What Can You Give? The Greatest Lesson I Learnt Through Misdiagnosis

July 16, 2021

By Keely Cat-Wells

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It is because of the kindness of others that I am here today. Between my family and a few special friends, I can thrive and live a life beyond my wildest dreams.

During my teens, I was hospitalized for an extended period of time and constantly misdiagnosed, gas-lit by doctors, and abandoned by the system supposed to support you when you need it the most. Being misdiagnosed or undiagnosed is like a being in a persistent thick black fog, not able to see any way through, being overrun with frustration, anger, and pain. Wishing and hoping that you just knew, no matter what it was, just wanting to know.

During the time I spent not knowing, I did my best to slap on a fake smile, ignore the comments about my weight and the silly herbal remedy suggestions. I thought getting a diagnosis was the only thing that could resolve the depression I was locked in.

(Courtesy of Keely Cat-Wells)

One mundane day, something shifted. I was still suffering physically, but mentally I found a focus that helped, and this was due to a friend who asked me to find a way to give. Initially, I didn’t think there was anything I could give. I was stuck in the hospital, unable to eat, drink, or have any life outside my cubical. It took days before what she said sunk in, and I started looking for ways I could give. I started an Instagram page and started sharing my experiences with others. I not only found a community that related to everything I was facing, but I managed to give counsel, support, and an ear to others. I learned from this moment giving wasn’t always an enormous gesture that needed to take a large amount of energy, time, or money. Giving is something that everyone can do, no matter what one’s situation. Giving does not discriminate. And when you least expect it giving gives back to you.

To everyone facing health tribulations, I am sending you spoons (if you know, you know!), but I am also sending you a message asking you to find something that you can give today because, through your gift, you can change lives, and it can lead to a life beyond the fog.

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