The next part of my series will focus on fitness goals. Everyone needs to be healthy and sometimes that requires sacrifices and determination. The harder the goal , the more people will get let down. People sometimes see fitness as an unattainable goal but it should not be. Health should always be a priority. Start small, but make your goals ever changing. Then you can make the change to a better you.
Part Two: Taking Your Health Into Your Own Hands
“You have a severe upper respiratory infection. You also have strep throat.”
But what about the migraines I have been getting?
“They seemingly get worse around the time of your menstrual cycle, so there isn’t much to be done about them. I would suggest Excedrin with caffeine.”
~Two Months Later~
“You have a severe upper respiratory infection, but what else is the matter?”
Well. I’m having problems with food. I get heartburn a lot and I eat a lot of dairy to cover up the acid because pills don’t really work. And I get a series of migraines for five days right before my menstrual cycle.
“So it’s your PMDD, but there isn’t much to do. As far as the heartburn I need an upper GI exam to determine if you have acid reflux.”
But I don’t have insurance.
“Well. It’s up to you then. I can tell you what I think you should do, but it has to be your decision.”
About a year ago is when this game started. A series of upper respiratory and sinus infections with strep throat. Followed by a week of migraines that came precisely on schedule with my pill pack. Since I got strep throat that one time, which I had never had it before, I began a road of health problems galore.
My sinuses were so clogged and inflamed that the doctor prescribed be a steroid nasal spray. That spray changed everything.
I had been on an over the counter nasal spray for a little bit before I went to the doctor. He recommended that I use this steroid nasal spray to clear the congestion as well as fix the swelling. Unfortunately for me, the spray did nothing but make my nose bleed and burn. And thus, made the clogging and inflammation worse. I gave it the ten day duration with no avail, until finally, I gave up on it and switched back to the over the counter. I began using a neti-pot to help, which does, but much to my surprise and still until this very day, I cannot breathe freely without the help of nasal spray and decongestion medication. The strep throat itself made me feel extremely weak, even for weeks after the antibiotic ran it’s course. After that bout with strep, I have had five other upper respiratory infections. The same thing happens, the weakness and pain, and I find myself chronically longing for my bed rather than doing other activities I enjoyed.
I had had the migraines before because they came like clockwork the week before I was scheduled to have my menstrual cycle. Whether or not the nasal spray that was prescribed me made these migraines worse is yet to be determined. However, much to my dismay, after the bout of strep throat, they also became worse. And if anyone of you has had a migraine, especially one that lasts for at least three days, you know that you can barely function. I find myself taking massive amounts of pain killers, having blurred vision in one or both of my eyes and vomiting at least one of the days of the migraine. After the vomiting, I would end up ultimately going to sleep because no amount of pain killers would numb the pain.
My final symptom was that of chronic heartburn. Every single day I would eat and every single day I would regret it. The gurgling would start in my stomach and make me feel like I have to vomit. It would churn and churn until it made it’s way to my esophagus. Then at night if I was laying down, it would gurgle up into my throat and choke me. Using heartburn medication alone did not help, so I tried to off-set the acid my eating dairy. I got gallons of milk and would drink as much as I could until the pain stopped. When I ordered meals, I would try to get cheese with what I ate to stifle the burning sensation. I stopped drinking pop for a brief time. It became a constant struggle because I wanted to eat, but it was painful. So I would binge when I could to try and avoid the pain. Whenever the pain started I would eat something dairy related to put out the fire. As I write this, my esophagus is burning and I haven’t even ate anything.
The collection of these events has led to one ultimate thing: I am in poor health.
I’ve gained approximately twenty pounds in my battle with all of these symptoms. A good portion of the weight gain has to do with the binge eating because of the heartburn. Along with that it has to do with adding an unnecessary amount of dairy to my diet to make the pain of the heartburn go away. I’m chronically getting these infections that make it damn near impossible for me to breathe on my own without a burning sensation. So, doing hard, physical activity was becoming difficult, thus I stopped doing it regularly. Finally, the migraines put me down for a week every month; with two of those days ultimately leading to me being in bed.
This leads me to today. Last night, I made the decision that despite it all, it’s time to get back onto the fitness saddle, even if it kills me. I would probably be able to take care of these various issues if I had health insurance that covered all of the problems, but I don’t have that option. Everything I would need: a GI exam, a nose and throat specialist and possible neurologist, would come out of pocket. Thus, I am trying another route:
Lesson number two: Don’t let your situations determine your health, even if those situations are health related. I have given myself 60 days to lose 20 pounds in the hopes that a healthier, physical body will force all my other problems to sort themselves out.
I challenge all of you to do the same. The journey will be hard, but we can do this, together. If any of you are trying to maintain your resolution to get fit, I will be there to help all of you in any way that I can. Together we can do this.