When someone says they want to get “healthy” what does that mean? Does it mean they want to eat better and exercise? …..Become more mindful? Meditate more? Treat medical conditions? For me I want it all. I want to have better sleep hygiene, treat my medical conditions (of which I have a few) the best way my doctors and I know how, exercise, eat well, and be mindful through it all. I want to appreciate myself better, nourish myself. Over the last 6 or so years however, it has become increasingly evident that this is not an easy task. I suffer from chronic illness. The two major illnesses that keep me on my toes are Interstitial Cystitis and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.
Interstitial Cystitis is also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome. There is a lot unknown about this disease but they know it’s painful and they know that it has all the symptoms of a bladder infection minus the high amounts of bacteria. Plus the symptoms don’t go away. Well, that is until you manage your diet correctly, take some medication, and have a machine implanted in your back that manages frequency, urgency and pain…at least for me, those things have cut the symptoms down by 50%.
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a complex condition caused by orthostatic intolerance, which means intolerance to change from the supine position to an upright position. This change in position causes an abnormally high increase in heart rate, often accompanied by a sharp fall in blood pressure. Patients are often unable to hold jobs or attend schools.
Being diagnosed is a journey within itself; it took 3 years to be diagnosed for my bladder disease. I don’t think I was healthy in any of the ways described above for a very long time. I lost motivation, hope, and I honestly was a ball of negativity. Those who have gone through such an experience can understand why. POTS only took a month to diagnose but the prognosis was grim. I was basically told I would have the same symptoms the rest of my life. Initially I grieved but with help from my family and friends decided to research the hell out of the disease and fight. I found the right doctor to help me and here I am. I went from bed rest to running 5ks, participating in a local boot camp, and exploring the world of spin class! It is a lot of work to make sure that I’m doing all of this within my body’s abilities, listening to my body when I need to stop, and maintaining a healthy state by drinking fluids and taking my medications BUT it’s brought me to a whole new level of happiness, which is what I believe is the best state of health.
This blog is for me, for when I become discouraged by symptoms to have my words there to push me through. This blog is for others, whoever is interested, I don’t know that I’m very motivational or inspiring but if I can share some good information that will help us all “get healthy” then that is awesome.