I have been a registered nurse for 10+ years. In 2008 I graduated from Chamberlain College of Nursing with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing. For years, I battled with my weight, I was exhausted all the time from working night shifts, and was depressed. I knew something had to change which led me to an event in 2011 where I met Shawn Stevenson, the founder of Advanced Integrative Health Alliance. This was the first time I was introduced to holistic, integrative health, and restorative medicine. I was amazed by the information that was presented to me. It was a completely different way of thinking about health and the care of the patient. I was frustrated and in disbelief that I was not taught this information in nursing school. Unfortunately, I didn’t make dramatic personal health changes from the information that was presented to me. Fast forward a couple years, I discovered why the universe presented me with this information in the first place.
September 2013, I first started having symptoms with my first disorder when I was in graduate school. A friend of mine noticed my eye droop while helping me study for a pharmacology test. Then a few days later, I started having blurry vision, my eyes were sensitive to light, I was extremely fatigue, was experiencing heaviness in my arms and legs (to the point where it was difficult for me to walk up stairs or short distances), and the eye droop progressively got worse, especially at the end of the day. The craziest thing, I was in class and we were talking about medications to treat neuromuscular conditions. There it was, right in front of my face. At that moment, I knew I had diagnosed myself with Myasthenia Gravis (MG), a rare autoimmune condition.
The next day I contacted my primary care physician (PCP), told her my concerns and that I wanted to be have a blood test to be tested for a specific autoimmune disorder. I was sent to a specialist who was reluctant to order the test I was requesting. On October 10, 2013, I was officially diagnosed with Ocular Myasthenia Gravis (MG) after blood tests and through neurological testing. By March 12, 2014, my condition then progressed to Generalized Myasthenia Gravis (MG). I had good and bad days. I was often short of breath, tired all the time, which made it hard for me to socialize, I had difficulty chewing, I had to take breaks when doing the simplest things, I was usually in bed by 9-10 pm (sometimes earlier), the muscles in my face and neck were weak (my face looked frozen/paralyzed when I smiled). At that time, I was placed on mestinon and prednisone (steroids).
Initial symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis September and October 2013
I IMMEDIATELY started seeking a different way for me to care for myself. I wanted a natural approach to heal myself. Thankfully, a patient told me about a program called SHAPE ReClaimed and checked into it. I told my neurologist about the program and he told me “If you want a back doctor to tell you about nutrition, that’s on you! You don’t get to dictate your health. I tell you what to take, and manage your care, not you!”
Needless to say, on June 25th 2014, I got a new doctor. At my follow-up appointment, he recommended that I have a thymectomy done. I had hyperplasia of my thymus gland which is a common finding in MG. I refused surgery. My neuro checks for MG were negative that day, but he did find brisk reflexes (hyper-reflexive reflexes) and other symptoms. This concerned him. So he ordered an MRI of my brain and spine to look for lesions to rule out MS. They found 10 bright spots called "flares or flairs" which were concerning to him. He had my MRI reviewed by his colleagues, which determined one of the spots were abnormal. This lead me to a spinal tap/lumbar puncture on July 28, 2014 and a vision evoke potential test. My lumbar puncture was abnormal, but not abnormal enough to be diagnosed. I was told they would “monitor me” with MRI’s of my brain every 6 months.
“Before you heal someone, ask him if he's willing to give up the things that made him sick.”
During this time, I went to an event for the program called SHAPE ReClaimed. I was impressed by the knowledge and intelligence of Dr. Todd Frisch. After the event, I spoke to him about my state of health at that time. Dr. Frisch expressed how complex my case was, but that he could help me. He said, “When you’re ready, come see me.”
The next year, on July 25, 2016, I had my routine brain MRI. For 2 years, my brain MRI’s had no changes, but on that day it was discovered I had 7 new brain lesions and was actively having a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) relapse. On July 28, 2016, I was diagnosed with MS. By August 2016, I was weaned off of my prednisone. On August 20, 2016 I was hospitalized after having an allergic reaction to an MS medication.
Once I was out of the hospital. I made an appointment with Dr. Frisch to start SHAPE ReClaimed. This program changed my life. With SHAPE I have supported my disease in a healthy way to give my body the ability to thrive despite my conditions AND I was able to shed 74 lbs of toxic weight! SHAPE changed my life. I feel better than I ever have in my entire adult life.
214lbs, Size 16/18
154lbs, Size 8
February & April 2018
140lbs, Size 6
This program works! I am living proof, but you have to be willing to do the work. Our bodies have their own way of healing themselves. If you feed/fuel your body with the right nutrition and give it the proper environment to thrive in, you can greatly improve your health. I’m committed to helping others understand the role of healthy eating habits and the relationship it has in managing your health.
This Jim Rohn quote has become one of my favorites, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
I’m here to help you along your journey to wellness, but first I need to ask you a serious question.
“Are you willing to give up the things that made you sick?”