Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Diagnosis: The real day one

I was diagnosed only 5 days ago. Thursday, March 5, 2009-3:02 pm. I had my MRI the previous morning, and was anxious to find out what was really going on.

I promised my partner that I would wait until Friday to call my doctor, but I couldn't wait. When I called his office a few hours after having the MRI and they said my results would be ready the next day, Thursday, I knew I had to call. So after meeting her for lunch and settling into the car to wait for her to finish working, I had to make that call. I tried to listen to music or read a book, but I couldn't focus on anything but hearing my doctor tell me I had Multiple Sclerosis. So, after sitting there for 20 minutes, I called Dr. Friedberg's office. Emily answered and as soon as I gave her my name, her voice dropped. She put me on hold while she got my file, and I closed my eyes and fought back the tears. I'd pictured this moment in my head and I'd done all the research possible, so there was no reason to be nervous or scared. When Dr. Friedberg answered, I cheerfully greeted him and waited for the news. He was obviously nervous about giving that type of information over the phone, and opted to read the radiologist report to me. By the tenth five-syllable word, I interrupted and asked what he was trying to tell me. "Multiple Sclerosis," he said. And all I could do was exhale.

After a few moments of silence, he asked if I was alright and I told him that I was fine and was expecting the diagnosis. Between my weird symptoms and my google-taught reading of the MRI, I knew my answer. Though I would not say those two words until he said it first. We set up a follow-up appointment for the next day, I thanked him, and we ended our call. Feelings of relief and remorse washed over me. For the first time I had an answer. I'd suffered countless mystery illnesses all diagnosed as stress, anxiety, fatigue, or my favorite, "obesity-related." Yep, when I lost vision in my left eye, all I had to do was lose weight and take a nap and my vision would return. I'm still waiting for that to happen.

At the same time, all my dreams of the future started fading away. Would I even have the strength to be a career woman, mother, and domestic diva? Is it fair to my fiance to spring this on her less than 150 days before our wedding? This scared me. So, I called her and she came out to the car to sit with me for a bit. She was not afraid or stunned or apprehensive. She told me to get my crying out and then we need to make plans to live our best life possible. Wow. There was no time to hide under the covers or recoil from my daily life. I need to take this diagnosis as a jumpstart to life.

That's how I ended up here. For years I've wanted to start a blog about my life, but never felt there was anything to write about. Now there is. This blog will not just be about MS, it will be about my life. The good, the bad, and the hot mess ugly. It will be a way for me to talk about how this diagnosis is a wake up call for me to stop putting life off for tomorrow, because tomorrow I may not be able to walk, make homemade pie crust, crochet, or type out all the things I have floating in my head. I feel more alive today than I have in the entire 24+ years I've been alive. I hope you enjoy my journey.

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