Why I’m Happy I Received Diagnoses of Neuropathy and Myopathy
Through all of this, I would argue with anyone who told me to take so much as an aspirin. I was so anti-any-medicine that wasn’t absolutely life-saving that taking strong pain killers was out of the question. I wanted a permanent solution, not a temporary fix. Again and again and again I was asked, “Why do you want something to be wrong? Why do you keep looking for something to be wrong with you? Why can’t you just do what you’re supposed to do like everyone else?”
I was told by those close to me, “Obviously if the doctor says nothing is wrong, then nothing is wrong.” And, “I’m certainly not going to help you get things done when you are perfectly capable of doing them yourself. Stop being lazy and snap out of it!” But more symptoms kept emerging, and I just kept asking questions, and going to doctors, and not giving up. It’s not easy to keep that up when you feel miserable.
A good personal support system helps not only physically, but emotionally as well. When I was 40, I married a soldier. He not only fought for our country, but he fought for me. He went to doctors with me and explained things when I couldn’t, he helped me to remember to take my medicine when I was too tired to remember by myself, and he always had faith that we would find help and I would get better. With his help, I found a pulmonologist who discovered that I have asthma and sleep apnea. Treating those helped some of my symptoms, but there were still several things going on with my body that no one could figure out.
In my early 40s, my husband got sick with what we thought was a cancerous kidney tumor. I didn’t want to tell him that I’d fallen down the stairs twice in one week, but my sister-in-law did. He immediately sent me to the doctor, where I got an MRI of my back, and they finally found something. Ironically, they didn’t actually find it, they said it was still there! A diffuse atrophy that was found in my back seven years earlier that no one ever mentioned to me. The muscles outside of my lower spine had completely atrophied and been replaced by fat. How could this have happened? Why? We didn’t know, but it explained the pain, weakness, and falling I’d been experiencing for years.