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The Questions That Run Through My Mind Because I'm Undiagnosed

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Being undiagnosed is a scary place to be. I’m so scared for the future and what it might hold. The what-ifs? The when’s? The “how will I get through this?”

Starting school makes me panic. What if I throw up in class? How can I keep on top of my classes? How bad will my attendance be? Will my teachers understand? Will I lose friends? It makes me want to scream.

And that’s just the near future.

My worries for the far future are so much more terrifying.

I stress about how my condition will deteriorate.

Will I always be a medical mystery?

Can I have children and raise a family?

Would my husband be willing to take care of me?

How will I be able to work full-time when I can’t even work part-time as a student now?

“I know I need to calm down. I can’t let my thoughts spiral,” I think as I try to process the details of my last appointment.

I feel lost, like I’ve been thrown off a boat and am expected to swim to shore when I can’t even swim, so I just try to tread water to keep my head afloat. Finally, I get am able to find a life jacket, a support system that can help me survive.

I am forced to think about what I can be grateful for and name the things that I have to look forward to.

Suddenly my mindset changes: I am young and sick, but I have a future. One that goes beyond my illness, where I have the chance to thrive.

So maybe I should say that I was scared, but I’m not anymore. I have fears, but I trust that this too, shall pass.

While I’m not religious, I like to think there is a plan for me and that one day things will be OK again, and I’ll be able to thrive.

If you’re struggling to cope with your illness, if you’re a mystery to all of your doctors, or if each new treatment is just a shot in the dark for you, I want you to know you are not alone.

I know it’s cliché, but trust me on this one — because I’ve been through it.

So please hold on to any hope you have, because one day, this too shall pass and things will get better.

Originally published: August 24, 2018
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