Without a diagnosis you can WebMD your symptoms until you’re blue in the face. You can talk yourself into and out of just about any disease, and you can drive yourself nuts. With a diagnosis you can develop a treatment plan, come to terms with your condition, and find a pathway forward.
Once I had accepted the primary lymphedema diagnosis I read everything I could about it - including the doctor resources. There was one day when I spent an hour highlighting an article from a medical journal. One line stuck with me: Lifelong care, in conjunction with psychosocial support, is necessary to achieve optimal outcomes. I want optimal outcomes.
Psychosocial support is all of the non-treatment-oriented stuff that one would use to cope with a condition - emotional and social stuff. The psychological effects of this condition are the most devastating In this case, my psychosocial support is the love of my life… he has been amazing throughout the pursuit of a diagnosis and now with the day-to-day management of my condition.
One question I have been asked is: How is the love of my life coping with my condition? I don’t have a good answer for this, but I am grateful to have someone in my life who will allow me to cry out my frustrations and then, with strength, remind me to keep my head up and mind clear.