My Diagnosis

Unfortunate MRI Result

March 22, 2019. I scheduled my MRI for first thing in the morning, bright and early at 7 AM. I don’t know if you have ever had an MRI, but that is one way to certainly wake you up and make sure you are alert.

Side note | people warn you that an MRI can be claustrophobic and that you have to lay incredibly still, NO ONE warned me of the loud crazy beeping noises. Oh my gosh, what a great way to jump out of your skin the first time you have an MRI. Consider yourself warned and pray you never have to have an MRI.

This was my third MRI. My first two years came back all clear and I was expecting this one to be the same. I felt the same, I hadn’t had any issues with my eyes, and I certainly hadn’t experienced any new issues. I am active, healthy, and happy. Why would this MRI turn out any differently?

I don’t know if it was just anxiety after the MRI, or if I just felt like something wasn’t quite right, but going into the doctor’s office, I was incredibly nervous. Mitchell assured me everything would be okay and that we would get a celebratory Starbucks drink on our way out. When the doctor walked in the room, I knew something wasn’t right. When he finally got to discussing my MRI and looked at me and said, “You have MS”, I just nodded as if I already knew. I looked over at Mitchell who was already crying and I had this moment like, “wait, is the doctor talking to me? Is this real? I have MS, how?”. He told me my prognosis was good and that I should get started on a disease modifying therapy as soon as possible. He said that he would set me up with a neurologist (he was specific to optic neurology) and the only other piece of information he gave me was the MS Society website. He didn’t tell me what type of MS I had or what to expect or what to do during the two weeks I was waiting to get into a neurologist.

We did not get a celebratory Starbucks on our way out.

Waiting with Emotions

Thanks, for the diagnosis. Thanks for letting me sit around for 2 weeks to google every scary symptom or possibility. Thanks for not telling me I had relapsing remitting caught VERY early and that that is why my prognosis looked good.

After receiving my diagnosis, I went through a range of emotions. All of them are valid and reasonable. I was terrified, scared, confused, angry (no wait, furious), devastated, and hopeless. I have also felt times of denial. The most confusing part of all of this is that I feel completely normal. I am active, healthy, happy, and busy. Very, busy.

I definitely let myself sit in self-pity for a good two weeks. I cried a lot and probably ate more than my fair share of ice cream (I don’t drink, so I have to cope somehow. I realize this is not healthy, but I am only human). Whether you are expecting it or not, no one wants to find out that they have an incurable autoimmune disease. I have been so proud for so many years that I rarely get sick. Who knew that one day my body would turn against me?

Enjoy Life – Choose Joy

One day, as I was praying, I realized, I have a choice to make. I can sit in self-pity for a long time and be miserable, sad, and not enjoy what life has to offer. Or, I can pick myself up, enjoy my health and ability to be active while I can, and live my life. I have a beautiful family, amazing friends, and a God who has suffered more than I will ever suffer so that I will one day have a pain-free, everlasting life. Wow. What more could I ask for? I better go and start living my life, enjoying every day, and taking advantage of my early diagnosis.

Diagnosis Date

The date you receive a bad diagnosis is typically a date you will remember forever.  I am going to choose to accept this date as the day that I was awoken, not destroyed. I was given the opportunity to live in the moment, not in the future or past. Plus, this date holds a separate and important meaning to it. My sweet, adorable nephew was welcomed to the world on this date and boy what a blessing he is to everyone that knows him and gets to watch him grow. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for a new family member to outshine this dreary day.

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”

Psalm 34:1-4






2 responses to “My Diagnosis”

  1. Kate Finch Avatar
    Kate Finch

    Hey Rachel! I’m Paige’s friend and did your hair a few
    times years ago! Paige showed me your blog and I just wanted to say you are SO strong. I love that you let your faith lead you and that He will always be there for you. I will be praying for you and your family! Stay strong lady! You got this!

    1. Rachel Avatar

      Kate, thank you so much for reaching out! I really appreciate all your prayers and encouragement. Hope you are doing well.