MEDICAL MYSTERIES

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. BoodmanNovember 19, 2022

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. BoodmanOctober 15, 2022

‘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. BoodmanSeptember 3, 2022

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. BoodmanJuly 9, 2022

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. BoodmanJune 18, 2022

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. BoodmanMay 14, 2022

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. BoodmanApril 25, 2022

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. BoodmanApril 23, 2022

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. BoodmanMarch 19, 2022

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. BoodmanFebruary 12, 2022

‘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. BoodmanJanuary 15, 2022

Hours after a massage, a professor was wildly dizzy and deaf in one ear

Why her spa day had permanent consequences.

By Sandra G. BoodmanDecember 11, 2021

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. BoodmanNovember 13, 2021

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. BoodmanOctober 16, 2021

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. BoodmanSeptember 25, 2021

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. BoodmanAugust 21, 2021

A novelist’s labored speech signaled an unimaginable diagnosis

An Oregon woman wishes she had known the truth sooner.

By Sandra G. BoodmanJuly 10, 2021

For a bicyclist, a long overdue checkup uncovered the unexpected

The 49-year-old had thought his persistent symptoms were no big deal.

By Sandra G. BoodmanJune 19, 2021

A dentist’s viselike pain signaled a nearly invisible disorder

Her anxiety left some doctors skeptical of a physical problem.

By Sandra G. BoodmanMay 22, 2021

A college student’s near fatal collapse uncovered a frightening family legacy

The unknown cause explained a tragic death that had occurred decades earlier.

By Sandra G. BoodmanApril 24, 2021