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To the Undiagnosed Patient, Don't Give Up

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We have all been there. Every single person with a chronic and/or rare illness was undiagnosed at one point. Don’t let the normal test results, which means no diagnosis, get you down. Your medical team will figure out what is wrong with you. It takes time and patience, which I know are the last things you want to hear right now. It will get better. Maybe not in the way you hope, but it will get better. A diagnosis is just around the corner. It is important not to give up. Keep fighting for the answers you deserve.

Without a name, the condition or disease that plagues your body cannot be
managed, and symptoms are only treated as they arise. Yes, it is extremely
frustrating. Painful even. I have been there. We have all been there. The constant battle within yourself trying to determine if you are making these symptoms up or if they are actually real. The thoughts about how it can’t actually be as bad as it is because there isn’t a diagnosis, or even an answer as to why these things are happening.

It will get better.

Don’t allow yourself to become trapped in your own mind. Don’t allow this
unknown illness to take your sanity and hope away.

Get the feelings of anxiety and even depression out. Do something to deal with the feelings and don’t let them drag you down. Counseling can help. Art therapy can help. Talking with others who are undiagnosed can help. Hell, talking with others who don’t have a chronic illness can help. You must deal with these feelings as they arise, or you will likely develop anxiety. This will be more difficult to handle, on top of all of the other symptoms of your undiagnosed disease.

You know your own body! Don’t let a doctor or friend tell you that it is all in your head. Find a doctor and a support system who will listen and believe in you. Keep fighting for answers. Eventually a test will come up positive and you will have your answer. It is hard to keep living in the undiagnosed stage, but you have to keep moving forward in life. Yes, it is a struggle but the struggle is worth it in the end.

Do what you can, and don’t give up hope.

Originally published: August 24, 2016
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