Not having a diagnosis for weeks, months, or years is torture.
The torment never stops when you’re stuck waiting for answers. The tests never stop, the questions never stop, the #Anxiety never stops. Most importantly, the pain and symptoms don’t stop. Nothing ever stops – until you finally get your answers.
Or so I thought…
Call me naive, but I really believed that once I received my confirmed diagnosis of #Endometriosis, things would start to get better, not worse. Once I had my answers, I could create a plan for my pain and symptoms then get back to living life as once before this nightmare started. My new chapter of putting all this behind me would finally begin.
For a lot of us with chronic illnesses, that's simply not how it always goes.
At times, we may discover that more diagnoses will be coming once we have an initial one made. And sometimes getting our answers opens up a whole new wave of emotions and reality that we weren't quite prepared to handle, such as:
Denial: It's still hard to accept our long-awaited answers being part of our life now, and sometimes indefinitely, if our #ChronicIllness or pain doesn't have a cure even though we've already felt bad for so long.
Guilt: We know deep down it's not our fault that we have a chronic illness, it can happen to anyone. Yet, we cannot help but wonder if we should have done more to try and prevent it all from happening somehow as if we could have been in control.
Scrutiny: We can't help ourselves, we will often reflect our pain and symptoms in the past and try to connect the dots to determine if we missed any signs/symptoms and should have investigated them all sooner.
Fear: The future we once always envisioned is immediately stripped away from us, leaving nothing but our worst-case scenarios that could play out with our illness looking forward.
While all these emotions are normal to experience, they can also be very discouraging after receiving your initial diagnosis. And that's when you start questioning something unbearable: your self-worth.
Being valued and appreciated is important to us, it makes us feel good about ourselves. When you discover your health is no longer going to be the same or revert to how you were before all your issues happened, a part of your self-worth and sense of well-being is stripped away from you.
How can you possibly feel worthy when you learn you have a chronic illness and start realizing all the life changes you're going to have to endure from this point forward?
You must accept that modifying your life, in whatever way, due to an uncontrollable health circumstance is not your fault, is far beyond your control, and it will not take away any of your value. Yes, that's much easier said than done, but think of it this way: if your partner, family member, friend, coworker, neighbor, or whoever told you they were diagnosed with what you have, would you see them any less as who they are?
I'm going to bet you said no.
If someone I knew told me they had endometriosis, my view of them wouldn't lower in any way. In fact, it would likely increase because I know how hard it can be living with this disease from day to day. That's how I must look at my situation with endometriosis some days, mostly on my bad days like today. It makes things a little bit easier when you change your perspective outward and avoid being too hard on yourself for something you cannot control.
I'll end on this final note because I know someone out there needs to hear this right now – and maybe that someone is you.
You are worthy and valued, whether you're still #Undiagnosed or finally got your answers. We all have so much to offer to those around us, even if we have to modify our lifestyle in unimaginable ways moving forward.
Do not ever let that mindset change because of your health situation – you will always matter in any way, shape or form.
Our Mission: Spread Endometriosis Awareness
Our goal at Understanding Endo is simple: We want to help you learn more about endometriosis.
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