Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lupus Living, Not Existing Experiment

When you live in the middle of nowhere, but close to a big city, it's difficult to get good health care. Most of the good doctors go where the money and the patients are. And the small nowhere cities get the doctors that couldn't survive a big city or the doctors that have chosen to practice in the small places. The Gynecologist I saw was on the lower end, but not a complete nightmare. He's the kind of doctor I can't stand. Didn't listen. He brushed off my symptoms and had the audacity to tell me that I don't have Endometriosis even though he and I both know that the only way to make a definitive diagnosis is with laparoscopic surgery.

"Maybe the visit would have gone better if I had better communication skills."

The regret and guilt I felt after that awful visit to the doctor prompted me to do some tune-up work on myself. I spent that day browsing the web for some sort of magical answer to make this problem go away. What began as a Google search on "How to Communicate Effectively" transformed into a StumbleUpon marathon on self improvement. Where is the hidden Holy Grail of health and happiness? (Ha, an abundance of alliteration!)

A Month of Change

After the self-pity wore off and a few hours of Self Improvement browsing had passed, I started to notice that everyone was sharing the same formula for happiness, just written in different styles. So why not take a stab at it?

For the entire month of October, I will be taking on a huge challenge; I am going to make small changes throughout the month in the hopes that my life will be a little healthier and happier by the time Halloween comes around.

This is a three-part process: Healthy living, physical well-being, and what I've been calling "Life Enrichment". 

My goal is to live a more purposeful life. We only have a short amount of time on this Earth, and it's criminal not to take advantage of it. It seems like it's in our nature as humans to stress about things that aren't that important in the scheme of things. We focus on things that don't matter, and we live like we're immortal.

I'm going to stop right there before I sound like a self-improvement seminar.

Part 1: Healthy Living

This part really covers a lot. There are many facets to healthy living. I can't hit all of them in one month, but I can scratch the surface during this month of experimenting.

Here are some examples of changes I'll make:
  • Reducing my exposure to chemicals
  • Eating healthier foods and limiting junk food
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Staying hydrated
  • Reducing stress
Health is important to me, but I can't be as healthy as I possibly can when I drink Monster Energy drinks to battle fatigue and when I engage in chemical warfare against the army of bugs that would like to get in my house. It's time to stick to good-health common sense.

Part 2: Physical Well-Being

This part will probably be a lot easier now that my husband and I have gotten a puppy. A very young puppy. We've had her for three days now and I've been chasing her around the house trying to stop her from peeing and pooing all over our carpets (without success). I will be spending lots of time running around with Princess trying to wear her out, potty train her, teach her not to bite my ankles, and master the basics. It's a good thing she's cute because I didn't know getting peed on was the price I had to pay for unconditional love. 

When I'm not running around with Princess I will be working on my physical well-being in a more traditional way:
  • Building strength
  • Building endurance
  • Work on stretching and flexibility
  • Avoiding flares
  • Getting to know my body each organ at a time
I have said it billions of times and I will say it again: Good exercise habits are a great way to reduce all types of arthritis pains (arthritis is defined as painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints, so joint pain in Lupus qualifies as arthritis). And a wonderful exercise program comes from the Arthritis Foundation

Part 3: Life Enrichment

Part Three also covers a lot of ground. This section covers the things that make life more "valuable". At funerals, this is what the loved ones talk about. It's the intangible possessions.

Here are some things that I will be working on this month:
  • Spirituality
  • Finding things I'm passionate about
  • Giving love and receiving it
  • Travel and adventure
  • Volunteering
  • Living in the moment
  • Patience

The Desired End Result

Like I said earlier, the most important things to me are health and happiness. Not the fleeting kind of happiness. And health that looks at all portions of my life, not just the Lupus part.

What will you do this month to change your life? Leave a comment below.

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