Why Can’t Anyone Help Me? What Do When No One Help Me…?
So you have a chronic illness or two. Maybe more. You already know that your conditions are incurable. You already know that you will likely be sick for the rest of your life. However, you still see doctors in the hopes that maybe someone can actually help you. You hope that maybe there’s something that can at least ease your symptoms. When you get to a place where you’re sick and doctors inevitably can’t do anything more for you, it can become heartbreaking.
Today, I went to my neurologist for a handful of new medical concerns that have been plaguing me. I tend to write out the issues I want to address ahead of my appointment, so that I don’t forget anything. The following is today’s list of concerns.
Yeah, I have a lot going out. My spelling is also pretty bad, I know. I have barely been sleeping. I’m insomnia and pain ridden. Yeah, I’m kinda seeing things that aren’t there, but honestly that’s the least of my struggles. My migraines though, are pretty intense.
Plus, you know, I have my other symptoms that I am struggling with – nerve pain, gastroparesis, POTS, low blood pressure, Ulcerative Colitis, joint/muscle pain – I’ve got a lot going on. Plasma Exchange is helping the worst of my symptoms, I am improving but that doesn’t mean that my symptoms have disappeared, I still am struggling to manage them.
Anyway, so I spoke to my doctor about these issues. This basically sums up how my appointment went:
“How is it possible for light to make me feel sick? LIGHT?”
I don’t know.
“What can I do about my insomnia?”
I don’t know.
“Why am I seeing things?”
I don’t know.
“Isn’t there anything else we can do about my migraines?”
You’re out of options.
We guess it’s just my neuropathy. The end. Why the sudden flare of these symptoms? Who knows. You would automatically think that I’d be angry, I’d be frustrated and I’d be sad that there’s nothing that can be done for me. A year ago, I would have felt the same way.
I used to be heartbroken when I’d go to a doctor with a handful of concerns and they were unable to help me. It’d ruin my day, it’d ruin my week. I would cry about the fact that I’m sick and that I’m stuck this way. Who wouldn’t?
Now, I am unfazed by the fact that most doctors cannot help me. I have accepted that doctors do not have all the answers. There are many doctors who want to help me, but they are unable to due to the limitations of science and pharmaceutical drug availabilities. The reality is that medicine has not caught up to our bodies, and that is something that my doctors and I cannot change.
As long as my doctors try their very best to help me, I do not mind the fact that they simply cannot help me. It is just a reality I must accept. Now when I go to my doctor appointments, I no longer become devastated that there are no solutions for me.
The fact that no one can help me is something that I cannot control, it’s something that I cannot change, so I may as well face it, accept it and embrace it. I must grow, I must adapt. It’s a bleak reality that I cannot be helped medically for many of my issues, but it is reality and something that must be accepted and adapted to.
I had to spend Halloween at the hospital instead of being out with my friends, but I accepted my reality and embraced it. I brought Halloween to the hospital. I had to do surgery during the Christmas holidays, so I brought Christmas to my surgery!
Of course it sucks that I’m sick. But I am sick. It’s not something that’s going away. I can deny it, I can reject this reality, but it is my reality nonetheless. I have found happiness in my illness through accepting, embracing and adapting to the fact that I am chronically ill. I can find ways to work around my conditions, I can find a way to live with my conditions – what other choice to I have? I can be miserable about it, or I can try to grow, try to evolve and adapt to my conditions. There are many things that I cannot change, but I can empower myself by choosing to accept what’s happening to me because that is something that I have control over. Is it easy? No. Is it possible? Yes.
I will of course do everything in my power to seek care and try to get better, but I truly am not expecting any actual results. I will continue to try to see new doctors in order to hopefully receive care, but I will not hold my breath in wishing that they can help me. If a doctor can help me, it will be a wonderful surprise. If a doctor cannot help me, it’s nothing that I didn’t expect. No harm, no foul.
I know you may have come here in hopes that I had a magical solution in terms of seeking care. Unfortunately, I don’t. All I have to offer is the fact that we must try to see reality for what it is, no matter how bleak it may seem, and try to adapt to our circumstances. Is this ideal? No. Is this the life we wanted? No. Is this the life we have? Yes. We only have one life, we must try to embrace it and make the best of it.
This excerpt is from the book How To Be Sick, by Toni Bernhard.