Becoming Incurable explores the lives of three individuals living with physically debilitating diseases and their journey towards self reliance on a very isolated, uncertain path. The film investigates what it takes to reconcile their pain and how they have rediscovered themselves through their illnesses.
Illness: Chronic Lyme Disease
Length of Misdiagnosis: 4 years
Length of Time with Symptoms: 9 years
Symptoms: Severe migraines, mold illness, chronic fatigue, fainting episodes, joint pain, muscle pain, brain fog, short term memory, shortness of breath, dizziness, poor sleep, night sweats, allergic reactions, stress, depression.
Level of Dependency: Relies on parents when symptoms flare badly; variety of medication and detox routines to manage her disease on a daily basis; her wheelchair or cane on days with intense joint pain; her dog, Dante, to cheer her up.
Leo (Junie) Suan
Illness: Severe Dystonia
Length of Misdiagnosis: 2 years
Length of Time with Symptoms: 4 years
Symptoms: Muscle cramping, involuntary jaw movements, postural instability, muscle tightness, swallowing difficulty, sharp back pain, sharp neck pain, severe joint stiffness, stress.
Level of Dependency: Relies on wife, mother, and son for caretaking; physical therapists to help him regain independence; his wheelchair and walker; daily medication to manage his pain.
Illness: Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)
Length of Misdiagnosis: 8 years
Length of Time with Symptoms: 17 years
Symptoms: Intense level of pain in joints, back, spine, hips, wrists; inflammation, stiffness in joints, soreness, chronic fatigue, breathing issues, stress, depression.
Level of Dependency: Relies on caretakers when she is unable to perform chores or run errands; variety of daily medication to manage excruciating pain; her cane or wheelchair; her two Maine Coon cats and friends for emotional support.