Do you work in the Beauty Industry or know anyone who does? This story also is for anyone exposed to chemicals. We all know people who could benefit from Chantal's story! This, and many more stories, can be found at www.LiquidStories.com
I Survived Chemical Toxicity - On 25 different medications…
By Chantal Papausek
About Chantal Papousek: Chantal grew up in the salon industry. Her mom was a cosmetologist. Chantal has had a passion for the industry ever since she can remember. She went to Rudy & Kelley School of Hair Design in Virginia Beach, Virginia and graduated with the highest GPA and highest sales in a 5 year period. She worked as a Shampoo Apprentice in their chain of salons while she was in school. She moved back to Iowa in 1992 where she worked for a year at Cost Cutters. A year later she married her husband and moved to Fredericksburg, Iowa. She worked at two salons in New Hampton before opening her own salon in Fredericksburg in 1997. In 2008 her family moved to New Hampton, Iowa where she now owns a salon and her spa room. Chantal has been trained as a Master Colorist by Schwartzkof and ISO. She also worked as an Account Executive for State Beauty Supply where she called on 311 salons in Iowa; training them in the art of retail and updating them on the latest trends in cuts, colors, and perms. Chantal survived health problems that were caused by the chemicals in the salon products she had been exposed to for years and now wants to help others in the cosmetology field so they do not have to live through what she and her family did. Below is her story.
In 1994, right after our son was born, my health started to fail.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and put on medication in 1994. After a year I still did not feel well. I was then diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and put on medication for that. Another year went by and I was getting sick all the time. I was in and out of hospitals. I was sent down to a specialist in Iowa City where I was diagnosed with Common Variable Immune Disorder, meaning my immune system was very weak and I could not make antibodies to fight infection, even when given a vaccine. I was then put on a full years course of antibiotics.
A while later my joints started to flare up and I was in a lot of pain I had positive blood tests for Rheumatoid Arthritis and was put on more medication to control the RA. When I did not improve I had another battery of tests done and I was found to have Lupus. I was told my quality of life would be poor and that I may end up in a wheel chair or a rest home by the time I reached my mid 30's. I was put on more medication to control these diseases.
In the mean time I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, allergies, asthma, and hormonal imbalances. I was put on more medication. I was on 25 different medications at the same time! My quality of life was so poor that I thought to curl up and die: like the doctors told me I could do with all that was wrong with me. I was only 24 years old, a new wife, and a first time mom. I remember not being able to pick up our son from his crib because my arms would not work or they were too weak to hold him. Nothing can break a moms heart like that!
Despite the bad health I still managed to own and work in a salon. Several times I worked while I had an IV pic line in my arm due to infections. Every 12 hours I had to get a bag of antibiotic put in. The doctors started doing this for me because I was in the hospital so much. This saved me money and I could still work and be at home.
Then in 2003 something was really wrong with me. I had hand tremors so bad that I could not pick up small objects or eat very well. I started to have fits where my whole body would shake and tremor uncontrollably. I went from 99 pounds up to 140 almost over night. I did not feel well, I lost most of my strength, my hair thinned out, I could not think straight, I wanted to sleep all the time, the whites of my eyes were creamy yellow, and my body broke out in severe acne type lesions. My husband had to carry me from the bedroom to the living room to the bathroom and back again because I could barely walk anymore. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with chemical toxicity and chemical allergies which had symptoms that mimicked Parkinson's Disease; ie the tremors and shaking.
My liver and kidneys were very stressed. I had 33 years of chemical exposure built up in my body from salon chemicals like ammonia, thioglycolates, SLS, fumes from hairsprays, etc. This surprised me because I always wore gloves when doing perms and colors and had a well ventilated area to work in! At this point I had to close my salon and lose my income because I was too sick to work.
I could not do chealation by IV since my body was so stressed. We used a machine that put sound waves into my body to break up the chemicals like a high pitch noise would shatter glass. I went from weighing 140 down to 104 with in months. I was put on an all natural liquid supplement called Body Balance that helped to remove those broken chemical compounds and helped them to leave my body while it replaced all the lost vitamins, minerals, glyconutrients, amino acids, etc that the toxicity had depleted.
After three days of taking Body Balance my strength started to return. I could stand on my own and walk a few steps. I had more energy by the end of the first week and I could think straight. I added OsteoProCare and the pain in my muscles and joints went away as well as the severe menstrual cramps and some of the tremors. I felt better than I ever had before! I could stay awake all day by the fourth month. That is when I started physical therapy to regain the strength to walk and use my arms. It only took me three months of physical therapy to do so! The physical therapists were very surprised. I told them I was taking Body Balance and that I thought it was helping to give my strength back as well as believing in the power of prayer.
I actually tried to stop taking the supplements about a year later because I was feeling so good, but within a few weeks, I started to feel like I did when I was sick, so I started taking them again. That taught me that no matter how my symptoms went away, it is up to me to put the correct nourishment into my body to retain the health benefits I have gotten. If you put the wrong fuel in a car it won’t run long, the same is true with our bodies!
Since then, I have had several blood tests ran and there are no signs of toxicity. The pain from the Fibromyalgia is gone as well as the fatigue from CFS. My immune system is not underactive anymore, but rather, it is overactive. That too should balance itself out as it continues to heal. I do not have depression or anxiety and have been off all medications since 2002! The hormone tests were all in range. I do not have Lupus, Parkinson's, or anything that I had been previously diagnosed with. Just the lingering memories of what I went through and I often wonder what our family would be like if I did not miscarry our daughter. I recently found out that cosmetologists have the highest rate of miscarriage of any industry because of the chemicals we are exposed to. I felt cheated out of our little girl. If only someone would have known and told me back then, we may have our daughter with us today. She would have been a happy and beautiful 12 year old just entering the 7th grade. This is the hardest part of what I went through.
As I write this 12 years later, it still brings tears to my eyes. I'm not sure that pain will ever go away. The loss of a child, born or unborn, is hard on a mother. We are blessed to have our son, whom we almost lost at 5 months into the pregnancy too. I also just learned cosmetologists have the highest rate of bladder and ovarian cancers. I just had my yearly check up at Mayo in Rochester. They took 23 vials of blood, did a brain MRI, as well as checking each body system independently and they gave me another clean bill of health! No lingering toxins or damage from the toxins was found at this appointment!
Am I in the clear for the rest of my life? We do not know. Time will tell if any long term damage was done to the cells in my body and what the after effects will be. So far no cancer and that is a great thing! I am almost 6 years in the clear now.
However, if I get around chemicals for too long, I can tell. My husband calls me a "Barometer for Chemicals". My fingers will get a tremor in them and my body will become weak. I watch what I eat and watch what I put onto my skin. I use all natural cleaning products and laundry detergents. A lot has changed in my life since then. My quality of life has improved so much! I am able to live a healthy, prescription free, meaningful life again!
I am back in the cosmetology industry. That may surprise some. I reopened my salon in 2007 after being closed for almost 4 years. I own an organic salon now. No damaging chemicals! I do hair cuts, natural ammonia free color, waxing, Herbal Body Wraps, Ion Spa Foot Detox Baths, facials, reflexology, and sell a wide variety of organic and all natural products for the family and house hold use. I also own a spa room where I help others detox and regain their health. You may notice I do not do perms. It is because I cannot find a safe one to use. There are companies working on safer alternatives to the traditional perm chemicals and I hope to introduce perms into my salon at some point in time.
I have a passion for helping others in the cosmetology industry who are dealing with vague symptoms such as weight gain, headaches, fatigue, tremors in the hands, aches, and pains. I know how frustrating it is when the doctor does not know why you feel so bad or they tell you it is in your head. No, it is not! I feel I was given a second chance at life to help others.
Chantal Papousek, owner
New Beginnings Organic Salon
If you would like more information on how to remove toxins from your body and how Body Balance can help you, please email me at MillionsMore@gmail.com.