Hey I Just Met You (And I’m Not Crazy)

I’m scared of Wednesday.

Not like, every Wednesday, but this Wednesday, I will be going to a Big Deal doctor’s appointment and (hopefully) getting some Big Deal news and figuring out what to do with said Big Deal News.

I suppose I should mention, for posterity and for the record that Wednesday will mark the official and final determination of whether or not I will receive my final diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

Big whoop.

After two years of feeling like this, yes, it will be nice to not feel like a nut-ball, but it won’t change anything, really. I’m still who I am and I have what I have, and that’s…okay with me.

I’ve had a “pre-screening” that ended with the doctor being like “Well, you marked literally every single thing on this sheet, the likelihood is pretty great”, and I’ve already told some of my close friends about it, but Wednesday will be the “official” day, as well as the beginnings of a treatment plan and all of that crap. Or it will turn out it’s something completely different and I will eat a hearty batch of humble for dinner.

I have been lucky. I got an appointment scheduled for 4 months from now, but thanks to a cancellation, I only had to wait a week. But just like my appointment, this whole thing has been really strange in how everything started falling into place, strangely and suddenly, without much warning.

There was the casual comment from a friend-of-a-friend, then a few furtive Google searches of “fibromyalgia symptoms”, then more, then a call to my family doctor, asking for a referral to a rheumatologist because of “something I read on the internet”.

For the record, I absolutely hated making that phone call– to date, I’ve been pretty shitty about being an advocate for my own care because– well, what do I say when my family doctor comes smirking back with the results of the blood test I’d begged him for, only to find that every single thing was absolutely normal? After two years of being a mystery patient and feeling like a crazy hypochondriac (and knowing that my doctor thought so), it felt ridiculous to call him up and say “hey, I read this huge list of incredibly vague symptoms online, I am convinced I have this– thanks, WebMD”!

But the thing was, I did. Literally. On the list of symptoms that I found, I think I DIDN’T have maybe four? Five? Something like that.

It just…all made sense, in those minutes reading down that list. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone. I didn’t feel crazy, or like I was exaggerating. I was looking at a concrete list of symptoms for an actual medical problem that actual real people have. I didn’t care that the prognosis of “suck it up, you’re gonna have to live with it” sucked ass, all I cared about was “I might not be crazy”.

So I called. I was awkward and nervous, but the nurse (who has known me since childhood) took pity on me and arranged for the referral– and I got one. Waiting for the appointment was the longest week of my life.

And then….there it was. The pre-screening came back at 100% and I was super excited with the knowledge that after nearly 2 years of this bullshit, I haven’t been going crazy. I haven’t been ‘faking it’. Every stupid thing from the sweating to the constant aches and pains– I’m not nuts.

That, to me, was the most important thing. Right now, I’m still processing and figuring stuff out and waiting for the “official” Wednesday doctor date– but finally, I have a name for what this is. I have a reason besides “I’m too tired” or “I’m sorry, my hands aren’t working today” to tell people.

It’s going to be awhile before I feel like , I admit that.

But the thing is, it doesn’t necessarily change my life. So it has a name.

Big whoop, again.

The thing is, I’ve thought a lot about what to do with said information, whether or not to talk about it here (or not) and how to deal with the questions and problems that I will no undoubtedly run into, and what I’ve decided is that after Wednesday, I’m not going to talk about it any more, at least here on my blog.

I’ve done a lot of thinking lately, especially because of all of the stuff going on in my life right now, and what I realized is that it doesn’t matter. I don’t need to write about my symptoms to make them real, I don’t need to bitch and moan about how hard my life is because I have this thing, I don’t need to waste blog space on this aspect of my life.

Why?

Because I’m awesome. Because my life is awesome. Yeah, some days my hips might feel like they’re on fire and I want to sleep until forever, but my life is still amazing. I don’t need to write entry after entry on my blog about my trials and tribulations because 1: Those trials and tribulations aren’t going to stop or change just because I dedicate some blog space to them, but even more importantly, #2– I have my friends. I have amazing, wonderful, incredible loving friends who are there for me, who listen to me, who will come over and drink wine and listen to me complain about my boyfriend and my hips and whatever else–

because out of all of this, what I’ve learned is that I am more than the sum of my illness.

I’m still me. I’m still Catie, I’m still going to have stupid hair until I get sick of it and be bad at fashion and eyeshadow and still love dogs and pasta and bad horror movies and dark chocolate ice cream and laugh at fart jokes and make awesome cookies and tomato soup– just now, I will have a note in a file somewhere in a doctor’s office.

A note that doesn’t change anything. A note that does not define me or make me any less than kick-ass.

It just means that I’m not crazy.

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