Loud music was blamed for hearing loss in her 40s. It wasn’t the cause.
Her 18-month quest for a cure involved an allergist, an endocrinologist and two additional ENTS, the second of whom found the underlying and treatable reason for the problem.By Sandra G. Boodman
She thought anxiety and drinking made her ill. The truth was scarier.
Doctors saw a new mother with anxiety and an alcohol problem. A middle-of-the-night trip to the ER showed that the wrong assumptions had been shaping her care.By Sandra G. Boodman
For decades, she endured brief blackouts. Then a scary one hit her.
A diagnosis uncovered the potentially deadly reason for the fainting spells and led to major surgery from which the conservation biologist continues to recover.By Sandra G. Boodman
Her crippling digestive problems were caused by a ‘zebra’ malady
A primary care doctor’s commitment and the patient’s own tenacity helped ferret out the cause of the zebra, medical slang for a rare ailment.By Sandra G. Boodman
This teenager would sleep for alarming 20-hour stretches
The condition drastically alters her personality and temporarily shuts down her life. The diagnosis brought relief but also uncertainty.By Sandra G. Boodman
His seizure sparked terrifying fall that uncovered long-sought answer
The biggest change since surgery has been the absence of fear, which had come to dominate the business executive’s life.By Sandra G. Boodman
‘This is really weird. Who wakes up and their hand doesn’t work?’
As he underwent nerve surgery to solve the strange ailment, his doctors had to jettison their plans when they found something unexpected.By Sandra G. Boodman
A tenacious student uncovered the root of an onslaught of broken bones
He spent several weeks digging into his medical records and scrolling through scientific websites before hitting pay dirt.By Sandra G. Boodman
She was ambushed by searing leg pain that struck without warning
In her search for relief, the woman remembers feeling a creeping sense of desperation about her unrelenting pain and the absence of an explanation.By Sandra G. Boodman
This woman’s desperate persistence helped spark her lucky break
Her memory was failing, she couldn’t walk without a cane and felt increasingly helpless.By Sandra G. Boodman
Five simple steps to avoid becoming a medical mystery
There are ways to avoid being trapped by a condition that doctors can’t understand.By Sandra G. Boodman
Despite a ‘bucketload’ of drugs, his blood pressure was perilously high
His doctors told him again and again he had essential hypertension — high blood pressure with no underlying cause. But it did have a cause.By Sandra G. Boodman
A family suffered weeks of dizziness and nausea. A doctor’s hunch uncovered the cause.
They would start to feel better but their symptoms always returned.By Sandra G. Boodman
She was headed to a locked psych ward. Then an ER doctor made a startling discovery.
She had spent the previous six months at a private treatment center receiving care for mental illnesses.By Sandra G. Boodman
‘I’m going blind. Somebody’s got to help me.’
For 17 years, she battled baffling attacks of dimming vision, nausea and crushing fatigue.By Sandra G. Boodman
Hours after a massage, a professor was wildly dizzy and deaf in one ear
Why her spa day had permanent consequences.By Sandra G. Boodman
Medical mystery: Back pain plagued her for 30 years. A recurring clue sparked a delayed diagnosis.
A woman’s “tipping point” spurred a fresh approach to the problem that dated back to high school.By Sandra G. Boodman
Her unexplained jitteriness and weight loss were telling clues
An unfortunate combination of faulty assumptions and missed opportunities delayed a common diagnosis.By Sandra G. Boodman
The unusual headaches that upended this man’s life began with a new car
The duration of his burning pain, triggered by chemical smells, has baffled doctors.By Sandra G. Boodman
The cause of this baby’s collapse was worse than anything his parents imagined
Specialists feverishly tried to figure out why the 5-month-old stopped breathing.By Sandra G. Boodman