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It’s hard to describe exactly how I’m feeling.  My emotions are still incredibly complex and difficult to decipher.

For well over a year, I’ve lived with a “clinical” diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, the result of a lifetime of various symptoms and presentations. What does this entail? Many of my doctors felt that my symptoms and test results were indicative of mito. And they were going to treat it as such. Unfortunately, there is a bit of a stigma attached to a clinical diagnosis. Both in the medical field and among other Mitovians (families affected by mito). Physicians don’t take it seriously (no “proof”!) and frequently suggest a psychological basis (either on behalf of the parent or the patient) to explain the multitude of medical issues – despite tests implying otherwise. And the mito community itself frequently scoffs at clinical diagnoses. Despite all the good we gain from the camaraderie provided by the amazing support network of the mito community, there is also plenty of judgment and doubt.  Some diagnoses are deemed “more serious” or “more true” based on the diagnosis method.  It’s unfortunate, but true.

There are diagnoses based on muscle biopsies (these seem to be given the most credence, despite the high false negative rate).  And there are diagnoses based on genetic mutations or deletions (these are usually given a good bit of respect, but have a high false positive rate, because although mutations are present, they may not be expressed).  Finally, at the bottom, we have “clinical diagnosis.”  These are generally symptom-based with a few objective studies and laboratories to back up the decision.  These are often regarded as untrue, made-up, without basis.  And it sucks that patients aren’t given care by doctors just because these clinical diagnoses are not believed.

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About 7 hours after I posted my last blog, I was finally settled in my room. By that time, my temperature had started rising. Before I fell asleep (around 8:30pm), my temperature had risen to 100.6. That’s nothing, my body told the nurses, just you wait and see! But the next vitals (around midnight), my temperature had risen to 101.8. I can’t still do better than that. My temperature at 4am was 102.4 and rising. Almost there… I hit 103.2 before it started going back down.

But my temperature wasn’t what really had them worried.

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I checked back in to Chateau de MGH last night. Yup, they just couldn’t keep me away!

Over the last couple days, I had been getting increasingly worse sharp pain in my upper left abdomen. I joked to Keith that my spleen and pancreas were duking it out. But I hadn’t pooped in three weeks so it could just be constipation, right? We started pushing mag citrate through the tube. 3 bottles over 30 hours, to be exact. No success.

It hurt to move, it hurt to breathe, it hurt to sneeze and cough and burp. I laid on the couch in the fetal position all day on Tuesday with the occasional moan or whimper. Keith threatened to take me to the ER on numerous occasions. I resisted. I had just escaped; there was no way I was going back so soon. I gave in to pain medication and took 4mg dilaudid PO. I didn’t even get a slight buzz… there was something wrong with that. Four hours later, I crushed another 4mg and put it through the tube. Still no relief. No wooziness even. What was wrong? Why wasn’t my body absorbing it?

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