"The great thing about choices is that you have control over them."
I really like this quote, so often when things get overwhelming, we forget that we still have some control. It might not be the 'big thing' but there are always many little things that we still can make choices.
This past year I learned the hard way that stress was my Achilles heel. When I was young, I was a caregiver for seven years while my first DH struggled and lost to a brain tumor, during this time I also put myself through college, started a great new job and bought a house. Then I lost it all to a medical debt equalling 3 time my annual salary. That was thirty years ago and I can honestly say this past year was worse.
One reason it was so hard, was I had no control over some of the simplest things. I found this extraordinarily stressful. My health really suffered and I gained 15 pounds. I also had to acknowledge that I had suspected it would be hard but I volunteered to be caregiver for my MIL as she careened through grief. We started as two women with a difficult relationship and ended as friends. I learned friendship with her merely took compassions and understanding. I didn't have to judge or try to fix her, I simply had to accept her.
But being away from home, my husband and dogs; long road trips with her and estate problems worthy of late night TV dramas had its effects on my health. Stress was crushing me. Things I'd done for years like yoga and meditation became impossible.
I had symptoms that made me think I was dying. I finally went home and found a doctor. I was much healthier than I assumed but all my problems are probably caused by my weight and stress. I still need an endoscope, mammogram and heart echo this month but bloodwork was super.
A surprise was LPR, silent acid reflux. Online I found an NH study that showed 30+% of all LPR cases had extreme stress as a cause. My Dr put me on Prilosec and suddenly a myriad of symptoms started to disappear, sinus headaches and sinus infections were actually LPR! My sense of smell started returning and not in a good way! I still have a full-throat feeling but I see the specialist in two for an endoscopy. Hopefully, there will be a simple resolution.
The heart specialist is my main worry, I have an iffy-valve. I've had a mitral valve prolapse since I left the military a long time ago. It's been my constant friend, a murmur and a click as one doctor put it. But now it's changed and I'm getting swollen ankles... I specifically chose my doctor because she is part of the WakeForrest/Baptist Healthcare group, Wake developed a technique to repair rather than replace heart valves. Fingers crossed I won't have to see how cool that is!
So, here we are -me today.