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Strange Illness

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Date Host Dave Schrader
Guests Susannah Cahalan, Josh Gates

Host Dave Schrader (email) welcomed reporter Susannah Cahalan, who shared her remarkable story of how, in a matter of weeks, a mysterious illness transformed her from a healthy 24-year-old into a violent, psychotic, and dangerously unstable individual. She recalled how the disease began manifesting after she'd been hired for her first full time job as a reporter. Around that point, Cahalan started experiencing bouts of anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and lethargy. Originally, she dismissed these feelings as simply the result of the pressure from starting her new job, but Cahalan soon turned extremely paranoid and exhibited wild mood swings. These early symptoms culminated with Cahalan having a grand mal seizure which led to her being admitted to the hospital.

Upon reviving from the seizure, Cahalan caused such a scene at the hospital that she was promptly discharged and simply told to meet with a neurologist the next day. This doctor subsequently misdiagnosed her ailment and prescribed her with an anti-epileptic medication to prevent further seizures. However, Cahalan was so paranoid at this point that she refused to take the medication and continued to suffer seizures of varying degrees of severity. Eerily, she had also, by now, entered into a veritable fugue state and, even today, has no recollection of the events which happened throughout the rest of her story, relying on her parents and doctors to fill in those details once she had recovered. The condition reached its nadir when Cahalan experienced vivid hallucinations and nearly jumped out the window of her father's third story apartment.

Following that event, her terrified parents insisted that she be admitted to the hospital and, once there, Cahalan underwent a myriad of tests to determine what was causing her condition, but doctors remained baffled. After being at the hospital for a month and becoming catatonic, she was nearly sent to a psychiatric hospital. However, her newest doctor performed a simple test, where she was tasked with drawing a clock, which led him to realize that she had a neurological condition, since the picture was distorted on one side, indicating an imbalance in the brain. Recognizing that her collective symptoms matched a recent study which described similar conditions in other young woman, her doctor successfully diagnosed her with an auto immune disease that attacked the brain and soon administered a treatment plan which ultimately resulted in her full recovery.

Expedition Unknown

In the first hour, adventurer and explorer of the haunted and unknown, Josh Gates, talked about his new TV series Expedition Unknown. The new program, he explained, differs from his previous show, Destination Truth, in that it features mysteries which go beyond simply ghost and crytpozoological in nature. "It really is a show about digging into the unknown," he said, "and going to the ends of the Earth to investigate some amazing legends." To that end, he revealed that the season premiere will focus on Amelia Earhart and future installments will cover a 'lost city' in Cambodia as well as underground caverns and tunnels in Mexico which were once inhabited by the Mayans. During his appearance, Gates also recounted his visits to locations like Mexico's Doll Island and Chernobyl.

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Bumper music from Saturday January 3, 2015

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