My life has been one that has been on the edge of human experience. I was born, had a childhood, and there were ups and downs. Thus, it seems pertinent to focus on the events that shaped my life, and made me into the person I am today.
At the age of 13, my sister struggled with depression and at 15 she became involved in substance abuse. She attended several outpatient and inpatient programs from 2003 to 2007 and has been drug-free since 2007. I had high resting anxiety and was frequently distressed as a child. I tried to keep up with my sister’s development even though we have a 6 year age gap between us. Although I was a happy child I was very demanding and frequently oppositional.
At age 12 in 2006, I had my first of many brushes with the health care system. After being misdiagnosed with a pulled muscle, about a month later the doctor performed an x-ray and immediately diagnosed me with SCFE (Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis), a hip condition that occurs in teens and pre-teens who are still growing. For reasons that are not well understood, the ball at the head of the femur slips off the neck of the bone in a backwards direction. This was not the type of thing you “walk off” and feel better. It required an emergency surgery and the placement of permanent titanium screw in my right hip.
The hip fracture left me without the ability to bear weight for the entire summer. Imagine a 12 year old kid staring outside, with nowhere to go and nothing to do. When September came, I was dependent on crutches and needed a lot of assistance at home and at school. At that time, it was uncomfortable and embarrassing for me to ask for help. A terrible rumor that I was faking a fractured hip circulated around school and I quickly became a victim of severe bullying by my peers. The verbal and emotional abuse that I endured was so damaging to my mental health that I became deeply depressed, suicidal, and non-functional. That may seem extreme for a hip injury, but that is because more was lurking beneath the surface.
Two factors had come together for the perfect storm in my life. Not only was the injury dragging at my psyche, but school itself was a struggle. For many years, I inwardly suffered from an auditory processing learning disorder. In simplest terms, this means that the brain has trouble translating the information that a person is hearing or reading to the brain. Thus, without the appropriate information to go on, it makes it difficult to process appropriately. Imagine the brain has to open a file drawer to retrieve some information but the drawer is stuck – unable to open. The disorder can lead to learning delays and is linked to disorders such as dyslexia or ADHD.
On the positive side, despite suffering from these conditions, I have been fortunate to have the benefit of a very loving and supportive family who helped me receive professional counseling. After a decade of therapy and cycling through almost every anti-depressant on the market, I also went to multiple therapeutic programs including an all-women’s boarding school. This constant shuffling around in my life meant that stability was not a factor in my life, and eventually my mind was pushed beyond the breaking point. Time and time again, the only option for me seemed to be put an end to all of the distress.
After a failed suicide attempt in 2007, I attended a therapeutic wilderness program in North Carolina, an alternative to bootcamp aimed towards helping “troubled teens.” I was strip searched which was dehumanizing as a 13 year old child. I had eyes on me taking timed 5 minute showers, and received very few showers in the span of 60 days. I was only provided a small amount of clothes to last me the whole time I was there in below freezing temperatures. I learned a lot about being self-reliant and surviving under harsh circumstances but this abuse had further traumatizing effects on me.
After completing this program, it was suggested that I continue my healing process at a therapeutic boarding school, this time in Spanish Fork, Utah. All was not well, at this program I was physically attacked by another student and was removed from the facility for my safety. More chaos inflicted upon my young life. I returned home to Maryland and completed 8th grade at a very small private school in Maryland where the bullying continued. Despair and hopelessness were my constant companions, and my desire to end my suffering was paramount, I managed to keep moving on through the trials I had faced.
In 2008, I had maxilla surgery to correct significant orthodontic issues. The surgeon makes cuts in the jawbones and moves them into the correct position. Once the jaw movement is completed, permanent titanium rods are placed to secure the bones into their new position. This is traumatic surgery for a 14 year old girl, who is just coming into her teenaged years, and discovering new worlds – or that is the myth we tell ourselves.
I tried to attend my local public school in 9th grade. My face remained swollen for months after the surgery and the difference in my appearance crushed my self esteem. To compensate, I developed an eating disorder and lost about 50lbs. I was a heavier child and the kids at school joked that my time away from school was spent at a “fat camp.” To avoid the abuse and hatred, I spent most of my time at home doing my schoolwork. After all, what person, what creature, would want to willingly go to where they were not welcomed, and didn’t seem to belong?
In 10th grade there was the opportunity to complete an online school known as “K12.” Because it was an online independent study, it left very few opportunities for socializing. As someone who had little opportunity to go out, there was nothing left to do but self-isolate, and avoid people. My experiences thus far had shown me that my age cohort could be quite cruel.
By 11th grade, something had to give so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with attending a private Christian school. I was 17 years old, and naturally people start exploring their bodies before this. I had the temerity to have the nerve to question my own sexuality at this time. Unfortunately, The dogmatic, strict, religious atmosphere pervaded the place, and once again, the misfortune of being bullied by my peers struck again. Another year, wasted, due to the intolerance of others.
The bullying was relentless and despite my best efforts, it looked like there was no way out of constant social suffering. My parents found me unresponsive after an overdose. The nurses and doctors worked their magic to restore me to life. Yet, I still needed direction in my life, something to accomplish. As such, getting away from the monastic orders seemed the most prudent course of action. I decided to attend a therapeutic program in Florida to receive extra help, and after studying quite hard on my own, I received my GED while at the program in December 2011.
Shortly after, I was diagnosed with Kryptopyrroluria (KPU). Most people know that “B” vitamins keep us healthy and energized. Well, as a result of this metabolic disorder, my body had been dragging for years without adequate B vitamins. Imagine that, living life in constant deprivation of an essential nutrient without conscious awareness. It was not just a B vitamin deficiency either, since B vitamins open up many of the pathways in your molecular body. There are over 100 metabolic processes that rely on B vitamins alone including zinc, manganese, and others. Consequently, I suffered a metabolic catastrophe. Without the essential nutrients, my body was starving from the inside out.
I started a protocol of supplements to support the reduction of anxiety and depression resulting from the nutritional deficiencies. I studied psychology at Howard Community College (HCC) in January 2012. Yet again, my education was interrupted when I needed to have my appendix removed. I still managed to claw ahead and graduate with honors from HCC in 2014. Perseverence was beginning to pay off for me.
The next educational step in my voyage was transferring to University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). I studied social work for a short time. It was enjoyable, but there was another calling in my life. I wanted to study criminal justice. I received an academic scholarship to Stevenson University in 2015 to study criminal justice. It felt much better, I was pursuing a hard science of facts and figures, something that would help me further distance myself from my past.
The next year, I attended a wedding and accidentally caught the heel of my shoe in the groove of a brick. There are 26 bones in the foot, that was the time one of them was unable to cope with the torque, and fractured. After the ceremony, there was no way to walk to the car on my own. A friend offered me a piggy back, yet unfortunately he compounded the problem when he accidentally stumbled off a curb and fell backwards onto me. We had landed on the pavement in the street of Baltimore. I had the wind knocked out of me, but worse, my head hit the ground so hard resulting in a serious concussion/TBI. I also began having severe back pain shortly after that did not respond to osteopathic adjustments, dry needling, physical therapy, lidocaine injections, a rhizotomy, and many different types of anti-inflammatory medications. Doctors threw their entire pharmacology at me, but nothing seemed to help.
There was an option to perform surgery on multiple discs in my lower back and an L3-4 disc herniation. The extrusion was performed in August 2017. I had some relief but unfortunately it only lasted a couple months. Still in pain, I rushed back to class at Stevenson, determined to finish what I had started. Once again, I suffered another setback when I was admitted to the ER in September 2017 for signs of sepsis. A large abscess had developed on my right kidney and I needed antibiotic treatment for a month. More time spent waiting for things to get better, the story of my life.
As the back pain continued to worsen after my surgery, my doctor prescribed narcotics. At first, it was wonderful that there was relief available for me, but I quickly found out the dark side of this medication. After a couple months, my body became utterly dependent on the medicine and the wheel of needing more and more to take the pain away was in full swing. This cycle continued until my dosing was at about 90 mg of oxycodone per day. The narcotics were very dehydrating and damaging to my gut biome. Although the gut and brain are separate organs, they communicate with each other via trillions of intestinal bacteria that collectively make up one’s gut microbiome. With steely willpower to save my life, I weaned myself off these medications within a couple of months.
Towards the end of 2017, I lost someone close to me and struggled to cope with the loss and grief I was experiencing. I attended another therapeutic program for support. Losing someone you care about has consistently been ranked one of the most stressful events in a human’s life. This is absolutely true, so it felt like just another jab in the knife fight my life had become. I was fighting for survival and success against multiple assailants, the bullies, the accidents, my body turning against me. That being said, my challenges weren’t over yet.
In January 2018, I hit rock bottom so hard that there was no other way but UP so I bounced.
I was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) in May. POTS is a form of dysautonomia-a disorder of the autonomic nervous system. This branch of the nervous system regulates functions we don’t consciously control, such as heart rate, blood pressure, sweating and body temperature. When we stand, gravity pulls more blood into the lower half of the body. In a healthy person, to ensure that a sufficient amount of blood reaches the brain, the body activates several nervous system responses. One such response is releasing hormones that help tighten blood vessels and cause a modest increase in heart rate. This leads to better blood flow to the heart and brain. Once the brain is receiving enough blood and oxygen, these nervous system responses settle back to normal.
In people with POTS, the blood vessels don’t respond efficiently to the signal to tighten. As a result, the longer you are upright, the more blood pools in the lower half of your body. This leads to not enough blood returning to the brain, which causes lightheadedness, brain fog and fatigue. As the nervous system continues to release epinephrine and norepinephrine to tighten the blood vessels, the heart rate increases further. This may cause shakiness, forceful or skipped heartbeats, and chest pain.
The foundation of treating POTS is increasing fluid and salt intake. For most POTS patients, the goal is to at least drink about 2-2.5 liters a day. Patients should always carry around water with electrolytes and minerals in it in order to rehydrate frequently. The science here is that adding more salt to your diet helps water stick to the cells in the bloodstream, helping more blood reach the heart and the brain.
Certain foods and drinks can have an adverse effect on POTS symptoms in some patients. For example, alcohol almost always aggravates POTS because it diverts blood away from the central circulation to the skin and increases loss of fluids through urine. There are a lot of other poisons sitting on the grocery shelves, and really its a period of trial and error to discover what affects your body the most. In the beginning of my recovery, I was laid up in bed for over 6 months with a PICC line to receive daily IV saline fluids. I also received Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy. This therapy can help people with weakened immune systems or other diseases fight off infections.
Feeling half dead, I spent a ton of time questioning my purpose on Earth and tried to figure out why it felt like I was always hit with these consistent illnesses. Every year something rose up to challenge me, and while I had not always been strong, I had never faltered. I was still here for a reason, there was a purpose for me. Yet exactly what that purpose was eluded my inquiry.
I engaged in a lot of introspection and became very spiritually aware. I started self-studying quantum physics/mechanics and developed a deep understanding of how our consciousness (how we think and what we believe), directly affects our bodies and our health. Everything in the universe is made up of molecules vibrating at different speeds. Human vibrations are composed of everything from physical matter to the way you communicate to the thoughts you think. The medical community can only treat what it can see, but humans are so much more complex than that.
From an energetic perspective, dis-ease can be seen as an attack on the body by the body. Often, these attacks are the result of someone suppressing an emotion over a long period of time. By understanding the emotional component of a disease, we can often find the key to recovery. This is because when an emotion becomes stuck, the energy that is contained in that emotion is stored in the body and can lead to health issues if the emotional issue is not addressed. The physical presentation of an illness is usually the last stage of a long-standing problem. If there is something wrong spiritually or emotionally and it goes unaddressed, it will eventually present itself in the form of a physical ailment. In this way, it is possible to trace the root cause of a physical issue and address it on an energetic level to gain relief and possibly cure the ailment.
“As you think, you vibrate. As you vibrate, you attract.”
In 2020, I consulted with a new integrative holistic medicine physician to treat the root cause of my illness. My body tested positive for systemic mold and I treated it through homeopathic remedies. There was also a new proposed regimen for my autoimmune disorder, which consisted of high dose IV vitamin therapy on a weekly basis. After 3 years of struggling to manage my symptoms, the IV vitamin therapy reduced the severity of my symptoms within a couple of months. Years of struggling reduced to months of relief.
During this time of physical healing, I also focused on eliminating a lot of stressors in my life. One of the therapy approaches I utilized when I was dealing with my eating disorder in 2009 was art therapy. Over the last year, I have been utilizing art as therapy to help aid me in my physical healing. I have a strong interest in many arts including: abstract painting, resin, photography, videography, and jewelry making. The emotions I held trapped inside from so many years ago found their expression through these artistic means. There has been no shortage of joy I’ve experienced through these practices.
My own life has also taken a direction in the positive. I am currently completing my senior capstone project to receive my B.A. in interdisciplinary studies. I am interested in continuing to explore the study of consciousness and integrative medicine as it relates to quantum physics.
“𝐈𝐟 𝐭𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞, 𝐝𝐨 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐬.“
St. Anthony, shown in my photo above, exhibited a steady courage to face the ups and downs of life, the call to love and forgive, to be concerned for the needs of others, to deal with crisis great and small, and to have our feet solidly on the ground of trust, love, and dependence on Source.
The experiences I’ve shared with you tell you a story about strength, courage, resilience, and perseverance. These attributes are essential to being an effective advocate for all health struggles. Whether you have chronic complex conditions like myself, or are suffering a persistent minor allergy, the point is not to give up, and to look for alternatives. The conventional solution is not the only solution, and you should never stop advocating for yourself until you find an answer.
You aren’t alone in your fight.
Please reach out to me via email for more information, questions or support.
To view or purchase my artwork visit my website Here.