After his first day of classes, the biology major collapsed at home on the dining table, turning the room around him.
It was 1999. The symptoms soon became intense and untreatable. His heart was racing, he was feeling weak and he often became dizzy. Lindsay was only able to walk for about 50 feet and not stand for more than a few minutes.
"Even lying on the floor did not feel low enough," he said.
The former high school athlete had dreamed of becoming a biochemistry professor or perhaps writing for The Simpsons.
Instead, he spent the next 11 years in a hospital bed in his living room in St. Louis, which was plagued by a mysterious illness.
The doctors were at a loss, treatments did not help, and Lindsay finally realized that That he had to do it himself if he wanted his life back.
His journey has astounded physicians ever since.
"He has done something extraordinary," said John Novack, Inspire spokesman, a social network in the United States Health Care for Patients with Rare and Chronic Diseases When people hear Lindsay's story, Novack said, they often say, "I can do something similar for my K ind do. "
His mother was a living prophecy
Whatever was going on with him ran in the family.
When Lindsay was 18 months old, his mother was so weak that she could not pick him up.
When he was 4 years old, she could not walk anymore. She managed to pick him up again this year when he was suffocating on a jawbreaker. She saved his life.
Otherwise she was too frail. She lived for decades, mostly bedridden, with the same illness that had stolen her son's twenty. After years of testing, she found that her condition was related to her thyroid, but she was too ill to travel to the Mayo Clinic for a more specialized care, Lindsay said.
Lindsay's aunt developed the same suffering and became so weak that she could no longer tie her own shoes.
As a teenager, Lindsay wondered if his body was a ticking time bomb too.
Eventually, in 1999, the alarm went off.
"When I called my mother that evening to tell her that I had to drop out of college, we both knew," he said. The family curse had hit.
He found answers in discarded medical textbooks.
From autumn 1999, Lindsay was bedridden for about 22 hours a day.
It was because I ate or went to the bathroom, "he said.
Lindsay went into medical research, determined to find a way out, seeing specialists in endocrinology, neurology, internal medicine, and others If a doctor had no more ideas, he referred Lindsay to a psychiatrist.
When Lindsay realized he needed to find out his problem himself.
During his studies, he had a 2200-page endocrinology textbook nearby hoping to find out what happened to his mother in a dumpster, where he found an important passage that discussed how adrenal gland disease might reflect thyroid disorders.
He focused on his adrenal glands, which are located on the Kidneys sit side of the lower abdomen.
Lindsay suggested that a whole class of autonomic nervous system disorders might exist that go beyond the established categories that most endocrinologists or neurologists knew.
He made cash for a computer, got it from an old college roommate, and got to work.
None of the diseases that the foundation examined fit Lindsay's symptom pattern. But he came closer.
He convinced a researcher who believed in him.
Lindsay soon decided he needed a partner – not just a doctor, but a scientist curious enough to accept a rare case. The best place to find that person was the annual American conference Autonomic Society, which was attended by scientists from around the world who were concerned with nervous system disorders.
In 2002, at the meeting of the group in Hilton Head, South Carolina, he gave a lecture about his illness. To get there, Lindsay bought a number of plane tickets so that he could lie on several seats with the help of friends during the flight.