On my fourteenth birthday, I went out for pizza with my family--you know, like you do--and I ended the night with the worst stomachache of my life. We figured it was a fluke--I ate too much pizza or whatever.
We were wrong.
After fifteen months of searching for the cause for my stomach pain, fatigue, and unearthly skin tone (I was green--no joke), I ended up at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where I was diagnosed with POTS. Back then, all they had by way of information was a three-fold brochure. "Drink more water, eat more salt, exercise, and you'll probably grow out of it," is basically what they told me. So, armed with that little knowledge, we returned home.
Amazingly enough, that stuff actually worked. For a while. In February of 2015 I was in a car accident that exacerbated all of my symptoms to the point where I could no longer control them. I finished my semester at college, came home, and my health continued to deteriorate. The following January I ended up at the Mayo Clinic again, where I was encouraged by a friend to begin seriously drawing (and posting) my POTS Problem comics.
The rest, as they say, is history.
While I would not call myself a "serious artist" (because I would not call myself a serious anything), I definitely draw things that are a little less ridiculous than my stick-figure comics. If you're at all interested in those, you can take a scroll through my Instagram.
My other big, life-changing diagnosis is a congenital anatomical anomaly (try saying that five times fast) called Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome. It occurs when the diaphragm is situated too low in the body, causing the median arcuate ligament to compress the celiac artery and a bundle of nerves called the celiac ganglion. There's a lot more I could say about it, but I've already said it on the awareness page I help run on Facebook. You can check that out for some great and detailed information.