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When the Doctor Told Me, 'Not Everyone Receives a Diagnosis'

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I laid on the exam table as electrical currents sped through my limbs. It was my second time having an EMG in a three-month period. No, I do not enjoy having testing done. In fact, it produces anxiety for me that makes living with an undiagnosed chronic illness that much harder.

As the doctor explained that my results were normal, my stomach churned from the thought of continuing to live without an answer. It may sound strange, but every time I have testing done, I pray that something is found; that I can finally have a name for this unforgiving disease. Another disease was crossed off the list that day, but so many rare diseases remained possible, if only they were easy to discover.

The doctor went on to tell me that not everyone receives a diagnosis, and maybe that would be my case. I can’t fault him for reminding me of this, because medicine does have its limitations. I couldn’t help but fall back into a mountain of despair. Whatever hope I had when I woke up that morning had dwindled down to nothing. Eleven years had passed, and I was still standing in the same spot. This roller coaster of hope and despair has taken me on a long, winding ride, and I’m ready for it to end.

I hope time will bring answers. I would like to think that being undiagnosed is a temporary status. Research is constantly being done and more diseases are being understood more clearly. There are still a handful of tests and procedures that can be done to gather more information on my condition, so I hold onto a tiny piece of hope that my answers are near. But if they’re not, I’ll continue riding this roller coaster if it means brighter days ahead.

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Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: November 17, 2016
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