Over the years, I’ve done a lot of random consulting for family, friends and acquaintances on how to improve or transform their health. Over the last month, it’s become clear that it’s my turn. It’s my turn to do some self-consulting. It may become clear that I need outside support and guidance as well. I don’t know yet.
My health has become something for me to work through and past. It’s not supporting me and what I want to do in this beautiful life of mine. Now, I’ve been learning the value of choosing my words and conversations because they bring an energy of their own sort into my life. Even if I don’t mean it in a self-defeating way, just their presence has a weight. That said, I’m going to list the health challenges I have. I’m doing this to put a line in the sand. I’m not willing to let things progress one step further.
- Most noticeable: My rosacea. I’ve had my rosacea managed fairly well for about 4-5 years. About 10-11 months ago, something changed and it is the worst it has been in 10+ years. My skin is swollen, angry, red, itchy and sore to the touch. It took me 4 years to get my rosacea symptoms managed after the original onset. I’m not interested in it taking another 4 years before I am able to again. In addition, rosacea has a personal psychological impact on me that I don’t want to have to swim upstream against.
- Aching joints. I’m 40 and I feel much older when I try to move. It’s especially bad if I’ve been sitting a little while and then try to get up and go. I feel pain.
- Headaches. Some of this maybe residual damage from a car accident I was in years and years ago. But, my concern is that my headaches have been more frequent and intense over the last 6 months. At times, they have put me completely out of commission.
- Excess estrogen. About two years ago, I went into my naturopath’s office for breast thermography. I had a small lump that was giving me some fright because my grandmother had a mastectomy and ultimately died from breast cancer. One of my aunt’s has also fought the disease. It’s in my family, so it isn’t something for me to ignore. The good news, it was fibrous tissue and not a growth. The concerning news, the thermography showed that my breasts were still vascularized as though I was still breast feeding (which I hadn’t been for 2+ years at that point). Heavy vascularization of the breasts can be an indicator and precursor to cancerous growth. My naturopath recommended I implement an anti-estrogenic treatment plan. I haven’t been consistent with this plan. Given the potential health ramifications, not being committed to this lifestyle change isn’t the smartest choice I’ve made.
- Dysbiosis. Sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? Yes and no. It’s an imbalance in the digestive track. I have too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria. This came about because of the high-dosage Tetracycline (antibiotic) I was initially prescribed when first got rosacea. Taking that antibiotic was one of the worst things I could have done for my long-term health. But, I didn’t know that at the time. I was just following doctor’s orders. The list of symptoms caused by dysbiosis is lengthy. You can read about it and the full list of symptoms here. (Symptoms I experience include: dilated capillaries in the cheeks/nose, post-adolescent acne or other skin irritations such as rosacea, malabsorption/poor digestion of food, fatigue, muscle pain/cramps and joint pain.)
See what I mean by the power of words. Just going through that list (and it’s not comprehensive by any means), is dispiriting. But I will not be discouraged. And get this, just a couple weeks ago, I was given some thoughts that have already helped me as I think about my health journey ahead. The pastor at our church shared with us some ideas from Frederick Wooleverton. They may not sound inspiring at first read, but they are already revolutionizing my path and thoughts as I think about transforming my health. This advice is for recovering addicts. Why do I find it applicable? I do because not living the healthy lifestyle I know is best for me is a sort of addiction. It’s subtle, but real all the same. I don’t want to give up some things because they fill “a need” – honestly, it’s a spiritual vacuum, an unwillingness to look at something in my life that needs to be loved, accepted and healed.
- It’s good to feel lousy.
- Learn how to suffer well.
- Get an entourage: support!!
- Beware of shuffle (swapping one bad habit for another)
- Figure out what’s missing – for me, this is speaking of the spiritual growth and healing that needs to take place.
- Sleep is a secret weapon.
I perceive a lot of this journey will be as much or more spiritual than it will be a diet, or working on physical fitness, or whatnot.
This is a rambling, unedited, stream-of-conscious post. So please give it the grace as such. I just want to share with you where I am and create with you the possibility of a life of health and vitality. A friend of mine said today: “We are wired for survival. Thriving is optional and requires conscious choice.” My body is surviving best it can. I’m committed to thriving! And here’s me, making that conscious choice.