The Health Commandments of Chronic Illness

I’ve been doing a lot of researching and a bit of trial and error. Every illness is different and every person within that illness is different. Some may have mildly irritating symptoms while others may end up bedridden and unable to function. While discussing different symptoms with a wide variety of people I came up with a list of “commandments” in order to help me (and maybe you) function a little easier. Or maybe it will inspire you to move towards the best health you can reach. What better way to start the new year than with some guidelines to assist on our journey.

The Health Commandments of Chronic Illness 

  • Spend at least 1 minute in prayer/meditation/positive thought. Even if that means laying in bed and saying thanks for just one thing.
  • Always take your meds. Write it down, set an alarm on your phone, get a pill box. Whatever works.
  • Stretch for at least 1 minute. In bed, on the floor, or standing up.
  • Do one thing at a time. What are your must dos for the day? Don’t try to multi-task. EVER.
  • Pick up after yourself when you can.
  • Recruit family and friends to help. Or hire someone to do the cleaning/cooking if possible. Hubby, wife, kids, mom/dad, etc. Even the 2-3 year old can be taught to clean up after themselves. Encourage independence in children instead of wallowing in the mommy guilt.
  • Laugh everyday. Watch a funny movie or a favorite comedian.
  • Set reminders for important events. Use your phone, a planner, or a white board.
  • Plan your meals.
  • Remember to pace yourself. If you don’t schedule downtime to de-stress and let your body rest then a flare will likely show up at the least opportune time.
  • Don’t compare yourself or your life to someone else’s. We are all running our own race. Enjoy the moments you have.

In order to move forward in 2017, we have to have a basis of control over our daily life. I realize that control is a loose concept as our bodies do not cooperate and we cannot push through like “healthy” people. But that is a post for another day.

Eat Pray Love-Elizabeth was on to something

Our bodies work best when we are happy and feeding it the right foods. Granted, the lady from Eat,Pray,Love went to Italy to enjoy amazing food and to ‘let go’. I, however, have a different take on it. As a mom and a wife, I cannot simply pack up my life and move. I’m sure many of you can relate.

My solution? Learn to eat foods that are healthy for me AND taste good.

The second part includes getting back in touch with my spiritual side. Time to reconnect with God by spending daily time in meditation and prayer. DAILY. Using this to help curb some of my anger and anxiety. And trust me, when you can’t handle a lot of information at one time or can’t form an entire sentence because your brain can’t remember the words AND you are only 40 years old, you get a little cranky.

And then there’s the love. No I don’t want to divorce my husband and run off to find some exotic dude in a hut. I want to spend more time enjoying my husband and my children. I want to play more, laugh more, and create bonds that don’t currently exist. I’ve spent the last year hiding away because I was too tired or because any noise made me want to cry. It’s a lot better than it was, but I still have off days. Okay, I have more off than I would like.

I said all that to say this: There are 100 days left in 2016. I plan to be better off than I am today.

My overall goals are:

  • lose 28 pounds
  • get control of my blood sugar
  • increase my muscle mass (I have lost a great deal since last year)
  • have a clean house (this decreases my stress)
  • eating one meal a day as a family
  • one weekend a month is family weekend
  • one weekend a month is date night
  • keep my finances in order
  • start studying to be a health coach (I want to help others realize there is hope at the end of the tunnel)

Trust Your Gut

I decided to leave the post from the first of this year. It very much relates what my mindset was at the time. And the absolutely horrid diagnosis from a doctor who spent far too little time listening to me. I wasn’t depressed and I don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome. Turns out I have a thing called Pernicious Anemia which is the inability to absorb vitamin b12. This led to a b12 deficiency and that cause neurological problems which can lead to dementia, a wheelchair, and worse.

For more information you can check out my other blog chronicnotcrazy or b12deficiency.info.

The lack of energy and lack of answers has been crazy. I have learned a great deal about my chronic illness and about doctors. When you know something is wrong then you push for answers. Never accept “I don’t know”.

Now that I have some answers and a better understanding of what my body needs on a daily basis, I am embarking on the journey to live the best life I can.

That is where this blog comes in.

Originally I wanted to jump in to one of those Beachbody programs, but then I realized that I am physically unable to follow any of them. What I DID realize is that I can make my condition better by following certain protocols and tracking my progress day by day.

I’ll be using Mommy Makeover to track the progress and share lessons I’ve learned. Not sure anyone is going to actually follow along or even care. But as a writer I feel the need to journal and maybe I can help someone along the way who feels overwhelmed with the idea of trying to lose weight while dealing with a chronic illness.

It’s all about being the turtle in the race. Slow and steady. Figuring out how to control what you can and to forgive yourself for those things you can’t. Oh and how to ask for help. There are six people in my house plus four dogs and four cats. In order to find my peace, my happiness, they are going to have to learn to pitch in.

 

My Comfort Zone is Killing Me

I’ve lost count over how many times I have wanted to lose weight, get a handle on my finances, or create some sort of cleaning routine for my family. Starting over is almost a habit at this point. After all, doesn’t everyone say, “I fell off the wagon so I’ll start again on Monday.”?

The problem is that there are never any new goals, only a pattern of starting over. And at some point all of this failure (let’s be honest, that’s what it is) begins to only have us (me) clinging to old habits. Junk food makes me feel better. Smoking made me feel better. Curling in bed and sleeping half my day away, makes me feel better. So when I would be mad about not losing weight or because the kids weren’t helping out enough, I turned to my comforts.

I mean making new habits is HARD! My body hurts, I’m tired, the kids hate me(for not buying junk food). I “try” to make changes but everyone is fighting me, so I go back to stuffing my face with cake or hitting the snooze button four or five times. And I even went back to smoking for a while. A habit I had given up almost 2 decades ago.

Then the fuzzy head started. And my hands would randomly fall asleep. I couldn’t complete a sentence without serious concentration. And no matter how great my desire (or so I told myself) I couldn’t seem to exercise even a few times a week and I couldn’t turn down that cake. The everyday became too much.

Something was off. I had stayed in my comfortable habits so long that my body was turning on me. I no longer felt like it was my own. I felt out of control, unable to stop destructive behaviors.

After 3 doctors I’m hearing the words pre-diabetic and depression. The years of turning to food and cigarettes and hiding under the covers have finally come back to bite me in the ass. So I’ve agreed to meds for one and a change of diet for the other.

I’m only on day 2  of the anti-depressants and I feel some sort of an energy level change. Not sure yet if it’s good or bad. I don’t want to go from one extreme to another and then be a royal bitch because the meds put me on edge. But I promised to give it a couple of weeks before making a decision.

All I have to say is if you have health or financial problems you might want to take a look at your comfort zone and see if your current habits are causing you to self-destruct.