Though doctors didn’t know it at the time, Gordon was suffering from Adult-onset Still’s disease, or AOSD, a rare inflammatory arthritis that affects fewer than 1 in every 100,000 people.
Take it from Gordon, who wrote in a 2015 Lenny Letter that she initially ignored what she thought was a stubborn cold. But before long, she started to feel tired and weak: “I had to take breaks walking to the train,” she wrote. “Random parts of me hurt.”
When Gordon began to experience difficulty breathing, she went to see a doctor. Tests revealed she was in respiratory distress, and she was rushed to a nearby hospital. Still, Gordon thought it was “nothing,” she wrote.