Sometimes Surviving, Sometimes Thriving

Sometimes Surviving, Sometimes Thriving

Life Rebalanced Chronicles Season 3

After two years following 9 incredible vestibular warriors, the Life Rebalanced Chronicles are back for season 3 with an all-new cast!

EPISODE 4: Sometimes Surviving, Sometimes Thriving

Kevin thought he knew where his life was headed… then he got dizzy. From that point on his life was never the same. After moving in with family, being denied disability, and adjusting to a new life battling dizzy attacks, Kevin has been fighting just to survive. But through it all, he always finds a way to thrive.



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My life was a little different. I lived in southern Mexico in the state of Chiapas for almost nine and a half, 10 years off and on. At one point, I decided to just return to the United States, it was really, really hard. Because I really become accustomed to a different way of life in Mexico a little slower, more thoughtful, and vowed I would never live in San Antonio was just a big city. And anyway, so I ended up living in audio, you know, you make your life decisions in life makes decisions for you. And I began a museum career. I was gonna be really my brother from Detroit that wasn’t really on my plate at all. But I started just a regular position there, but some things happen. And because I’m bilingual, and a lot of the things they asked me if I would take over a management role, I end up falling in love with the art with the people. And so, as time went on, I developed new dreams, new goals. I didn’t have any super long term goals other than to at some point returned to Mexico. That next year, I noticed that I was having problems walking. My feet were hurting my lower back was hurting a lot. I would be just so stiff in the morning. The security staff would sometimes see me walking down the side of the museum. And they would literally see me hobbling. So they would meet me at the door with a wheelchair, and we’ll meet at my desk and it just became progressively worse. So I was referred to a rheumatologist. She said I’m sorry to inform you that you have ankylosing spondylitis. Ankylosing Spondylitis is an autoimmune disease known as inflammatory disease. So it’s a form of arthritis. So fast forwarding, a few years, I think it was the second or third year the treatment plant I was on I took injections every month, twice a month for ALS. But at some point, I don’t know why. I don’t know when I develop classic migraines with Laura. At this point, I am so tired. I’ve been working I decide that I’m going to resign from the museum for a while I’m gonna go to Mexico, rest recuperate because I’ve been going straight for six, seven years, I’m tired. I’d never took a break even going to treatments and doctors and this and that. So I’m planning this. And then one day, I’m at home in the evening, I didn’t feel like cooking. So you know, I’ll go right around the corner here. It goes to Chinese restaurant or I’ll go, you know, grab a sub from over here. So I’ll walk out my apartment. And I’m realizing something is wrong with all the lights. All the lights are just wrong. The back of the city buses I’m seeing like 18 lights on the backbone. They’re only like four or five. On the street lights are just like sunbeams. And I’m like, oh, no, something is wrong. But I said I’m probably just tired. No, we just came off a major event at the museum. Then the next morning, I got up straight, stretched a little bit in the bed and got up and immediately fell to the writing just completely fell bang my head everything. And it felt like something pulled me to the right. And I was like, Okay, I’m just really too tired. I said it’d be better because this has happened before. And it’s lasted that feeling that dizziness lasted for about four or five days. But I was never quite the same. I can never bounce back. I’ve always felt like off dizzy. flashforward. I’m like prepared to leave for Mexico. Go to the airport. I’m like something is not right. But I’m gonna go ahead and get on this plane sitting at the gate. Something just goes wrong. Everything is spinning so I’m having a vertigo attack. But on top of that, I’m having a panic attack. So I collapsed at the gate. Paramedics had to come in And from that point for my life has never been the same. It was the most challenging point in my life X, especially when it first started because as I said, I was alone for two and a half months, I had no idea what was happening. Went to urgent care, tried to cross the border and go to a cheaper auntie. But it served no purpose to pay for things because I was not getting answers. I eventually came here to Dallas Fort Worth with my brother. Because they were so worried about me being alone through all this and not knowing what’s the, you know, you’re like, Am I dying? Do I have a tumor, you know. And I came up here, and I saw an NT. And he was like, the second one that said, vestibular migraines. And because of the duration, they also said, triple PD, I was supposed to do, you know, of course, some other testing. But at this point, I couldn’t afford it. I had spent everything. So at that point, I said, You know what, I’m gonna have to live with this. That was kind of disheartening. At first, I was like, I have to live with this. But it’s fine. You know, I have really bad days. But they become further apart. But when they do happen this like, Oh, God, this is really, you know, I’ve adjusted to it. And you have to constantly do that.

Today is a day a bit. Yesterday was headache, which I normally don’t get. But for some reason I did. And the dizziness today is really overwhelming. So this is one of those things that I live with all the time, especially during severe weather changes, barometric pressure changes, becomes overwhelming. So I spend a great deal of my time in bed,

I did apply for disability. I was denied, because I applied on my own, you know, just didn’t know any better, denied. And then finally found a lawyer who filed an appeal that was just denied one or two weeks ago, which stayed the lawyer’s office here, that’s pretty normal. So the next step is a hearing. One of the things about disability, Social Security Disability here, the United States, they’re very particular that you’re following treatment plans and going to see doctors and this and that, for me is challenging because I no longer have the health insurance. So the only way a male of 54 can get Medicaid in the state of Texas is if you’re approved, approved for social security disability, and I have not been through the disability process, one of the disability doctors had made a note, we think you need to go to this behavioral place and just have them do another assessment, even though my primary care doctor had given me a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. So when in for the assessment, came back with generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety, panic disorder, PTSD, and she said, You have bipolar disorder. And when I heard it, that’s what it took me a while to accept that, like I said, on top of everything, I’m a child of the 70s and 80s You didn’t really go to counseling especially being black in Detroit, you and mom and dad were trying to keep food on the table they were trying to send you that was not to be funny, but that was fun. Why folks, we didn’t do you know, so it’s just I think it all comes back. I can’t say 100% All of this festival says because of trauma and stress, but I know it’s in there. I know it’s a beautiful day.

But Fortunately, I’ve ever sorry, yeah, that’s what happens. I do have some medication. And so I’m just out here trying to enjoy the day. Especially if you’re dealing with multiple comorbid chronic illnesses at one time or other life traumas or challenges and stuff like that, you’ve made it this far in life. If you’re like me, and you’re 5040 30 You’ve made it this far. You’ve already been through a lot of stuff and some kind of way each time you found a way. And if you have the resources, find someone to talk to Don’t feel bad about doing that because you will need You will need that support Vestibular Disorders are hard. Recently when I was on a podcast, and I went back and listened to the podcast myself, and I was like, Whoa, I have really been through a lot. It’s not been easy. The one thing about me though, I always, always try to find some good and everything you ever see where it’s like a little tiny flower just in a crack by itself? I always find them. That’s me. Everything around me says there’s no growth. There is no possibility. Yet still. I’m just a wiggling up, hoping nothing comes to crush me. You know? I take my little nieces and nephews walk in some time and they’ll see the flower too. And I’m like, listen, they’re pretty and they’ll go to a sick No, no, no, no, no, no. Let it live. Let it grow. Don’t take it out. Let it grow. It’s fine. Some way to survive there. Let it be. And so that’s how I feel about myself. But no, it hasn’t. It hasn’t been rosy and bright, but I’ve tried to find those roses