Thank you all so much for your kind words. I have never told this story in this insane amount of detail, so I truly appreciate you guys listening. 💕💕💕
  1. Last time on "My Lupus Diagnosis":
    My colleague and I had been instructed to go directly to Cedars, do not pass Go, do not collect 200 dollars. I cry in his car because I cannot go to the hospital without reading material. Caught up? Ok, let's keep going.
  2. I convince Darren to swing by my apartment - "it's right by Cedars, I'll just grab a few scripts, it'll take two seconds."
    Darren is concerned that I will somehow die before we get to the hospital and that will be on him. I absolve him of worry (but later learn that obviously he did not stop worrying).
  3. I run into my apartment, stuff pjs, toiletries, and like ten scripts into an overnight bag.
    When I get back to Darren's car he breathes a sigh of relief. "Jesus, Amanda, if you had dropped dead..." I make fun of how that would mean he couldn't see Miss Sexy Second Opinion again and then neither of us talk much.
  4. I check myself into Cedars and send Darren back to the office. It's like 5pm at this point, hopefully our boss isn't hiding under his desk in the fetal position, unable to cope without his assistants.
    Obviously he was fine, but how were we to know? We literally did EVERYTHING for him except, like, bathroom stuff. Or at least we felt like we did.
  5. I wait to get admitted into a room, using the time to email my drinks date to cancel ("not feeling too good") and get started on a script.
    I wish I could remember which I brought, one might have been The Prestige (which I later worked on), but that might have been Inception-ed into my brain by the Nolans (see what I did there).
  6. They check me in. I call Kristy, who almost cries herself she's so happy I finally handled my health situation.
    "Do you need anything?" "Yeah. Will you bring me a Baja Fresh burrito?"
  7. I refuse to wear the hospital gown, explaining that I brought pajamas. These nurses are nothing in the face of my "I am an agency assistant I know how to get my way" power.
    Kristy brings me my burrito and we chat, I make her leave because there's nothing going on so why sit here and worry about me. This is not me being some sort of martyr, I was like "go away, this is boring," so she did, eventually.
  8. A doctor comes in and checks my blood again and confirms that the situation is pretty dire.
    Apparently a normal person has between 150K and 450K platelets in her body. I have 500. Not 500K. Literally, 500. "If you'd waited one more day you would be dead." Not sure if that's a scare tactic but I understand the math there.
  9. Around midnight someone finally comes in with the blood transfusion.
    A blood transfusion comes with a fuckton of paperwork, FYI. All the info about how this blood was screened nine hundred times so it probably doesn't have any diseases but hey, you never know, so sign this so you can't sue us.
  10. I sign the paperwork because what else are you going to do? All I can think about is Ryan White (google him, young'uns) and also how this is probably the first major decision I have made without consulting anyone else.
    Am I an adult now?
  11. I fall asleep and wake up with someone else's (hopefully AIDS-free) blood inside my body.
    Ooh, maybe it was superhero blood and I'm bionic?
  12. A new doctor comes in and tells me that they've run my bloodwork and they aren't totally sure what's wrong with me, but it looks like it could be leukemia.
    I'm gonna give any doctors on here a tip: if you're not sure if it's cancer, maybe not the best idea to be like "you maybe have cancer."
  13. However, I am 24 and have the bullheaded invincibility of youth so I'm like ha, obviously not.
    They need to do a bone marrow tap to see. Okay, sure. She explains that's where they drill into your bone at the base of your spine to take a sample. They can numb the external area, but there's not really a way to numb the bone. I read between the lines loud and clear: this is gonna hurt like a motherfucker.
  14. She brings in a med student who is on rotation and says he's going to do the tap.
    Oh, great. Get the new kid to do it. But maybe he'll be really conscientious?
  15. Med student does not make a great first impression when he asks to see my worst bruise and looks like he's going to faint when he sees the multicolored monolith on my upper thigh.
    But maybe he's just never seen a girl's upper thigh before? A living girl I mean.
  16. His second impression is worse: the bone marrow tap is, as advertised, the worst pain I have felt in my life ever.
    I mean, he is drilling into my bone. Supervising doctor is trying to distract me by talking about the time she drove by Brad Pitt's house and have I ever met Brad Pitt (and why the fuck does my lupus story involve so many Brad Pitt mentions) and I am trying to be cool but it is so, so hard, I haven't even talked to my parents yet.
  17. He finishes. Except he doesn't, because he didn't get enough.
    I swear to god this happened.
  18. Supervising Brad Pitt fan takes over and does a re-tap. It does not hurt any less.
    At this point I have forgotten all about the maybe-cancer because it can't be worse than this. I have a high threshold for pain, but maybe that's because now any pain I feel pales in comparison to the memory of a drill in my spine.
  19. I finally connect with my parents and downplay the whole thing as much as possible. My dad has to come out for business the next day anyway, so he'll come by.
    I tell my mom not to come. I kind of wish she would come anyway, but also then she would be overemotional and anyway it's just easier not to worry them during times that I might not be okay. (See future list "How To Be a Mean Girl," currently saved in drafts.)
  20. Tomorrow: the thrilling denouement. Sorry that this became a serial (Adnan gave me lupus!). I didn't realize how long the story is because I haven't ever told it in full.
    Thanks for bearing with. It's like a snowball rolling downhill - can't stop halfway down.