This isn’t going to be an easy post. Usually this blog is dedicated to my son, and the joys and sometimes the struggles of parenthood. However, I am a mother, and as such the things I do or don’t do impact my son. Children are little mimics. There was a short but powerful video about children mimicking adults you can watch it here. If you tell a child not to smoke with a cigarette in your hand, you just look silly. Really hard to tell your little one to eat their greens when you are gobbling down anything but (that’d be me).
Right after my son was born my back started hurting really bad. Trips to the doctor resulted on multiple things, pinched nerve, overworked muscles, posture, carrying too much weight in the front, not enough muscle mass, etc. So after a few years of in and out doctors’ appointments and various results, I figured I would I have to deal with chronic back pain. During this time I quit smoking, and decided to gain weight on top of the baby weight I hadn’t lost. I noticed, but didn’t really notice, I feel anyone who has gained weight can attest to this. I also acquired a lot of dental problems, I lost a few teeth and other things that were never addressed started to become a real problem. Then, a few years ago I started to have serious knee pain. I couldn’t crouch down, or get from a standing to sitting or sitting to standing position. The pain was intense. Near tears every time I had to use the bathroom… but didn’t go the doctor, not right away. I went in for a physical, a few months after it started, and told my doctor offhandedly about the knee pain. After my physical, she looked at my chart. “Your BMI is over 30, you are 190 (supposed to around 130) no wonder your knees hurt. Lose weight. I left sad, but resigned. Lose weight. Sure. I couldn’t move how was I supposed lose weight. It is not like I eat a lot. Jeez. Stupid doctor. What does she know. I know I lied about a few things to my loved ones…I think I told my husband that I was around 180. (What is ten pounds between friends) I didn’t want him to know how close to 200 I was. I never mentioned my cholesterol number – who cares right? I would lay in bed nightly thinking “I wish there was a pill I could take that would melt the pounds, fix my teeth (did I mention I have crap teeth too), and fix whatever is wrong with my bones.” Nightly I would wish like Cinderella wishing to her fairy godmother that someone would wave a wand and by morning I would be healthy. Morning would always come and see me the same as ever.
One October during daylight savings I woke up when we got that extra hour and went for a walk. I walked a mile. It took almost an hour, but I walked a mile. I did the same thing the next day, and the next…I stopped buying twix candies and eating them at night. (I would eat a handful of the little bastards (mini sized) every night), I cut down to one soda, I started drinking more water, I switched to snacking on popcorn, I started eating fruit, a year later I was down to 160.
Yes woo 30 pounds that doesn’t seem like much to some people, but to me it was a lot. But, always a but, I was still getting pain. Now, not only was there chronic back and knee pain, my hips hurt, my wrists, my shoulders, my toes. Migraines (which honestly I had suffered with forever) were getting more intense. Well I don’t have health insurance for nothing, so back to the doctor. MRI proved no tumor so migraines are just annoying. A trip to the rheumatologist, more blood work; extensive medical history and now we have a diagnoses of psoriasis arthritis, this is an autoimmune disease. Like other autoimmune diseases it attacks healthy cells, in this case cartilage, there is also no cure. Psoriasis arthritis is body wide, meaning, instead of having arthritis in your knees or hips, you are can actually have it…everwhere. Which explains why I am having pain every where. Because this is an auto immune disease, it can also cause other problems, fatigue being the top one, which I had been suffering with as well, it can also cause high blood pressure, anemia, and a slew of other issues. Again, because it is an over active immune system attacking healthy cells. Awesome. Least now we know. As with most autoimmune disorders, maintaining is the key. You try to stop the disease from progressing. Anyone with MS, arthritis, lupus, etc, can understand this. The first thing they put me on made my hair fall out in chunks. Now, I am not that vain, but I have messed up teeth, I slouch (because my back is messed up), I limp sometimes, my hair is all I have left. I am not going bald. I went off that medication and I have been looking for a more natural approach.
At least I know now that the pain is caused by arthritis. There is a reason. And continued weight loss and exercise along with a few life style changes in diet will help not only that but the migraines as well.
Next issue: Again, I go back to the fairy godmother that will wave her wand and make me perfect. Just fix my teeth. One fell swoop. Doesn’t happen honey. I am terrified on the dentist. Given the option of a giant spider and a dentist chair…I choose the spider every time. No joke. There is no other way to smile again though. A spider isn’t going to fix years of damage. So I find a good dentist, thank the universe. I finally go in and see what needs to be done, and it is a lot. We knew it would be. It will cost a lot, we knew it would. But in a few years when it is all said and done, I will smile. You won’t be able to stop me. I will take pictures with my son. And not the closed mouth pictures you see now. BIG smiles. And I will have done it using my money, my dental insurance that I pay for through my job, my bravery overcoming a lifelong fear, my hours spent wishing I was anywhere else, knowing that it will be worth it in the end. That is what this is about folks.
I hope you stuck through to the end. That is what this about it. You have to do it yourself. No one is ever going to come down and do anything for you. If you have something that needs fixing you have to fix it. If you want to quit smoking, there are so many things to help now. I quit using Chantix. Some people do it cold turkey. Just because you tried once and failed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again. Keep trying until you do it. No one is going to wave a wand and make them less addicting to you. Want to save money, do it. There are ways to cut out spending, you would be surprised what that cup of coffee you get every morning would save you yearly. No one is going to hand you money. (not even the lotto – speaking of that stop buying and you save yourself money right there)
You have to be the change you want to see. After yet another fun night at the dentist I was driving home and had that empowering thought. Everything I have done, even if I haven’t been doing it with this thought, has been the result of being the change. I wanted to lose weight, so I started walking and eating better. I didn’t wait for someone to hand me a magic pill. I wanted to smile again so I went to the dentist and made that choice to start getting the work done, I didn’t wait for a miracle cure to come along. If I want the world to be a better place, then I need to start with me. I can’t wait for someone else to come along and make it better. It starts with me, it hopefully all gets passed down to my son. Another link for you, The Avett brothers – head full of doubt/Road full of promise – a great line from this song “Decide what do be and go be it.”
Your children mimic you. If you don’t take care of yourself, why would you expect them to? If you don’t believe in yourself why would you expect them to? If you don’t do what makes you happy why should they? We tell our children they can do and be anything, to reach for the stars…isn’t it time we listened to our own advice?