Cindy Bradley-Graziadei almost didn’t take the test. By the time she saw it advertised, in 2017, she was pretty much past the point of mustering any hope. Her pain had changed everything. She’d had to give up working, hiking, long-distance motorcycling. She could no longer trust her grip, and so drank only out of plastic cups. Sometimes her skin hurt too much to put on clothes. There were days when all she could do was lie in bed, eyes protected by tinted windows and blackout shades. When her husband was still alive, he’d sometimes give her a hug, and she’d cry out, “Don’t do that. That hurts.”
She’d seen doctor after doctor, only to be told there was nothing wrong with her, nothing wrong with her, it was all in her head. She’d gone to psychotherapy. She’d taken various classes of drugs. In Atlanta, she visited a private treatment center, which sucked up $16,000 of her savings, 35 vials of her blood, and made her feel worse, not better. In Tallahassee, Fla., she visited a natural healing clinic, which she was skeptical of and mostly showed how desperate she’d become. She was a police investigator by trade, a firm believer in evidence. Hard to say whether she’d given up on Western medicine or vice versa.