Being a full-time, undiagnosed patient does a lot to a person. It can make you frustrated, cause confusion, fuel anger, create depression. It can also turn you into an avid researcher....one who ends up knowing more about conditions than many doctors themselves. THIS is the category I am starting to fall into.
As I prepare for this Tuesday's doctor appointment, I am readying myself for two possible outcomes.
1) My lyme co-infection test shows something....and I finally have a diagnosis.
2) My lyme co-infection test is negative and I am back to the drawing board.
If my co-infection's test is positive--an exciting thought--it should put an end to the mystery of what's ailing me. If not, I am back where I started: the land of Differential Diagnosis.
If you've ever watched the tv drama House, you've seen differential diagnosis in action. A physician --acting very much like a detective-- looks at your symptoms/problems --testing this drug and that-- until finally, by process of elimination, he/she reaches a conclusion.
In House's world, my D.D. options would look something like something like this....
Trouble is, out of the four remaining diagnoses, only one (Lyme) has a known cause or potential cure. The rest are considered "diseases of unknown origin." Which begs to question: Are Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia really the problem or just symptoms of an underlying issue?
Regardless, I have some big decisions to make:
Do I stick with my doctor?
Do I continue with experimental treatment and "see what happens?"
Do I consult with another physician across country?
Do I take matters into my own hands and start a natural protocol?
Although my underlying health may be improving...my symptoms definitely aren't. And with the new pain in my knees, hips, and back making it harder to walk/stand/sit/think, I'm not going to lie -- I am worried the future.
Altered Today: Questioning herx or new symptoms, planning my new big medical move, learning more about what could be ailing me.