Your diagnosis. Your emotions?
What words would you use to describe your experience of being diagnosed with a life changing illness? Go!
For me the words are: Clinical. Confusing. Out of body. Impersonal. Overwhelming. Information overload. Distressing images.
I was diagnosed with MS in 1997, as a healthy 22 year-old (well so I thought). A doctor I didn’t know, and didn’t know me, announced that an MRI and lumbar puncture confirmed I had MS. My prognosis was unclear. My future was now unknown.
Being diagnosed is a life changing moment. Filled with so many different emotions in such a short space of time. A doctor’s words mean that life will never be the same.
When I was diagnosed with MS every aspect of my life and the plans I had for the future assumed a functioning body and good health. Yet as the doctor explained good health was no longer a given. No wonder my world was turned upside down.
But what I now realise is that apart from the information provided about my disease, I wasn’t provided anything to help navigate through the emotional overwhelm.
Recently I put together a quick reference guide to help you get through significant moments your life is interrupted – your diagnosis but also significant new symptoms.
(If you missed it click her Quick Reference Guide)
These insights are what I wish I could have told the 22-year-old me going through my own diagnosis
- Stay in the moment
- The intensity of emotions will less
- Avoid rash decisions
- Keep dreaming
I won’t go through each here, but I encourage you to have a look at the guide.
This week go back to the list of words describing how you felt when diagnosed. Are you still feeling all of these emotions today? Are they as intense?
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