Waiting on the Big D

(I don’t mean Dallas)

It’s the 10-day countdown until I get the big D. That’s D as in Diagnosis. Nearly two years ago I went to the doctor to find out why I was losing dexterity and feeling in my hand. Several physicians, specialists, brain scans, spinal taps, blood tests, and additional symptoms later, I am finally going to get a diagnosis. At least that is what I hope is going to happen. In truth, many things could happen at this appointment, and I am dreading most of them.

Scenario #1 – The Fantasy Diagnosis

This is the one that everyone hopes for in their dreams. Which is also the only place that it comes true – in their dreams. “Mr. Judd, after further testing and consultation, we have decided that you are in perfect health and should live to be 100.” Oh yeah, that’s likely. I could call out an early “April Fools” to all of my friends and family and we could all have a big laugh.

Scenario #2 – The Not This, But That Diagnosis

This diagnosis is a lot more likely than the previous one, but if this is what they come up with, why didn’t they figure it out months ago? It may just turn out that I have plain old Parkinson’s. This is still going to be a struggle, but much less of one than the disease they have been guessing I might have. My life will still change, but it will be much more manageable and have a longer “due date”.

Scenario #3 – We Have Confirmation

There is a very distinct possibility that they will confirm a diagnosis of Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD). I have been preparing for this one for the last 90 days. I post about it. I am writing this blog because of it. With this diagnosis comes a “terminal” label and a “due date” in the near(er) future. In a lot of ways, I am okay with this scenario. My preparation for it has caused me to make some adjustments in my thinking, in what is most important to me, and in my overall way of life. Strangely, a lot of good things have come from this mindset, and I am hesitant to give them up. It is extremely liberating to be able to toss aside trivial cares and concerns, because they have no meaning to my enlightened way of seeing things.

But come on, I would be stupid to actually be hoping for this one, right? I would happily go back to being my old ignorant self in a heartbeat if I was magically given a Fantasy Diagnosis.

Scenario #4 – Uhhh…We Don’t Know What’s Wrong With You

It may sound odd, but this is the diagnosis that I dread the most. For months, I have been told by some very brilliant doctors that they don’t have any idea what my problem is. I am used to hearing this from my wife, and my mom used to say it all of the time, but coming from a specialist it drives me crazy! I mean, come on, this is what you went to school for! And no, I don’t want to do some more tests, I don’t think another MRI will help, and I absolutely don’t want to “try” another medication. No, thank you very much. Quite frankly, I would almost rather be given diagnosis #3 than this one (I said almost, I’m not mental).

I do, however, have a plan for this one as well. I will thank the doctor, go out to my car, drive myself home, and go about my merry little life as if nothing was ever wrong in the first place. I will chock up my aches, pains, and tremors to my increasing age. Maybe I will sign up for AARP and start demanding the senior rate at the movie theater. And, who knows? I might just live to a ripe old age, and end up getting hit by a bus.

It could happen, right?

Whatever happens in ten days, I am determined to make the best of it. I may not get the news I want, but this is my life, for better or worse.

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