Thursday, March 27, 2014
I have been asked by one of my readers to offer an update on my health. Back in 2010 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I have discussed my path of healing on this blog. Please check it out if you haven't already. The short version is that I have healed the Hashimoto's through natural means: gluten-free diet, supplements, staying away from inflammatory foods, people, and lifestyle, managing stress (as a new-ish mom this is the hardest one by far), managing hormonal imbalance (another tricky one), engaging in regular exercise and yoga to mention just a few examples. I have never been prescribed medication but my naturopath was perfectly willing to do so if it seemed like I needed it. I just didn't need it. (Notice I said "healed". I don't even know if doctors would approve of me using this term for this particular condition, but I happen to believe you can heal Hashimoto's).
My latest lab results show completely normal thyroid levels. I am thrilled! It is so cool to have validation for the natural healing path I've taken. Hurray! While my thyroid is looking good these days, my adrenals are still imbalanced so stress management and proper nourishment are very important for my overall well-being.
My latest challenge has been addressing monthly hormonal changes that affect my mood, my sleep and my energy levels. I recently went on Zoloft (an anti-depressant) in order to better manage the low moods, insomnia, and fatigue I was experiencing. I also use a plant-based, bio-identical progesterone cream regularly to offset the rollercoaster ride my hormones take each month.
I was very resistant to them at first because I so whole-heartedly believed (and still do) in the power of a natural approach to healing, but the meds have helped a great deal. They offer me more of a buffer for dealing with life's challenges and stresses, especially as a married, working mother raising a two-year-old son. Balancing the needs of my relationship, my work load, my child, not to mention my own health and well-being is a constant dance. Sometimes I do it very gracefully and other times I'm tripping over my own feet. But I have a lot of tools for managing the day-to-day stressors; the meds being a powerful one.
For me though, the most powerful tools for healing are my spiritual practice and exercise. My yoga practice used to include two, three, sometimes four or five restorative classes a week, daily meditation, and journaling. I just don't have the time for a regular spiritual practice these days--or regular exercise for that matter, but I do the best I can. Lately, I've realized that acceptance of where I'm at right now is a powerful healer. Resistance only causes stress which causes inflammation which wrecks my health.
For now, the anti-depressants, hormone cream and other lifestyle practices (listed above) will have to do. Some day in the near future I hope to be able to engage in a more regular spiritual practice, shift the negative thinking patterns that I've learned over the years, and get off the meds altogether, never to return. But for now, this is what I need in order to have quality of life.
I think that is the message I want to hit home with this post: you have to find what works for you. There are wonderful books you can read, doctors with whom you can work, diets and yoga practices and medications to try...but ultimately you have to make the call as to what will work best for you to feel a sense of well-being and gratitude and grace in your life.
Trust yourself. Take the time to listen to yourself and your heart. They will guide you. They really will.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
I just read my blog post from Feb 2011 about how I slept 12 and 13-hour nights over a week's time and I just want to whiz right back there and get some of that good, deep sleep again! Oh, how I've missed my sleep! My adrenals are soooo tired! My little toddler speeds around the house every morning while I feel like I've been hit by a truck. .He makes me laugh though and I am deeply, deeply in love like never before.
After re-reading some of my old posts I am reminded of my own wisdom and perseverance and knowledge with regards to healing, growth, and change. Since becoming pregnant and giving birth I've experienced new ups and downs as well as reminders of old symptoms and struggles. It's been quite a journey and I look forward to sharing my stories of relapse, renewed healing, and lot's of growing and changing.
Thanks so much to all who have been reading my blog over the years while I've been away. I just finished reading your posts tonight and feel so inspired and honored by what you've chosen to share with me about your own journey of healing. I look forward to hearing more and sharing more.
Stay tuned! I can't wait!
P.S. New pics and quotes coming soon!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Today I took our 13 and 1/2 year-old dog, Penny for a walk through our neighborhood. For an old girl Penny can definitely trot right along with me at a pretty good clip most days, unless her arthritis is acting up. She even acts like an excited puppy when we bring her home a chew bone to devour. She will take it into her mouth and toss it over and over again in an attempt to get us to throw it and play tug-of-war with her. It's awfully cute and rarely can we resist her invitation to play. In other words, Penny is in good shape for her age and can play and jog with the best of them.
As I reflect on our walk today, I realize the range of emotions I found myself experiencing--from mild frustration to appreciation. I am grateful that I was aware enough to notice these subtle variations and that I was eventually able to make the choice to enjoy and appreciate Penny's "lessons." She’s a wise teacher; our pooch and I love her for it. Our walk was just a metaphor for life, really. At any moment we all have the ability to make a choice about the kind of experience we're having. And, of course, we are better able to make positive, self-affirming choices when we are well-rested, well-fed, and making time for our loved ones and ourselves. But it can be such a tricky balance and so inconsistent. One day we have awareness and the next we get impatient and try to rush things along just to get through the day.
About 4 years ago, I found myself on crutches after a knee injury. I didn't know Penny then, so I didn’t have her gentle reminders to guide me down the more “enlightened” path. I worked as a college counselor and my job entailed walking from building to building to make "house calls" to colleagues or to find resources for students. Doing my job on crutches was a real challenge, especially considering that previously I would race around campus mindlessly trying to zoom from one place to another to get as much done as possible. The crutches were a gift and I knew it, but boy, did I resist the experience! I was cranky about it for a long, long time until I finally made some adjustments (asking colleagues to come to me, giving myself extra time between appointments, etc.).