As I sat in the doctor's office I kept mentally pinching myself to make sure that I was actually awake. He was giving us answers and he was listening and genuinely concerned and had a desire to actually help up. Sadly this is very rare in my experience of the health care world. I don't know if it is just because the doctors are over-busy and have so much and so many patients on their plate .. but to find a doctor who wants to dig deeper into a compliated case like mine is very unusual. This particular doctor is a cardiolgist. We went because of the chest pain and weakness I have been having for 5 years - which has been undiagnosed and misdiagnosed for years now. But this way the day we had been waiting for. A diagnosis. Paricarditis or swelling in the sac around my heart which has now become chronic. There is something causing this - any range of auto-immune diseases (which we have suspected for years as well). But at least I know that when my chest hurts it is because of the swelling around my heart - and when I am so tired it is partly at least because of the strain on my heart. And I am so relieved. Just to know is half of the battle - or maybe even 80% of the battle.
The best part of this story: the hand that held mine as we walked into this doctor's office, the eyes that met mine with that understanding excitment at the news of a diffinitive diagnosis finally, the arm around my shoulders as we walked out ready to face the next round of testing and new doctors ... my husband was with me every step of the way. For all of the spouses who feel that they are always there for the wife or husband who is sick ... thank you! You may not know how much your presence means to us - but it means more than words can say. You give us strength to face another day, another doctor.
We are grateful.