Tag Archive: health

New Year

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I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA on here… I thought I’d do some reflections from 2014 and wishes for 2015 to fill in the gap and kick off a new year.

For the past few years I’ve picked a word, or rather, a word has picked me, to describe the year. I don’t usually do anything with the word except notice and smile at how well it fits the people, situations, and feelings I’ve experienced. This year, I thought I’d share 2014’s theme word on the blog- Peace.

At first glance, peace is a strange pick for my 2014 because it was anything but peaceful from the outside. I moved, ended a relationship, and finished final edits on the book while battling a health issue. In the words of my counselor, “It’s too much.”

Yet in the midst of lots of crazy, peace forced it’s way in to my life in more ways than one.

The quickest version I can spit out of what happened is that I was feeling bad for a long time- extreme fatigue, confusion, hair loss and cold… always cold. In June, my blood doctor (that’s what I call her) checked my counts and immediately started me on iron infusions three times a week. These were rough in that they took three- four hours and the medicine knocked me out, sometimes for the rest of the day.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

My general doctor found a tumor and recommended surgery. The first two surgeons I met with didn’t think they could remove it without messing up things in my funhouse. (Meaning I wouldn’t be able to have children in the future). I met with several surgeons and finally found one that I trusted.

Which was good.

Because an MRI he ordered came back and the tumor looked odd and possibly like cancer. He decided to do a more invasive surgery right away. The next day my blood count had fallen all the way back down to my pre-infusion levels and I got a picc line put in that I wore for the next couple of months. I went in for surgery the following week and thankfully it all went well. They were able to remove everything, keep the funhouse in tact, and there is no cancer. I was off from work recovering for a month and continued iron treatments. I got my picc line out in December and have resumed a normalishhh, slower paced life.

2014 was definitely a strange year for me. I’m still discovering and piecing together it’s significance. I learned and grew in several new ways and in no particular order, I’d say the following:

  1. I learned was forced to have patience. I used to go to the doctors once every three years. Once I started going every day, sometimes twice a day, it took over my life. You sit and wait, freezing. Then they call you into another room. To wait. And freeze. In a paper gown. The doctor eventually comes and you are no longer the smartest person in the room, even when the topic is you. You try and remember half of what they say and focus on not crying. You wait again for results and an open appointment slot and move slowly forward on in your journey. I had to learn to trust others and get on their schedule. It felt unnatural…but once I gave in, it was sort of peaceful and I grew to enjoy my new pace.
  2. I learned to do less. My brain wouldn’t work most days, either because of low iron or medication. I had to be ok with simply doing less. It wasn’t easy at first but it was a good opportunity to let go. Since I didn’t really have a choice, this, too, eventually felt peaceful.
  3. I was reminded that my future is not up to me. It was rough thinking about the possibility of never having kids, wondering what surgery would be like, and envisioning battling cancer next year. It was over the top and I discovered there is actually a peace at work when you are in the midst of chaos. It turns out when there is nothing for you to control- no details you can handle, no idea what to even begin worrying over… you just let it all go. For the first time, I truly felt like everything was completely in God’s hands and it was oddly a nice release.
  4. I am extremely grateful and impressed by doctors and nurses. I am a floored by modern medicine and how freaking smart people are. With all its needles and surgery and pills and ways of healing- it’s like magic. I think there’s a time and place for natural remedies and I hate how it’s become an either or conversation…. Im glad we have access to both.
  5. I became thankful for my own health and healing. I made a lot of friends and have extended family members who are fighting far more serious health battles than my own. Their tests don’t come back with good news, their treatments don’t always work, and they haven’t yet recovered. It makes me very sad, and sometimes guilty. I don’t understand how God makes these choices. It’s a heavy, heavy burden and I have a newfound respect for people fighting for their lives. While feeling the effects of the actual illness, it’s exhausting scheduling appointments, filling out forms, paying bills. It’s a full-time job getting well.
  6. I let go of trying to be cool this year. Not that I really was ever under the impression I was succeeding at it before, I just learned there’s an identity shift that takes place when you are sick. You used to see yourself as healthy, active, and young, and then all the sudden you are no longer all those things. It’s humbling and often embarrassing owning your new limits. It was hard to admit to others and to myself that I was broken. You try impressing a first date wearing sterry strips and a picc line. You’ll feel positively geriatric when you have to ask them to walk slower, sit on a bench, and ignore the fact that you’re about to pop a narcotic. … I had to let a lot go.
  7. I learned I am more loved than I imagined. I love my friends and family, but still put the expectation on myself that I need to give back to them. I guess deep down, I viewed it as a conditional love. It’s a two-way street and I have to make an effort to earn and keep them in my life. This was a time in when I clearly had nothing to offer anyone and it was uncomfortable. I remember a moment in the hospital while three friends were visiting and I couldn’t stay awake. I fought hard to keep my eyes open, feeling terrible they’d come all the way to see me. Right before falling asleep, I saw their faces and I could tell- they didn’t care. They truly didn’t. They weren’t visiting me to get something from me. They weren’t expecting anything out of me at all. They came to give to me, plain and simple. That moment, and several like it after, gave me peace. I try to wrap my head around the idea that God loves me know matter what I do for him… but it still feels like I have to do a lot for him most days. My friends and family were a tangible picture of that perfect and unconditional love this year. There’s peace in knowing you are loved NO MATTER WHAT. You don’t always have to earn it. You don’t always have to be in a place where you can reciprocate it. This is wild to me! I don’t think I’ll ever get over the love I received during this time. The meals, visits, carried out trashcans, texts, phone calls, cards, flowers… I still can’t even believe it.

So what am I taking in to 2015? So far this:

It’s a wonderful thing to let go. It’s peaceful when you throw up your hands and realize you can’t do it all, and you don’t have to. Crap is going to happen, and when it does, you’ll get through it. God prepares you and gets you through. He uses loved ones, strangers, and experts. You learn, you grow, and you’ll be glad it happened at some point. I think I’m actually getting better at knowing this truth in the moment. I am excited for what’s coming in 2015, and I know there’s a lot of work ahead for me…but I want to somehow hold on to my newfound peaceful pace.

What about you? Any reflections or hopes? I’d love to hear.

 

 

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Dec 8-The last night I had to coordinate my outfit with an IV…. I don’t miss the challenge.

Photo by Etsy.com

 

 

 


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A Good Bad Day

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Today did not start out as one of my best. After cramming in some work at the office, I rushed out to get my uterus shot. I think the doctor needed its picture taken, or something tested. I’m not totally sure. I was more focused on pretending I didn’t see the needle instead of gathering details.

That’s how the day started.

While leaving the doctor’s office, my friend Amy, who happens to be one of the new writers coming out on the blog and a contributor in my book, sent me a screen shot of Who’s Picking Me Up From the Airport on pre-sale at Barnes&Noble.com! Naturally, I freaked out! I had no clue it was out there and a real live thing! I replied to Amy, “Thank you for sending!! I really needed some good news right in this moment.”

I had intentionally scheduled some playtime with my niece directly following my appointment because I knew she would cheer me up. It’s ok to emotionally use kids in these situations, right? When I got there, my brother and I went online to see the book for ourselves. There it was! We were super excited and he Instagrammed a picture.

Eventually I left to meet my friend Linnsay for dinner and lost track of time catching up. Leaving the restaurant, I looked at my phone and it was blowing up! Me and my sore uterus had more love and support notifications from friends and family members than we knew what to do with! I couldn’t believe people would take the time to share the news. I can’t begin to tell you what it meant to me. THANK YOU to those of you who  spread the word and celebrated with me tonight!

The book officially won’t release until February 3, but you can pre-order a copy on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

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Today was a clear reminder that some days start out.. ahem, less than desirable, but can turn around big time:)

Good night!

Cindy


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They Draw & Cook

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Trying new recipes has been an unexpected benefit of my new health kick. While looking for yesterday’s dinner, I came across this adorable site and wanted to share. They Draw & Cook is the largest collection of illustrated recipes from all over the world. Have a look and let me know if you try any (especially that lemon cake I can’t have at the moment).


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5 Top Health Tips

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Hey friends! In January I joined Rough Fit, an incredible fitness company in Orange County.  I’m a month in and already feeling and seeing changes! To share the love I’ve asked co-owner, Greg, to guest post for me with his Top 5 Health Tips. Please enjoy! (and sorry for the strange layout. Having formatting issues this morning) 
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With the first month of 2013 coming to a close, a lot of the fitness resolutions are starting to lose their vigor. But this doesn’t have to be your story.  I tell clients, that your health journey lasts a lifetime. And you should grow healthier and healthier as time goes by. If you go all out in the beginning, there is a tendency to burn out, lose motivation, and revert back to your unhealthy habits.
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I encourage you to focus on making sustainable changes. And every week… every month… every year… become a healthier, fitter you! I am still growing in my health journey, and it continues to be really fun, rewarding experience.
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To give you a little direction, here are my 5 Top Health Tips to take with you on your journey.
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7a36e6b627ce03cbbc4e36f062f429b81. Focus on Quality – We often see people focusing only on how many calories they put in their body. This often leads to a poor nutrient profile filled with diet foods, diet sodas, chemical substitutes and not nearly enough vitamins and minerals. So focus on eating natural, nutrient rich foods! That means veggies, fruits, true whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. The more you fill your body with the healthy foods, the less room there is for anything bad!
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2. Learn as much as you can – The old saying, “knowledge is power,” is definitely true when it comes to health and fitness. More than any other industry, the health industry is flooded with myths and misinformation. So do your best to avoid getting caught up in the latest diets and fads. Instead, learn why veggies are important, how to read nutrition labels, what to stay away from, and much, much more!
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3. Find activities that you enjoy and be consistent – Do you want to know the secret to exercising? It is all about finding something that you enjoy. Now you might say that you hate all exercise, but I don’t buy it. There is something out there that you will enjoy. And maybe it doesn’t end up being the exercises themselves, but being able to workout with friends! Try hiking, biking, swimming, or even paddle boarding. If it keeps your body active, and you enjoy it, DO IT! When you enjoy what you’re doing, you will do it, you will be consistent. Simple as that.
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f5fc9a10b20674c53411025e64f5e7f94. Stay positive with group support – Attitude is very important when it comes to health. Staying positive is a big part of being successful. So look at all the things you GET to do, and GET to eat, instead of thinking of having to avoid this or that. Being part of a group is also very helpful to keep you positive and motivated. Having a great support system around you not only makes the journey easier, but more fun!
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5. Sleep and De-stress – Lack of sleep and stress are huge roadblocks when it comes to weight loss and a healthy metabolism. This is a sure way to feel grumpy, irritable and derail the healthy changes you are trying to make. So get to bed early, relax, and don’t worry so much.
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I hope you find these tips helpful and you continue to your journey towards optimal health! If you have any questions, please post in the comments and I will do my best to answer.
Greg

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