Accepting Chronic Illness

I went to Mayo Clinic last week, and I just got home yesterday.

After hearing from multiple different doctors that there shouldn’t be anything causing my pain, one of my friends and one of my doctors recommended that I see if I could make an appointment.

I got there Wednesday night and then Thursday and Friday I spent my all days doing testing and meeting with different departments. It was a lot to handle, and I’m very grateful that my mother accompanied me. I was completely overwhelmed by the experience, but in two days I was able to get answers that I didn’t have and see doctors that actually believed me when I talked about my symptoms.

What I know as of right now is that I have officially been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and preliminarily been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The peripheral neuropathy is without cause so far in my blood work, and genetic testing will need to be done to confirm that it is genetic as they expect it to be.

The information hasn’t fully sunken in yet. I think I’m avoiding it by saying “well the official blood work results won’t be in until tomorrow,” despite watching all of my blood work come in as normal.

What I have continually told myself on bad pain days is that someone will find a way to fix it. Knowing that the likelihood of that being false is almost 0% at this point is something I’m trying to wrap my head around still.

I’m mad at my body, and I will own that. I’m mad that I have lived through an eating disorder, addiction, and self-harm behaviors and now I will be living in a chronically ill body.

I know that I have the ability and the support system to get through it, though. I know that my friends and family will help me adjust as I learn how to adjust to this. I also know that I cannot take this out on my body just because I am mad. I don’t get to punish myself for this, and it isn’t my fault.

I’m not sure what navigating this is going to look like, and I’m not sure what navigating recovery and chronic illness is going to look like now that I know the symptoms aren’t going to go away. But I am sure that I will navigate it. I will make mistakes and push myself too far, but I’m going to figure it out because this is the life I have the complete joy of getting to live, road blocks and all.

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