Zoe’s life changed dramatically at the beginning of 2021. In rapid succession she contracted Covid-19, suffered a concussion, and came down with mono. These three major stressors on her body caused a massive flare of chronic pain, functional difficulty and POTS symptoms (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). At first her doctors thought Zoe was experiencing long covid, but upon digging deeper they realized she had experienced some of these symptoms before the covid pandemic began. She went through dysautonomia testing which revealed an official POTS diagnosis, and was then diagnosed with EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) by a rheumatologist.
In episode 43 of the Major Pain podcast, Zoe discusses her difficult health journey so far. She has been working towards a music education degree but her health has made that path more and more difficult. Now that she has a diagnosis, she is looking to integrate her life goals with her health realities, potentially changing course towards social work. She discusses the importance of learning patience during her diagnostic journey, since doctors visits tend to be excruciatingly far apart. She also shares how creating TikToks has provided her a platform for chronic illness advocacy and a vital creative outlet that has brought her a valuable sense of community.