A few weeks ago now fellow author Regina Cole and I decided to cheer each other on as we push for a healthier lifestyle in 2013. If you want to see my call to action post, you can check it out here. And here’s Regina’s blog on the challenge as well. We’ve been tweeting about it using the hashtag #HealthierMe13.
Today I don’t want to talk about weight loss or the general getting healthy race.
Today I want to talk about listening to your body.
We have this amazing tool at our disposal. Our bodies are a complicated, wonderful thing. No matter what you believe about how we became humans today, you have to admit that the cells and organs and tissues that work together to make us happen is pretty stunning.
In the last six months I’ve had some of the scariest medical stuff happen. I think it’s more alarming than anything else that’s happened to me health wise.
And you know what?
My body warned me both times that something was wrong.
Back last year I had severe pains in my stomach, just below my rib cage. The first few times it happened I assumed it was a byproduct of having one of the weakest stomachs out there. But after it kept happening I couldn’t ignore that something was very wrong and I needed medical attention. If you don’t know what happened, I wound up needing to get my gallbladder out pretty quick.
Two weeks ago I had the worst case of chapped lips I’ve ever had, and I know how bad chapped lips can get. Between doing rodeo, having a very outdoor active life as a kid, skiing and living in the desert I’m very familiar with chapped lips. I’m also somewhat obsessive about making sure I have lip balm on hand. My most popular giveaway is lip balm, actually.
Anyways, last week I knew something was seriously wrong. I developed deep, painful cracks in the corners of my mouth. I’ve never had a cold sore in my life and these were just wrong for that diagnosis, but I figured that cold sore gel on my lips couldn’t hurt.
For about five days I slathered my lips in some heavy duty moisturizing gel that was also suitable for people with cold sores. Over the weekend I developed blisters on my actual lips. I’ll spare you the details, but it was again crystal clear that something was very wrong.
I’ve spent the last week fighting off a skin infection that is neither oral herpes or staph, but something else I can’t pronounce. I have no idea where I got it from, but I’m kicking it’s butt and getting better with the help of some prescription antibiotics. Yes, I went to see my doctor, it was abundantly clear to me that I was dealing with something beyond my skill set.
The point of telling my readers about this is to encourage you to listen to your body. If something hurts, if it feels wrong, if it’s turning green and oozing pus, see a doctor. I’m one of the world’s worst about rubbing some dirt in it and walking an injury off. I hate the idea of going to a doctor, but even I can’t deny that there is a time and a place to entrust your health to someone else.
Chances are you’re like me and before these last few months the only time I went to a doctor was for a vaccination. Or maybe you’re on a first name basis with your doctor. Regardless, don’t be like silly me and let stuff get bad before you seek help. I’m learning. Maybe next time I won’t wait quite so long!
For your amusement, here’s a collection of my masks I’ve been wearing while moving my day job office. The benefit of the masks is so that when the infection was bad, people didn’t stare at me quite as much, it also keeps the medicated area protected from dust, my hair and getting spread around. I really had fun with these!