Source: Self-Care & Happy Distractions
Being diagnosed with a chronic illness is life-changing. Chronic illnesses can take the simplest, most uninteresting life and turn it upside down into a new and completely different life. Chronic illnesses have taken my life and changed it in many ways. But there are three particular areas that it has changed it and not for the better.
Chronic illnesses are definitely life changing. Have you every had something so profound in your life happen that no matter what, changes the way you see life? Has your life or someone you love had their life changed due to an illness or even chronic pain? Mine has and not always for the best. But it hasn’t been just my life that has changed but my family’s.
Hearing the words that you have a chronic illness is hard but knowing that from that day forward, life will be different. When I heard the words that I have a chronic illness and I will always suffer from chronic pain where two big days in my life. Not like the days when my children were born but close. I remember the day that I was told that I have Pancreatitis and Ulcerative Colitis. But I think being told that I would live in constant pain was harder than the diseases. At least with the diseases, there is a chance for a cure. With chronic pain, let alone me getting a new spine, I would be like this for the rest of my life.
Chronic pain was a life sentence for me. I was a fairly active person and enjoyed always doing something. With the chronic illnesses that I have, I can somewhat control them both by things that I eat and drink. But what will control the chronic pain? Besides living a life on pain meds, I didn’t foresee anything else that would help me.
Chronic Pain vs Chronic Illnesses
There seems to be a lot of people who look at living with pain as a symptom of an illness and not something separate. To me, chronic pain is its own entity. I would, for the most part, live with any chronic illness and choose not to live another day with pain. That’s a huge statement for me to say but let me explain.
Pain is so controlling when it comes to your daily living. Granted so can an illness but most parts, illnesses come and go but chronic pain, at least with me, ever goes away. I live each day with some degree of pain. Whether it be an annoying twinge in the back to down right in bed all day, I suffer from some sort of pain. And living with both, I would choose not to live with chronic pain over an illness any day.
Activity, What Activity?
So what has changed since I was diagnosed with chronic pain and illnesses? The first thing that has greatly changed and I sort of mentioned it in the beginning of this post is activity. My life has always been very active. I was always wanting to do something or go somewhere no matter what. But once my diagnosis was handed down, I haven’t been that active. I don’t go many places, or do many things unless it has to do with my children. I use to like to play tennis and other sports, like volleyball. Now I watch and don’t participate at all. Being on my feet for a long period of time is also something I can’t do now. I have to sit and rest a lot.
It is hard to watch and not be a participate but you learn over time that you would rather not wake in a great amount of pain, more than I will already will. I choose to be less active than to move with a pain level at a 9 or a 10. I have lived with pain at that level and know that its hard to function. It’s hard to be a “normal” person with pain levels that high.
Working 9 To 5
The next thing that changed greatly would be working for a living. When I was healthy, I had an amazing job working in the Coroner’s office doing autopsies. I quit my job when I found out that I was pregnant and had planned on going back later, but once I found out I had back issues, I knew there was no way I could go back. Not only for the long hours but standing for long periods of time and working on cement floors. All that would have taken a worse tole on me.
I tried to go back in between my 3rd and 4th surgery and do a desk job for a mortgage company. I did that for about a year until I had to do my 4th surgery and my addiction came to light more. Please see my series on addiction, here. I worked ok part-time but when I needed my 4th surgery and I became more addicted to pain meds, I wasn’t able to work much more after that.
I’ve thought about going back to work many times since my life has gotten a little bit more under control. But I don’t know how well my body will handle a day-to-day job. I can’t always be guaranteed that I can get out of bed the next day and what kind of employment will permit that kind of workflow? I can’t think of many. So I don’t try. I am afraid of failing after all this time. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll try again.
By Air, Sea, or Land
The final way that my life has changed since I was diagnosed is traveling. Traveling used to be so easy before I was diagnosed either from chronic illness or pain. I haven’t traveled a lot since I was diagnosed with pain but the few times I went to see my brother in Chicago, I had to really plan ahead. I couldn’t over pack nor could I forget anything important like any of my meds.
One of the most important things about traveling and chronic pain and illnesses is giving yourself enough time to make it from point A to point B. Airports have gotten so big that there needs to be enough time to make it to all the places you need to be. The other hard part of traveling, especially on a plane is being comfortable. I have found that sitting in the plane seats for a long period of time just kills my back. So coming prepared is one of the best things that I can do. Make sure to have a travel pillow, a blanket, a good book, and a face mask. What more can a girl ask for?
These have been the hardest things change since I was diagnosed with chronic pain and illnesses. Travel hasn’t been that hard since I only do it once or twice every few years but working and daily activities have been more difficult. I spend a lot of time wishing that I was able to do things like I was able to before.
This is an ongoing series and if you have missed any of the previous parts, please find them here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX. Thank you for reading my story. Now, let’s continue.
Today I am angry, very angry. I just want to be able to take a pill and have the pain go away. Most people can take a pill anytime that they want but I can’t. And that makes me angry. I am pissed off and hurt. Why did I have to become an addict? Why couldn’t it be someone else besides me?
Being An Addict
What does it mean to be an addict? It’s a lot of hard work and dedication to wanting to stay sober. I fight this every day. I have to choose to be sober and not fall back into the realm of wanting to abuse drugs. But it’s not fair that I have to be sober and in pain most days. I am better since the surgery but I still have days that are so bad that I want just one, maybe two pills.
Why me? I come from an addictive family. I have grandparents that abuse alcohol. I have parents that may have had an addiction. I think that my mom was shopping. She sure likes to shop. My dad may have had a problem with alcohol too. So I come from a family that addiction is a norm.
But why did mine have to be so hardcore? My addiction is probably the worse out of all my family. Actually, I know that it is. I abused drugs to the point where it ruined a lot of things in my life. The others in my family were able to control their addictions, or so I feel. I don’t know exactly what they went through but from what I saw, mine was worse.
Born This Way
Do you believe that I was born this way or is it a learned behavior? I believe that I have an addicted gene in me because it’s not just drugs that I can abuse. I was going down the road of abusing spending money very fast not too long ago. It was giving me the same rush as it would when I took a pill. So I believe that I have the gene in me. It’s kind of easy to see in me.
What is that makes me want to abuse drug or spend money or whatever? I believe that with the with the correct gene and the upbringing in an addicted house, I was predestined to be an addict. I have been reading an article about The Genetics of Addiction. Here are some interesting facts:
- Addiction is due 50 percent to genetic predisposition and 50 percent to poor coping skills
- The children of addicts are 8 times more likely to develop an addiction.
- Repeatedly abusing drugs or alcohol permanently rewires your brain
- Your genes are not your destiny.
- Addiction is like most major diseases
- Addiction is not a weakness
- One addiction can lead to other addictions, and one drug can make you relapse on another drug
Do you agree with these statements? I do. Being an addict I can see that these statements are true. If others have questioned you being an addict or the thought has crossed your mind, then I believe that you should be looking for help in some way or another. Or if you feel that these statements fit your life now, please look closely at yourself and see about getting help.
But I Am Still Angry.
Just because I was predestined to be an addict or I have the genes of one, doesn’t mean that I have to like it. Actually, I don’t and that is why I am allowed to be mad. I am making the change not to abuse anything right now. I am clean and sober as the saying goes but I can still be mad that I have to be clean and sober. I want a pill and having to fight this is so hard. It would be so easy to call my doctor and tell him how much pain I am in and that I need medications.
But I won’t do it. Not again. I can’t. I won’t. I can’t do that to my kids and to my husband but most of all I can’t do that to me. So here I sit. Mad and angry. Know what I need to do to get past it, I work out. It hurts like hell but I increase my endorphins and that helps my pain level.
It’s Ok To Get Help
I know that there are some out there that read my post about my life as an addict, are addicts themselves. I hope that I help people and let others know that its ok to be clean and sober. It’s ok not to be an addicted anymore. I won’t lie, it’s hard as hell bit, in the long run, it’s all worth it. There is a place on the internet that you can go to get help, right now, no questions asked. Go to www.AddictionsAndRecovery.org. Take that first step.
April 23rd was four months since I had my fifth spinal fusion. I have to have fusions due to having Degenerative Disc Disease that is constantly crawling up my spine and causing it to give me great amounts of pain. How am I doing and is there any changes since the surgery? Was this fifth surgery worth it and will there be more?
I can’t believe that it has been four months since I had surgery. In a way, it feels like it was just yesterday but mostly it feels like it has been years since I was in the hospital, dealing with great amounts of pain. And then coming home to trying to move the best that I can without assistance from others or a medical device.
What is Spinal Fusion?
I had to have my fifth fusion on L3-L4 Discs. I am already fused from L4-S1, which is the lowest the spine goes. A spinal fusion is:
Lumbar spinal fusion is surgery to join, or fuse, two or more vertebrae in the low back. Spinal fusion is major surgery, usually lasting several hours. There are different methods of spinal fusion. … The bone is used to make a bridge between vertebrae that are next to each other. This bone graft helps new bone grow.
My surgery was 4 hours long and consist of my surgeon doing the fusion for the new location. Also, they found out that the area where it had been previous fused, L5 to S1, the screws that were holding the fusion in place, had broken into two pieces and needed to be removed and new screws need to be put in. This added a little more time to the operation, and normally, they don’t do anything with previous fusions, except maybe remove the old hardware.
Surgery is done, on to recovery!
After the surgery, you are in the recovery room for about an hour. Which isn’t too bad of time. You are usually pretty doped up and don’t know what is happening. They ask you to rate your pain and will give you more medicines as needed. Then it’s up to your room. I don’t remember this move at all. I do remember waking up in my room and asking for my husband over and over. All I wanted was to be out of pain. They doped me up some more and off to sleep I would go, waking occasionally to press the pain pump button or when the nurse would come in.
This is my room for the next two days. It is now 2 hours after surgery and I am fully awake. I am ready to go and get on with recovery. My husband tells me about the issue with the broken screws and I know that if I could survive that pain, I can get through this. It has been 2 1/2 hours since surgery and I call for my nurse. I’m ready and at hour 3 after surgery, I am up and walking the halls. Nurses and doctors are talking about me. Determined to make it out the hospital by Christmas Day. I will do it. All that matters is that I promised my kids I will be hope, so it will happen.
Days In The Hospital
Day one is almost done and I am exhausted. I feel like a train has hit me. From the top of my head to my toes hurt. I feel like every muscle is yelling at me to stop moving and just give into the pain. Being doped up more than ever and it barely took a bite out of the pain and knowing that this is how I was before but the pain seems to be in a small section. Now my whole back hurts.
Day 2. I know that I have to work hard to get out of here, but my drainage pump isn’t ready to come out yet. I need that to be out before I can go home. So I work hard at walking and getting my body to move. Pain level is still in the 8-9 range and I am taking three pain meds. My worries are there that the addiction will be hard to control but I have to do it. I know that I can do it. Day 2 is pretty much resting and walking. Getting up to go to the bathroom and doing as much for myself as I can.
Day 3 is here and I am going home. I did it and I kept my promise to the kids. I will be home before Christmas. I am very proud of myself but I am still in a lot of pain. Plus my oxygen levels are not where the doctor’s want it to be so it looks like it will be going home with me. I don’t care as long as I am going home. I can’t wait to be with my kids.
Fast Forward 4 Months
The last four months have been tough but I have managed to beat all expectations. I was home in 2 days from surgery and I got myself off oxygen within a month out of surgery. Another thing that I have done was I managed to get myself off all pain meds 2 months out from surgery and haven’t looked back. That was the hardest because they normally prescribe pain meds for up to 3 months, but I didn’t want to take any chances. Since I have addictions, I had to be careful.
Other things that I have accomplished since I have had surgery is:
- No longer need the help of a cane
- Started to exercise riding the stationary bike 3 times a week
- Can walk more than a few minutes at a time without having to sit down.
- Can do things around the house that I haven’t been able to in a long time.
Did The Surgery Help?
Being that I am only 4 months out from surgery, I still have pain and discomfort. Is it as great as it was prior to surgery, I would now say no! I feel my back is better than it has been in awhile. I may still have bad days but its not as many as I would have prior to surgery. I would say that this surgery has helped me about 50% from where I was before.
Would I do the surgery again? I would answer yes to that question. I would do all this over again. No matter what. Even though I am not 100% better, being somewhat better is better than nothing. It could have made everything worse but it has seemed to help.
Would I recommend surgery to others that have back issues?
I would have to say no on that question. I do not recommend surgery to anyone unless it is the last resort, period. Once you start back surgery, it’s hard to have it stop. My spine will always degenerate and I will now always need to have surgery every so many years. The goal is to keep me off the table for 5 years now. I really hope that happens. It has been between 2-3 years that I have had surgery. So to go every 5 years would be wonderful.
All in all, this surgery went really smooth and I am glad as to where I am at. I would like to be able to fo more but I can’t push myself too much. I know that I did a lot of things faster than expected and I am proud of myself for that. I hope that its another 5 years before surgery but we will see. Only time will tell.
“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” ~Sri Chinmoy
Have you ever heard of the Ultimate List before? I haven’t. It was until I was watching a YouTube video when I saw it. What is it, you ask? It’s a list of things to do “more” of. Let me show you.
It’s a great little list to carry with you because basically what it is saying is, in the end, it doesn’t matter, just try your best. How hard is that for us to do especially those of us with chronic illnesses? We try as hard as we can and then a flare up happens. Or an all out hospital stays creeps up and takes over our life. What are we to do then for trying our best?
It’s only us that beat ourselves up when we can’t do “the best” of anything. I don’t hear others say to me “well, Lisa you didn’t do the best that you can at that”. I only hear that coming from within. We blame ourselves and make it an issue when others let things go. We hold on to things and make ourselves feel guilty for not doing something perfect or the way we feel it should be done.
Isn’t it amazing how we can do something that is perfect and we tear it apart, bit by bit because we didn’t do it the way we think we should have? Or we talk negatively about it to others and tear ourselves apart, that way. Someone might tell you what an amazing job you did on something. And inside all you are doing is picking it apart and saying how bad of a job we did.
Giving Yourself a Break
Why is that? Why can’t we compliment ourselves or take it if someone offers? We can be so negative towards ourselves that it makes me sad that we don’t give ourselves a break. We deserve that if anything. We deal with so much on a day-to-day basis that you would think that we would want to give ourselves a break. That if anything, we deserve to give ourselves a break.
We are so fast to judge ourselves that we forget that we are just human too. We don’t need to have someone on top of us all the time, so why don’t we take a step back and give ourselves a break. There are a few things that we can do to stop drilling ourselves and start to accept that we have done our best.
- Learn acceptance of what we do is human nature.
- Learn not to judge ourselves so quickly that we can accept mistakes.
- Learn not to criticize ourselves so much.
- Learn not to expect a change in ourselves all the time. We are ok with how we are.
- Learn to look within ourselves and love what we see.
Taking an evaluation to see how well we judge ourselves.
These are all steps that we need to learn to do on a daily basis. There is an evaluation in an article in Psychology Today that asks 16 questions to see how you judge yourself. If you score an average that indicates that you’re within the average of David et al.’s sample in self and other-acceptance.
David er al.’s sample is “Romanian psychologist Daniel David and his collaborators (2013) developed the “Unconditional Acceptance Questionnaire” (UAQ) to test both your “philosophical” and “psychological” acceptance. They defined philosophical acceptance of the self and others as your desire to avoid any evaluations of someone’s (and your own) self-worth. David and his team propose that any evaluation of the self, according to this definition, is an irrational generalization (as in the Albert Ellis model).
To take the evaluation, you can find the article here, Psychology Today.
You never know what someone is or is not struggling with on the inside just by looking at their outside.
I make an extra effort to look beyond the surface. I try extra hard to not judge by appearances. I must admit though, sometimes it’s hardest to not judge myself. If only we can look at the Ultimate List and realize that it doesn’t matter how well we do something, it just us trying our best and not judging ourselves for the limitations that we were given.
This is a series on addiction that I have been doing now for some time. If you have missed any of the previous posts, please find them here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII.
Doctors. Many of us believe that doctors know 100% of what they are doing. I do, most of the time. When I realized that I was an addicted, I looked back over my life and say those who have been enablers and one of they was my doctor.
I am not blaming my doctor at all but over the years of being tossed meds at, start to wonder why. Knowing that I confused doctors so much at times, that they didn’t know what else to do with me. I was and still am not a cut and dry case. I have been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis but I am not a drinker, it doesn’t always show up on tests, and I don’t always have the exact symptoms. The doctors finally realized that my grandmother had the same disease and the same symptoms. they diagnosed me with Pancreatitis.
Drugs and More Drugs
Was it the right thing to do? It was the most logical but doesn’t mean that its right. After my diagnosis, my GI doctor would write me prescription after prescription of Vicodin or Percocet and that was it. I would want answers and all I would get is another round of drugs. By then, I didn’t mind at all. I was freshly in my addiction and wanted all the drugs I could get my hands on. It didn’t matter to me the reason, as long as they were willing to write out the prescription, I would keep filling.
Doctors have a very difficult job when it comes to patients and that fine line of prescribing drugs. I am sure that many a time, that invisible line has been crossed. But being a human being, how can someone sit there and in good consciousness, watch someone suffer when they have the ability to help that person out. But can it go too far? Can a doctor write for to many pills? I know that I’ve been written a large number of pills and without hesitation, took them all.
When Is It Too Much?
Is this an epidemic of doctors over-prescribing medication and then becoming an enabler. What happens then if the doctor decides to no longer write that prescription? The patient is left, addicted to that medication, and without a doctor to help in the treatment. I’ve been there before. I have had doctors prescribe and prescribe and then one day just stop. The patient must quickly find a doctor that will either ween them off the medication or continue prescribing the same medication.
It Was A Good Run!
I have had doctors tell me to my face that they will no longer be filling my prescriptions and a few months later, I am back right where I started, getting pills from my doctors. I never knew what or how each relationship would go, but in the end, I always felt like the last. And I ended up right where I was before. Without a doctor and without pills.
I do believe that there needs to be more communication between doctors and patients. But if the patient is at all like me, we hide things well. Even though we are telling the doctor that we are fine, behind closed doors is another story. Doctors need to know that after months and months on a certain pill, addiction, no matter who the person is, is something that needs to be talked about. Your body no matter what gets used to the medicine and will continue expecting it even after you have stopped taking it.
Helping The Doctors
What else can be done to help control the addiction from the doctors? Doctors need to be able to fulfill their side of the agreement when it comes to pain pills. They can’t expect a patient to be on these drugs for so long and that when they automatically stop giving it to you, you will be ok. Doctors can’t just all of a sudden start denying you. I believe that doctors, anyone that prescribes narcotics needs to be more educated in the reaction of an extensive amount of pain medications and then just stopping it. Doctors need to be taught how to handle withdrawals and everything else that comes with stopping a medication like that.
And just because you have been on narcotics for a while, does not make you an addicted. It’s what you do after you stop taking the meds that will be the defining moment. Will you become an addict or are you able to stop using the medicine? Whether or not you are an addict or not, there still should be some help from the doctors. They need to be held responsible for the writing of the prescriptions.And allowing you to have taken so much.
That’s How Many Pills?
When I was in the throes of my addiction, my doctor was writing out a prescription for 230 pills to last me a month. That comes down to 8 pills a day, 2 pills every 4 hours. Even if I was an addict, taking those much narcotics is bound to leave its mark on me. That is a lot of pills for anyone. But imagine taking that amount in 3 months, that is 690 pills in 3 months. Looking at it that way, that’s a lot of pills. Anyone is bound to become addicted to the meds one way or another.
I believe that doctors need to better informed and educated about narcotics and the long-term use of using 690 pills for 3 months. The body will naturally become addicted, it’s whether or not your mind can overcome being addicted that will tell you where you stand. The body will be used to having that many pills in its system and will go through withdrawals. So be honest with your doctor coming off the narcotics. Asking for help is the best thing you can do. Let your doctor know about your fears and what you need help with. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, after all, isn’t that what life is all about?
Here is another story that is needed to be told. This one is a lot more serious than the last one and I should have spent time in jail for this one. I am greatly embarrassed that addiction what so strong in my life that I almost threw my life away on one Saturday day. Let us begin.
Pacing, Sweating, and the Waiting
This is a normal Saturday in my life. My husband had worked the night before and is upstairs sleeping. My kids were over at my parent’s house for the night. And I, well, I was freaking out. Waiting for that moment when the police show up at my house and arrest me. Not that I didn’t deserve it. I so did. I deserve a few nights in the slammer for what I had done.
I don’t want to tell Eric what had done. He spends his nights working to put people like me in jail. How was I to tell him that this is what I did? I think that I was more nervous telling Eric than the police coming. I was pacing and feeling sick to my stomach. Any minute now I was going to throw up. Why did I do this? Why do I need drugs this bad?
Earlier In The Day
I woke about the same time as normal and was enjoying my coffee and quietness. I had been thinking of doing this now for a few weeks. Today was the day. I needed the medications and what is the worse that would happen? As I continued thinking about it, it seemed clearer and clearer that it was time to do it. No time like the present.
I had made up my mind. I was going to do it. I got dressed and headed out of the house. The whole time my hands were shaking. I something in my mind kept telling me to stop. But I continued forward. I was almost out of my pills and I needed more. Simple as that.
Back at home, I had done it but I needed to go back out. Now the paranoid feelings started and every noise I would jump. Every car that would turn up our street, I would assume it was the cops. I didn’t know if they would treat me any different being that I was cop’s wife or would I get the same treatment? I didn’t want to find out. But I was going to have to tell Eric. I couldn’t lie to him when the police show up. He will know then anyways,
Time To Tell The Truth
What was that? Was that movement upstairs? It must be Eric and he must be awake. How am I going to tell him what I did? I can’t. I need to stay calm and then when the police show up, I’ll tell him everything, Good, that sounds like a plan. I’ll just act all normal and he won’t be able to tell what I did.
Eric must have taken 2 steps down the stairs and I broke into tears. I was crying and shaking. Eric kept asking me what was wrong, what was upsetting me so bad. I needed to calm down just a little bit but I tried and couldn’t handle it anymore. I needed, to tell the truth, but how?
Eric finally said to me to tell him what is going on, it couldn’t be that bad. I started to laugh and say “that bad? I’m going to be going to jail for what I did”. Shocked, Eric didn’t know what to say. He just sat there till I spoke. And when I opened my mouth, it all came out, like a rambling river. I couldn’t stop it and I felt so much better when I finally said it all. But yet I was sick to my stomach the entire time. Here is what I said:
“I know that I can go to jail for what I did but I couldn’t help myself. I need more pills and this was the only way of getting more. I received an extra copy of a blank prescription pad script and I wrote out my own prescription and took it to Walgreens to get filled. I dropped it off this morning but I have been too afraid to go back and get it. Oh my God, what have I done”
Finally Said It
And just like that, it was out of my mouth and into the universe. Now that I had said it, it was real. I had received a written copy of a prescription and when the doctor gave it to me, there was a blank prescription on the back attached to the first one. Most normal human beings would have thrown it away or handed it back. But not me, I held on to it for months not sure what to do. And then this Saturday morning, I woke and felt the need to cash it in.
As I was telling Eric all this, my phone rang and it was Walgreens. The pharmacy that I took the prescription too. I couldn’t answer the phone, fearing that they knew that I had written it. I let it go to voicemail and of course, they left me one. I listened to the message, hands shaking. It was the pharmacy calling to let me know that there was something wrong with the prescription and they needed to talk to the doctor’s office on Monday. If I wanted to pick up the prescription, I could otherwise they will call and let me know when it would be ready on Monday.
I begged Eric to go with me to Walgreens to pick up the prescription. We did so and as soon as I got home, I burned it. I did not want anything lying around to remind me what a horrible thing that I did. I know that the addiction takes over you but I am a better person that. Or so I thought. What would drive me to the brink of insanity to write out my own prescription? I knew that it was illegal and not only could I get in trouble but so could my husband, being a police officer.
You need to understand that even though I know right from wrong, it doesn’t stop someone when they are under the control of a substance. Maybe that is an excuse but it true. When suffering from an addiction, your mind becomes all jumbled and you forget what is right and wrong. You only think about the addiction and what you can do to get your drug of choice. As you can see in my story, I went as far as breaking the law. Granted, I knew what I was doing was wrong but that didn’t stop me. I needed more pills, I wanted more pills.
Today is a better day that it was so long ago. I am not controlled by the medication like I once was. I am now in control of my life. It has taken me a long time to get here but being here is better than where I use to be. If you are suffering from addiction, please get help. Addiction is something that has a strong hold on you and getting out of it alone is very difficult. The first step is asking for help. And I will be happy to help anyone of you!
I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.
In the book, Whole Health Life, which can be found here, journalist Shannon Harvey wanted to find a solution to this problem that became personal when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that had no known cause and no known cure. After being told by her doctor that she could end up in a wheelchair, she realized she had to take action.
This book is a recap of her ten-year journey that cost her over $30,000 in conventional and alternative treatments, searched through thousands of scientific papers, and traveled the world to interview dozens of pioneering health researchers from leading institutions such as Harvard and Stanford.
In Whole Health Life, Shannon Harvey goes through everything from stress and emotions to healthcare and relationships and explaining how chronic illness is either effected by it or it affects the disease. Harvey has compiled one book for those that want to get healthy.
This book is easy to read and easy to follow. Harvey talks about how she was the following before finding out that she has an autoimmune disease:
No family history of heart disease, cancer, obesity, or diabetes
Low alcohol consumption
But even having those things in your life doesn’t protect you from getting a chronic disease. And after being diagnosed she ended up with the following that isn’t exactly what health insurance looks for. She ended up costing them hundreds or thousands of dollars and she ended up with the following:
Loneliness and isolation
Unbalanced diet, food allergies, and sensitivities
Harvey talks about having a chronic illness and how it changes your life. And not all for the bad. Even though she went through 10 years of hardship and sickness. she came out of this a better person and has written this book to help others. In this book, she goes through each chapter and at the end there are “key takeaways” or the main point of that chapter and a “getting started” to help you start this chapter of your life. The chapters are as follows:
- Lasting Change
I believe that this book covers all area that affects you when suffering from chronic illness. It is a well-written book and very easy to understand and follow. Shannon Harvey touches on all points that are affected in most people’s life. It is an excellent and thought-provoking read, with some very helpful practical strategies. For those interested in the science, there is a lot of useful information providing evidence for WHY it’s important to make a change. But, at the same time, Shannon’s style of writing is really engaging and easy to read, so it doesn’t feel overly heavy. I think that this is an important read and can help anyone on their journey with chronic illness.
Been awhile since I have written anything. Thought it was time to update you on my life and let you know what I have been up too. I’ve been writing a lot in my addiction series and it really made me think about everything I have been through.
Being an addict is hard no matter what. But being an addict with chronic pain and illnesses is even more difficult. I wish to God that some days I could be normal like everyone else and take pain medications. I really get mad and agitated that I can’t be that way. It isn’t fair. I should be able to take pain medications and be able to control my pain. But instead, I have to be careful with every pill that is put in my mouth.
Over this past weekend, I was really down and angry. I really wanted to be able to take a pain pill but knew that I couldn’t. I was mad at the situations and even more mad that I was still in pain. The surgery in December was supposed to work. I was supposed to be in less pain that I am in. Right now I would say that I am in about the same, if not more pain than before. I know that I still have a month or so till it could still work and take me out of pain, but I have my doubts.
My doctor has always said that if he could get me out of 80% of the pain, then his job was done. I don’t know if I will ever be that much out of pain, but it’s a good dream. I know I sound like a huge doubter, but remember that I have been down this road before. Having previous surgeries and not having a wonderful outcome makes me be the doubter that I am.
Went to the Dental School in Colorado today and it looks like they can help me. Good news it won’t cost as much as a typical dentist and they do “all the best” of dental work! I absolutely hate going to the dentist and I need a lot of work done. But I’m tired of not being able to eat what I want too. And I am tired of hiding my smile. It’s time to get this fix.
My fear of dentist started when I was in first grade and the dentist we were seeing at that time thought he would try something new. He thought that pulling out all my baby teeth and putting me into braces when I was in first grade, was a good idea. I barely remember losing any teeth, but I remember my teeth being pulled. Then I didn’t have the braces on for the normal 2-3 years. No, I had them on for 5 years. He thought that it would be better that way and he could correct my overbite doing it slow and steady.
Hate Going To The Dentist
This dentist would try the newest and the latest things on me and I would walk out of the dentist’s office in so much pain. Too much for a child. I wish that I never went through that but you can’t change the past. Learning at such a young age how to deal with pain. I remember getting baby aspirin every 4 hours because I couldn’t eat or drink due to the pain. My mom would call the dentist and tell him to prescribe me something stronger. I would be taking codeine when I was 7 years old because all I could do was cry from the pain. People wonder why I get so anxious and nervous around dentist or anything to do with my teeth. But they say that the teeth are the ‘gateway to your healthy body” so its time I get my fixed.
I decide that it was the time that I started to eat better and start to exercise. I started the last week with this new, sort of diet. It’s mainly eating correctly and drinking shakes and teas. I’ll do a whole blog post after the first month is over with and once I have how much I lost. Already, I can tell that I have lost a little bit but I want to wait till the first month is over with. I am using a company’s shakes and teas with eating correctly so it will be about those products.
I would like to lose my “surgery” weight before summer comes if that is possible. Last week, I started to ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes a few times a week. It has been awhile since I have exercised so I am taking it slow. I don’t want to do too much for my back. It has only been 4 months since surgery. But it is feeling good to do some exercise and moving my body. Let’s just hope that I can stay with it.
Until Next Time
Well, that’s about everything new for now. Nothing else new for now. So until next time………..