Welcome: Let's Get on the Road.
From Inflamed to Electric: My Journey with Crohn's, Arthritis, and Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Humanity has been enraptured by electricity for millennia. The ancient Greeks used electric rays, a type of fish, to treat gout and numb the pain of childbirth and operations. Equally intrigued, ancient Egyptians stood on electric rays to control pain. Walt Whitman wrote, “I Sing the Body Electric” in 1855. In 1899, Tesla found that the earth was “literally alive with electrical vibrations."
“If you want to find the secrets of the Universe,” he said, “think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”
Now, bioelectronic medicine is treating disease using electricity.
Bioelectronic medicine represents a convergence of molecular medicine, neuroscience, and bioengineering. Its central idea is that injury and illness can be treated by carefully targeting the nervous system using devices. Rather than suppressing the patient’s immune system with biologics and immunosuppressants, instead, by modulating the brain’s inflammatory signals traveling through the nervous system to the spleen and other organs, bioelectronic medicine allows the body to achieve homeostasis when inflammation goes into overdrive.
So, how do I know any of this? Well, I’m the Director of Education at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, NY. Like many millennials, I am not necessarily doing what I went to college for.
Instead, I’m working to advance the revolutionary field of bioelectronic medicine, of which I am a direct beneficiary. After battling Crohn's disease and inflammatory arthritis for fifteen years and failing nearly two dozen medications, my husband Sean and I rolled the dice and moved to Amsterdam for six months in 2017 to participate in a clinical trial using vagus nerve stimulation. I was implanted with a device on June 22nd, 2017 and within a couple of months of stimulation, I was in remission for the first time since diagnosis nearly sixteen years prior. Nowadays, my mission is to expand access to more patients and advance research.
The Road to Vagus is my memoir leading up to this moment, a relentless story of grit and electricity. As a rebellious little girl from the mountains of New Jersey who climbed tree stands and sat up there for hours smoking cigarettes, reading poetry, and writing my own, to racing through the fields on my quad at more than 45 MPH, hitting bumps that I was sure would buck me from my seat and end me there, to sometimes needing a cane, walker, or wheelchair, to ending up in Amsterdam for six months to treat inflammation using electricity, to dancing with my high school sweetheart in eleven different kitchens in four different states and two different countries across more than 7,000 miles, to telling the story of how bioelectronic medicine will transform lives alongside the very person who invented it, it has been quite a ride over the last nearly thirty-three years.
I am excited to see where the next thirty-three takes me, but wherever that goes, I will undoubtedly be a Celt from the Country, a Jersey Girl who worships The Boss, and will never quite tame the rebel who is always roaring just beneath the surface.
The first three chapters of The Road to Vagus will be posted for free.
Beginning August 22, chapters will be posted every Sunday morning at 7 am. When I wake up on Sunday mornings, I enjoy pouring a cup of coffee in my Marilyn Monroe mug, curling up on my couch, and getting lost in a story. This tradition resets my soul for the week. I hope The Road to Vagus will do the same for you.
After the first three chapters, by subscribing for $5 per month, readers will have access to a new chapter every Sunday morning at 7 am.
The conclusion of the memoir will occur in early January 2022. Upon publishing the paperback, I will host a launch party. Those with an upgraded ‘Founder’ subscription will get a free signed paperback. Other signed copies will be available for purchase (while supplies last).
Following the launch, the book will be available on Amazon and Kindle.
By publishing my memoir using this format, I am joining a renaissance of writers who are returning to their literary roots. As Elle Griffin has stated in her own Substack, The Count of Monte Cristo, Great Expectations, and Sherlock Holmes were published using this serial format — and well, the rest is history.
To learn about bioelectronic medicine, you can find a variety of resources on my website, VagusNerveGirl.com. There are links to research and media covering the field, as well as my personal blog and some tools to put in your toolbox.
You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using the handle: @VagusNerveGirl.
Buckle up, buttercup. It’s going to be quite a ride.
“The mind has great influence over the body, and maladies often have their origin there.”
Before you begin reading the chapters, read the foreword by clicking here.
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In the meantime, tell your friends!