Magical thinking didn't work.

Despite a lifetime spent practicing a type of magical thinking that told me if I obsessed enough about the worst possible outcome that it couldn't possibly be the outcome, I have multiple sclerosis (MS). It was honestly my first thought when my foot started tingling eight months ago, but I believed that if I thought about it enough, and vocalized it enough to make enough people say "You're fine! Crazy, but fine," then it wouldn't be MS, or any of the other exciting chronic and potentially debilitating conditions that came to mind when a hypochondriac notices that their foot is tingling.

Even when the MRI came back "highly suggestive" for MS I figured it might just go away. My primary care doctor had ordered the MRI for what she believed were vestibular migraines. She was taken aback, and not convinced it was time to make a diagnosis, so I decided to dwell in ignorance a while longer as I waited for a neurology consultation. I jumped on a plane to Europe for the trip I'd waited a decade to take with my spouse.

My vision went wonky on the way back from Jane Austen's house, and I found myself in an A&E in London. Back in the US three weeks later I was sitting in front of a neurologist at 8 am, and by midnight was in a hospital bed hooked up to a massive quantity of IV steroids while medical residents discussed poking a hole in my spine.

So magical thinking didn't work. This alters my whole worldview. Where do I go from here?


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