Truth is…

My friend arrived home from Mayo Clinic with no answers. They did a lot of tests, and a long list of things were “ruled out”. I kept hoping for a Pet scan. It shows everything. But that is part of the problem.  A lot of things would glow green. It could lead to a lot of unnecessary tests. It is a test used a lot to see an area that has been already diagnosed. Cancer is one example. Many of us remember when Augustus told Hazel that “he lit up like a Christmas tree” during his Pet scan. It meant his cancer had come back with a vengeance,  it was terminal. The Pet scan saved Jake’s life. The mass of bacteria was hidden from x-rays, MRI’S and Cat scans.  I knew the Pet scan was a long shot for my friend; it’s also very expensive. I so hoped they would find something hidden away reeking havoc in her body. And it would be easily treated. Nothing. Her symptoms could be a sign of infection, cancer or autoimmune.  I asked Jake’s doctor, and her doctor said basically the same thing. Sometimes there are no answers. We wait. The cause either runs its course and subsides, or it finally erupts.  It may suddenly become an emergency, life-threatening or critical. In the meantime she waits, living with the symptoms- many painful. Jake’s weird, unnamed “virus” that went away after 6 weeks in 2001 was giving us symptoms. Several doctors guessed, but could not diagnose or fix. It was very frustrating. We waited many more years until 2012, when someone could put a name on it. It couldn’t have been diagnosed before then. It hadn’t really even been identified.  We were told it would be a nuisance,  but not life threatening, until it was in 2014. Again we had no diagnosis for almost 8 months. After being critically ill for 4 of those, we thought we had a cure. No. A year later, my son was facing cancer and a bone marrow transplant.  Now when I Google his 2012 diagnosis of natural killer cell deficiency,  there is more information.  Jake is actually a pretty classic case- his signs and symptoms were right in front of us. But yet a mystery. His doctor is making a program for doctors all over the world to use for diagnosis. I forget how much Jake has  been through. I was hoping for a quick answer for my friend. I will continue to wonder if there is some parasite, bacteria, virus or fungus that she picked up while in Mexico hiding inside her.  Hopefully it will subside soon. I don’t think many of us realize the long journey that many people face trying to diagnose an illness…

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