Sunday, May 14, 2017

Processing my New Diagnosis

I have a diagnosis: Functional neurological disorder

"Functional neurological disorder (FND) is a condition in which patients experience neurological symptoms such as weakness, movement disorders, sensory symptoms and blackouts. The brain of a patient with Functional Neurological Disorder is structurally normal, but functions incorrectly." - Wikipedia

Basically what's happening, as the neurologist explained it, is my brain stopped sending messages to my legs for some reason. She said it's like if your computer freezes and you have to reboot it. I will be going through a process of both cognitive behavioral therapy and physical therapy to identify stress triggers and learn how to respond to them and also to learn how to trick my legs into doing what I want them to. It may take a very very long time but it is possible for me to get better. I am definitely willing to put in the work required.

I've had this for at least 6 years so it will take a long time to get better, maybe even years.  And it's weird to me because I should be happy that I can get better, and I am, but at the same time I had accepted the fact that I may never get better and I even believed that I would never get better but I was okay with that.  And I was used to it.  I connected with other people like me who have illnesses that there is no cure for.  And we supported each other and helped each other through the tough times.  And I still have a chronic illness but I kind of feel guilty because I can get better but so many of my friends can't.  It's almost like I don't know who I am anymore again.  I have gotten used to being sick all of the time and as weird as it sounds a future where I'm healthy seems a little bit scary.  I guess that's my anxiety and my difficulty responding to change.  I think that what scares me more is that if I don't get healthy then it's kind of my fault.  I'm honestly still processing everything and there are a lot of emotions involved and I don't understand all of them.

I am very grateful for all of the people who support me no matter what happens, for the community of chronically ill people who include me despite the specifics of my illness.  One of my first feelings was that I don't know where I fit in anymore but they assured me that I fit in there no matter what happens.  My immediate future holds a lot of pain, ups and downs, but also hope.  And all of the people who are happy with me during my ups and encourage me during my downs will help me get through this.

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