2015 started out great! I had so much energy and felt better than ever. I was on a new path with a new plan in mind. Towards the end of last year I asked myself, at what point in my life did I feel my best? I decided it was when I was in college. I was in good shape physically, medically, socially, and spiritually. I discovered that having one of these out of balance created issues in the other categories. For years I have struggled maintaining my medical needs while keeping up with daily life. I realized i needed to include my medical care as part of my day rather than thinking of it as something that is a nuisance I have to deal with. The method I created is:
My 6M’s to Maintain Awesome Dynamism While Living with Multiple Autoimmune Disorders. The 6 M’s include:
- Medicate- take medicine regularly
- Mobilize- move regularly
- Manage- maintain home, nutrition, marriage and finances
- Motivate- inspire others by sharing or inspire myself by doing something creative or socializing,
- Meditate– Pray, read the bible, or use mindfulness techniques.
- Maturate– Continue learning about my illnesses and grow by trying new experiences.
On January 1st I was cleaning and reorganizing my home. I was ready to make a fresh start after recovering from my last episode of Depression.
Two weeks later my father was admitted to the hospital. He had been having heart trouble for the past year. He came down with pneumonia and while being treated in intensive care they found his heart had gotten worse. They scheduled him for surgery. He lived though cancer three times and a triple bypass heart surgery. Through all his chemo treatments he continued working and was an active father. I just expected him to survive this also. I was in denial. He was 80 years old. How much more could he endure? A few days before the surgery date, he passed peacefully with his Bible next to him and his wife by his side. After all he had been through he was at peace.
About the middle of February I was feeling a little sick: some nausea, joint pain and a terrible headache. I assumed it was from the stress from my father’s passing. The next month I again had the same symptoms but worse. I also had dry eyes, mouth and nose and swollen glands. This time I went to the doctor. He said it was Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder which affects the exocrine system. I went to a Rheumatologist to confirm the diagnosis. She did blood tests to check for all the inflammatory illnesses such as Lupus, Sjogren’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Fibromyalgia. In addition she did x-rays to test for Psoriatic Arthritis. The blood tests came back negative but there were other markers indicating I had inflammation in the body and it was fighting something. She said since all tests are negative, it is labeled Fibromyalgia which is a non-specific inflammatory disease. Basically, I do have an illness but the blood did not indicate which one. She also diagnosed me with Psoriatic Arthritis due to an abnormal x-ray of my hand.
Well, now I have two more illnesses to deal with and another medicine to take. I really need to get going on this plan! Now, most people will probably say, why do you need a method to do what most people do automatically? Well, there is an issue called “brain fog”. This is a loss of mental clarity which can occur as a result of trauma, in my case Depression and chronic illnesses. It includes memory loss, confusion, and problems concentrating. I have suffered from this and hope by using a “method” I will be able to retrain my brain.
I have been taking one step at a time. Since the beginning of year I have worked on Medicate. I have to take different meds at different times of the day and also still test my blood and take insulin before each meal. I have trained my mind to take my morning meds as soon as I wake up instead of waiting until I am dressed and ready for work. This way I do not get distracted by other things. I am also trying to establish a schedule for the day to include all of my goals. So far i have accomplished most things on the list most of the days. There are a few areas I am still working on though. I am looking forward to progressing and reaching the maintenance goal! I’ll keep you posted.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)