It didn’t come easy to me: My Journey to Health Part 3

The final post to the series!

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of My Journey to Health here and here to catch up on the last few years!


I remember feeling so relieved when my Dr. told me they found something wrong with my brain. I was actually so happy. I had been to too many Dr. appointments without any diagnoses. I mean… I knew my symptoms were real, but everyone else was starting to think I was psychosomatic. It was the worst feeling ever.

I was extremely happy until my parents and I physically sat down with the Neurologist so she could explain to me what my diagnoses of Mesial Temporal Sclerosis meant.

As she was explaining my medicine and my diagnoses…everything became fuzzy… all I could hear her say was –

“We will check in 6 months to see if you have a brain tumor….”

“Your license will be taken away….:

“The medicine may cause birth defects and can harm an unborn baby.”

I wasn’t pregnant, but I broke into tears thinking about my future. Nothing would be the same. My car was taken away, my life felt like it was taken away. I thought if I wanted kids, there were risks involved and I couldn’t be so selfish to my future kids or future husband.

After the appointment, my parents went back into the office to try to fight for my license, but it was the law. The Dr refused.

While they were fighting for my independence, I made the hardest call to my boyfriend. I remember thinking I needed to let him go. He deserved more than this. He deserves a healthy family, a girlfriend who could drink, be able to drive and have fun, socialize. Not someone like me. Someone he would have to babysit. He was too young to have to deal with all of this.

Trevor couldn’t have been more supportive. I don’t know what I would have done without him

The drugs the Neurologist prescribed me, made me even worse. I couldn’t think. Everything was blurry. I didn’t understand what people were saying to me. I felt totally incapable of doing anything. I was bed ridden. I could barely walk. Nothing felt right. I wanted surgery ASAP, I wanted this gone. I couldn’t wait 6 months to determine if it was a tumor.

The neurologist said my symptoms were just anxiety.

After a week, I demanded her to get me off of them. She prescribed me with something new.

My mom and I joined the epilepsy foundation to try to wrap our heads around my diagnoses. Things were really hard at home. I felt so bad that my parent’s lives were consumed by my diagnoses. We would pray and pray over and over for a miracle.

Winter break was coming to an end soon, I had an opportunity of a lifetime waiting for me Spring Semester working as an intern for NBC Universal.

But at this point, we didn’t even know if I could go back to school. I felt like a disappointment. I worked my ass off to get this internship with NBC and now that I had it, my life was crumbling.

We waited and waited. Everyday was a little better.

It was a week before I was supposed to start my Spring Semester and internship. I knew if I passed up on this opportunity, I would become even more depressed.


I moved back into my sorority house, started my spring semester at SDSU and my Step Dad, Ralph would rotate with Uber on driving me to my


Fist Day at NBC

We did this for 6 months…

There were only a few people at my school that knew what was going on. I told everyone at my sorority that I left my car at home or that I just didn’t like driving. From the outside, my life still looked “perfect”.

I had really bad days and okay days, I felt like giving up…but I didn’t.

That semester was H A R D, but I completed it.

My mom didn’t stop either. While I was interning and at school, she didn’t stop researching,calling Doctors and trying to get an answer. We both couldn’t wait until May (with escalating dread) to see if I had a brain tumor.


My mom’s boss knew the head of the UCSD Radiology center. She made one phone call on a Friday and I was in the next day to receive a second opinion.  He would even come in personally to immediately read the scan.  A God send.

That Saturday morning I was tested by the TESLA III MRI. The best of the best. A 45 minute scan. Once I finished, I waited anxiously in the lobby with my boyfriend and parents. About 15 minutes later, the Dr. came out with the results.

He saw nothing. No scar. No tumor. No Mesial Temporal Sclerosis. No brain cancer.

Many people may say it was a misdiagnosis, but I know it was the miracle we prayed for. He answered our prayers.

The day after my second opinion


To confirm the MRI, I had to get two more EEGs about 2-3 months apart. Those tests were also cleared.

My license was back. My life was back. I was slowly getting off the powerful epilepsy medicine, which took me 6 months.


I weighed 120 lbs. I was the healthiest I had ever been. I worked out 5x a week and counted my macros to make sure I was eating enough.


I was 5′ 6″ and weighed 120-125 lbs (I still do!) and stopped tracking my macros (counting calories).

I had the biggest panic attack of my life. I thought I was about to have a seizure. I found out those symptoms that I thought were pre-symptoms for seizures were actually from anxiety.

Finally coming to terms that I have anxiety, has helped me enormously. I started to treat my anxiety and upped my self care.

I rarely feel my symptoms and if I do they are completely manageable.


I look back at my journey to health…and damn, it did not come easy to me.

My disorder with food started it all. Becoming obsessed with chasing perfect, lead me to self destruction.

I risked my life for what I thought I should look like in order to receive appraisal from society. I was chasing something that I was not.

My organs were shutting down and I almost lost my ability to have children. My body was stressed from the lack of nourishment which caused me to suffer from generalized anxiety and panic attacks…Something I will have to manage for the rest of my life.

Chasing perfect lead me to symptoms that drove me to many Dr appointments, the emotional rollercoaster of living with the possibility of having a brain tumor for 6 months, and a misdiagnoses that changed my life forever.

I now feel so grateful for the little things my body allows me to do every single day.

I now look in the mirror, and I see someone who is strong, who is confident and who takes pride in her curves. I love my thighs #nothighgap.

I know who I am and I know I’m perfect the way I am.






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  1. Cheryl Jimenez says:

    Shylah. Your story is sad knowing you went through all of this but so uplifting that you finally got a clean bill of health free from disease. You are so lucky to have such a great support system in your family and Trevor. I know the road anxiety as one of the girls has an extreme case diagnosed and also went through the medicine issues and refused to be in a drugged state of mind to get through each and every day. I’m rooting for you girl as you have a special place in my heart. Keep pushing the good push! Love you lots.

  2. Shylah says:

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to give my story a read. The road anxiety is definitely hard, but knowing I have a wonderful support system definitely does make it easier. Let your babes know it does get WAY better. It just takes a lot of time, hope, and change, but most importantly thank goodness for the power of prayer! I love you to pieces and miss you lots. You will forever by my cheer mama <3

  3. Mark Mullen says:

    Every aspect of this story is brave and inspired. It is generous of you to share this and by doing so will only help others who face the same challenges you did —and it will inspire others who will surely see your journey as one powered by strength, perseverance and triumph. Way to kick butt!

  4. Shylah says:

    Hi Mark – Just sent you a FB message, but I also wanted let you know on here how much I appreciate your support. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for reading my story.

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