Diagnosis is one of the most interesting docu-series to hit Netflix in years and viewers are lapping it up in all its bizarre medical glory.
The seven-part series follows individuals across America with rare and undiagnosed diseases. New York Times columnist and doctor Lisa Sanders then takes to crowdsourcing to find the answers they need, with answers coming from across the globe.
Episode 5 focusses on the odd case of Lashay Hamblin, who can’t hold anything she eats or drinks down. Despite years of tests and diagnoses, Lashay had no answer for her strange and barely manageable condition.
But the Hamblin family were determined to figure out what had gone wrong for Lashay and are continuing on their hunt for a diagnosis.
Who is Lashay Hamblin?
Lashay Hamblin from South Jordan, Utah was 17-years-old when the filming for Diagnosis began. But her problems began long before then.
She was a bubbly and outgoing high school student who played on her school’s soccer team but one family trip to Costa Rica in 2014 changed everything.
Lashay and her sister, alongside their parents Jodelle and Jeff went to the Manuel Antonio nature reserve on a hike when they encountered a raccoon. The raccoon grabbed onto Lashay’s foot and “broke the skin.”
Symptoms including vomiting, neck pain, headaches and stomach pain kicked in two days after they returned home. In the event that Lashay had rabies, she was treated with a rabies vaccine which only exacerbated the problem.
For the years Lashay has not been able to consume food or liquids properly, she has had a chest port inserted. This gives IV drips access straight to the heart, which although is dangerous, keeps her from malnourishment.
What happened to Lashay on Diagnosis?
Lashay’s mysterious case was written about by Dr Lisa Sanders in her New York Times column and Lisa was hoping to crowdsource a diagnosis for Lashay.
Over 2600 people wrote in with hundreds of diagnoses spanning from Addison’s disease to psychological explanations. But the three main diagnoses of Lashay’s case were parasitic infections, POTS and Rumination syndrome.
Dr Lisa thought Lashay did have Rumination syndrome, however, Jodelle was unhappy to accept due to a bad encounter with a previous doctor telling Lashay she had the syndrome and the fact they had undergone treatment for Rumination before.
Lashay said in the episode:
It’s just hard because every doctor has their diagnoses and we’ve been told that I have been diagnosed with a lot.
All tests for POTS and parasites have shown up as negative.
What is Rumination syndrome?
Rumination syndrome is a condition where people repeatedly and unintentionally regurgitate undigested or partially digested food from the stomach.
It usually happens every time after eating.
The exact causes of Rumination syndrome are unknown but they centre around pressure to the abdomen and can be triggered by infections.
Jodelle Hamblin’s trust issues
Jodelle was apprehensive to trust doctors after years of being told her daughter’s issues were purely psychological and undergoing treatments which were unsuccessful.
When Dr Lisa gave Lashay the Rumination diagnosis, Jodelle was uncertain that that was really what it was.
Her trust issues in doctors, which although were understandable, were preventing Lashay from trying new procedures. Which then roused online outrage from viewers calling her “overbearing.” Some even went as far as diagnosing Jodelle with Munchausen by proxy but that is a slippery slope to go down.
#Lashay on the new @netflix show “Diagnosis” has the most insufferable mother. I know they’ve been through a lot, but her stubbornness was appalling. The mom also made the illness about her, not her sick daughter. Wow. Frustrating episode. (Great show overall) #netflix #Diagnosis
— Kellan (@LAinsidernow) August 17, 2019
Catching up with Lashay post-Netflix
Diagnosis: Lashay was diagnosed by Dr Lisa Sanders with Rumination syndrome which can be treated at an intensive programme at Nationwide Childrens’ Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Treatment: At the end of the show it said she had not sought treatment for Rumination yet. But her sister Madison revealed on Twitter that their “insurance wasn’t going to cover going out there and it was going to cost over 30,000.”
Lashay now: It is still unconfirmed whether Lashay has sought treatment for either Rumination or another condition. Her Instagram is private.
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