Taking Care

Imagine, September 2018 I woke up one day and said I don’t want to look like this. I looked up a diet I felt would work for me and I ran with it. I did Keto for two whole months by the letter before I told anyone what I was doing. I dropped 10 pounds then threw in some exercise. Over the course I lost a total of 65 lbs, and at my peak performance I worked out three times a day four days a week.  I felt FANTASTIC! I felt better I looked better, I started buying more clothes, particularly those tight fitting body con dresses. I pulled a whole, “wearing less and going out more”. Then something shifted, I hit a few bumps in the road in my personal life, I started having cheat days, and as for my workouts they became few, far and in between. Then the world fell apart.

COVID scared me, the news the number of people dying, I felt like I was in one of those dystopian movies I love so much. I am a single parent to an elementary student when the kids went remote the time I had been able to carve out for myself was gone. My daily routine went like this, wake my son up 30 minutes earlier than pre-COVID times. I got him started on his school work, left around lunch time for work. Worked until 5 pm went home cooked dinner, got him ready for bed and did it all over again. I went through every bit of my sick and annual leave, then went into leave without pay. Naturally with everything going on, my stress eating I started to put the weight back on. The stress during this time was unimaginable but I’m sure I was not the only one in this predicament. Needless to say there was no me time in this situation. I barely had time to think let alone carve out time for self care. While I was dealing with the stress from COVID little things in my health were going unnoticed. I stopped sleeping, I was up three to four times a night, when I was sleeping the quality of sleep was terrible. I felt terrible all the time, I didn’t have the energy to do simple things like get dressed for work. I became irritable any little thing would sour my mood. I was waking up with headaches weekly, it was bad. Yet still I muddled on silently. Fast forward December 2021 I start having palpitations, I’ve gone into A-fib before as a teen after a night of partying, don’t ask, so I was familiar with the feeling. In the beginning it would come and go, but towards the end of the month things went left. Episodes were not passing as quickly, I was spending days in A-fib instead of minutes. Still I muddled on, then came the shortness of breath and the final straw, thanks to my Apple Watch I was alerted that I was having heart rates of 115 bpm while doing nothing but watching television. Five days before Christmas and I am admitted into the hospital.

Sleep Apnea was wreaking havoc in my life, the lack of quality sleep put stress on my heart which lead to the A-fib being triggered. So now that I have this information my goal is to do something about it. The first time I decided to take control of my life it was for more frivilous reasons, this time it is purely to change my quality of life. I am using this blog to document my journey going further. This is a form of accountability to see my progress or setbacks to let me know what is working and what is not.  So today I am starting with  few rules for my journey.

  1. Listen to my body, investigate when something is clearly not right.
  2. Take action, be vigilent in treating things, or stuations that pop up.
  3. Take a moment to heal, not just my body, but my mind as well.

Sometimes I think about what I could have done differently, if I had paid attention to those early signs, would I be dealing with the situation as it is now? Doctors appoinmtments, A LOT of them, no leave, flare ups, reduced income. There are a lot of consequences for not taking care of yourself. I feel like I get caught up in the role that I play for others, I myself forget I am human and I have needs as well. So if you need this reminder too, pay attention. Regardless of your role in someone’s life you are not helping them or you by neglecting your needs!

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