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.