They say that there are lessons to learn from all of life’s events, and that is certainly true when you encounter a health scare. Here are the 5 things I took away from my own health challenges.
The words “I think I have Mono” tumbled right out of my mouth and were quickly greeted by a blank stare.
“Um, you are too old for Mono, and that wouldn’t cause your high heart rate and swollen ankles” was the response from the clinic practitioner.
Then the nurse followed up that doozy of a statement by topping it with… “your heart rate is off the charts, and you need to get to a hospital rather fast.”
The ER sounded scarier and more expensive so we opted for the Urgent Care not far from our house.
And so began my adventure from Clinic, to Urgent Care, to Ambulance, to ER, to overnight stay in the Hospital. Oh please, why couldn’t it have been Mono?
I won’t bore you with all the details of ultrasounds, X-rays, CT Scans, EKG’s, dozens of blood draws, and other tests (yes, they even gave me a pregnancy test just to rule out everything).
Frankly I don’t want to relive it all by retelling it again, but what I will share are the lessons I recently learned after thinking I was going to die (Disclaimer: I’m known to overreact a little sometimes).
1. Listen to Your Body
A month prior to my hospital stay I had been sick, and since then, I just didn’t feel “right”. I made up all sorts of excuses of what it could be….
Extreme Tiredness – “That damn Daylight Savings time change”
Light Headed – “Maybe I’m Anemic”
Hand Tremors – “Shouldn’t have partied so hard at that Pub Crawl”
Frequent Headaches – “Must be all this rain”.
None of them were true.
My body was literally yelling at me and giving me TONS of signs that something was wrong, like REALLY wrong, but I just didn’t want to listen.
It wasn’t until my ankles started swelling that I finally realized that maybe I should see a doctor, and thank goodness I did because my symptoms got so bad that they were life-threatening.
Having a heartbeat that’s almost double the norm is no bueno, and had I previously listened to what my body was truly telling me, maybe things could have been not so scary!!
2. Health > Money
I’m cheap…yep, I fully admit it, like BIG TIME cheap.
When you’re “happy place” is Grocery Outlet, and you think Walmart is pricey, you may have problem)
I used to say I was “frugal” because it had a more positive connotation, but the truth is that my mindset is frequently in lack and scarcity.
I honestly didn’t want to go to the doctor in my TERRIBLE condition because it would cost money.
I know theoretically that my health is more important than money, but my actions and vibration say otherwise.
This is something I am continuing to work on because I know it’s not healthy, and I think it keeps true prosperity and abundance out of my reach.
And if I had just gone to the doctor when the symptoms started regardless of the cost, it would have saved me lots of angst and money in the long run… possibly preventing the entire sequence of events that landed me in the hospital.
3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
I know this saying is truly the MOST. CLICHE. THING. EVER. but honestly it’s true.
When you have BIG STUFF going on with your health it quickly puts everything else in perspective, and I know personally I waste a lot of time on worrying, fixating, and micro-managing the small stuff that really doesn’t matter!
As I was in the hospital struggling with my health, the long list of to-do’s seemed a lot less important.
4. Perspective is Everything
“Attitude is the difference between ordeal and adventure”.
I’ve got a little secret for you…I was pretty much terrified during this period of time, but I tried my darnedest to try to look at the experience from a different point of view.
When it was time for the ambulance ride, I told the EMT’s that I found it exciting cause I’d never been in an ambulance.
When it was time for a CT Scan, I shared with the technicians that I could now check this one off my bucket list.
You see, inside I was scared and worried about the worst possible outcome, but by telling myself that this was instead an “adventure” it truly shifted my energy around it.
The idea of “fake it til you make it” can be a powerful tool in challenging situations.
The good news about Bucket List items is that once you’ve done it, you don’t need to do it again, and I’m intending that’s the case for these experiences too – one and done!
No more ambulance rides, CT Scans, and hospital stays for like 40 or 50 years hopefully!
5. You Are Not Your Illness or Diagnosis
Where I am now in this journey is in “no man’s land”.
I’m still waiting to hear test results that will let me know what the underlying cause of my condition is, and statistically it’s most likely an autoimmune disease, which honestly sounds terrifying.
Ain’t NOBODY want an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE. (Mono please!), but at the end of the day, I know regardless of any “diagnosis”, I’m living a blessed life and I get to choose how I respond.
No diagnosis changes who I am AND I still get to live my best life NO MATTER what.
As I am embarking on this journey into the unknown, I’m doing my best to live my own advice.
Some days I’m slaying it, and other days I kinda suck at it worrying more than I should.
But like any new life challenge, I know the power always remains within me!
I’d love to hear what advice has carried you through your times of trouble…honestly, this girl could use it!!
Curious what has happened over the few years with my diagnosis??
Here’s what I wish I would have know when I was first diagnosed with an autoimmune disease:
And what I did to heal my autoimmune disease: