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A Lesson Learned – Luckily Not Too Late

Hello, Readers!

I’ve missed you. I’ve missed writing lately. To say that I’ve been lax on my blogging duties would be an understatement. I’ve been lax on a couple other things, too. Namely…my own writing.

But this is not a lament about writer’s block. This is my Public Service Announcement to all the hard-working folks out there that allow themselves to get caught up in the right here/right now/hustle&bustle lifestyle. We all have a ticking time bomb in our lives…our own bodies. Misuse or mistreat your own body and more than you will pay the price.

I’ll admit. I’m not in the best shape of my life, in the latter half of my forties, and with a lot of responsibilities…5 kids, elderly mom, hard-working husband, and a dog that still tries to trip me up or down the stairs every day. The world around us is going to h.e.double hockey sticks in a handbasket – just turn on the news…it’s awful out there!

I will also admit I have a very blessed life (see second sentence of previous paragraph). There is a lot to be grateful for, and a lot to worry about on a daily basis. I won’t bother listing them all here.

However, with all the hustle and bustle and 24/7 chaos of my life I did something that almost cost me it all. Technically, you could say it was more something I didn’t do.

I didn’t take care of myself. You know how when you go on an airplane, the flight attendants are specific about if the plan were to crash, affix the oxygen mask to yourself first before trying to help others? If you’re incapacitated, you can’t help others. Common sense, right?

Same goes for your health. If you’re sick, who takes care of the kids? Who takes care of your job? Who does all the things you normally do?

If you’re like me, you completely forget those questions and dive into the chaos every day regardless of how you are feeling. Who has time to be sick? Not me! Not anyone I know of.

That mentality could’ve cost me, and my family, dearly.

For over a week I felt like garbage. You know the commercial for the asthma medicine with the bear walking behind the guy with his arms around his chest making it hard for the man to breathe? That was me. I would wake up at night unable to breathe. Tried my husband’s asthma inhaler…nothing. Did I call the doctor? Well, of course not. I don’t have time to go to the doctor for myself. Instead, I have to take two of kids (2 separate days) to the orthodontist. There’s no time for me to take myself to the doctor. That would be crazy!

Until it wasn’t. Now, I thought I simply had caught hubby’s chest cold from a couple weeks ago. The theory made sense. So I finally carved out some time and drove myself to the urgent care center. They’d diagnose me with the same thing as my husband, give me some meds and send me on my way. Right?

Nope. That’s not what happened. Turns out my lungs were perfectly clear. My blood pressure on the other hand…out of this world high!

If I had not gone to the doctor…okay, I’ll be honest, I went under duress from my husband (sometimes he’s such a nag)…things could’ve gotten much worse. Unchecked, my bp could’ve led to a cardiac event (not sure why the doctor just didn’t come out and say heart attack) or a stroke. And, he’s not even sure I didn’t have a “cardiac event”. Still waiting on more scheduled tests to determine for certain. For the time being, the doctor prescribed bp meds. Funny thing…one day later (after a migraine) my bp bottomed out. Now, I’m not on the meds unless my bp shoots back up. Even my blood pressure is chaotic, just like my life.

Not looking for sympathy here. It’s my own gosh darn fault for not taking better care of myself. After a knee injury and suffering with carpal tunnel, I allowed myself the excuses to stop working out on a regular basis. Hence, I was not taking care of me. Also, I’m totally a Type A personality that is stressed to the hilt everyday with the chaos of running an 8 person household, while also trying to follow my dream of becoming a published author. Really, rest & relaxation are not common words in my vocabulary when they should be.

The lesson here, that I hope to pass along to my readers, is that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Now, I’m not saying to drop all your responsibilities at the door, and go for a spa weekend every week; or stop doing all that you do for your family, your friends, your job/career. I am most definitely not saying that.

What I am saying is to carve out a little “me” time. Perhaps take a 30 minute walk daily, alone or with a friend. Perhaps take five minutes before heading the door to meditate or do some yoga stretches. I bought my husband a FitBit a couple years ago that he doesn’t use…I’m gonna snag that for myself.

Most importantly…if you don’t feel well…GO TO THE DOCTOR! Stop by the local pharmacy and check your bp (most have the bp monitors and some have Minute Clinics where you can be seen by a nurse or doctor to evaluate your symptoms). You and your health are paramount! Treat yourself as well as you treat others that you care for. If your child or spouse or parent were not feeling well, you’d take them to them to the doctor. You wouldn’t ignore their symptoms. Well, then…stop ignoring your own health.

Truth is, if you don’t care of you, then you cannot take care of others.

And that, dear readers, has been my PSA for today. Love to all!


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