On Fridays this month, I’ll be telling the story of Husband-Mans journey through illness this year. This post is about our struggle with test results.
After three months of tests and agony, Husband-Man started getting phone calls from staff at his specialist’s office. One nurse called and said that his test indicated that he didn’t have autoimmune hepatitis, so we went in for another (much less painful) test. After the easier test (an endoscopy where Husband-Man was put to sleep before they scoped his insides), he got a phone call from another nurse that he had autoimmune hepatitis and that he needed to start treatment immediately. And the nurse calling didn’t know why he had been giving conflicting reports, so she couldn’t tell us what was going on. And she took a message for the doctor, but he didn’t call back.
Husband-Man didn’t know what to do. We had spent so much time waiting for news, but the news we were getting didn’t make sense. We had a diagnosis, but we didn’t know where it had come from. And we couldn’t get to the source. We couldn’t get to the doctor. Husband-Man called and left messages for the doctor, and the doctor would call back when he was asleep. And when Husband-Man would call back, the doctor wouldn’t be available.
So, Husband-Man scheduled an appointment. And he found out that on a scale of 1-4 (4 being the worst damage that can be done to your liver and 3.2 being irreversible damage), the damage to his liver was a 3. He found out the the second test was to rule out another possible condition that could have done so much damage to his liver, and that there was no sign of the other condition. He found out that they only way to know for sure was to begin treatment and see if the markers in his blood indicated that the swelling in his liver had decreased.
So, we got a diagnosis. And the diagnosis was “wait and see”. I wanted to curl up and cry. So I did. Why was God making us wait so long? Why couldn’t we just have definitive news and have the opportunity to deal with it?
But, with the diagnosis came treatment. And the treatment reduced the swelling of his liver. And slowly, my husband started eating again, feeling like moving, and turning back to his normal skin tone. And eventually the diagnosis of “most likely autoimmune hepatitis” became “almost sure autoimmune hepatitis”.
Have you ever waited for some major event and found out that it was just another step towards more waiting? How did you react?