It was in mid-March of 2016 when my body started breaking down. It caught me by surprise because everything had been going well. I was launching my website and was almost at the end of my Amazon self -published mini novella. I figured starting off small was the way to go. And I still feel that baby steps are important as long as there are definite end goals and solid reasons for all the blood, sweat, and tears that may be spilled along the way. I never thought the spilling would be literal. It is through strength that I write this and share it with you on a day that I feel well in hopes of empowering the ones still in the closet. In the end, it’s about perspective and being honest with one’s self and with others.
The coming of spring apparently uncovers much of what is hidden and swept under the rug during a winter of trying to survive and our bodies and minds working overtime. Bloating through guacamole had never happened to me before. I pride myself on my fresh and organic ingredients in what is a recipe no one can match me at. Yet there I was, unable to sleep. I took something natural to ease the pain and got a few hours’ sleep. A few hot beverages the next day managed to bring the bloating down and make life good again. In the past, my stress always interfered with my digestive system. This was no different. And I’d fight it and win, as I had done in the past.
MORE THAN A SYMPTOM AT A TIME
What made this harder was that I didn’t have time to battle one symptom when another showed up. I had multiple symptoms at once. Then they just disappeared. One night, I got a very swollen upper right lip and rushed to the emergency room at 8 in the evening. Of course, my turn in the queue was very low because it was a trivial condition that merited category 4 of 5 importance. After 12 hours I got seen by the urgentologist who gave me some cortisone, Zantac, and benadryl and a referral to the allergist. The allergist seemed very capable and automatically said I had no allergy and made me do a full battery of immunological tests, saying it was a protein with almost perfect certainty. The tests were negative. He was speechless. He is still waiting for me to get inflammation or hives in many places at once and goand do a blood test within 12 hours of the initial symptoms. I have had symptoms of bloating since along with ones of swelling and hives in weird places in my body. One night there was a bubble popping out on my forehead. It happened again the next night. I saw the doctor the next day and it hasn’t appeared since. Reassurance from someone you trust makes things go away. At least for a while.
It was at this point that I dug real deep and decided to take charge of my negative thoughts and let my brain send positive messages to my body. It was an uphill battle, no doubt. It took small moments. It took slight thoughts that made my brain and thought pattern take a leap away from the present toxic existence. These included watching something different on TV, walking and taking pics at night, thinking of and planning my next vacation, etc. Every time I felt a symptom, I’d try and positive think it away.
IT’S ALL IN OUR PERCEPTION
Throughout this learning, I was honest with myself and looked at the problem from many perspectives. Trying to overcome defeatism is the hardest thing in the world. Below are the typical symptoms triggered by stress and also the 3 main factors of our everyday existence that contribute to health risks. And like everything else, none of us are immune to these. Like an addict, we have periods of time that we go down the healthy path. But we are always at risk for a relapse.
We need to define what a virtuous path means for us and use it to build our end goal. I’m no magician to anyone but myself. But opening that window to empowerment requires the help of friends and others. Battling our demons is strictly up to us.
UPDATE: My final diagnosis (by 3 doctor’s no less) was Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It is believed to be caused mostly by stress, which then affects your digestion. It becomes difficult to break down soluble fiber. You need to stay off anything in the cabbage family and most fermented products. Acidic products also make it difficult to digest.