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Mind, Body, Health

Something I have wanted to touch on this past little while, and after a recent mini mental breakdown of mine, I’m deciding its time. For those of you who don’t know, I am Drew Croasdale. 21-year-old fashion student at JCI in Vancouver BC. I’ve spent my whole life on the north shore, and I have no plans to leave anytime soon.

At the age of 14 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, an auto immune disease triggered by the protein, gluten. As a baby and young child, I was extremely difficult and fussy, so we believe I was celiac from birth, I didn’t know any different because I always have felt that way. Since my body couldn’t absorb enough nutrients, I was small.

Fast forward to October 11th, 2020, I woke up with no hearing on my left side, and the absolute worst vertigo and balance issues I have ever experienced. I couldn’t even roll over on to my side without having to reach for the barf bucket. By this time, I had already been to the ER 3 times complaining about my ear, balance, vertigo, and tinnitus. I was continuously sent away and was told it would resolve itself in a few days. It did not resolve itself.

Finally, on October 20th, 2020, I got an appointment to see an ENT. He diagnosed me with sudden sensory hearing loss. The cause you may ask. 10 months later, still unknown. My ENT, Dr. Nabi, he deserves a shoutout. I was not a happy camper. It felt as though my life had been completely flipped upside down.

Course of treatment: 60mg of Prednisone for 10 days, 7 steroid injections into my left eardrum, and 20 sessions of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. For anyone who has been on prednisone, you know how awful it is. You feel like the hulk, but not in the superhero kind of way… maybe early Eminem / Slim Shady is a better comparison. All you want is McDonald’s, the extreme irritability, and the puff face. It didn’t help that every time I took my prednisone my body instantly tried to reject it by making me sick (I kept throwing up the medication). The steroid injections at 7:30am were just lovely. First, we freeze my ear and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then we inject the steroid into my ear. Honestly it wasn’t that bad. It did taste nasty though. After our injection, we drove across town to VGH to have my Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy. Changed into my scrubs, got fitted for oxygen helmet, and into the chamber I went. Two hours and forty-five minutes in what seemed like a submarine. The start to my hyperbaric journey was tough… I found out I was claustrophobic, had my first panic attack, couldn’t clear my ears, so I needed tubes put in both of my ears.

Back to the point I want to make here. Losing one of your senses puts a significant amount of stress on your body. Losing one of my senses, caused me to change my eating habits to benefit my health and hopefully bring back my hearing loss. Under these circumstances I ended up losing a significant amount of weight, that I wasn’t attempting to lose. Thirty-seven pounds. From June 2020, to June 2021 I lost 37 pounds. Throughout the past couple months, people make comments on my weight, my body, my appearance. Positive or negative comments, my appearance was being noticed and commented on. I have never been a girl who struggled with her own body image, until now. I never thought I had anything to worry about until one ignorant stranger told me that “I looked slightly concerning”. Ok sir, what would you like me to do about that?

As humans, we are so quick to make assumptions and judge one another. For what reason? Those who made thoughtless comments about my appearance weren’t trying to be rude. They thought they were being nice by telling me how tiny I look or asking what I did to lose so much weight. Gaining or losing weight, it can be extremely difficult for the individual suffering that fluctuation in weight to speak about. Even though losing weight often seems to be the ideal goal most people are striving for, it isn’t always intentional. I want to bring awareness to the body image discussion and bring awareness to both spectrums. Because they both need that support and understanding.

Body image is so touchy, it feels like everything is touchy these days. Ultimately, the point I want to make here. You have no idea what is going on for others around you. My body has been through a significant amount of stress the past year, weight loss makes sense. I am busy, back in school for the first time in 2 years.

Throughout my hearing loss journey, I started to followed Anthony Williams, aka Medical Medium. My biggest take from the medical mediums research is starting every morning with 16oz of celery juice. I will be drinking the celery juice every morning for the rest of my life.

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