Strapping on a Pair

16th December 2008

I have not been taking good care of my body.

For four years or so, I’ve had crazy, hive-inducing allergies along with a few other health problems that I’ve been alternately complaining about and ignoring, hoping they’ll go away. Today, I sat down and made a big batch of appointments, because it’s time to figure everything out. I don’t know why I’ve been afraid to do this, but I have. Nothing life-threatening is going on, but my quality of life hasn’t been near as good as it could be, and it’s silly to go on accepting that.

So. What about you? Have you been putting yourself off? Today, as a favor, I would like you to take better care of yourself. Please think of one thing you can do to make your life a little better, and take the first step. Maybe it’s as small as taking a walk, or as big as going back to school, or getting screened for the cancer that runs in your family. Do it, and let the weight lift off you.

I’ll be over here, thinking good things for you.

53 thoughts on “Strapping on a Pair

  1. Georgia

    Tonight my dad and I are getting manicures and pedicures together! I’m also going to get my lip waxed. I know those sound like luxuries, but I NEVER get them done, and they make me feel so much better about myself.
    I’m also planning on doing my work-out video again a couple times a week. It’s a mere 20 minutes, so I really have no excuse.
    Good luck with your appointments!

  2. Emsy

    Funny you should mention – tonight I’m meeting with a good friend I rarely see. She’s just finished a diet & workout (and blogging?) program that’s inspired the heck out of me, and she’s agreed to “sponsor” my efforts in that direction, AA style. And I could use it! I still haven’t lost my freshman 15, and my own chronic health issues are tired of whining at me.
    I consider this post a good omen. Thank you, and good luck!

  3. ChrisC.

    This is so timely for me! I, too, have been putting off a bunch of doctor’s appointments. And I, too, finally got off my ass today and made at least a couple of them. Baby steps . . .

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  5. Ariel

    I’ve started taking vitamins everyday- and I make the almost husband make sure I take them- because as soon as we are done with the custody B.S. that never ends we are planning a wedding and as soon as we are done getting hitched we are having ourselves a BABY! Because our little Emma needs a brother or a sister!

  6. Puanani

    I finally made a big shift in my life. It has been painful and scary, but I feel like I am truly tending to my needs. I have not done this in many a year. So now my days are spent healing my back through yoga and physical therapy, caring for my home and family and ensuring that we are all doing what is best for us. Good luck with your health and I hope all is well. Sometimes when we simply pay attention to the signs, a shift happens because of our enhanced consciousness.

  7. Amy

    I started running again, this time in the mornings so there’s nothing that can derail it. I’ve been dragging my feet about losing some weight I need to lose, so (finally) taking this first step feels great.

  8. Suz

    You will feel so much better…I finally got myself to the right doctor at the beginning of 08 and am finally feeling better after years and years of pain caused by some allergies! It was DEFINATELY worth it and I am feeling so much better now! Good luck!

  9. Heather-in-Australia

    I think your call to be less accepting of a lesser quality of life is FABULOUS. Less acceptance = greater fullness of life.

    I think it’s very good to be mindful of cancer that may seem to have a genetic link and screening is wise.

    I think it’s also very good to not use phrases like “runs in your family”, though. (Please know this is in no way an attack, it’s just a voicing of a differing opinion).

    That very phrase can be very wearing and sound as a death knell (even if it’s not) for those whom have lost a loved one to a particular cancer. I myself have been cut deeply by that very phrase (not now, not by your post, but by others years in the past, now it is a phrase I simply do not like) & I have seen many others be cut deeply by it. I am also quite mindful of my body, of my health, and I do have regular check-ups to keep a close eye on myself because of family stuff, but I would do that irrespective of family stuff. There is also a danger in saying “runs in the family” that people with no apparent family links to cancer will possibly feel they have a get-out-of-jail-free card whereas we should ALL be mindful.

    Very often, there is a belief that many of the more common cancers run in the family whereas, in fact, they more commonly occur where there is NOT a genetic link to be found. Statistics are very clear about that.(I’m an RN whom works in oncology, I lost my Mum to cancer when I was 22. Doesn’t make my opinion the only one or necessarily the right one by a long shot, it’s just why I hold this particular opinion :)).

    The answer, I personally think, for all of us, family history (which does not automatically equal heredity) of cancer or not, is to live healthily and well, have regular check-ups and be mindful irrespective of whether there seems to be that link or not.


  10. Maura

    I’d recommend getting tested by a naturopath allergist. The regular ones don’t test sensitively enough. As soon as I identified some food allergies (gluten!) felt loads better (even in ways I didn’t realize I felt crappy about). Good luck! And in following your inspiration, I’m going to start watching what I eat more carefully (sometimes I cheat on this food allergy business, and ultimately, I feel crappy a bit down the road.)

  11. carrie

    Good on you Maggie. I have suffered from chronic hives, allergies, asthma and all other sorts of not fun goodness that truly does affect quality of life. It’s taken me 3 years of every health care practitioner imaginable to get to the heart of it and start feeling better. It will be worth it.

    I do have to agree with Maura… food allergy testing would be a good one, finally figured out I have several food allergies and once I cut most (ok, so I’m not good 100% of the time), the hives were gone.

    I also agree with her that when I do cheat and eat things my body clearly reacts to (whether noticeable by a concrete symptom or not) I feel like crapola.

    Here’s to grabbing that pair by the horns? You know what i mean. :)

  12. Deanna

    My goodness, this is the second blog today I’ve read about doing the important health things. Tomato Nation blogged about her successful removal of a melanoma and implored her readers to get screened and get biopsies if necessary. I just made an appointment for a full dental workup and a full body mapping at the dermatologist. Good for you for taking care of yourself!

  13. beyond

    i would encourage everyone to see a dermatologist regularly. one biopsy from my last check-up came back positive for cancer. (posted about this a few days ago). not fun, but the sooner you catch irregularities (not just skin cancer), the easier they are to treat. so call your allergist, dermatologist, dentist, doctor, ob/gyn…

  14. sarah

    oddly enough, i just went to the allergist two weeks ago. my scratch test results were so “aggressive” that i have to get the rest of my allergens via blood draw, which is fine except that i have to go across town to a children’s hospital since they are the ones with the state-of-the-art blood tests. and now i’m getting dust mite covers for my bed for xmas instead of a cashmere bathrobe. boo!

  15. Susan

    Sigh…I haven’t been to the dentist since I lost my dental insurance in my divorce three years ago. I am a really fanatical about brushing and flossing, but I need to make an appointment and suck up the expense.
    Thanks for the nudge, Maggie.

  16. Cindy

    A few months ago, my right shoulder started feeling tight. Then it felt like I had it scrunched up against my ear. I felt like Quasimodo. I let it go. Then I developed an eye twitch. Next came the twitch in my cheek. My neck hurt when ever I turned it to the left. I let it go this way for months. Finally, last week I went to an acupuncturist (first time) and I feel great. My neck is even skinnier.

    I don’t know why I put it off for so long. It’s stupid. Why don’t we feel like it’s OK to actually take care of ourselves?

  17. Erik

    I thought men weren’t supposed to see a doctor unless death was imminent. I’ve been putting off my regular checkup now that I’m old enough to require some of the more unpleasant tests.

  18. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Good for you! Hubs gas been in allergy shot for a while and it made a world of difference.

    As for what I need to work on? I am not sure if you know this but I have a sleep disorder, and I have been on mess for a few years and things gave been VASTLY better, but I have been sloppy about getting to bed on time again. Just need to get back there in the zone.

    Oh yeah, and exercise blah blah blah.

  19. Riayn

    Looks like this week is the week to improve our lives. I have started walking every day and thanks to a new WiiFit, now working my butt off in the living room three days a week (I am building up to every day).

    Best of luck getting your health issues resolved.

  20. tessa

    thanks for the post.
    i just had a long conversation tonight about how i can work on expanding self-love part of taking care of myself while diminishing the part that, for me, is so traditionally tied to numbers (miles i can run, pounds i weigh, size pants i wear, ugh). here’s to working on feeling good for the sake of good feelings.

  21. Melis

    I am thinking good thoughts for you too!
    My thing: biting the gd bullet and doing a few things to solidify my hard won independence from a clingy ex-husband.

    Doing it tomorrow! Yay for getting a set!

  22. Claire

    Man, I had a cough for about 3 weeks and it combined with a sore throat to give me this weird earache when I swallow. My son got sick so I just put it all on hold but I have got to figure out why it hurts so much. It’s funny how moms can put themselves on hold when other people need you more.

  23. jen

    This is top of mind for me. In 2008, I finally divorced my husband (starter marriage extraordinaire) and got my life back. I also lost my mother last month, six months after a lung cancer diagnosis.

    And then there was the short-term tenant who gave a key and security “pog” to her out-of-state boyfriend without consulting me.

    I am ALL ABOUT the preventive care right now.

    I’m getting back to eating mindfully.

    I’ve signed up for two weekly dance classes starting in January. I used to be a dancer and now I’m a goddamned klutz. So…personal fulfilment + exercise = w00t!

    I’m trying to shift my 2009 budget to include at least one massage a month. At the point, I consider it a medical expense.

    Me and my chiropractor, who is also a nutritionist, are now BFFs.

    And thanks to your reminder, I will see my dermatologist after the first of the year. Because hives suck. (She has fixed the problem with a topical cream before…I just haven’t been back, and I should’ve been.)

    I will also remember to be grateful that I am able to take these steps…I have never been so thankful to have a decent salary and good medical benefits.

    Returning your good thoughts…

  24. Jami

    Just because you can survive with how it is now, doesn’t mean you should! I know that everyone around me likes to believe that if you seem mildly decent, then why bother doing ALL that extra work to be at your best? This is so weird to me! Recently, I have started an adult tumbling class, yoga and some cardio. I feel better then I have since college! (that would be before 2 kids and a mortgage)

    Props to you Maggie and thanks for the much needed encouragement!

  25. fruitlady

    Good luck with your testing! I’ll be interested to see what your tests turn up. I have a friend who suffers bad with hives and turns out she is gluten intolerant.

    I have actually spent the last year leaning a bit too much to the other end of the spectrum and going to the Dr. for every little thing. It doesn’t help that my Dr. is an osteopath and I get an adjustment every time I go and can talk about whatever ails me as he works in a general practice office.

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  27. jodimichelle

    I just got done with a pilates workout DVD that has been staring me in the face and mentally challenging me to get off my butt for the past few months. This along with reading Mother Daughter Wisdom by Christiane Northrup after going through some very tough growing pains in my maternal relationship which unfortunately resulted in a pregnancy diagnosis of gest. diabetes. I was so bent on taking care of someone who, in my own estimation, left me high and dry/abandoned me that I ignored my body to the point of risking my childs birth and health. I knew this as I was doing it but I was so afraid to stop the cycle and say the truth out loud that I just kept going. Healing is a wonderful thing. 7 1/2 months post birth, I’m finally letting go and changing the direction of my relationship with my own mother, but also my children so that I can break the cycle for their futures.

    Good thoughts all around. Great post.

  28. Why Mom Drinks Rum

    I just went through the allergy testing…turns out I’m NOT allergic to shellfish. Well dear doctor, please tell me why my THROAT SWELLS UP THEN!!!

    Anyhoo, I need to book a full physical (it’s been 9 years) but I’m delaying. I hate them. HATE HATE HATE.

    Maybe in the new year?

  29. Robert Stockham

    I put an offer in on a building that is condemned. We plan to renovate and make it green. I have been on pins and needles waiting for the offer to come back-secretly kinda hoping it would be rejected as we are spending our reserves in this economy to buy condemned real estate. I read your post, and as if on cue, the postman rang the bell with the signed acceptance. I won’t be scared anymore…

  30. Tyrone

    Good for you. I’ve been putting off making an appointment for a laser treatment for rosacea. I just called and booked a session for January. Thanks for the reminder.

  31. Sharon

    After a year from hell, health-wise, I think I need to strap on a pair myself. I have gained nearly forty pounds, developed sleep apnea(!!!!), been diagnosed with anemia and two forms of arthritis. And I’m only 44! I sat down after reading your blog and made an appointment with my doc for January 2nd. Time to find the old me inside this wreck of a body. Thanks!!

  32. Sara

    I quit my job last week after two and a half years of unhappiness and feeling mentally stale. In addition to the emotional sludge, I’ve had chronic back pain and semi-regular digestion issues. Both were pretty much instantly gone after giving notice. I feel lighter, I feel more positive, I feel – ack – excited about life again. Why did I put up with such a crappy job position for so long? Because I didn’t think my own little company could take off. Now that I’m out on a limb, I feel like it could actually work, and I have the time to focus on it properly, so it most likely will. Yay for a clean slate in 2009!

  33. Cindy

    Thanks for the nudge. I need to do more exercise and I always have an excuse for why I “can’t” – too tired, busy with toddler, busy with full-time job, need to clean the house, need to do Christmas cards, etc. It never ends. I even have a Wii Fit. I just have to use it.

  34. amy

    I am going for a check up and to the foot doctor. So flipping sexy huh? I have a messed up heel. Perhaps a spur. I just keep ignoring it and stuffing my hooves in painful albeit gorgeous shoes. Yes- this is the year I start to take care of me again too. xo

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