I see Dr. Francis for the first time. She is a darker, foreign lady. I can’t quite pinpoint her accent, but I don’t ask where she is from. She is very calm and has a great presence about her. She talks with me briefly in her office and then tells me to come into the exam room and change into a really hot pair of medical shorts. She tests my walking, my senses, and scrapes my feet, hands, and arms with a broken swab end for feeling. She asks me to get dressed and come to her office for more discussion. She tells me it could be one of three possibilities. 1. A reaction to something I have eaten, etc., but she has ruled this out. 2. A viral inflammation or immuno inflammation such as lupus, lyme disease, or even possibly diabetes. 3. Multiple sclerosis. She talks briefly about the first two and lingers on the last for around 10 or so minutes. My eyes fill with tears. She is sending me to the lab for blood work to rule out the lupus, lyme or diabetes. She also schedules an MRI for my neck and spine with contrast imaging for tomorrow at 11:15 a.m. I go to the lobby and sit and wait for the admin Jennifer to call me. I stare into space already knowing my diagnosis before it has come. I call no one. My phone rings twice and I don’t answer. I wait and she gives me my paper work and sends me down a level to the lab. They draw 10 tubes of blood and I can’t think of anything, at the moment except how much I hate needles. Other than that my mind is blank. Dr. Francis had given me some samples of Neurontin, which I forget when I left her office, so I go back a level to retrieve them. She says they will stop the tingling and pain in my fingertips so it doesn’t hurt to touch things, most of all to wash my hair, but it won’t help the numbness or make it go away.