Crystal’s journey with chronic illness began after a car accident in 2013. Prior to that she had been very healthy, taking great care of herself and living a busy and fulfilling life.
Two years after the accident things were starting to feel wrong and she began the search for a Doctor who could help her make sense of the strange symptoms she was experiencing. She was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency which was part of the puzzle but did not explain her continuously worsening symptoms.
Four years later Crystal was still searching for an answer and consulted 15 different medical practitioners until she happened to hear of Andrea Nakayama and began working with one of her nutritionists.
It was that person who first suggested that you can experience concussion without actually hitting your head.
Crystal tried several neurologists who were completely unhelpful until she finally found a functional neurologist who diagnosed her with Post Concussion Syndrome and the missing piece of her health puzzle was found.
A small percentage of people can continue to feel the affects of concussion long after the event and Crystal happened to be one of them.
Crystal works with her functional neurologist using a ketogenic diet and specific physical exercises to help “reboot” her brain via neuroplasticity but it is a slow process and her life is very different from what it was.
Prior to her illness, Crystal who is single, was teaching music full time, was an avid cross fitter and weight lifter, sang with the Houston Symphony Chorus, enjoyed pottery and was a volunteer at her Church.
Bit by bit, she lost those aspects of herself until her life felt it had been whittled down to a much smaller one.
Going from Doctor to Doctor and paying for many medical expenses and tests out of pocket quickly ate through her life savings until she made the choice to sell her home to help support her health.
But Crystal has found a new calling and passion in helping others with patient advocacy, enjoys teaching her music students and living a smaller, but still fulfilling life.
As Crystal says “My illness is not my fault but my healing is my responsibility.” Very wise words indeed!
Enjoy this episode with Crystal using the podcast player here or find the Emotional Autoimmunity podcast on iTunes, Spotify and many other podcast apps and if you enjoy the episode, please leave a review.
There is a bit of background noise from Crystal’s dogs if you are wondering what the occasional sounds are.
Crystal’s journey with chronic illness began after a car accident in 2013. Two years after the accident, she was diagnosed with autoimmune adrenal insufficiency, and four years after the wreck her healthcare team also found postconcussion syndrome with dysautonomia. Crystal lives with her two dogs in Houston, Texas, where she teaches private music lessons to students in the area. Through her own experience with complex chronic illness, Crystal has also found a passion for functional nutrition and patient education and advocacy.
Find out more about Crystal at the links below.