Posted in coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, In the Know

Dealing with Uncertainty

When we go to the doctor with a problem our assumption is that they will be able to figure out what’s wrong and fix it.  Personally, I think that’s a lot of pressure to put on the medical community.  Remember they call it the “practice” of medicine, not the “perfection” of medicine.  I say this because over the past couple of weeks I’m hearing from more people that the doctor’s they’re seeing aren’t sure what’s wrong.

In addition, maybe it’s the body that’s fooling the medical community.  Yesterday I got a call from someone who had a biopsy that was inconclusive.  We might want to ask how’s that possible, but it means that the body isn’t giving up its mystery.  The hope is that further tests, or whatever the next steps are for diagnosis will be pursued because treatment can’t begin without a diagnosis and it helps if the diagnosis is accurate.

Many of us facing a life-altering health issue are living in a black and white world.  Because it’s our health at stake we can’t stay in the gray and that’s frustrating.  I’ve talked to many people over the years who felt the diagnostic process was more unbearable than the ultimate diagnosis.  It’s the inherent knowledge that something is wrong but not knowing exactly what, keeping us on pins and needles that makes you pull your hair out (fortunately I don’t have any hair).

I guess what I’m saying is that when dealing with uncertainty stay in the realm of asking questions.  When you stay in the space of the question you’ll help smoke out the real issues helping end the guessing game and landing firmly on your feet.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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