(Image via freestockphotos.biz)
Today I am using one of the bonus prompts, which is “describe my best doctor’s visit”.
This won’t come as a surprise to those who are living with chronic illness, but the day I FINALLY received a diagnosis was, and still is, the best doctor’s visit ever. It took over five years before I had a diagnosis.
It was a beautiful fall day. Sunny, warm and the summer’s humidity was long gone. It was so comfortable to be outside. The ENT’s office is only about 5 blocks away and I took a cab to my appointment. Even though the office is close to me, I didn’t want to take a chance on missing the appointment. I can walk very short distances, but some days, walking two blocks is pushing things.
The doctor explained that my health issues involved my ears. So many things that couldn’t be explained by the other specialists started falling into place. So many things started making sense. I became my own chronic illness detective by connecting the dots and solving some of my health mysteries.
In the way that having a cold leads to not feeling well and then getting cranky, I could make sense of some of the various symptoms of my, until then, mystery illness. A lead to B lead to C. Ears giving me problems, adrenaline goes up, feel very warm even though I didn’t have a temperature. Sudden changes in weather, ear problems amplified, walking two blocks becomes a marathon.
When I walked home from the appointment that day (yes, I said walked home because I was that happy to have a diagnosis), I felt like I was floating on air. I was elated! I was euphoric! I smiled from ear-to-ear! I finally had an answer! And that’s what anyone with an unknown chronic illness wants – answers.
We all deal with various battles where our chronic illnesses are concerned and so many times we are being reactive instead of proactive. At least, that’s how I felt and still feel most days. Although the doctor couldn’t tell me the specific diagnosis and reason why my ears were giving me problems (he said it is common with vestibular problems to not know the cause), I had a diagnosis from a specialist that, yes, something is physically wrong with me. It wasn’t psychological – “in my head” – the overused diagnosis doctors give when they don’t know what is happening with you and you don’t present with symptoms that can easily lead to a diagnosis. This, wrongly, continues to happen to so many of us.
In the end, ironically, my best doctor’s visit ever confirmed that yes, not only is something physically wrong with me, (and since the ears are in the head) it really is all in my head.