“Most of us expect to have a health issue at some point in our lives,
what we don’t expect is to have an illness that no one can figure out.”
(Dr. Katia Moritz)
When you’re sick, especially over a long period of time, you go to the doctor,
he does a physical exam, gives you a diagnosis, and provides some form of treatment.
But what if that doesn’t happen?
What if he doesn’t know what’s wrong with you?
What if you have a rare disease?
What if test after test comes back normal?
What if “you don’t look sick“?
What if everyone around you thought it was just in your head?
Unfortunately, this is the reality for millions of patients every year.
On average, it can take anywhere from 1 to 7 years for these patient’s to receive a diagnosis.
And for some, it can take even longer.
Even then, many are misdiagnosed and some never receive a diagnosis at all.
When the doctor fails to diagnose, patient’s are abandoned or dismissed from their practice.
Most are simply referred for psychological assessment,
being told it’s is all in their head
they become labeled as a drug seeker.
Left to suffer in pain
and with no way to really manage their condition(s).
So what do you do when the medical community leaves you behind?
You become the Undiagnosed Warrior.
A Letter From the Author:
Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for visiting this page. I started Undiagnosed Warrior in March of 2015, shortly after receiving acceptance to one of the major research hospitals in Denver, Colorado after I had written them a letter, begging for help. This was my way of documenting my journey to diagnosis.
I had been suffering from both a chronic and mysterious disease almost my entire life. At various times during the course of my illness, I turned to the medical community for answers. No doctor could ever explain why I had been so sick on and off for so long. I’d go from one specialist to another, hoping to secure a diagnosis or some insight as to why my body chose to betray me – but those answers never came.
Along the way, I started to notice a trend.
When my primary care doctor had no idea what to do with me, I’d get sent to a specialist. They’d only order a handful of labs and/or tests (if any at all). Inevitably, my tests always came back normal. The doctor would then give up after only a few visits because whatever I had did not provide them with an easy diagnosis and, eventually, I’d get turned away. Instead of getting the answers I had searched so desperately for, they placed the blame me.
“It must be anxiety or depression.”
“I think she’s just trying to get out of school”
“She’s simply being lazy.”
“She’s being overly dramatic. It can’t hurt THAT bad.”
“Maybe she wants attention.”
“She’s must be looking for drugs”
“It’s all in her head”
I was being victim shamed by my own doctors.
It happened when my parents took me to get help as a young child; again when I was a teenager; during another period in my early twenties; and now finally, over the last five years for which I had been actively searching for a diagnosis.
I wasn’t going to let this happen again.
I knew when I wrote that letter to the hospital, with my health rapidly declining, that this was going to be my last chance to find a diagnosis. Obviously, I didn’t want to mess this up, so I had to do research, find good doctors, and learn to navigate the health system strategically – all on my own. I also knew that I had to share my journey because what I had experienced with the medical system over the years was clearly wrong and I refuse to let anyone else to be left behind or forgotten like I had been.
Please follow me as I navigate through our country’s broken healthcare system to find my medical diagnosis.
On this website, you will find some of my most personal and intimate stories regarding my journey to diagnosis. I’ll also share many of the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way. I’ll post research articles and spread awareness for a variety of conditions. I’ll offer support and motivation for living with a chronic illness. Most importantly – if you need me, I’ll be here to either listen or help in whatever way I can. Please reach out to me by messaging the Undiagnosed Warrior Facebook Page or email me at UndiagnosedWarrior@gmail.com.
Once again, thank you for all your love and support through all of this.
I am forever grateful.
The Undiagnosed Warrior (Nikki)
I AM NOT A MEDICAL DOCTOR, NOR DO I HAVE A LICENSE TO PRACTICE MEDICINE. ANY AND ALL INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS SITE IS INTENDED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.
ALWAYS FOLLOW THE ADVICE OF YOUR TREATING PHYSICIAN.