The Bittersweetness of Medical Test Results

Bittersweet

Imagine this.

You’ve been sick for months, years even.

You were tested for this and that. Negative results. Positive results. Numbers too high or too low.

“Sometimes those elevated numbers don’t really mean anything,” the doctor says.

You know that’s not true. You know you’re sick and just getting worse day by day. If only someone would listen and then search for answers. The symptoms have to be connected, you realize. You’ve done your research. You’ve tried to “eat a healthy diet, exercise, and sleep.” It’s not working.

The day comes when you finally see a new doctor who listens intently. She asks questions before scribbling on her notepad. She reviews your entire health history. She wants to know your story because there are details there that might provide clues.

So, you open up. You share things you’ve rarely shared before – perhaps only hinted at to closer friends for fear of people thinking you’re crazy.  You begin explaining the fits of rage that plagued you throughout your childhood and into your early 20’s. Sharing how you always felt like you couldn’t control yourself begins to bring a peace to your mind. You can finally get it out there – finally get the help you need.

You tell of the depression, insomnia, and anxiety. The fatigue, bruises that cover your body, hair falling out, and constant chilled feeling. You explain that you can’t think clearly, that you started believing you became dyslexic because reading is now painfully difficult and every time you try to jot a few words on paper the letters end up in the wrong order.

Next, you explain the headaches. The achy body. The limbs that fall asleep at the most inconvenient times. The memory loss that makes you feel stupid when you can’t remember simple conversations.

The symptom list goes on and on.

But, the doctor still listens. She hears you. She knows.

So, she does more tests. In fact, she tests for everything you had on your list of questions. She says that symptoms might be pointing to a multitude of things and she wants to get to the bottom of it.

The Bittersweetness of Medical Test Results

This doctor places a strong emphasis on finding the root cause, not just treating symptoms.

This gives you a sense of relief because you want answers. You’re reaching, gripping, desperately seeking for those answers.

The day comes when you check your mailbox and it’s there – the test results. You had been waiting for a few weeks, hoping they’d show up soon. You just want to know what’s happening to your body. You already know some of it, but not all. You don’t think it will be a big deal because after all, the point of knowing is to now be able to treat effectively, right?

That’s what you thought, anyway.

But, the truth.

The real truth…

Is that the test results shake you.

You wanted to know. You needed an answer for the pain you had been feeling. And, while it seems like it should be a relief, it’s not.

The pain deepens.

You realize that not only is there something going on with your body that needs treated, but you’re worse off than you ever would have imagined. You’re sick. Really sick. Getting better isn’t going to happen overnight.

That’s when you don’t know what to do.

Should you cry?

Should you rejoice?

In this very circumstance, I did neither and I did both.

At first, I didn’t respond. I looked at the papers as if they weren’t mine. I felt removed from the situation, as if I was watching it happen from afar. Then, I responded to the most shocking and rather humorous piece of information: I have an intolerance to peanuts! And, sadly enough, PB&J sandwiches and Dark Chocolate Reese’s happen to be my favorite foods.

Even with this new sad truth in my life, the results still didn’t hit me right away.

When the results finally sank in, though, I was hurt. I was heartbroken. I was fearful.

I cried – the big, wet tears ran down my cheeks one after the other.

I knew that the life I had formerly known was never going to be the same. So, while the results had provided new knowledge to help treat the chronic illness that had overtaken my body, it was still hard to swallow.

The moment I received these recent medical test results was the most bittersweet moment of my life. I saw hope, but I saw darkness on the way to reach that the promise of better health. I knew that getting to the light, to the place of healing, was going to be the hardest journey I have yet to travel, and it shook me at my core.

Somehow, though, even though it’s been hard since the results came, God keeps giving me peace about these life changes. I feel like the place I stand is exactly where God wants me to be. He has a plan and He has a purpose. I have no doubt that He’s still good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

-Romans 8:28

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.

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5 thoughts on “The Bittersweetness of Medical Test Results

  1. Emily,it’s good they found out what’s wrong with you so they could fix it,one day in Heaven you won’t have to worry about intolerance to anything,and you will be able to enjoy those things again.

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