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Winter is the cold and often brutal season of darkness. But like all seasons, winter passes and spring is out there somewhere. And while I cannot stop winter from coming, I can prepare! My “winter” is a combination of things but mostly medical issues plaguing my family. My husband’s tumor has started to grow, which means he is preparing for some form of radiation treatment at MD Anderson in Houston, TX (an 11-hour drive south-east from our home). My oldest spawn is dealing with dysautonomia and we are fighting to get her to doctors (in Denver, CO which is a 7-hour drive north of our home) to verify if she has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. And the we fight to get her the help to deal with the mess of EDS, if that is what she has. My youngest spawn is struggling with my attention on her dad and sister. Not to mention she is dealing with some issues of her own that are not nearly as bad but she is 14 years old and the world revolves around her teenage self. My dad has some “spot” on his kidney that they are watching, but he is recovering nicely from his bladder surgeries. I am still trying to get all of my strength and mobility back in my hip, so I can get back to my normal self. This all is the “winter” that I speak of. So what will I do? I will do what I can! I’ll prepare for the possibilities, manage what I can, accept what I cannot change and take care of myself. Prepare I will do everything I can to be prepared for the next big change of plans. I will have options for whatever comes my way on the table and I will not discount something because if I do that is what will come my way next. I will be prepared to eat healthy, no matter the situation. I will find healthy food options that are portable and easy to store (including food in my car, which can get hot) for me and my family! I will have backup options for exercise on hand. I will have care options for my youngest spawn who had no big doctor visits and needs to be here in school. Manage I will manage the chaos to the best of my ability and take care of everyone, including myself, to the best of my ability! I will not spend $ on things that aren’t needed, because life is gonna get expensive dealing with all the upcoming travel. I will do my best to spend time with my family (one-no-one or all together) when ever I can. I will do my best to balance family, travel to medical facilities and work. But I will take care of the important stuff first (family) and the rest will get what is left of my attention. Accept I will accept that I can not do it all, but I will give it my best shot. I won’t be able to change medical outcomes, people’s attitudes or many other things…. I will accept what I can not change. If I can change it and it needs to change, then let’s do it! Myself In all this mess, I am still valuable and much needed. If I don’t continue to take care of me then it will all fall to hell! I have made good changes this summer so let’s maintain those habits. -Food Smaller breakfasts with no bacon or sausage and smoothies for lunch during the week. Less snacking & desserts. High protein and lower carbs because that is what my body likes. Exercise BJJ and core/conditioning class as much as possible. FitOn app is a great resource for backup exercise classes. And physical therapy twice a week, if I do classes, if not 3-4 times! Walking as much as possible. Hiking with friends. Mental If I am prepared for anything, manage life as it happens and accept the things I cannot change, I should be in good shape. With all the craziness that I expect, gratitude will be a vital part of not going bonkers in the next few months!!! Kindness I will make time to take care of me. I will follow my skin care regime. I will shower and shave my legs. I will color my hair as needed. I will wear pretty clothes and put on makeup. I will take breaks and bask in nature. I will make sure that I don’t lose myself if being the caretaker of everyone. (kidding but not kidding!) At the end of the day... No one is dying, there is a path forward and I can do this all this because it needs to be done. I got this. And I promise myself to ask for help when needed and let others help when they offer!