two invisible illnesses
Jodie vlogs to offer others support
I woke up in the night, vomiting and in agony
Another month, another stomach bug. Since a nasty bout of glandular fever when I was 7, I seemed to catch a new illness every few weeks.
In my early teens, I started suffering dreadful fatigue, and was constantly in pain.
Worse, I had terrible seizures. I’d lost count of the number of times I’d been to the doctor, but I still had no diagnosis.
By 2011, it’d got so bad that I had to give up my Animal Care course at college.
That same year, I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night, vomiting and in agony.
I was rushed to hospital, where doctors found that my bowel was twisted, and operated immediately.
‘This usually only happens to people with Ehlers-danlos syndrome,’ the doctor said.
A rare genetic condition, EDS causes joints to become hypermobile and easily dislocated, as well as pain.
I was shocked, but relieved to finally know what was wrong with me.
But that’s not all…
I’ve also been diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which can develop secondary to EDS.
POTS is an abnormal increase in heart rate that causes an imbalance in the nerves that control blood flow, leading to dizziness and fatigue.
Life isn’t easy with such debilitating conditions. Some days the pain’s so bad that I can’t even walk, so I need a wheelchair to get around.
I try to be as independent as
I can, but my mum Karina,
48, is always on hand to help.
So many people out there suffer invisible illnesses, yet to look at us, people wouldn’t know how much pain we’re in.
I’ve set up a Youtube channel and a website to offer support and info to other sufferers.
I hope to stimulate more research into EDS.
As for me, I take each day as it comes, and will keep posting.
If I can make a difference to at least one person, then that’s enough for me.
Visit Jodie’s website at www.potsaware.weebly.com.
I try to stay positive every day