The Final MRI (A selection from my upcoming book “Year One: My Journey from Diagnosis to (Hopeful) Hero”)

Charles Franklin
3 min readJul 10, 2022


The thing is, I knew the MRI routine….. I knew the nurse would be calling to confirm my appointment. In fact, I had memorized the script the front desk used so I could answer before they even asked me.

But, what I couldn’t prepare or predict was how my mind would react to all of this. My body is acting all weird and I don’t know why. Apparently, the first few doctors weren’t sure.

What is wrong with me?

After the third MRI, I saw the usual “There is a lot of crap going on in the spine of this individual.” stuff that I was able to put it out of my mind…for a few minutes.

I still had a life. I still worked. I still had to get groceries, I still had to pay bills.

But after the third MRI, I could not let “it” (aka the mysterious disease) out of my mind. I had already Googled different symptoms like thousands of times, so I was debating whether I had Parkinson’s, a spinal injury, or something. “Multiple sclerosis” had come up in my searches, but I dismissed it because “Who thinks I have multiple sclerosis?”

It was during this time that I was still thinking I could “fix” this….If I just figured out the right diet. If I just gave my body time to heal. If I just found out what I have so I could get the right medicine.

I also knew that the insurance company would not keep allowing me to get MRIs. The doctor had already ordered another MRI…and I was to learn later…was denied by my health insurance company.

I was wondering how much any future tests. I was wondering if my job (even though remote) would let me keep missing days to go to doctor’s appointments.

So, all of this was swirling around in my brain.

After some rest, I did my evening walk with a cane. (I figured that walking would keep me better than not walking)

When I came home, I checked the app that had my test results. I had already checked it earlier that morning…but there was a definite diagnosis. The word “possible multiple sclerosis” was on my second result, so I had the thought planted in my head, but I still pushed it off.

Nothing new. I went to bed, nervous about what tomorrow would bring.

That night, the app went off again.

Somehow I knew it was an update to my test results. Willing myself, I opened the app and in a little comment about my last MRI results:

“Show signs consistent with multiple sclerosis. Have primary care physician follow up with patient and neurologist to confirm diagnosis.”

I just stared into space at like 2 or 3am in the morning.

“I have multiple sclerosis. What does that even mean?”



Charles Franklin

Believer. Student. Writer. Prayer Warrior.

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