When You’re Down You Can Only Go Up

“We highly recommend that you don’t go to London in August.”

This is not at all what I wanted to hear on Wednesday morning, my third day at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Looking back I wonder what a fly on the wall would have witnessed. The doctors telling me this, me looking at the ground crying feeling completely hopeless, trying to smile and thank them for helping me through my pathetic tears. I’m a girl, okay?

I can’t remember the last time I felt “good.” I have known that something is wrong with me for years now…but no one seems to know what is causing it…no one until Mayo Clinic that is.

I visited 5 different doctors before I decided to call Mayo Clinic in April. They’re the best of the best and if they couldn’t fix me…well, no one could.

I somehow managed to get in without a referral and my date was set: June 3. I consider myself an optimist in many ways…but I’m also pretty naïve. I don’t know what I thought…I guess I imagined that I would go for a couple of days of tests and the doctors would say “Hey this is what’s wrong with you…take this pill and you’ll feel perfect the rest of your life!”

That didn’t happen.

Spending 5 days at Mayo Clinic was hell. There’s so much waiting…and it’s not really the waiting that got to me. It’s what you see while you wait. Everyone at Mayo Clinic is pretty much on his or her last hope. No one else knows how to help them so they end up Mayo. We’re all a bunch of odd ducks patiently waiting for answers. And some of us get answers…but not the answers we want to hear. I felt like a guinea pig. Constantly being poked and prodded and told something different every day. All these terms being thrown at me not knowing what half of it meant.

It’s a relief to know that something is wrong with me…yes. But like many things in life, there’s no quick fix to make it all go away. I know I will be dealing with my illness in many ways for the larger part of my adult life (if not longer) and I’m still not sure how to accept that.

A huge part of me feels relief at finally having some answers…but another huge part of me is petrified at what this means for my future.

And London. God. My dream. Gone.

It took me about an hour to come to my senses and realize I wasn’t giving up that easily. I called London (yes, the whole town) and explained my situation. I was told that I would see improvements after some physical therapy in 4-5 months and with increased treatments- London could be an option…just not in 2 months.

She listened to me explain and started to talk. I barely heard anything after she said “It won’t be a problem to defer your acceptance until our March intake.”

Life is so bittersweet.

But if you choose to focus on the sweet, most days you forget about the bitter.


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