I had to make my health a priority, so that I can deal with the challenges that growing older will bring if I am not a guardian and a defender of staying healthy and strong. Life keeps happening but it is a lot easier to deal with it in the gym than in a medical facility. My prayer is that I will always stay focused on what I really want and not let the distractions of this world defeat me. It is never easy, and my hope is that you discover solutions and strategies that will work for you.
Good for you, bringing your "issues" here for help and support! Being a nurse, I know nurses often do not ask for help when they need it; we see ourselves as the helpers, not those who need assistance. But, in truth, everyone can use a support system!
As a nurse, you probably have some understanding of the mind-body connection. In my practice, IBS responds very well to the stress-relief of progressive relaxation & guided imagery. You might want to find yourself a CD that would help you relax AND one that could help you drift off to sleep if you really want to change your sleeping habits.
Avoiding meals at work is not a good idea although, I understand why you would do that. I'd recommend you find a few things that really work for you -- no one but you can determine what foods those might be -- and keep them "at the ready" to take to work. Running on empty while trying to make decisions about others care can slow you down and get you into trouble.
As a single woman now, learning to take good care of yourself needs to be a top priority! I'll be pulling for you and hoping you identify some strategies that you can weave into your every-day life for health and wellness!
7/8/12 12:06 A
Sparks is a great place to learn how to overcome your challenges. Use the Spark Point page as a guide to the rest of the site.
My friend had IBS. I was with her a few times when she had attacks. Usually it was in restaurants, after she ate a big meal. She was really sick. At the time she was 50 lbs overweight, her two teenagers were acting out and she had a horrible boss. Over time she met her weight goal, her kids matured and her boss was promoted to another state. It took her awhile to notice that she hadnít had an attack in months. I donít know if it was reducing her stress or excess weight, but she hasnít had an attack in years.
It sounds like your stress is easing. As a nurse you know the importance of eating healthy foods at regular times. Caffeine, milk, high sugar and fatty foods, gas producing foods (beans, cabbage, broccoli), sorbitol and xylitol are known IBS triggers. My friend had a problem with spicy foods and mushrooms so each person must be able to tolerate different foods. Keep a food diary and note when you experience problems. Home care gives you a little freedom. Maybe you could stop in parking lots for about five minutes between patientís homes. Sit back and enjoy music while slowly eating a small portion of one healthy food, like protein. Plenty of water, fiber and exercise, parts of any healthy eating plan, also help IBS symptoms.
You mentioned sleep problems. Sparks has a 4-week Better Sleep Challenge that did wonders for me. It might be a good place for you to start. You'll get a trophy!
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7/7/12 9:43 P
This is SO outside my comfort zone, but I'm willing to try about anything to get my health turned around. I am 52 and have had lots of changes and stress within the last 3 or 4 years. My daughters are out and on their own, I went back to school and finished my nursing degree while working full-time and taking classes full-time, which is when my weight really ballooned. I grabbed food on my way from one place to another and literally never exercised - I didn't have time - or the energy. After finishing school, I found a job which keeps me very busy and work between 40-60 hours per week. I have also recently divorced, which has been in the works for many years, and the stress of separating assets and dealing with family has found me frequently eating my emotions. Right now, I have no major health problems. I am juggling hormones and fibroids but no diabetes, hypertension or big issues - yet. If I remain at this weight, it's only a matter of time until it happens. I have to do something. I was an athlete in my earlier years, very fit and never had a weight issue. I still enjoy being active but find myself either exhausted or without anyone to partner with. I also have IBS and, with my job, I try not to eat while at work for fear it will cause "belly issues" and, since I work in home care, this would be not only embarrassing but nearly impossible to address without compromising my performance. Consequently, when I finally DO eat, I am really hungry and it's usually rather late in the evening. My sleep habits are horrible, I've always been a night owl in an early bird world - have trouble falling asleep and then getting out of bed the next morning. This sounds whiny and full of excuses, and I'm probably rationalizing at least some of my bad habits. Surely I am not the only one to have these types of challenges? How were you able to overcome them? I'm looking for suggestions
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