Michelle has always known that something in her body wasn’t functioning correctly. Throughout her childhood she sought help from her parents and doctors, but was told over and over that her symptoms weren’t real or serious. It wasn’t until her late 20s that Michelle was finally diagnosed with POTS, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. This condition affects blood flow, causing inadequate blood supply to the brain and a wide variety of disabling symptoms.

In episode 35 of the Major Pain podcast, Michelle shares what it was like to grow up without medical support, and the incredible feeling of finally getting a diagnosis. She underwent a tilt-table test to measure the difference in her heart rate from lying flat to upright, during which her heart rate doubled almost immediately to the surprise of her doctors. Since receiving her diagnosis she has discovered a variety of tools and techniques to help manage this incurable condition, including an accommodating job that lets her alternate days at work and days at rest. She also shares a message for parents, on how important it is to listen to your children when they are too young to advocate for their own health.

Our December bonus episode with Jesse and Andi is now available for all listeners supporting us on Patreon. Click here to listen, or sign up to support the show for instant access.

Last week’s guest Christelle is running a GoFundMe for financial support after losing her disability benefits. Click here to donate.

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