A photo of Rho on a nature hike, who is featured in this week's chronic illness podcast

Rho has a self-described laundry list of diagnoses, and she has had to fight for every single one. Her list includes autism, ADHD, bipolar 2, CPTSD, excoriation disorder, keratoconus, IBS, GERD, chronic kidney disease, tactile allodynia and chronic pain. Along the way she faced constant medical gaslighting and dehumanizing treatment, with doctors more likely to brush her off than provide appropriate care, and a lack of support from her family. Of her journey to uncover these many diagnoses, Rho says, “It’s been a long difficult fight to get to where I am now. I’m pretty proud of where I’ve gotten.”

In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Rho walks us through her chronic illness journey while defining her rare illnesses like allodynia and keratoconus. Her chronic pain remains a frustrating mystery, since doctors have yet to pin down a cause or provide relief. The pain is focused in her extremities, particularly her hands and traveling from her hips to her knees. Rho wonders whether there may be an underlying cause yet to be found that may shine a light on her situation. While pursuing answers she is also fighting to get on disability, which is another uphill battle. She discusses how chronic illness has touched every corner of her life, reflecting on the good and the bad that has come from these health challenges.

Rho also tells us about her work with Mask Bloc Seattle, a mutual aid organization providing respirators and masks to people in need. Learn more: https://linktr.ee/maskblocseattle

Host of Major Pain Jesse Mercury has just released his synthpop album ‘SciFi’ on all major streaming platforms! The album features his song ‘Time Machine,’ which you may recognize as the theme music from Major Pain. Click here to listen: https://tr.ee/t-TPmnAIRh

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