I stumped the G.I. specialist, though she did a lot of research into possible next steps and was incredibly determined to not just leave me hanging. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that -- she even consulted with other specialists. She followed up with my doctor directly, too, to do more brainstorming.
I had a doctors appointment on Tuesday with my GP. She believes my next step involves getting another MRI, but this time we intend to look at my brain and spine.
What are we looking for now? That's a good question, and I'm starting to feel like the answers my doctors give me come from a spin-the-wheel style of random diagnosis selection. No really. This feels like the most wild stab in the dark to date. Up next on this medical wheel of wonder: Multiple Sclerosis.
Like everything else within the autoimmune spectrum, the symptoms of MS run a wickedly unpredicable and irrational gambit. You may have no symptoms at all, or symptoms like mine, or symptoms that are nothing like any I've ever had. Insofar as classic symptoms are concerned, I don't come close to hitting the mark, which makes this next step feel completely out of whack.
Justification runs something like this: "We may be looking at a diagnosis of exclusion, so we have to rule everything else out."
Other future possibilities include being given the non-diagnosis diagnosis of fibromyalgia, which I think would piss me off to no end because it's not an answer. It's a catch all of "we really don't know." Chronic Fatigue Syndrome isn't much better, and the same goes for Myalgic encephalomyelitis.
I've been sick for three years, have spent thousands of dollars (literal thousands) on being sick despite having health insurance (the States is a fucking barbaric country, make no mistake), have changed my entire life to be as healthy as I can on my own, and haven't a clue how to get better. These stabs in the dark feel like my doctor's giving up on me, and I'm not ready to be cast aside like that.