by MIKE CHAIKEN
Unfortunately, I fell extremely sick three years ago with a rare CSF leak in my spinal cord and suffered considerable damage to my pelvis region and vagus nerve the largest nerve that is alongside of your spinal cord It is the communication from the brain into our pelvis area. I leaked spinal fluid from my brain for four months, and the damage is permanent and could never be repaired. The condition is so rare the doctors do not have a cure or enough studies to treat the disease.
The damage was a slow and steady it started shutting down my vital organs. This system controls specific body functions such as your digestion, heart rate, and immune system. The functions are involuntary, meaning you cannot consciously control them. My bladder was the first organ to take the hit, and I have now what they call atomic bladder which means it is a dead bladder forever it just there with no functions. I have an electrical bladder interstim device to keep an electrical current running into the bladder, and one day hopefully the bladder will wake up and respond. I have to self-Cather myself to release the toxins in the bladder, which in return is a very painful process. The kidney disease came from haven no bladder the fluid had no wear to go. So, the urine went backwards into my kidneys, and this is what caused considerable damage and stage 3b kidney disease. Kidneys are what filters out all the toxins from my blood to give us fresh blood for all of our vital organs, and heart.
My kidneys are working at 44 percent but at least they are still working. I face many challenges every day for example hydrated for the kidneys. Not haven a bladder to hold and release the proper amount of flids is a challenge to stay hydrated. My stomach and digestive system are at a terribly slow transmit and that is another part of the autonomic nerve disease. I had decided to stop eating all the food we have grown to love and enjoy. The foods were becoming poison to my body. The disease interrupts the absorption, nutrition, elimination of any food I eat. I must be so disciplined and not eat anything that my body cannot digest, or I will get super sick, and my organs will start to suffer. I will say at this point in my life my illnesses became so overwhelming. The foods I have learned to eat are steamed broccoli, steamed brussels sprouts, blueberries, bananas, red lentils, and salmon once a week. I use no seasoning and learn to eat to survive not for pleasure. The only fluid intake is water. Every once in a while, I will have a small sip of apple juice, and get excited to taste something sweet.
The last part of my body to take a hard hit from this nasty disease is my heart. Your heart is the beating lifeline to all your bodily functions and when your heart stops beating well then life is over. My mind and heart communications in the parasympathetic nervous system do not communication on a normal level. My brain sends signals to my heart to try to regulate the rhythm, but the heart has a tough time responding. That is where the diagnosis of Tachycardia syndrome which is a fast heart rate, and Bradycardia syndrome which is a slower than normal heart rate came into my life. There is no treatment for this condition, and I am not a candidate for a pacemaker because that will interfere with the slower than normal heart rate. I have lost the flight-on-flight signal which is the way our body responds to stressful or dangerous situation. That is what causes my heart rate to go from extremely fast or to an extremely slow heart rare. I will say at this point in my life my illnesses became so overwhelming I really believed in my heart I was going to die. I really was not sure that I could survive this never mind thinking about my dreams in modeling. I did not know how to continue in this body that was so damaged and sick. I was truly fighting for my life.
So, one day I decided to take control of my life and start my own research, and this is how the new journey began. My prevention and essential guide to self-care and self-love. However, when I decided to take control of my health and life, I did not realize it was going to be the biggest challenge of my life. I had to learn to love myself threw the darkness I was in. I did not like who I saw in the mirror I seen a sick diseased woman. I had to become my own advocate for my health and take control of theses nasty diseases. Only I could bring myself out of the darkness and into the light. I had a great support system but sometimes that is not enough. Only you can change for yourself you have to find your will to live.
I could see the sadness in my family’s eyes, and how scared they were to lose me. That was another turning point for me. I knew I could not let them down I was the strong one in the family. I was going to make them proud, and I was not going to fail them as a mother or a new wife. I have finally found my true love, my best friend, and loving man to my children and myself. I did not want to lose him I finally just found him he is my everything.