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The area where I live is growing rapidly. New homes are popping up all over the place as are new businesses. I was driving by an area the other day that used to be forested. Now, all the tress are cut down, bulldozers and construction equipment in its place. It’s been rainy here so its also muddy. It’s just plain ugly. When the construction is finished there will be a new neighborhood of stately homes and the beauty will slowly return to the area.

This got me to thinking about the process of progress and how unappealing it can be. So often the road to revitalization isn’t pretty. Often progress requires making a thing worse before you make it better and this can often be true of having a disease like sarcoidosis.

The path to diagnosis is a total disaster as medical professionals so often fumble before they get it right. It’s not always their fault. This disease likes to wear disguises. It likes to pretend to be things it’s not. Messy!

Patients are often treated like human pin cushions. Blood taken for this and biopsies for that. Scans and tests and more labs…none of it making any sense until suddenly things start to take shape. Much like a home remodel. Once the house is demo’ed it can be hard to picture where the new kitchen will go. But once it’s done, it all makes sense.

Then there is the process of choosing the right treatment plan. It’s all trial and error. In fact, construction zones are probably a safer place to be because at least then there are blue prints. There are no blue prints for sarcoidosis because it’s diagnosed by exclusion.

Plus, patients respond in such varied ways to what treatments are available that treatment can be one of the messiest parts of having this disease. The treatment phase can sometimes be when new construction comes to a standstill while you wait for all the permits to come in. Will this drug work? Will the side effects be too much to handle? What’s the next step in the process?

But, once you’re on the right track with your treatment plan, you start to feel better and all your construction efforts were worth the cost, time and mess. Now that your symptoms are better managed, you can see your life taking shape again. It’s a relief to see your new home coming together even if it isn’t exactly the floor plan you had hoped for, thanks to those lousy building code restrictions but you’ll figure out how to make it work. You’re just glad to have some walls and a roof over your head!

As with all construction though, you might have to call the contractor back in from time to time to update and remodel other areas of your “new home” so things don’t get too out dated and to keep the mold away. Mold is sneaky just like sarcoidosis.

So, it doesn’t really matter what you are constructing, the end result is not always clear and sometimes the best you can hope for is that the contractor knows what he is doing, shows up for work and gets the job done.

Progress is messy!