As I have mentioned, I am writing a book about living with chronic illness and I would love to get input from you…I apologize in advance for ‘thinking out loud’ in my posts about it.
Today, I am thinking about getting a diagnosis and what feelings that experience brings up. I think there can be any number of emotions that one goes through when being diagnosed (or when a close loved one is): Fear, Anger, Guilt, Grief to name a few.
For me, it was primarily grief. I felt overwhelming sadness about what was lost, about how my daughter’s future was being rewritten from what I thought it should be, for the suffering that she was experiencing. I wrote about my grief and sadness ad nauseam for months, until even I got tired of listening to myself. Sometime after the first anniversary of Em’s diagnosis, my grief became more manageable. Don’t get me wrong, it is still there, it just rears its ugly head less often. Also, there is truth to the adage that humans can adjust to almost anything and it is harder to grieve when you are accustomed to whatever that challenge is.
I also felt a lot of fear, which is a no-brainer as far as I am concerned – but not much anger, I think because my emotions were channeled into grief instead. I subscribe to the theory that all anger comes from sadness. So, I think I just mostly skipped the anger portion of the program and went straight to sadness. That isn’t to say that I haven’t felt anger at times – it usually is just very targeted anger over a very specific event or towards a specific person. Most often a doctor who has treated my kid poorly.
And I have felt guilty over not getting Em diagnosed sooner, for labeling her a drama queen as a child, for allowing myself to be diverted by doctors poo-pooing my concerns when I knew darn well something was wrong. And, no amount of logic can really alleviate that guilt.
What emotions were stirred up when you (or your loved one) got a diagnosis? Which one was the most difficult to deal with? If you have thoughts that you would like to share on this topic, please feel free to comment here or on my Facebook page.
(If you comment, be aware that I possibly may incorporate your comment or a portion of your comment or the general jist of your comment into my book. I will try to contact you if I do, but I cannot promise to be able to do so – consider this your notice. I appreciate your help.)