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Details  (ID=324)
Date: Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Name:  Julie Horton
Date: 17-nov-2009
Main Condition
Main Condition:  Hearing Disorders - Severe vertigo. Menieres Disease
My Brief Story
Brief Story:  Iíve been having violent bouts of vertigo off and on for years. The vertigo spells were so severe that thereís no way to fully describe what I went through other than at times it felt like pure hell. I would get so dizzy that I couldnít stand, walk, see clearly or speak. I would throw up over and over. My heart rate would skyrocket. And my body would feel like it was on fire. I would say, no matter what it looked like, it felt a thousand times worse.

In many dark moments, I would say that Iíd rather be dead. Sorry, God. I hate putting those words down in writing. It doesnít even sound like me. But in those moments, I was feeling that defeated.

After the attacks I would be exhausted. I would experience brain fog. And at times it felt like my brain wasnít working like it should. I sometimes felt confused or slow to understand if too many things were going on at once. I would feel like I was being pushed and pulled at the same time. Despite all of this, I had people tell me, ďbut you look pretty good.Ē Are you kidding me? Inside I felt like I was some sort of freak mad scientistís project. Everyday there was some sort of internal struggle that no one could see.

I started seeing a specialist for hearing and balance disorders and was told that I had Meniereís Disease. I changed my lifestyle to try to make it as stress-free as possible, upped my exercise and ate as healthy as I possibly could in hopes of fending off the violent attacks. My friends would say that I was the healthiest sick person they knew. I even went on a low-salt diet and water pill for several years, as the theory was that too much sodium created excess pressure in the body (interesting), which supposedly made the symptoms worse. And at some point along the way I lost almost all the hearing in my right ear.

I would feel better (but still not normal) for periods of time, as I learned how to adjust to ďmy new normal.Ē But then out of what seemed like nowhere I would have another violent attack. They were so bad at one point that I had endolymphatic-mastoid shunt surgery to try to ease the symptoms. Several months later, the attacks came back at full force. I was having severe vertigo spells every day, sometimes multiple times a day.

My specialist me that the only other thing he could do for me was a form of brain surgery called Selective Vestibular Neurectomy that would cut the balance nerves on the weak side of my vestibular system. Supposedly, Iíd never get vertigo again (ďin that earĒ), but it would be a long road to recovery (I hear compared to that of a stroke victim). Of course that sounded insane and barbaric, but I was close to signing up for it because I was so sick and desperate. I shudder as I write that. I came so close.

Enter, a miracle. About a week before my pre-op surgery appointment, (or as I refer to it nowÖone of the dumbest things that I almost ever did) I see a flyer for Upper Cervical Care in a 5-k race goodie bag (Thank you Dr. Nathan Vuagniaux. He told me later that the idea to put the flyer in the bag was his last minute decision at 3:00 that morning.) from a race I didnít even get to participate in because by that time I was so sick again. I think someone upstairs didnít want me to have that surgery, ya think? You canít even guess how many times Iíve said thank you this year.

I was intrigued by the first sentence of the flyer:

ďWhen your head is not properly aligned (balanced) the signals that travel from your brain through your nervous system to every part of your body can be disrupted or distorted.Ē

YES! Iím listening! That summed up how I had been feeling for years, but I had no idea how to put that into words. I remember at times feeling like thereís no way I have a disease. Itís my head thatís causing the problem! But I didnít know how to voice that, as I had never heard of this before from a medical professional.

I went for x-rays, which showed that my upper cervical spine was so severely misaligned (due to four concussions over my 38 years) that my brainstem was twisted. A damaged brainstem. Um, what? This was so far off from anything I had ever heard about, read about or googled about. My specialist never told me anything close to this. I was in a state of ďhuh?Ē for days.

Since those nerves were damaged, they could not communicate properly with the rest of my body. The brain-to-body signals were messed up, which resulted in severe vertigo, and a slew of other symptoms including rapid heartbeat which is a symptom Iíve had for years that no cardiologist could ever explain. In the morning my heart rate would be around 130. Thatís almost double of what it should be. Can you imagine how that felt? I was told on several occasions by cardiologists, ďyour heart is healthy, your heart just beats too fast, we donít know why it beats so fast, itís normal for you, youíre not going to die, you must have anxiety.Ē I even went on a pill for a while that slowed down my heartbeat. And for some reason later, another doctor told me I could quit taking it. Just quit taking it. I did and my heart freaked out, and I wondered if I was having a heart attack. Finding out that my rapid heartbeat was the result of a twisted brain stem was a huge bonus discovery.

Dr. Nate (our hero) described my condition as one of the worst heís ever seen and used the words ďtrain wreckĒ to describe my upper cervical spine. I started treatment right away, which was a correction to the upper spine (C1 and C2 vertebrae) to get back in alignment so my body could start to heal itself naturally. Naturally! This was unreal to me. No medicine? No brain surgery? Just a non-invasive correction to jumpstart the healing process. Wow. Seemed so simple to me. Why am I just now hearing about this?

After one correction I was feeling better within a few days. I couldnít believe it. It was the miracle I had been searching for.

Before the corrections, on a good day I couldnít lie on my right side ever without getting dizzy. I couldnít lie on my back, and I started sleeping with about eight pillows (seriously) because I would get dizzy laying down from the pressure it put on my brainstem. Of course at the time I didnít know that was why it was happening.

Now Iím able to lie on my back without a single pillow. I can lie on my right side. Thatís huge in my world. I can walk to my mailbox without making sure I have my ďdizzy pillsĒ with me, you knowÖ just in case. And now Iím not always second-guessing, should I go here by myself? Should I do this or that? What if I have an attack? And I donít have as many visual disturbances as I once did. And that was something that was so hard to explain to someone. I would just say, ďthings just donít look right.Ē

Though the healing process takes some time, Iím now feeling so much better, getting my life back and starting to do things again that once brought joy to my life. Iím working out again, Iím not as ďsocially scaredĒ to participate in, well everything, and making a goal list like you wouldnít believe!

Basically, now that Iíve learned about Upper Cervical Care and know the benefits of it, itís something that Iíll do for the rest of my life. Itís incredible stuff. Your brainstem is the communication line to the rest of your body. The body has the ability to heal itself of most ailments, but if there is interference, the brain and body canít communicate to heal itself naturally, ultimately resulting in some sort of negative condition.

So I had been treated for four years for a disease that I donít feel I even had, went through an unnecessary surgery and was about to sign up for another one.

I had told my balance specialist that Iíve had multiple head injuries and asked him are you sure this doesnít have anything to do with the concussions? He replied with a stern no, and if anything made me feel stupid for even asking. I know differently now but I ended up paying him to cut my ear off, stick a piece of plastic in my endolymphatic sac which would change the way my inner ear worked for the rest of my life, in hopes of never getting vertigo ever again. And I end up getting sick again anyway and this time with more of a vengeance! Wow. And now heís telling me the only other thing he can do for me is to cut my brain open, and Iíll have to spend my summer recovering like a stroke victim. What? But I was clueless enough and definitely sick enough to (almost) sign up for it.

I would love for my hearing and balance specialist to hear the facts of my Upper Cervical experience and ask him to be open to considering Upper Cervical Care as an alternative to his patients, especially to his Meniereís patients and especially to his patients who have had head injuries. My problem wasnít in my ear. He could never have fixed me.

As horrible as this nightmare has been for meÖ and for the people close to me (Thanks for hanging in there everyone - I canít imagine what that must have felt like for Kevin), I feel that I had to go through it in order to come out with a fierce passion for spreading the word about Upper Cervical Care to those who are sick, desperate and hopeless.

Donít just take one doctorís word that ďthis is all that we can do for you.Ē Get a second, third, fourth, twentieth opinion! There ARE always other alternatives despite what one doctor is telling you. I believe Upper Cervical Care is the answer to a lot of conditions. Educate yourself. Knowledge is power!

I didnít go through the all the puking and tears for nothiní, which is why I am becoming an Upper Cervical Advocate. Upper Cervical Care has changed my life and I believe it saved my life. And Iím paying it forward.

Chiropractor's Details
Name:  Dr. Nathan Vuagniaux
Practice:  Upper Cervical Health Centers of America
Has own X-Ray equipment.
Street Address:  #20 Ginger Creek Parkway
Suburb/City:  Glen Carbon
State/Province:  IL
Postcode/Zip:  62034
Telephone:  618-692-6992
Fax:  618-692-9792
Email:  nvuagniaux@hotmail.com
Web Site:  www.uppercervicalcare.com
Chiropractic Technique:  Kale Brainstem
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