Waiting For A Diagnosis?
Someone asked me how to stay positive while they are waiting for a diagnosis, how would they know if it is the right one, if they are in denial or if it is a wrong diagnosis?
This article will talk about keeping positive while waiting, learning how to trust your gut and give some tips for you to start using today.
“Out there things can happen, and frequently do,
To people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew.
Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Mindset plays a very important role in your journey. Now I am not an expert so don’t take it from me, let’s see what our experts have to say about it.
Dr. Art Markman PHD on Psychology Today –
“you can’t affect the outcome while you are waiting, so you simply should not spend too much time worrying about it. Instead, think about other things. Focus on other aspects of your life. Exercise, play a musical instrument, go out with friends. Do things that are unrelated to the news you are waiting for.”
Mayo Clinic has a great article about stress, “You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the culprit.”
Science is very clear on the complications that stress has on our lives and adding stress to the pains of the illness you have could make the symptoms worse.
With all this being said, what can you do about it? How do you know if the diagnosis you get is the right one?
From my own personal experience there are a couple of ways you can go about finding out if the diagnosis is correct. The first is the good old gut feeling. Rosalie Puiman defines intuition as:
Intuition is a subconscious assessment of various elements:
the past (e.g. experiences, knowledge),
personal needs and preferences (e.g. how do I want to feel) and
the present (e.g. feelings that arise, choice of words, surroundings and signs other people are giving),
leading to a calculation of the best way to handle a situation.
She wrote a beautiful article on how to tell if it is intuition or fear guiding you.
When you are given a diagnosis there can be a lot of fear and a strong gut feeling as to whether or not the diagnosis is correct. Knowing how to listen to your intuition is a very important key to the equation.
The other way that I found helpful is to talk it over with another professional and seek a second opinion. This could mean paying the expense out-of-pocket, as insurance companies sometimes only allow one opinion. I found it quite freeing to have another person look at the diagnosis.
A complication to this can be that sometimes doctors are not willing to contradict another professional. It can be a good idea to find out if they are willing to give a second opinion prior to meeting with them.
Before finding out what was wrong with me, I had been given about 5 diagnoses. One was broken heart syndrome, also known as Takotsubo. According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, on The Rock of KC Podcast, this is a very serious cause of death however this was not the case for me. It took a few different opinions and a lot of waiting before I was given a proper diagnosis.
So how do you stay positive while waiting for a diagnosis?
Here are a few ideas that you can start putting into use today. I have shared some links to their websites or articles if you would like to read more about their work.
- Stay Curious
- Curiosity is a motivator for learning, allows us to look at it with a childlike wonder and according to Emily Campbell at UC Berkeley curious people are happier.
- Link Into A Community
- We are wired for love and connection. Babies in orphanages survive and thrive when they are held and loved best. When we are sick or unwell often we want to isolate and be alone. Just the opposite is true, sharing your story in a safe and supportive environment could be just what your body and soul need most.
- Have Fun
- Having fun increases serotonin levels, improves sleep quality and helps us to form meaningful connections according to healthatpain.com
- Shawn Stevenson has a podcast, blog and book that he passionately shares about the importance of sleep. If you sleep well, it will be easier to worry less, think positively on your situation and provide you with more energy to have fun.
- Have Faith
- Earl Nightingale wrote one of my favourite books, The Strangest Secret. He said, “You see, by being persistent you’re demonstrating faith. Persistence is simply another word for faith. If you didn’t have faith, you’d never persist.”
A prayer for this moment:
14Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise.
Photo credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/clineclines/8614189269