Tag Archives: health

New Year, New Aspirations

8 Jan

We celebrated the New Year at home, low-key with some really good friends. We talked, cooked, ate, played board games and just enjoyed being together. The last several New Years have been quite different than years past. We weren’t out on the town til the wee hours of the morning, hopping from one place to the next. But that’s ok with me. We got to play with Lila up until her bedtime and celebrate with people we love while she was only one room away. I could sneak in and catch a peek of her resting peacefully and run my fingers through her curly hair. It’s a new year and it is going to be a good one.

I usually make resolutions each year. I like the idea of starting fresh and putting my ideas on paper to help re-enforce my motivation. So, here is my list to make this year the best it can be.

1.) Exercise. I know, this is every other person’s resolution too. But, I really do love to exercise. It makes me feel better, gives me more energy and puts me in a better mind-frame. Since having Lila it has been hard to carve out the time I use to dedicate to the gym. It’s not easy and it takes some planning but it is worth it.  Jamie and I have started meeting up to run together 4 days a week. We have worked out a schedule that is reasonable and is good for both of us. I have never cared to go work out by myself but I have found lately if I don’t have someone to hold me accountable I can talk myself out of going. Now, Jamie and I make a plan and stick to it. It’s actually fun and I get in some good friend time as well. We are looking towards running a pretty big race in April!

2.) Eat better. Cook more. I know these sound so cliche so far but these are my goals. Josh and I have both been talking about eating better and cooking more over the past year but that’s about all we did was talk about it. We took some steps to make those talks a reality. Josh bought me an awesome new cookware set, along with some great cookbooks and an awesome new shelf for storage. This weekend I made my first ever menu plan for the week. I listed all the ingredients I would need and off the store I went. I felt so grown-up as I marked each item off my list. The week has started off a success and we have had some great meals. A great bonus is that we always have leftovers so I don’t have to think about my lunch for the next day. I love to know when I get home that there is a plan for dinner and that I have all the ingredients. It has started to take the stress out of dinnertime.

3.) Create More. I want this year to be filled with lots of crafting and writing. I get on spurts where I will create a lot of stuff at one time and then end up taking a longer break than intended. I find I am at my happiest when my hands are creating something new. Whether it be an actual craft or sitting down to write a paragraph, I just want to do it more.

4.) Be Kind. I had written about Ann Curry’s 26 Acts of Kindness a few weeks ago and it has really inspired me. I have added several acts to my list over the past few weeks and it has made me feel so good. I want to remember to be kind all the time. It doesn’t have to cost money or take a lot of time. Sometimes the smallest gestures mean the most to those receiving them. What would a kinder world look like in a year?

5.) Scoop the litter box daily. Yes. This is really a goal. My poor cats rank low on the needs list at our house. They don’t require much upkeep and sometimes they don’t get the attention they deserve. Josh and I both hate cleaning the litter box but I think they deserve it. Every time I have to use a dirty porta-potty (which isn’t often), I am reminded of how nice it is to have clean facilities…haha. Then I am immediately reminded that I need to go scoop the litter box. If no one else appreciates this…I know my cats will.

6.) Pay More Attention. This one is kinda vague and hard to be measured but important all the same. We all have our schedules and daily routines and sometimes it is easy to overlook or not listen as closely as we should. I just want to be more present.

I am sure I have other small goals that I have forgotten about for the moment but these are in the forefront of my mind. I hope to come back to these often to check-in and get a boost of motivation when needed.

I hope your new year is off to a great beginning. If it’s not, change it today:)

If You Feel Faint, Sit Down

22 Oct

About 8 years ago I was attending a friend’s wedding. The event was taking place out of state so I had been traveling for several hours. I was excited about the weekend and seeing old friends so it is possible I hadn’t eaten quite enough for the day. The weekend was kicked off by the rehearsal at the church. One of my girlfriends and I were the first to arrive and we were standing at the front of the church chatting and catching up. Somehow the conversation made its way around to sports injuries. My friend started telling me a detailed story about her knee surgery. Now, I have always been squeamish and don’t enjoy blood or talking about it. As she continued giving me details I could feel myself getting light-headed and feeling myself go pale. I knew this conversation needed to end but she was right in the middle of her story and I didn’t want to interrupt to tell her I was about to pass out. At one point I tried to tune out the story but that didn’t work. The next think I knew I had a group of people standing above me trying to wake me up. I had passed out cold.

I have to say, passing out cold is a great way to steal the limelight if your feeling ignored 😉 I was really embarrassed and it only got worse as each person in attendance came up and asked if I was ok. Next time the conversation comes around to surgery or anything medical related I know I need to sit down or politely ask someone to catch me mid-fall.

Take Life One Day At A Time

16 Oct

I have always been a pretty laid back person but I have my share of worries that I let get the best of me. Right after I graduated college I had been job hunting and trying to find a direction for my life. I had gotten my degree, now what? For a little while I wasn’t  motivated to really get up and find a job in my field. I was satisfied just bar-tending and waiting tables. There was nothing wrong with that but I knew I didn’t want to do that forever.

This was about the time the anxiety set in. It took over my whole body, my whole being and I had no idea what was happening. It came out of nowhere and made me feel terrified. I tried to explain to my friends and family why I was so upset but I couldn’t really put a finger on it. I know I was over-thinking everything and trying to figure out the path my life was gonna take all at one time. It got bad enough where I didn’t want to leave the house or go to work. Not only that I didn’t want to but I felt like I physically couldn’t leave. It was awful and I will never forget that feeling.

After about about week I went to see my dr. He didn’t seem surprised that I was experiencing anxiety. He said he was accustomed to seeing people my age go through this and it was a stressful time in life. He gave me some medicine with instruction to take it easy and kinda chill out. I was resistant to the medicine because I didn’t want to have to take something to feel normal. The more I thought about it though I came around to the idea. If it was gonna make me feel better and give me my life back I was completely for it. After I started taking the medicine it still took a little time to feel back to normal. I took it day by day and eventually I was feeling better.

That wasn’t my last episode with anxiety and over the years I have dealt with it several times. Now that I am more informed about anxiety and have dealt with it a bit more I have found that I really have to talk to myself. I always tell myself I am not in any immediate danger and I try and force myself to put a finger on the thought or stream of thoughts that is upsetting me. This has really seemed to help and has let me take strides forward. This may be something that I have to deal with for the rest of my life but I now have the tools to do that much better. I realize I don’t have to figure out every aspect of my life today. I can only change what is happening today and how I deal with today is what will affect tomorrow.

 

Be Kind…You Never Know What Someone Is Going Through

12 Oct

 

Have you ever encountered someone and you wondered who peed in their cheerios? My tolerance for these people use to be a lot lower than it is now.

I have talked about my dizziness issues a couple of times here. At my worst, which was about the first year there were days that I was barely functioning. I had to force myself to get out of bed and go to work. I felt like I had been hit by a mack truck. The days were long and I just prayed to make it through the day. Most of the people in my everyday life knew I was struggling with vertigo and dizziness so I got lots of questions and check-ups from people out of concern. But, you couldn’t tell anything was wrong with me just by looking. I didn’t have an appendage in a cast, I wasn’t in the hospital and I didn’t have any evident injuries that would clue people in. Some days I just didn’t feel like talking to anybody and I did just what it took to get by. I realize that at some points I could have come off rude or disconnected. During this time in my life I gained a little bit more compassion for people. As we go through our day to day lives we may encounter people who aren’t pleasant. We don’t know what those people are going through though. I’m sure in many cases people are just rude for the heck of it but we all have things going on in life. Whether it be physical, mental or emotional we all have to deal with things we would rather not have to.

As I get further and further away from that first year of dizziness I often forget just how bad I felt. So, I find it important to remind myself there will always be people in your life who are going through things you may not know about and sometimes you just gotta give people a break. I’m guilty of not always remembering this but I want to try my best to have more compassion and patience.

Semi-Vacation

2 Jul

A little over a week ago I took a bit of vacation with my mom, dad and Lila (Josh had to work.) I call it a semi-vacation because there were dr.’s appointments involved and you can’t really count that as vacation. Our destination was the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. I had an appointment there with a specialist about the vertigo I have been experiencing for about 4 years now. My dad also had an appointment with his back surgeon to follow-up and get cleared. I wasn’t holding my breath for any big cure because over the last four years I have seen numerous doctors and had a battery of test done multiple times. Overall, I was really pleased with their diagnosis. They agreed with previous dr.’s that I have migraine associated vertigo. However, they took more time with me in explaining why they thought that was the case and what the possible solution was. Basically over the past four years I have been dizzy constantly. Not dizzy like I am gonna fall over but dizzy like I just got off a boat and it NEVER stops. The only time it did stop is when I was pregnant. They said a lot of times migraines can either get a lot worse or a lot better during pregnancy and that is why they believe it is that type of vertigo. I have started a new medication in hopes that it can help. It takes 6 weeks to get to the top tier of the dosage so it will be a while before I really know if it is helping. I am so thankful for the people in medicine and just hope I don’t have to walk around dizzy the rest of my life. However, while we were there I saw people in much worse shape than I am in and it made me so thankful for each day I can get out of bed. I am grateful so many people dedicate their life to medicine and healing those that are sick. You don’t know how much you appreciate those people until you need them.

Onto the vacation part of the trip. My brother and I were born in Oxford, Ohio which is right outside of Cincinnati so we decided to stop by for a few days on our way home. My mom and dad lived there for 8 eight years and it was fun to listen to all the stories they had to tell. We got to go by and see the first house I first lived in. The town is a college town and the house is part of student housing now so all the houses are named. Ours is called, “Rhythm and Brews.”

The town has the cutest little town square and we let Lila run around. She had a girls gone wild moment.

This is the hospital where I was born.

She loves her G-Mama.

It was a quick little trip but I am really glad we got to go. Lila was a trooper. She did really well in the car but she was ready to be done by the end. Her face says it all.

All The Half-Marathon Details You Didn’t Ask For

3 Apr

My alarm was set for 6am on Sunday morning, however I was up at 5am with nerves in my belly. I have always gotten nervous before any sporting event, ever. I didn’t have any reason to be nervous because it wasn’t a race…it was just me wanting to complete a goal I had set for myself. Nevertheless, the nerves were there. Since, I had a little time to kill I watched an episode of Full House, don’t judge, there is nothing else on at 5:30 in the morning. It took me back to maternity leave when I would be up nursing Lila, I would always watch Full House and Family Matters. I stretched, had a peanut butter sandwich and got my things together. I heard Lila stirring in the nursery but decided I needed to go before she woke up and saw me.

As I walked outside it was chilly and dark, which wasn’t helping with the motivation I needed. I drove the 5 minutes to downtown and all of a sudden the streets were flooded with the cars. Where I had planned on parking was blocked off so I had to resort to plan B. I was driving up and down the streets trying to find a legal place to park. As I was sitting in traffic and weaving around cars I was growing more and more anxious. I finally found a deserted parking lot with a police officer sitting guard. I asked him I was aloud to park there and he told me I could at my own risk, I could possibly get towed. At that point I was running out of time and I didn’t really have any other options. I decided to risk it. I locked everything securely in my car and started to jog to the starting point. Everywhere I turned there were runners, they were stretching, jogging and twitching with anticipation. I weaved my way through the mass of people at the start and settled into the middle of a large crowd. I kept looking around for familiar faces, trying to locate friends who were running but it was too congested. About two minutes before the race began, I heard someone yelling my name. Success! It was my friend Kate, so I made my way over to her. It seems we were only talking for a moment and then we were off to the races.

This year there were a record number or runners and it definitely felt that way the entire time. Usually after getting a few miles in the crowd begins to thin out and separate but that never happened. I felt great in the beginning, I had a lot of energy, the weather was great and I had people I knew to run with. However, around mile 6 I began to feel my legs tightening up and that worried me right away, I wasn’t even halfway. A man passed me at that point and yelled out, “only 20 more miles!” He was obviously running the whole marathon. At that point I couldn’t imagine still having 2o miles to go, the 7 I had left was beginning to seem daunting. I was dreading mile 7 because there was a HUGE hill that we all new was coming. I knew if I could make it through the hill my mom would be waiting at mile 8, that kept me going. I saw my mom and she was cheering just as hard as she could and yelled I only had one third left. After I saw her I started to get discouraged because now my back was aching terribly too. I wasn’t sure why I was in so much pain because I had run 10 miles the weekend prior and hadn’t experienced any of those problems. I kept telling myself if I could make it to mile 1o I would be home free. Yeah, not so much. At one point I was making comparisons to myself about the pain of labor and the pain I was experiencing. I was having to tell myself if I could go through labor, I could make myself run for another 30-40 minutes. Finally, at mile 11 I had to stop and walk, I couldn’t take it anymore. The funny thing is, when I stopped to walk the pain was even more severe. I went back and forth between walking and jogging for the last 2 miles. Then, I could see Neyland Stadium and I knew it was almost over. There was one more hill to conquer and I would be done! I made it up the hill and then forced myself to jog through the dome and into the Stadium. As I crossed the finish line they called out my name and the clock read 2:28.11. About 5 seconds after I finished I heard the announcer say, “and here comes the winner of the marathon!” Yes, this guy ran the entire marathon in the time it took me to do half of it, but I did finish in front of him…haha. My time was about 17 minutes slower than it was 2 years ago but at that point I was just glad to have finished. I had a pretty, new medal and I felt proud of myself for reaching my goal.

I hobbled out of the stadium to find my mom waiting on me and she gave me a big hug and told me how proud she was. My mom is the best. Once I started telling her about the radiating pain I was having she said I was most likely dehydrated. DING! DING! DING! I don’t know why I didn’t think to drink more water than usual the day before but somehow it had escaped me and I paid for it dearly and am still paying for it. I managed to rehydrate and reenergize with a bottle of water, two bottles of powerade and a plate of fruits and bagels. I am still incredibly sore and expect I will remain this way for several days.

When I got home, Josh and Lila were waiting on me and Lila rewarded me with a big hug. That made it all worth it:)

Will I do another one? I would definitely like to improve on my time but I don’t know if another one will happen anytime soon. I would possibly like to experiment with a flatter course and better hydration methods next time.

But, I reached my goal and I feel proud (and sore).