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Why I'm Tired of Negative Test Results

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My heart feels like a rock in my chest. I’ve spent half my day sleeping, the other half crying. I got test results back today. Everything was negative. I’m sure you all know what that means: nothing is wrong.

“Nothing is wrong with your gallbladder.”

“Nothing is wrong with your intestines.”

“You don’t have Crohn’s disease.”

“we found nothing unusual with your stomach from the endoscopy.”

I could go on and on. This has been my life for probably 10 years now.

Im 23 years old. I can still remember my sixth grade year, sitting on the floor in the hallway in the fetal position because of the pain in my right side, extending into my stomach, up to my ribs, down to my pelvic bone. This is the first memory I have of this illness. I missed school a lot. Other students thought I skipped to miss exams or projects. If skipping counts as curling up in bed for six hours with no relief, sure, I skipped a lot. I missed out on opportunities all through my education because of my illness. I needed year length notes to prevent me from failing a grade due to lateness and absences.

I never finished college. Recently, I stopped working full-time. I stopped working at all.

Through everything I just covered in the paragraph above, I’ve been to five gastroenterologists. I’ve had two colonoscopies, two endoscopies, innumerable ultrasounds, CT scans, X-rays, MRIs. Anything you can think of, I’ve had it. I recently had a PillCam study done. I literally swallowed a camera capsule that recording my entire digestive tract. I had a hepatobiliary scan done yesterday. They’ve ruled out Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, gallbladder stones or dysfunction, celiac disease, gastroparesis, cancer, and I can’t even remember what else. One thing they’ve ever noticed is chronic constipation, and they have yet figured out why it happens and how to fix it. Laxatives react terribly with me, stool softeners barely affects me, and I’ve changed my diet different ways to no effect. This is all in addition to depression, anxiety, and fibromyalgia.

You might be wondering the point of this story. Well here it is: I hate when someone says, “Well, at least they haven’t found anything wrong, right? Isn’t that good?” Now I know people truly mean the best when they say this, but they just don’t understand. I’ve gotten no diagnoses, therefore I’ve gotten no help and made no progress. For 10 years. No, it’s really bad actually. I could have cholecystitis, get my gallbladder removed, and have one less problem. Not that surgery is always the answer, but that’s just an example. I could have Crohn’s disease and receive medication for my symptoms, and so on. The truth is, I would rather have a diagnosis, a name to give this torment I’ve dealt with half my life, and to get treatment.

I don’t want to spend my life like this. I don’t want specials days in my future to be hindered by this. I’m getting married in May. Two months. And I’m terrified of waking up on my wedding day in debilitating pain, or spend my honeymoon that way, or raise children that way. I know I’m not alone. I know there are many others who goes through this every day. But sometimes I just feel isolated. I believe in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but I can’t help but wonder where He is right now. Where can I find His grace in my situation? Why hasn’t He brought any healing or answers?

I’m writing this tonight in disappointment, frustration, and in pain. I hope someone will read my words and know they’re not alone. I hope someone reads my words and sees that I haven’t given up. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never had times I would rather not keep living, but that thought passes, and I keep pushing on. I am weak, and that makes me strong.

Getty Image by spukkato

Originally published: March 2, 2018
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