hard. That all this “work” to get better will actually pay off. That all that has been taken from me will eventually come back. In the meantime, I would appreciate it if people would allow me to feel the feelings I need to feel, because life is throwing punches at me, but I still haven’t backed down.

Getty image by Kieferpix.

Originally published: July 10, 2019
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