Without a Diagnosis

Without a Diagnosis

Thursday is my next doctor’s appointment. The one at the rheumatologist. And let me tell you, I am desperate for someone to figure out what this is. Without a diagnosis, I’m throwing all the proverbial wet noodles at all the walls to see what sticks. So far, each has made its sloppy, sliding descent into a slimy pile on the floor.

After three days of distention and extremely painful gutflation™, my bout with constipation ended in a most undignified manner. I’d try to make you (and me) chuckle with the details, but I don’t have it in me. Literally and figuratively.

It’s hard not to feel sorry for myself. Not because I enjoy being all “woe is me” but because I don’t know how to help myself deal with this illusive mystery illness. Being pitiful is less of a struggle, and sometimes I choose the path of least resistance.

Oncology assures me the brain tumor hasn’t grown and that I don’t seem to have another form of cancer. So I try different things to ease my symptoms—dietary changes, supplements, exercises—and when they inevitably fail, I blame myself for doing something wrong.

It’s bullshit, but it’s internalized bullshit.

“I feel like I’m always doing something wrong,” I say exasperatedly pouting.

“It’s not your fault,” Dan reminds me. And honestly, third-party exoneration of blame is the only thing making me feel the slightest bit better these days. Eating healthier to be healthier is a total sham. Nothing I try helps for long. I’m always back to abject horror in 36 to 48 hours.

I was in this same place mentally before the MRI found the tumor. When I did the rounds with the rheumatologist, the neurologist, and the gastroenterologist. Two out of three for sure didn’t believe me, and I don’t know about the third. Either he believed me or he was so kind his unbelief was undetectable.

It’s dark and lonely here, today. I’m desperate for steroids, though I don’t have any reason to believe they’ll help for more than a few hours either. All I have in this moment—without a diagnosis—is hope, and there isn’t a lot of it.

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