Jesse Mercury has been experiencing bizarre health symptoms on and off for most of his life. His symptoms include cognitive impairment, inability to control his arms and legs, difficulty speaking, muscle spasms, extreme fatigue and chronic pain. Throughout his life these symptoms have become increasingly severe, to the point where he is unable to hold down a job or plan for the future. Diagnostic testing consistently revealed no abnormalities, and for many years he met with constant pushback from doctors who doubted that any of these symptoms were real. Now that this mystery illness has progressed to the point that doctors are finally acknowledging it’s existence, they still cannot provide any diagnosis, treatment, or recommendations on how to move forward.

In this pilot episode of the Major Pain podcast, Jesse sits down with his partner Andi Alhadeff to discuss his journey searching for a diagnosis, including the many speculative diagnoses he has received such as mold poisoning, fibromyalgia, conversion disorder and lyme disease. They discuss how this illness has impacted their relationship, and the frustrations of working through a healthcare system that is ill-equipped to deal with difficult cases.


Farhad Bahrami · April 19, 2021 at 5:20 am

As always, my friend, ahead of the curve. I only want to wish you the best, and all of us here for a short time on this planet, health or at least less pain. Thank you for spearheading this discussion.

    Major Pain Podcast · April 20, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    Farhad! So good to hear from you, thank you so much for the kind words my friend.

Tyler Rogers · April 21, 2021 at 10:48 pm

This was such a loving, tender and candid insight into both of your experiences, and I’m so thankful you’re sharing. Can’t wait to listen through the rest of the episodes and keep up as you gather more stories!

Shawna Grajek · May 5, 2021 at 7:25 pm

Finally had a chance to listen to this episode and I want to thank you and Andi so much for sharing your journey with such honesty and grace. There were many relatable moments and it was very validating to hear them articulated. (UW has also been a saving grace for me – so glad you’ve been able to explore care there!!) Looking forward to catching up on the rest of the episodes!

    Major Pain Podcast · May 7, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    Thank you so much Shawna! I’m so glad UW has been working for you as well.

Joy Walsh · August 7, 2021 at 10:18 pm

Of course you always wanted to make things…look at who your parents are, both amazing artists.

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