To Stress or Not to Stress

stress

Living with a chronic illness is difficult enough, but your body isn’t immune to getting other conditions.  Wouldn’t it be great if once we had one illness, then we didn’t have to deal with any other one.  Unfortunately things don’t work that way.

I’m not an alarmist, never have been but dealing with an illness that has constant changing symptoms makes you very in tune with your body.  At least it does me.  I have always been very intuitive and very good at reading other peoples body language and mood changes, so it’s only natural that I am also very in sync with my own.

I don’t go running to the doctor at the first sign of new symptoms but I watch them and see if they progress, change or go away.  A few weeks ago I decided it was time to go check out some symptoms that were getting worse and that had to do with my heart and breathing.

I have always had low blood pressure, but about 3 years ago (2 years into this illness) my pressure changed and while it changed to what the doctors considered “normal” it wasn’t my normal.  At the exact same time, I also started getting very strong palputations and heart flutters.  After about 6 weeks of these heart movements, I decided to find a cardiologist and have them checked out.

I had a slightly irregular EKG, but nothing that alarmed a doctor.  I also wore a halter monitor for a week and while they did see some weird activity, it wasn’t anything that warranted any medications or further tests.  I was told to deal with the palputations and come back in a year, unless my symptoms changed.  A year later the palputations were still present so I went back and this time had a sonogram, which showed some funky things going on with my left ventricle, but again was sent home to watch for changing symptoms and a yearly follow up.

Which bring us to this past month.  During the last 6 weeks, I have noticed a slight difficulty in breathing and an ache over my heart.  These 2 new symptoms caused me some concern and I decided since it was time to go back for a check up, I better do it sooner than later.  This time the doctor order a “Nuclear Cardiolite Stress Test”.

Panic set in.  I can’t walk on a treadmill, I can’t sit up in a doctor’s office for 6 hours, I can’t go without caffeine for 24 hours or without eating for 12 hours.  I”m weak to start, how can I even think about taking the test.  I made the appointment because that was what the doctor asked me to do, but in the back of my mind I knew I was going to cancel.

For the next 2 days, I was agitated and couldn’t sleep.  I really didn’t know what to do and went back and forth in my mind.  I asked the 2 closest people to me (who understood my condition) what do they think and both said that I shouldn’t do it.  But on the 3rd day, I decided I had to because the alternative was worse, “what if I really had heart problems and then had a heart attack?”

This was the first time since I’ve been ill, that I really had been faced with a medical decision about taking a complicated test.  I really had never thought about dealing with a second condition or going through a procedure that would tax my already weak and fatigued body.  It’s a scary thought that something else could be wrong and that dealing with my current illness would not be my first priority because what I am living with is a life long condition.

I hope to feel stronger and have less symptoms, but will I ever be totally free of this condition, probably not.  Do I hope to have less severe symptoms and be able to lead a normal life, yes I do.  So for now, I am happy to say that I survived the Stress Test.  It was difficult, very difficult, but the results did ease my mind.  But now, once again, I have unanswered questions and have been referred to a pulmonologist.

Why can’t anything be easy and have a solution?  I have decided to wait another while before dealing with more tests.  I’d like to try and enjoy the summer a little bit and not be sitting in doctor’s offices agonizing about lung scans and xrays and blood tests.  Just as these symptoms appeared, I am hoping they will disappear.

This experience did teach me that on day’s I think I can’t handle one more thing, I can.  Or on day’s when I am down on myself and fall in that deep hole of despair, to remind myself that things are really not the worst they could be and that I have to appreciate the current life I am trying to live.

Advertisements

The Happiness of your Life

thehappinessofyourlife

I have been listening and watching  self help, gratitude and positive affirmation videos and I really must admit what a positive and refreshing experience it is to hear uplifting thoughts about yourself and the universe.

The real trick is to keep replaying these thoughts in your head and start to belief them.  It’s hard when real life interferes with your perception of how you should be living, but based on what I’m learning if we change the texture of our thoughts, our life will change.

It is hard to change thought patterns when you are in your mid 50s (can’t believe I am in my 50s, but I am).  You have grown up believing certain things and have been doing things in a certain way for so long, that it is hard to change.  But if change means improving your life and being happier with your life, than that is worth trying.

I am going to follow these beliefs and see where my life takes me:

  • All is well in my world and I trust the Universe to take me where I need to go
  • What is right for me will come to me at the appropriate time
  • I am loving and I am loved
  • I am willing to grow and change and I am always open and receptive to new ideas
  • I know I can become more than what I am now, not Better but MORE

Life is as it is.  It’s all about our perception of our current situation and our level of gratitude.  I am grateful for so much in my life and will not dwell on what I can not change.

Writers Block, more likely Fibro Flare

questionmarks

My Fibro is in a big flare and I have really been unable to function much these last few days.  My brain fog is off the charts and the pain is high too, but my spirits haven’t been to bad and I’m attributing that to the promise I made to myself to practice “Gratitude”.

Every night, as I lay down and try to go to sleep, instead of counting sheep, I list the things I am grateful for.  Why not make a list of things that can make you happy as you try to drift into dreamland?  I have been falling asleep better and it also takes my mind off the things that are bothering me.

So, as I ride out this lastest flare, I am doing so with a peacefulness and calmness, that I haven’t experienced in a while.  Maybe there is something to be said for GRATITUDE after all.

Letting Go, to Move Forward

tastefreedom

Just like many other bloggers have posted during this past week, I too have been participating in the 21 Days of Gratitude program from the Mentors Channel.

Yesterday they spoke about setting goals and then just letting go and trusting the Universe.  I really want to try and practice this act of gratitude and try to set attainable goals and just trust that they will occur.

How come so many healthy individuals don’t realize how grateful they should be?  Why is it that when we become ill,  we start counting our blessings?  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?  We have lost so much since we became ill, yet we are expected to be grateful for what we STILL have, while people that are healthy, working, generating income and putting money away for retirement don’t get that they have it all.

It got me wondering if the “healthy” segment of our population, is more unhappy than the ones dealing with a chronic and debilitaing illness.

We see studies all the time telling us how depressed and unhappy people are, when seemingly they have it all.  Why is this?  Why are the most prescribed pills nowadays anti depressants and anti anxiety pills?  Why do people want to numb themselves to make it through life when really they just don’t understand how much they have?  What will make them happy, I definitely don’t have the answers to these questions.

All I can think about is what will make me happy.  Well, we all know what the number one thing would be on my list:  TO FEEL GOOD and be RESTORED to HEALTH.  People have trouble trusting each other, so taking a leap of faith and trusting the Universe is a big challenge.

How do I start to surrender to the great unknown?  As a first step, I will start thinking about abundance and not deficit.  I will think about what I want to attract into my life and not think about what I don’t want in my life.

I will start repeating to myself, everything is going to work out in the end, which involves a huge amount of trust and surending of control.  It’s just as easy to believe that things will work out on a positive note, than on a negative one.  There’s no reason to think otherwise.  I have to believe there’s a higher purpose behind the difficult and seemingly endless period I am currently going through.

Letting go will be extremely difficult for me, as I have the overwhelming need to control so much in my current life.  I think this is the way to make me feel as well as possible, in any given situation, but maybe it’s not.  I do realize that “controling the outcome of each situation in my daily life” does cause me a lot of anxiety and turmoil.

As a promise to myself, I will start having faith in the power of the Universe.  Why should I doubt the Universe more than a stranger I happen to meet.  When I meet someone new in my life, I give them the benefit of the doubt and trust that they are true and good, unless they prove me wrong.  I will give the mighty Universe that same benefit of the doubt.

To quote a line from a movie I recently viewed and enjoyed, “Everything will be alright in the end.  And if it’s not alright, then it’s not yet the end.”

Gratitude

gratitude3

Yesterday Jenny of “My Fibrotastic Life” blogged about the 21 Days of Gratitude program she was participating in.  This intrigued me, as I too have been searching for my purpose in life since I became ill.  I registered for the course and listened to the first day’s message about finding something in life that makes your heart sing.  Jenny is lucky, she has found this purpose at a young age.  I thought I knew what my purpose was in life, as I was proceeding down that course, but then I was thrown a curveball and I became ill.  How do you find meaning in a life, where society (and even worse) friends and family sometimes consider you as an afterthought or don’t consider you at all.

Work defines so many of us and when I was working it defined my too.  I held onto my job, way longer than I should have because I couldn’t bear the thought of going on disability and not having a workplace to go to every day.  I loved my work and couldn’t imagine a life without it.  I had been lucky (once again in society’s terms) to work for a straight 27 years from the time I completed my Masters Degree in Finance.  I was a very dedicated,  conscientious and motivated employee and my superiors recognized that quickly.  Even though I had to work long hours, I didn’t mind it.  I loved what I was doing and loved the people I was working with.  I thought that made my heart sing, but you know what, while I miss being able to work, I really don’t miss what I was doing.

If I was lucky enough to function at a level where my illness was under control and I was able to rejoin the workforce, I wouldn’t want to go back to my old job.  I have found great solace in writing and would want to pursue that in some form.  Does that mean, writing now makes my heart sing, yes it does, but is it because of my current circumstance or because it really fills my heart with joy?  I guess I will learn the answer to that as my writing and my blog matures.