A photo of podcast guest Jeff, who hopes to solve his medical mystery
Jeff is a musical theater composer suffering from mysterious disabling episodes

Jeff lives with a medical mystery that has stumped doctors in multiple specialties. He experiences episodes that strike about once a week, and leave him almost catatonic. He will become hypersensitive to his environment, unable to communicate, and struggle to perform basic functions. Strangely, the only consistent way to end an episode is for Jeff to fall asleep, even for just a few minutes. It’s as if falling asleep flips a switch that corrects this troubling dysfunction.

In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Jeff shares his history with these strange episodes in hopes we might crowd-source some information he can take to his care team. Doctors have theorized these events may be due to migraine aura or some type of seizure, but no conclusive evidence has been found to support either theory. Doctors assuming these episodes are caused by anxiety has made it difficult for Jeff to push for further testing, even though the phenomenon happens when he is both anxious and relaxed.

Being at the mercy of these unpredictable episodes has completely upended Jeff’s life. He lives in fear that one will strike while he engaged in a critical activity like driving. He has learned to preemptively discuss the affliction with coworkers, since he cannot communicate while it is happening. Jeff also lives with Tourette’s syndrome, and wonders if there could be a connection between his two conditions. If you have any medical knowledge of this type of situation, please reach out to majorpainpodcast@gmail.com.

Jeff works as a musical theater composer, you can find his work at http://jeffthomsonmusic.com/

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