Demystifying Functional Neurological Disorder: Sydney’s Story

Sydney Anne Bennett lives with functional neurological disorder (FND), which is a condition where the brain doesn’t communicate properly with the nervous system. Sydney’s symptoms include chronic pain, hallucinations, loss of taste, trouble sleeping, hand paralysis, seizures, ataxia, muscle spasms, fatigue, and difficulty using her legs. Consequently, after a year Read more…

Cianna’s Journey: How Chronic Illness Changed This 19 Year Old’s Life

Cianna has been a dancer her whole life, saying “as soon as I could walk I was dancing.” Over the past few years chronic illness has altered her life’s course, and frustratingly taken her away from dance. While it has been difficult to leave her life’s passion behind, Cianna has Read more…

Kenny Returns to Major Pain With New Diagnoses and a New Outlook

Kenny Alhadeff first appeared on the Major Pain podcast 3 years ago, sharing his experiences living in recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism. This year Kenny will celebrate his 40th year of sobriety. Since first appearing on the show Kenny has experienced the most intense chronic pain of his life, Read more…

LoveWarriorHugs on Living With Five Chronic Illnesses

Jamie is a social media chronic illness advocate under the handle @LoveWarriorHugs, but her advocacy extends beyond social media. She is an epilepsy ambassador with the National Epilepsy Foundation, and she’s also been involved in successfully lobbying to change pain management laws in Illinois. Her passion for advocacy stems from Read more…

Rasheera Dopson on Being Born Almost 5 Months Premature, Causing VATER and Goldenhar Syndromes

Rasheera Dopson, host of the Womanhood & Disability podcast, is an accomplished author, public speaker and advocate spreading her messages of justice, disability empowerment and awareness. She came by this work through her own experience living with two rare syndromes, both caused by her being born about 5 months premature. Read more…

A photo of the three podcast guests who return to update us on their stories in the season 4 premiere.

Season 4 Premiere! Catching Up With Michelle, Bek and Simon

We’re kicking off the fourth season of Major Pain by catching up with previous guests! Michelle and Bek both have new diagnoses that are recontextualizing their journeys, while Simon is feeling completely cured. As Major Pain enters its fourth season, now is a great time to support the show on Read more…

Managing Somatic Symptom Disorder Inside a Multitude of Chronic Illnesses

Colby has 11 chronic illness and mental health diagnoses. These include chronic pain (currently diagnosed as fibromyalgia), PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), asthma, IBS, eczema, PTSD, depression, anxiety, bipolar, ADHD and somatic symptom disorder. That last diagnosis might be the least well-known of Colby’s illnesses. According to psychiatry.org, “somatic symptom disorder Read more…

Transposition of the Great Arteries: My Blood Flows Backwards

Like many babies born with transposition of the great arteries, Amelia was born blue. Her blood was not circulating to her entire body because the two main arteries leading blood away from her heart were switched, sending blood in the wrong direction. She was immediately helicoptered to a larger hospital Read more…

Unpacking the Rage of 15 Years Living with Chronic Pain

MaKenzie has received a slew of chronic pain and chronic illness diagnoses over the years, including Chiari malformation, lupus, Sjogren’s disease and Hashimoto’s syndrome, but she isn’t focused on her diagnoses. She’s focused on managing the daily impact of her symptoms and the emotional toll this journey has taken. She Read more…

Living with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

For Meresa, one of the hardest parts of living with mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is the daily uncertainty. She says, “It’s still such an everyday variable disease. It really sucks a lot of the time. It’s really painful. People don’t understand what it is, they don’t always understand what Read more…