Cassie sums up her chronic pain situation by saying, “we know there’s something wrong but we can’t put a name to it because the testing is not definitive.” She experiences chronic joint pain, chronic fatigue, brain fog and arthritic damage with no evidence of inflammation on her imaging. Doctors have ranged from confused to outright dismissive, but Cassie continues to fight for care.
Cassie’s health problems started after getting COVID in December of 2021. Her infection was severe, taking 6 months to recover full lung capacity. She started experiencing strange GI symptoms and new food allergies, and almost exactly a year after her initial infection her hands started swelling. Cassie’s chronic pain has been present ever since. The current theory is that she has rheumatoid arthritis, but she suspects there is more to the story.
In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Cassie talks through her mysterious pain journey. Although most of her test results have been unclear, one test that came back with a definitive clear answer was a skin biopsy for small fiber neuropathy. Although Cassie felt validated by the positive SFN test, there are still questions as to what underlying condition is causing her nerve damage. Even though Cassie’s life has been frustratingly altered by her chronic illness, there have been a few positive things to come out of it. It has brought her closer to her family, and proven her ability to advocate for herself.
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