Receiving a diagnosis that you have a permanent, debilitating disease is devastating. No matter what the diagnosis, you have to endure the words, “You have _______.” Those words are probably the hardest 3 words you may ever be faced with in your life or have already had the dreadful experience of being faced with. For me, I heard the words, “You have MS.” They were the hardest 3 words I ever had to endure.
It’s never good news to receive a permanent diagnosis, and how a person deals with it usually varies among each individual. I believe that everyone that has received such a diagnosis remembers everything about it down to the last detail. At times, it might be “blurry” because you may have tried to forget or block it out of your memory especially if your initial reaction was denial, but no matter what you can recall that day, that time, those terrible words.
My neurologist appointment was at 10am on April 29, 2008 to receive all of my test results. I took the entire day off of work and school. My mother traveled three hours to accompany me to the appointment. I was trembling as we walked into the clinic. My mom held my hand in the waiting room as we patiently waited for my name to be called.
When I heard my name, I slowly rose from my chair and we followed the nurse back to the same room I was in just a few weeks prior. The neurologist walked in & I was expecting him to say something, some sort of news that would help in calming my fears. Instead, he said he didn’t have all of my results yet. He never received my spinal tap results, so he picked up his phone to call the lab. As he read my results & the “normal range” I already knew before he even hung up the phone I was going to hear the dreaded 3 words. Although, I didn’t realize how awful I would feel until I actually heard him say them.
When we were excused out of the office to give it time to “soak-in” my mom held me in that hospital hallway as I cried every tear I had in me to shed.
If you ever hear or have already heard the words “You have _______,” just know that you are not alone. It may feel like it at the time, but you are not.