It’s finally April vacation!! For any teachers out there–we made it!!!! I swear, sometimes getting through from February to April vacation feels longer than three trimesters of pregnancy! Phew! 🙂 As I mentioned before, I took some additional time off, so I’m staring down the road of three weeks off! Well, three weeks off from teaching. There is no rest for the weary when it comes to a mommy, a wife, a graduate student, or a person battling a chronic illness. I took this time not to have a vacation (I wish!) but to have some time to reboot my system and to get back on top of my life. Things were starting to feel a little out of control, and I’m not willing to go backwards! I spoke at length with the amazing Dr. Gracin, and discussed my plan to try and regain some control. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Wake up every morning and get the kids ready for the day. There’s no time to sleep in and relax, my body needs to get moving, and keep moving!
Exercise daily…at least 60 minutes. Now, even as I type this I know how crazy it sounds. From August to December I worked out daily for at least 45 minutes. I didn’t miss a single day. It was hard, hard work, but I was dedicated, and I was strong. Then when I relapsed in December, I never put that piece back into the puzzle…and now I’m paying for it. Part of what is so unfair about having POTS is that the number one treatment is EXERCISE…however, one of the number one symptoms is EXERCISE INTOLERANCE. UGH. REALLY?! We’re not talking about intolerance like “oh, I just don’t want to do this….” we’re talking intolerance like your body physically shuts down and will NOT let you work out. A potsie body just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. It sometimes cannot handle the cycle of what happens when you work out. The heart rate, blood flow and blood pressure changes are too much. It feels awful. It took me MONTHS to push through that last time. I’m not looking forward to it again.
Clean eating…I’m going to be very cognizant about what I’m putting into my body. I’m not going to follow any specific diet per se but I’m going to make sure that what I’m eating is as natural and healthy as possible. This is going to suck…as I am a self proclaimed junk food junkie…here goes nothing! I will have some help along the way, below are two pictures of cook books that were given to me by my amazing family members (thanks Jody, Pat and Amy!!). The Deliciously Ella book was written by a young woman who HAD POTS. That’s right…HAD, past tense! She adopted a Vegan lifestyle and never looked back. I can’t wait to dive into that. The other book is a PALEO Slowcooker collection. Paleo is very basic eating, meats, veggies, oils and nuts…clean! I’m going to try and find some easy and family friendly recipes in there to make dinner time a little more manageable for me as I transition my eating.
Meditation…you know, who knows?! I bought a CD and I’m going to give it a try! A little relaxation never hurt anyone, right?!
Education…and no, I don’t mean my graduate course work, although I will still be working on that…ugh. I’m talking about POTS education. I have two books that I cannot wait to read (pictured below). I bought one when I first got sick and I was way too scared to read it…now I think I’m ready. The other “Dysautonomia, POTS Syndrome” I just recently purchased. This book interests me because it is written by a family member of someone who was diagnosed with POTS. It’s full of lessons they learned and ways they are coping. It is NOT medical, nor does it pretend to be. I’m interested to learn more about others experiences. I also am going to continue my blog and maybe even start some new projects (stay tuned!!) to help continue educating others about POTS.
Regain some hope…I’m not quite sure how to tackle this…but I’m sick of feeling hopeless…so spending some time solely working on my health will hopefully bring some hope back into my life ❤ I also plan to spend some time reading a little ditty given to me by the Applebee’s (love you guys!)…with a book titled “Hyperbole and a Half…unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem, and other things that happened” how can I not smile?! 🙂
Sprinkle in some doctors appointments along with classes, being a wife, a mommy and a POTS patient…yeah, I think that’s a pretty full plate for the next 3 weeks. My plan is to chronicle my journey and maybe at the end I’ll have some helpful tips to share!
Today is day 1…and so far, it’s not going so hot. My body hates me for making it work out, and my head is pounding because it wants the sugars and crap that it’s used to. It can only go up from here…right?! I’m not going to give up, I’m going to push through and get back on top of my life. I REFUSE to have another summer from hell. My kids don’t deserve that, and neither do I…
Keep your eyes open for another update in a few days! In the meantime…think healthy thoughts! 🙂