October 30, 2014

If you have your health, you have everything

I know this for a fact. If you have your health, you have everything. My husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age thirty. We had been married for five years. We had a five-week old son. Good health is something we took for granted. We were young. You never imagine you will get a progressive disability. You grumble about paying your LTD contributions. You never imagine actually needing it. You feel invincible, like the world is your oyster. Then something happens. We've seen it with us. We've seen it with our friends and family. Cancer. Heart attack. Mental illness. Drug overdose. Life is short. Life is fleeting.

What doom and gloom to write about on Halloween. Forget about scary.  It's plain depressing to think about mortality. Especially your own. But in the end, we all face the same fate. Taking care of yourself (eating right, exercising) plays a major part in your continued good health. Unfortunately, whether you get cancer or high blood pressure isn't always in your control. You can do what you can, but you can't fight your genes. Both my parents have glasses, it was inevitable, no matter how many carrots I ate growing up, that I would eventually need glasses. Then there comes plain bad luck. If you've done everything right, have no family medical history, and still get sick.

The worst part is not knowing.

There is something wrong with me. About a month ago, I had several episodes of faintness and dizziness. I just didn't feel well. I went to my doctor and my blood pressure was very low and my cortisol was high. I figured I was stressed out. There's been a lot of stuff going on at my work over the last year. My doctor gave me a prescription and told me to eat two oxo cubes a day to increase my salt intake. I still don't feel well. I'm so tired I can barely get out of bed in the morning or keep my eyes open at the end of the day. I get a flushed face and my head feels like it's about to explode. My mouth, face, and hands feel numb. I'm worried there's something serious going on. I feel best lying down. Not exactly a permanent solution.

Good health is precious. If you are healthy, never take it for granted. Do what you can, while you can. Literally live life to the fullest. While I'm on a cliche roll... Eat dessert first.

Is it stress? Is it physiological? Psychological? Is it my job? I was fortunate to stay home with my kids for almost four years. My oldest son was in pre-school when I went back to work. My husband's health was stable and it seemed like a good time to go back to work. Ever since I started with this company, I was under stress. I re-entered the workforce in an administrative assistant position. I couldn't believe the tasks I was expected to do (wash dishes, make coffee) and how I was treated like a second-class citizen. I was yelled at publicly and overworked. When I had the opportunity to apply for another position, I took it. After nine months, I started a job in the finance department of the same company. My new co-worker developed an instant dislike for me. She bullied and harassed me. I told my manager several times and nothing changed. I worked for two years like this. I refused to give up and quit, to give her what she wanted. Now, tomorrow, is her last day in the department. She voluntarily decided to transfer. On Monday, she moves upstairs to work for a different department. I should be okay now, stress-less at the very least.

I feel like I'm burning from the inside out. It's hard to describe. But I'm a writer so I have to try. My forehead feels like it's about to burst, there is a tighteness and numbness around my mouth. I just want to lie down and hope the feeling goes away. I'm very worried, but I won't give up until I figure out what's wrong. If it's stress from my job causing these issues, my husband has encouraged me to quit. No amount of money is worth risking your health.

Life passes by too quickly. Why does it take a crisis for us to be grateful for what we have? To stop and smell the roses?

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