As I waited to find out what Dr. Second Opinion would say, I spun my hopes into had-to-bes.
When it came to silly issues like disputing a Fibromyalgia diagnosis, hopes weren’t real enough for me. They were flighty, unverifiable and worthy of pity. But when it came to serious issues like my mom-in-law’s struggle to survive Leukemia, hope was not only okay, it was required.
Eventually I did find hope in my own situation, but waiting for validation during the six months after my appointment with Dr. HC, I couldn’t afford another intangible in my world of unsubstantiated claims.
So hopes became facts. I hoped that Dr. HC was wrong and I searched for proof. According to the web, he had pressed on my muscles too hard, so the test had to be incorrect.
I wished to know what was happening to my body. According to the web, the symptoms had to mean MS.
Even my mind, which was not working at full capacity, was capable of skewing the facts to create a world I could live with. Not that I thought MS would be the ultimate outcome. But it would be a solid diagnosis with real treatments.
As I waited I was getting worse. I couldn’t type all day at work without wearing arm braces. Honestly, they didn’t help much, but I figured it was better than nothing.
I had a headache all the time. All the time. I went to bed with a headache and I woke up with one, and there was no relief in between. Often the pain would graduate from the normal low grade ache to a pounding, all-encompassing mess.
Sleeping offered no real rest. I slept at least eight hours a night, but it wasn’t restoring my energy. Waking up most days was depressing. I was still tired, and it felt like my body had been struggling overnight. Some mornings I felt like I had just run a marathon.
The fact that sleep didn't restore me made going to bed pointless, but I did it. And getting up exhausted was tiring, but I did it. There was nothing else to do.
I was terrified to find out what was really wrong with my body and at the same time, I was scared to never know. In an effort to keep fear from collapsing me, I had to find hope somewhere.
Dr. Second Opinion became my pastor, even though I hadn’t met him yet. All of my faith was invested in a true diagnosis, and he was going to guide me there. Not a wish, a fact. Believe it and it is true.
In this way, hope became a thin metal rod that slid through my tab-top spine, holding me straight and facing forward.