When NaturallyCurly employee Devri Velazquez began noticing changes in her appearances, she adjusted her beauty routine in search of answers.

The rest of my day I ignored the inconvenient changes happening throughout my body and continued with my normal routine. Later that night I had a friend over for dinner. Out of nowhere I felt like I was suffocating. I inhaled and exhaled faster and faster and couldn’t catch my breath. My chest felt so heavy and my fingers curled up while my lips turned blue. In a panic, my friend rushed me to the ER.

The doctors thought I might have had asthma, so they administered a nebulizer treatment for about twenty minutes till I regained the color in my lips and feeling in my fingertips. When they conducted an X-ray of my chest, there were no signs of pneumonia or inflammation. I rested for a few hours, and once I was able to breathe normally, I was sent home.

MORE: Devri's Hair & Health Journey Begins

When I got home I traded in my porcupine boar brushes for one with softer bristles, lessened the number of times that I washed my hair per week, and even created a crash diet for myself with optimism in appearing leaner and fit before the reunion. My physical energy did not allow me to do any type of cardio excercise, so I relied solely on my eating habits to whip me back into shape.

I have always considered myself a very independent person, but this was a moment that I knew I needed to finally suck up my pride and reach out to my mother (who is a nurse) for reassurance that everything was going to be ok. She calmed me down over the phone, caressing my confidence with her words of encouragement. I asked her to bring her medical tools to take a look at me once she got into town on the day of the reunion.

With my exhaustive attempts to conceal my deteriorating looks and health, I imagined myself being a lost girl stuck in a maze in search of the Devri I knew my whole life prior to these months. Mentally, I was running out of options. I continued to study at the local university and work part time but it wasn’t long before my life would take a drastic turn and force me out of both.


To read the rest of the articles in Devri's series, click here.

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Devri Velázquez

NC Content Editor Devri is a passionate writer with a deep appreciation for all forms of expressive art and culture. After being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease in 2011, Devri's personal mission has been to empower other women to focus on their individual self-care and wellness.

Instagram: Devri Velázquez
Thank you so much for your comments & support! devri

Hi Devri, I found your story inspiring and heartfelt! That I think I read them all! I am so proud of you for going natural and most of all finding out what was wrong with your health! I always tell my clients if something is wrong with your hair something is wrong on the inside,and encourage them to keep asking dr. Keep up the great stories and I hope you are on the road to recovery! thanks for sharing! Your client, Cynthia Lattter of Chill Salon in Long Beach,ca :)