In June I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis that turned into a nightmare of a flare just before Thanksgiving. I am now on many medications, one of which is Prednisone, which is wreaking havoc on me. It wasn’t so bad when I was taking 40 mg, but to get the inflammation down, I was bumped to 60 mg a day. My face and abdomen are now changing shape, I’m having severe night sweats (from it and other meds) and now I’m having stabbing knee pain. All to get rid of inflammation…how ironic that we’re given something to take to counteract one problem that leads to other problems. Can’t wait to wean off of this stuff for sure!
Yes, I’ve been MIA for the latter part of this year. I’ll just leave it at the fact that it’s been a ridiculous year for me and my health and I will soon finally on the road to recovery with a new medical team with the Borland-Groover Clinic.
One of my goals (I despise the phrase New Years Resolution) for 2012 is to post more often, as it keeps me writing about more than just school work. It keeps the creative juices flowing and it gives me an escape from the harsh reality that is my health.
Hopefully more to come more often…
I’ve been missing for a while. I found out I was pregnant and then had a miscarriage. It was absolutely horrible, but thankfully the miscarriage went well without a D&C.
I’m now back and must submit essays for scholarships in the public eye. Feel free to comment on them and give your opinion. They are, after all, my opinon.
I hope all is well with everyone in my blog roll and I look forward to getting back in the swing of things!
I was a little stuck for today’s post, so I checked out my previous post about prompts for inspiration. It took me to Sunday Scribblings, and searching through posts within the blog, I found an idea in February 2008.
There are so many things that can be said about passion. I grew up in a college town where almost everyone is over the top passionate about college football. Streets are closed, people are parked everywhere, there is a sea of orange and blue everywhere one looks most Saturdays in the fall.
I once heard a sermon about passion when I was in high school. The pastor said, “Find one thing your passionate about and give it your all!” Basically she said that when you try to be passionate about many things, you aren’t as effective. And the end result is that you dabble in a few things. At the time it was abortion (that’s what the sermon was about that day). I was quite passionate against abortion at the time. I even got in a screaming match with my grandfather because he told me that if I got pregnant, I WOULD have an abortion! WHOA Nelly! I had to let my opinion be heard…especially since it was MY body he was talking about!
Now that I’m 20+ years older, I’m passionate about different things, and my views on abortion are a little different than they once were, but I won’t get into that here. As you could probably guess, I’m now passionate about my health.
I’m not 100% yet, but I’m working towards my goals to be the healthiest I can be. In working towards that goal, I’ve learned a lot about heart health (and disease). Did you know that 1 in 3 women DIE from heart disease? Scary stuff!!! Did you also know that a mere 50 years ago it was taboo to work on the heart? Now they can go in through a teenie tiny incision in the bend of your leg (seriously, my pinky nail is wider than the scar), go into your heart, and burn out bad nerves and tissue with a laser! A laser…in your heart!!! It’s February, which is National Heart Health Month. Do something good for your heart today!
Wow, that’s a powerful statement, huh? Eliz over at Mirth & Motivation is doing a blog hop this week and suggested that we post on this subject. How do I focus on just one thing with that topic? I could focus on love, but I did that last week. How about something that changed my life and could possibly have an impact on yours?
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE WILL DO IT FOR YOU!
There, I said it. That is the best advice I can give.
I’ve talked about my year from hell (healthwise) here, so I won’t bore you with those details. What I learned from that year of hell, I will forever use in taking care of myself. It took me being adamant with my doctors telling them of my severe joint pain, heart issues, breathing issues, on & on. It took me keeping a food journal to see what reactions I had to certain foods (sleep patterns, pain, etc.). I then had to take the hard route…I had to give up my beloved red meat. I could have just continued on with the beta-blockers + the asthma medicine + the pain killers for the joint pain +++++ until my medicine cabinet was TRULY a medicine cabinet! Instead, I CHOSE to take care of myself and actually fix the problems.
Don’t simply accept it when your doctor hands you a pill and says take this because it will fix your problem. Pills mask problems, they seldom fix them. There are many in my family who have those pill sorters to take all their pills 3 times a day. There are some in my family who hand the doctors a spreadsheet of all their physical issues. We need to get active, figure out the true problem, and do what we can to live life to the fullest!
After the heart surgery and giving up all mammals, I have no need for heart meds, no need for asthma meds (reaction to the heart meds), no need for pain killers…I simply take one Zyrtek a day with my vitamins and I’m done (they’re doing an allergy panel next month to see what I’m allergic to, so we can get that corrected soon as well).
As many of you reading this know, my grandmother died 2 weeks ago. We believe it was from the same heart issue that I had. If I had not had the surgery, my heart could have continued down the same path.
You may say that you aren’t able to function without xyz pill because it takes the pain away. Look at the underlying reason for your pain. Is it inflammation? If it’s inflammation related, research inflammation free diets and try cutting out certain foods for 30 days to see what happens. You may be amazed that the inflammation goes down to a level where you need a smaller dose, or you may be able to get rid of the pills altogether. Our bodies are amazing machines that have to be loved and nurtured.
So, once again, take the time to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. You MUST be your own advocate because there is no one out there that knows your body and health as well as you do.
I realize it is already the 7th of February, but who says we can only start goals the first of the month? 🙂
Here are my goals to accomplish between now and March 7th.
- Zumba at least 4 times a week
- Participate in at least 2 zumba events
- Get better at checking everything at work before sending it out
- Clear off my desk daily
- Get homework finished early for my English class
- Work on Ancestry 10 minutes a day
- Be more diligent about posting (WordPress) every day
- Build a vision board
During the last year, I’ve really taken an in depth look at my relationships. It started with a life-long friend who it appeared on the surface that we had just drifted apart. At one point my friend Le’s husband R asked me, “Debs, why are you even friends with her?” I absolutely could not answer the question. This person was all about me when she was focused on me, but would switch to someone else as soon as the mood struck & I wouldn’t hear from her again for months, sometimes years, at a time. She would stop answering emails, avoid phone calls, etc. We even had a group of friends who would make plans monthly (reservations, or lunch parties) and she would inevitably text me the day of the event with one excuse or another. So in answer to R’s question? I drew a complete blank. Hit a brick wall! When I confronted her about it, she called me childish, selfish, and a few other choice names that WordPress would not appreciate. So, I ended the friendship to avoid having further disappointment.
Throughout the year, I found that I had a few other disturbing friendships and decided to let them fall to the wayside as well.
In November, I looked at my Facebook account. I had more than 550 friends; many of whom were simply acquaintances that I had not heard from since the initial friend request. I took a good hard look at each of those 550+ “friends” and decided that if I wouldn’t be willing to call them on the phone, there is no reason to keep us as friends. I got that list down to 219 & some days I find that is still too many.
Yesterday I went to the doctor. I’ve loved, loved, loved my general practitioner since I met him (and he helped me through the psycho craziness of my health without totally scaring me). His PA, on the other hand, not so much. He always talks super fast. He is direct and to the point (unlike most Southern USA people I know). And I never felt like he was as friendly as my GP. My GP was out of the office and I could hear him in the next room with a patient. He was very thorough asking methodical questions (why are the walls so thin in that office??). He asked question after question, found out the patient’s fears and symptoms, tied them in with other symptoms that she had never thought of, etc. As I sat there I thought to myself, “Why do I dislike him so much? What could I possibly have for disliking him when we’ve only met twice?” Maybe it was the first impression when I was super sick, had a sky high fever and they were still trying to figure out all my other ailments. Who knows? I decided I would give him another chance for a first impression.
He walked into the room and smiled asking how everything was going. He then started looking through my gigantic chart (have I really only been seeing this GP since 9/09 and my chart is THAT huge?) trying to find a previous instance of bloodwork. I told him that he’d have to go back to the beginning. He started comparing, making jokes, telling me new things of concern (vitamin D, LDL, sugar levels) telling me how proud he is of me doing Zumba and losing weight. He suggested an app for my iPhone. He suggested a vitamin regimen (to try to work everything out before using prescriptions), and he said he’d like to do bloodwork again in 3 months (along with a new allergy panel) to see how this regimen is working out for me.
WOW I actually like this guy! What it the world did I have against him? He cares about his patients, he talks fast & is to the point, but he has other patients to get to. He suggests regimens that aren’t 100% prescription. NICE!
Maybe I should look at other relationships that give off negative vibes…maybe, just maybe, it’s me!
I realize this may come in direct conflict with my happiness post, but every now & then it helps to get angry. I don’t mean when someone cuts in front of you in the Starbucks drive thru. I mean there are certain times when you need to just let it all out!
When I was first told that I had a heart problem, it was an answer to an on-going problem that I had for 20+ years that doctors always attributed to stress. I would always argue that it had nothing to do with stress & would just show up unannounced when I was putting on makeup. I wasn’t happy that it was a lot more frequent now and that I suddenly had to be on meds for it, but I wasn’t angry.
That same day I was told that I had a “connective tissue disorder” whatever that meant. I studied it online & the next time I met with the doctor, (the next week) I was told that it was lupus. OK that made me angry! I can’t possibly have a life threatening disease! What is going on here? Surely the doctors & blood work are wrong!!!
Well, they were, but not in the way I expected. After 6 months of weekly doctor visits (3 ologists & my gp), I found out that I don’t have lupus YAY!!!! Finally something to be excited about!!!!!!!
I have an allergy to the saturated fat in red meat. WHOA! Hold on just a darn minute! Anger reared its ugly head. I.CAN’T.BE.ALLERGIC.TO.MY.BELOVED.RED.MEAT! I mean, I CRAVED red meat! I need it! It screams my name! I read everything I could about trying different types (grass fed, organic, etc.) only to find out that even pork “the other white meat” is truly red meat and my body just can’t handle any of it. 😦 After eating just one serving of red meat, I can hardly walk the next day. 😦 I tried a small bite of a tasty looking cheeseburger that my husband was eating about 8 months after giving it up & had to spit it out…it tasted like pure fat! GROSS!
<sigh> After getting angry, I gave up. I gave up my beloved filet mignon, French onion soup, well done bacon, and juicy cheeseburgers. Even typing this, I had to slow down from the sadness of giving them up.
My friends L & K understand this, as they haven’t eaten any in years. I now feel guilty for convincing them to go to a Brazilian steakhouse a few years ago during a girls weekend b/c just the smell of it cooking now turns my stomach, and in that restaurant they walk up with giant slabs of meat on sticks. <sorry L & K!>
So when you’re given unexpected news feel free to vent and get angry. Get it out of your system. Write down your feelings. Tell your pain buddy. Tell your cat. Tell your best friend. Then, get over it. Staying angry won’t change what’s happened. If it’s something you can change…change it! If it’s something you can write your elected officials and ask them to change, do it! But staying angry over something you can’t change (health issues, or the actions of others), only hurts you.
Did you make any resolutions for 2011? We’re about 1/2 way into January now. How are you doing so far?
I think the biggest problem with resolutions is that we feel 1/1 of any year is the only time we can make resolutions. Why does it have to be 1/1? Don’t you think it would be easier to make a resolution for each month of the year?
Steve Pavlina, who I first started reading for ideas on staying productive, has written many posts on his website about 30 day trials. When I first saw this a few years ago, it completely made sense to me. It was a way to try something for 30 days and if you like it, keep doing it. If not, go on with your life…no biggie. He did some big ones, such as eating only raw foods (he stuck with that one), polyphasic sleep and others that you can read about on his website.
I find that I can stick with 30 day trials much easier than I can an entire year. A year is so very daunting, isn’t it? I’m supposed to go to the gym 3 times a week all year sounds so much more daunting than going 3 times a week during the month of January. If you find that you didn’t meet your goal of working out 3 times a week by 1/31, you can either revisit the trial, or change it all together. Think of the things you can accomplish in one year doing 30 day trials. You could have 12 newly formed habits, or you can find that you really should have resolved to play with your dogs in the park 3 times a week instead of going to the gym. 🙂