When reflecting back on health issues, Maddy Reid said she could recall the first signs of gastroparesis during her time in high school.
Small symptoms, like nausea during class that caused her to leave the room and visit the bathroom pushed aside, signs of something more sinister in her health battle.
"I didn't really think much of it," she said.
"A few years ago I had a three month stint living off Hydralyte, I was really unwell and we couldn't figure out what it was and it kind of just got better and has been on and off since."
During the height of stay-at-home orders last year, Maddy said her symptoms all came to a head.
"I was really struggling, I ended up going to a gastroenterologist and getting some scopes, which can't diagnose gastroparesis," she said.
"My sister has Chron's disease so we thought it may be something like that, but the scopes were pretty clear and it took two hospital admissions and a lot of investigation to finally getting the test that diagnoses gastroparesis.
"That was when I was finally diagnosed, because gastroparesis is quite rare, especially when you don't have underlying conditions like diabetes that are directly affecting your nerves - it's not really something you look for."
Gastroparesis is a condition that affects the stomach muscles, and prevents proper stomach emptying. It can affect digestion, and symptoms are wide ranging.
"For me, nausea is a big one, almost constant nausea, vomiting, my weight was all over the place and not directly correlating to what I was able to eat, and I would be really full really quickly, I felt like there was a bowling ball in my stomach and I'd feel full up to my chin - and I bloat to the point I look nine months pregnant," Maddy said.
"I felt like it was all in my head, I felt like I was going crazy."
Maddy said she felt privileged to have her gastroenterologist, who "stopped at nothing" to find a diagnosis.
Diet changes and medication can offer some relief, but there is no cure for the condition.
Not knowing where to go or what to do, Maddy looked to the internet, trying to find someone else who was experiencing the same symptoms and the same condition.
She couldn't find anything - so she created a blog herself.
Titled Paralysed with love, Maddy has begun to detail her experiences with the condition that has limited her life - she hasn't been able to return to work or study since last year.
"I knew that with my mental health struggles I couldn't just sit around and do nothing, even though that's what I could do some days, I needed something that made me feel more normal," she said.
Writing about the good and the bad, Maddy wanted to bring some positivity to the chronic condition.
"I thought if I was looking for that, there was bound to be someone else looking for it too," she said.
"You are more than it, it doesn't define you."
Paralysed with love has taken off - starting conversations with her friends, family and strangers across the world.
"It's been more than I could ever imagine," Maddy said.
"That's almost been the best part ... it's that kind of stuff that makes you realise that even when you're super nervous to post something, to be vulnerable that it's worth it, because it's going to help at least one person."
With August being gastroparesis awareness month, Maddy is pushing forward with her mission to educate, inform and help others.
"Awareness is just so crucial," she said.
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