Within the last year, I have been diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses.
Living with a chronic illness can be incredibly challenging, both physically and emotionally. One of the most difficult parts of this experience has been navigating the medical system to receive a proper diagnosis and any treatment. This whole process has been long, frustrating, and filled with obstacles, which have been exacerbated by the already difficult situation of feeling terrible all the time.
As an example, take Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Endometriosis, two conditions that are often overlooked and misdiagnosed. I was finally diagnosed with both conditions after years of experiencing symptoms but never understanding the root cause. I have been told so many reasons for why I would be experiencing symptoms but have never really been given a chance to get properly diagnosed until recently.
Initially, I was relieved to finally have a diagnosis and validation for my experiences. Finally, I could put a name to the pain, fatigue, and other symptoms that had been plaguing me for so long. It was a huge relief to know that I wasn't crazy like so many people had me believing.
However, this relief was short-lived as I soon realized that there was no cure for either condition. I was left feeling helpless and frustrated, knowing that I would have to manage my symptoms for the rest of my life.
The medical process itself was incredibly difficult. It took years to find the right doctors who understood my symptoms and were willing to listen to my concerns. Even then, it was a long and difficult road to receive proper diagnosis and treatment.
I had to endure countless tests, procedures, and appointments, often with long wait times and little communication or explanation from medical professionals. I had to advocate for myself constantly, pushing for answers and trying to navigate the complex medical system.
Despite all these difficulties, however, I am still grateful to finally have a diagnosis. Even though there are no easy solutions or quick fixes, having a name for my conditions has given me a sense of validation and understanding. It has allowed me to connect with others who are going through similar experiences and has given me hope that one day, there may be better treatments or even a cure.
The process of navigating the medical system when you are chronically ill can be incredibly difficult and frustrating. However, it is important to remember that a diagnosis, even if there is no cure, can provide a sense of validation and understanding. It can connect you with others who understand your experiences and give you hope for the future. While the road ahead may be challenging, having answers can be a small but important step in the right direction.
It has been a long road and there is still plenty of road ahead of me but I am hopeful. Hopeful that I can feel normal again. I will always have pain and discomfort and that has been a hard thing to accept. I am so grateful for my current medical team, my doctors that won't stop fighting for me.