Monday, June 24, 2013

Rx: If in Doubt, Call the Doctor

This morning it is the quiet sound of the water lapping against the hull and the gentle swell of the tide turning that has me up watching the dawn come up over the hills of Galliano Island.  I am out on a boat for the next week and the timing of this trip couldn’t have been more perfect.

The last few months have taken a toll that only recently I realized had a physical component that needed tending. I knew that I was tired, not tracking people and information, putting stuff in places that I could never find again – but I put that off to stress or menopause. I figured I felt weaker because I wasn’t working out as much. I switched up my diet in another attempt to kick-start my body (Mark Bittman’s Vegan Before 6 ). I gained weight. Really? I give up dairy and meat for most of the day, eat more vegies and grains than ever before – and I gain weight? Drained, feeling crazy – I finally called my doctor. 
I had put off calling her for weeks. Everything seemed so nebulous. I was sure that she was going to simply smile at me, tell me to read up on menopause and get my butt down to the gym. I basically expected her to tell me that I’m lazy and if you don’t work on staying in shape – you won’t be in shape. That’s the talk I expected. And while all of that might be true – it was a huge relief to actually find out that my thyroid is acting up and I have a B12 deficiency. That might sound silly but the tests confirmed for me that I had made the right call. Literally. I didn’t feel right and now I had some confirmation.

A dear friend of mine wasn’t “feeling right” for months. Her appetite was off, she was feeling tired, having odd pains. Finally, she went to the doctor and they discovered that she had ovarian cancer. It looks like they caught it in time. Thank god she listened. Her story of feeling off had resonated with me -how do we know what to listen for in our own bodies?
For me, neither diagnosis is life threatening and I’m feeling extremely lucky that my schedule allows me to balance out the time needed for moving a bit slower than most of the people around me. I’m realizing now how exhausted I have been and I’m looking forward to getting back some energy as I – with my doctor’s help – re-balance some essential body functions.

I share this story with you because I think it is rather common NOT to pay attention when we feel out of sync in our bodies. I’ve talked to so many men and women who try to push through discomfort or ignore something that doesn’t feel right. Our bodies give us a lot of clues that optimal functioning is not happening but we often have to be hit over the head with empirical data (like a heart attack) or test results before we make a phone call.
This has been a reminder for me to not lose touch with what good and healthy feel like. I can only imagine as I get older that these small system changes are going to continue to happen.

How I respond – and sometimes how quickly I can course correct – may make a huge difference in how I feel.

1 comment:

  1. So good to remember. And glad you are feeling better. :)