Anniversary of a Diagnosis
I’m struggling. Do I write about the upcoming date, or do I let it pass? Do I talk about this day – this huge day in my personal history, or do I let it sit under the proverbial leaden rock in the back of my mind? Should I just coast through the day, and into tomorrow?
Reflection has led me to write about it. I need to focus on all of the good, not just the devastation this looming date caused.
June 18th, 2016 will be the two year anniversary of my Diagnosis Day. Definitely two capital d’s.
The date is forever in my mind. Etched and engraved there. Can never forget it. Couldn’t no matter how hard I tried.
Two years ago I heard the words multiple sclerosis for the first time, officially. The doctors words were buzzing in my ears, way too much to take in, and a really bad time to be alone at an appointment.
I heard the words: brain lesions, loss of cognitive function, mobility issues, progressive, and on and on. No other context. Just the words buzzing through the air.
I zoned out after that until my doctor and his amazing nurse were kneeling in front of my chair asking if there was anyone they could call to come get me, and trying to get the front desk people to find my emergency contact person.
Later I was PISSED. Outraged and mad at God. The God I was just beginning to know. I was angrier than I’d ever been, so I pushed God aside and continued on through life angry at everything.
Now I look back at those two years and see God. I see Him guiding me down the right roads, in the right directions. God sent me the perfect medical team I have today.
It took almost another year for me to get a full diagnosis. No doctor could tell me what type of MS I have. Parts of the path my disease was taking didn’t quite fit in with the diagnosis of MS. After seeing many out of state specialists, I got the diagnosis of Malignant MS, the rarest type.
It’s taken me a long time to realize this, but God has always been there. He never left me, even though I left Him.
I have my diagnosis now. It’s hard. I struggle with my health every day. I have lost a big part of my mobility, deal with frequent migraines, intense pain, and many other symptoms.
But I am stronger than I’ve ever been. I believe in great people, kind people, gracious people. I believe in hope, and that alone is a miracle.
Since my diagnosis, I have become an advocate. I write about issues important to the chronically ill. My articles have been posted on several prominent websites. I co-lead a local support group for people with MS and have been asked to speak at a hospital program about my rare MS.
I’ve learned that I am more than a diagnosis. I’ve learned new hobbies and explored career opportunities that I’ve never thought were possible, even though they haven’t worked out yet.
I’ve learned empathy. I’ve learned that kindness is the single most important thing in getting through the toughest days.
Two years in, I take life in, day by day, moment by moment.
On my Diagnosis Day, I ask for a thought or a kind prayer as I start another year. Year three. I don’t know what it holds, how many more years I have, but prayer is all I can ask for.
Ellie is a 44-year-old woman living in South Carolina. She works as a cashier, but is always dreaming of more, she’s just not sure of what more is. Her favorite hobbies are reading, writing and yarn crafts. Her biggest hope in blogging is to help no one ever feel alone in their journeys with chronic illness, or anything else.