Fear of the unknown still imprisons the human soul. That’s why a mystery diagnosis is so discouraging. Trust me. I know. I’ve battled an unknown disease for the last decade of my life.
In 2003, I began showing symptoms of the “stomach flu.” This went on for several weeks until I finally caved and went to the doctor to find out what my body was trying to say. I traveled to a clinic that had one of the foremost gastroenterology departments in the world.
Their diagnosis? They had no clue. To be honest, they acted as if they didn’t care. Apparently, if they couldn’t figure it out, it wasn’t worth investigating.
The doctor finally sent me to the allergy department. To no one’s surprise, I was diagnosed with food allergies. Eliminating foods that my body couldn’t process worked to a limited extent. I experienced cramping and vomiting only a few times a week now, but the symptoms still persisted.
I gave up on “world-renowned” clinics and went to a small family practitioner who worked with me on discovering what the problem was. He prescribed a simple solution: a strong, over-the-counter antacid that curbed my symptoms even more. I felt good enough to live life again, for about a year, that is.
My symptoms once again reared their ugly heads. The medication had ceased to satisfy my bodies needs. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat.
One particularly bad bout found me in the emergency room of a small, country hospital. I described the symptoms to the doctor. His answer was simple. “You have all the earmarks of gallbladder disease.” At last, a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, that light turned out to be a train.
My glimmer of hope was quickly extinguished when all radiology reports came back negative for gallbladder disease. With no medical insurance, everything seemed hopeless.
One doctor took pity and suggested I try an elimination diet. I would remove all foods from the menu and then add them one by one. My wife kept a careful log of food and reactions. The results? If I carefully regulated my intake of fats, I could live life once again. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but it worked. My improved health allowed me to move on to bigger and better things in my career and family.
So what got me through all this fear of the unknown? It was simply faith. It was faith in a God who provided a loving, patient wife who helped me through. It was faith in a God who brought the right people along to give me the right advice when I needed it. It was faith in a God who knew how much I could take.
He made me stronger through this. He made me more determined than ever to live life to its fullest. I thank Him for my mystery diagnosis.