Brooke has been diagnosed with over a dozen health conditions. Her diagnostic journey began with relatively manageable diseases including asthma, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s disease, but took an intense turn in her late 30s when she experienced heart failure, discovered an adrenal tumor, was diagnosed with diabetes insipidus, POTS, mast cell activation syndrome and gastroparesis, all before discovering her adrenal tumor was cancerous. After surgery to remove this tumor, she was also diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency and Graves’ disease, and is now examining the possibility that she has kidney cancer.
In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Brooke shares the incredible story of her many diagnoses and treatments, teaching us about multiple rare diseases in the process. She discusses the difficulty in communicating her many diagnoses to doctors and friends, since most people are unwilling to hear or believe her lived experience. She is passionate about making invisible illness visible, sharing what she has learned navigating not just the medical system but also the disability application process. Brooke also shares her coping mechanisms, and thoughts on living in the moment vs. thinking about the future.