Health

This is a hard post to write. It might be a hard post to read. It might offend, it might confuse. And honestly, if it does either, I'm not really sorry at all.

I've had a couple brave friends confess to me lately that sometimes when I talk about my health (either in person or online), sometimes they don't know what to say. That they feel bad for what I'm going through and want to support me, but don't know how to do that, or what I need.

It's hard to talk to people who are chronically ill if you haven't experienced it yourself. (I won't speak for anyone with a terminal illness, as I very thankfully haven't had to go down that road myself). But it's not impossible. All you need is an open mind, and the willingness to throw away your assumptions or beliefs about what they are experiencing.

Before trying to explain what to say, I want to go through some basics on what not to say.

I guess this could be considered part two of what I needed to get caught up on writing about health-wise here. (Part one would be about the laryngeal granuloma.)

Adrenal fatigue

Have you heard of "adrenal fatigue"? There's been a lot of talk about it more recently in alternative health circles, but it's not just one of these flaky reasons to do more yoga and eat some kale. It's a real medical condition. 

[EDIT: I've posted a follow up to this here.]

[EDIT: there is now a second update here.]

[EDIT: I've just posted a final update on my LPR adventures. I'm going to lock the comments on this and the other LPR posts now, as I really want people to use the LPR Facebook Group instead of posting here (or emailing me) - you'll get much better responses and support there! ]

And now time for some health catch up...

I don't know how I'd missed this, but Dr. Brian Goldman of CBC's White Coat Black Art did a TEDx talk last year, and it's wonderful. It's called: "Doctors make mistakes, can we talk about that?" (The video is at the bottom of this post if you'd like to watch it in its entirety.)

On my health pilgrimage, and as part of working on my zine, I've been tracing back through my medical history, trying to connect dots between all the possible factors that got me into this state of less-than-ideal health. I've been researching root causes of various symptoms and ailments, and how they're all intertwined. I've been thinking back to all the various extremely traumatizing interactions I've had with healthcare practitioners over the years.

One thing is crystal clear: doctors make mistakes. And some of the really good ones are starting to admit it.

 I've been meaning to write this post for ages, to tell you all about another one of my little TMI secrets... I have tricky gums!

Tea Tree Toothpaste

By tricky I don't mean they are sneaking around setting up practical jokes, I mean my gums are temperamental and hard to keep happy. If I don't floss enough, they get all inflamed and bleedy. And for years and years, if I didn't use Colgate Total (ie. a toothpaste containing triclosan) on a daily basis, they got all inflamed and bleedy. So I used it for probably 20 years.

Ok, so I keep hearing people talking about "ease" and moving towards doing what comes with more "ease". The work I was doing before was mostly things that I felt came pretty naturally to me (being organized, mediating between different stakeholders, writing emails, planning), but work didn't feel full of "ease" by any means.

Socializing didn't feel easy. Taking care of myself didn't feel easy. Even when I left my job in the spring, NOTHING felt easy.

Resting didn't feel easy, thinking about what I wanted to do with my life didn't feel easy, I felt fucking stressed and anxious all the time, in between trips and visitors all through the summer. I tried to go take art classes, and that all fell apart quickly. I did creative projects at home. I floundered. And then a couple weeks ago, it suddenly hit me. 

I'm embarking on a health pilgrimmage. More on this later...maybe. I've also been working on my first zine, Chronically Yours, about living with chronic illness, so I've been doing a lot of reading and research about coping and support for chronic illnesses and chronic pain. I've found some really wonderful resources and readings, and some of them deserve full posts but for now I wanted to take a moment to share some of my favourites with you.

R&R: Reading and relaxation

#8 on my Life to-do list: Make a zine. Check!

Chronically Yours 1

You heard me right. After wanting to make a zine since my teen years, and never getting up the guts to fully write and publish one, I've done it!

Issue #1 of Chronically Yours is up for sale in my new Etsy shop as of this morning!

As I mentioned, one of the things I've been focused on this summer is self-care. Health (mental and physical), habits, diet, exercise, you name it I'm working on it.

I've been reading, journaling, and experimenting with what helps me feel better - trying things that are out of my comfort zone, and even outside of my belief system. Who knew real rest - not just resting because I'm already sick and worn out - was one of these.

I realized I hadn't really learned to rest

Flowers in San Francisco

I blame Jeff Rogers, Bon Iver, and a couple of inspiring friends (ie. my fitness idols) for what happened after work today: I exercised. 

Not just my occasional yoga routine, or slow lane puttering in the pool. I did a workout. I did a workout DVD. I did a workout DVD with Bon Iver. It involved squats, weights, and cardio, and some heavy breathing. Things that I haven't done in a long while.

From Huff Post

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