Stop Stressing Over Every Little Thing

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Part of my healing process included me changing my behavior; meaning how I experienced the world around me. I learned that I am in charge of my health. It took practice but I learned to say “no” to anything that did not resonate with me. I stayed away from drama; learned to speak up for myself and meditated daily. I pampered myself and put my needs first. I learned to love myself 100%.

I still do these things today. and strongly believe they are a big part of the reason I am cancer free over four years now. My journey back to wellness led me to other cancer survivors and people who write books about the mind/body connection. They all agree; if the mind is “sick” it will manifest itself in the body as dis-ease. It’s scientifically proven that long-term stress weakens the immune system.

Think about how your life is right now. Are you stressing over trivial bullshit? (And its ALL trivial bullshit!) Do you know that participating in drama is stressful? Drama is addicting. We can’t get enough of it. We engage in drama with friends (including gossiping), family, reality TV shows and the evening news. If you want to get healthy, stop it now! I mean it! Your health depends on it. Years ago I told a doctor I was too stressed and she said “stress is a part of life. Get used to it.”

Well, I’m here to tell you and her (if she were here) it’s NOT a normal part of life! You decide how much stress you are willing to deal with. Life is all about choices and we all decide what kind of life we want.  Participating in drama, whether it’s actively or passively, like watching it on TV, is a choice.

Ever since I made a serious commitment to live a happy life, no matter what circumstances were going on around me, I am healthier.

Try it for 30 days and see how you feel. Turn off the news. Tell people your living in a drama-free bubble and for them to respect your space. At first they will laugh at you and not take you seriously…until you walk away from drama, gossip and negative speech. You might have to spend more alone time for that month but you will gain a new BFF in the process… YOU!

Be well!

Inge

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My Body is One Incredible Healing Machine

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Yesterday I went to put my shoes on to take the dogs out for their afternoon walk; something I have been doing for years. It was chilly out so I decided to wear my slip on boots. Since I know I have a problem with my balance, I leaned against the front door to stabilize myself, bent over to pick up my left boot and lifted my left leg to put my foot inside. Before I knew it, I lost my balance; putting my left foot down to catch myself, I ended up smashing my big toe into the tile floor. The pain was intense to say the least.

Why didn’t I sit on the stool near the door to put on my shoes? That is the reason I put the stool there — so I didn’t have to stand while putting on my shoes. If I had just taken the time to sit down, I wouldn’t be in this pain.

I surveyed the damage. No visible signs of broken bones. My dogs looked up at me asking, “When are we going outside Mom?” They had no idea I did such a dumb thing to myself, they just knew it was time for their walk, so out we went. It was uncomfortable walking but I could stand it until we got back.

Thirty minutes later I was soaking my foot in warm water with sea salt. I know ice would have been a better choice, but I don’t like cold stuff on my skin. My toe was a little swollen but nothing seemed broken. I could wiggle my toes and it didn’t hurt to touch the skin.

I relaxed in the recliner for an hour. As soon as I got up and walked around, the pain was intense. I limped around and took a couple Ibuprofen and placed an ice pack on my foot, hoping it would ease the pain a bit. I stayed off my feet pretty much the rest of the night.

This morning my foot was better. It was bruised and I figured the worst is over. Looking at my foot got me to thinking how amazing my body is.  It’s made to heal itself even without the help of medical care. Eventually, I know my foot will heal on its own. It’s just a sprain.

Have you thought about your amazing body/immune system? Its working 24/7 to make sure no “foreign invaders” (like bacteria, viruses, too much alcohol, eating junk food or smoking) will hurt you. Just think about all the abuses you put yourselves through and your hearts are still beating; your lungs still take in oxygen. You get up every morning and do whatever it is you do and your body makes sure it happens.

Stubbing my toe on the tile caused my brain, via the pain signal, to alert my body’s defense mechanism to rush to the spot that was injured and bring along extra blood to repair the damage. It even caused swelling in the area to protect it from more damage.

That being said, it is up to me to make sure I do my part by feeding myself healthy foods, getting enough rest and exercising every day (even if its only going for a walk). Now if I could just remember to use my common sense and use the tools I have to make my life easier (like sitting on the stool to put my shoes on) my body’s repair system might be able to take a breather…

Be Well!
Ingebird

The Ebola Scare

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Who has not heard about Ebola these days? I’m guessing almost everyone, since it’s on all the local and cable news channels. I’ve read that the media is scaring Americans into thinking there is pandemic just around the corner and others complain that media is not doing enough to keep us informed. The latest news story is about the nurse in Texas who caught Ebola from her dying patient, even though she was wearing protective gear.

Catching diseases and dying from bacterial infections from a hospital environment is nothing new. Every time I was admitted to the hospital during my cancer treatment, I thought about germs (I admit I became a germaphobe and still am). Doctors are aware that the longer a patient stays in the hospital his/her chances of catching something unrelated to their illness goes up. Why? Because humans work there. Humans make mistakes all the time and that includes hospital staff. Another reason is, hospitals are full of sick people. In my opinion that’s what it boils down to.

Ebola is on everyone’s radar but there are plenty of diseases/bacteria/germs floating around, that have been around for years, not only in hospitals, but ALL public places. For example, let’s take restaurants. I worked in them for twenty years. How many of you wash your hands before you sit down to eat? Be honest, because when I was waiting tables, I rarely saw anyone. A customer might have gone to visit the bathroom, but since I didn’t follow them to see if they washed their hands; they might have just used the toilet and walked out. How many of you have been in a public bathroom and watched people leave the stall and walk out without washing their hands? I’ve seen plenty. It’s the same with employees. Just because there are signs posted for them to wash their hands, doesn’t mean they do.

Have you ever thought about how many people sat on the same chair you sit on while dining in your favorite restaurant? Do you think it’s sanitary? How about the ketchup bottle you’re using? The salt and pepper shakers? Salad tongs? Get the picture? Restaurant workers (at least in the places I worked) are instructed to clean these after each customer but many don’t, and if they do, they use the same rag all day long. Many restaurants do not have busboys and that means the food server who is taking your order probably just bussed a table and did not wash his/her hands before bringing you your food.  I know because I have been guilty of it. Don’t get me started about how many germs are on the money we handle.

Let’s go back to hospitals. I volunteer in one. I have a soft spot for this place because the hospital staff saved my life, but they are not perfect. They are human. They are understaffed and overworked. It’s a miracle there aren’t more problems. It isn’t just the hospital I volunteer and am a patient at. It’s all of them. I visited patients in other hospitals over the years and have seen some really scary stuff… as far as cleanliness goes. I’ve witnessed staff in all areas of the hospital from nurses to doctors to receptionists cough and sneeze in their hands and continuing working.  They ARE following the rules. They ARE covering their mouths. The problem is, they are using the same hands they just sneezed in to touch computer keyboards, or the handle on the drawer where the supplies are kept and even the patient. That’s how germs spread. No one is going to stop what they are doing to wash their hands every time they sneeze or cough, and frankly, I don’t even think they realize what they are doing. Time is limited. There are too many patients and not enough staff and “it ain’t changing anytime soon.”

It’s impossible to guarantee a 100% germ free environment when you are out in public.  Your home even has germs. Visitors bring in colds and flu, even though signs are posted in the hospital lobby for them to stay away. Nothing can be done when people choose to ignore the rules. Kids are walking germs. They pick their noses, sneeze and cough. They can’t help it. Their kids. And kids come with their parents to doctor appointments and to visit other patients.

So, the best thing you can do to protect yourself, as best you can, is to be proactive. If you see someone, especially in a hospital doing something unsanitary, call ’em on it. If you’re the patient ask the hospital staff to wash their hands in front of you or use the disinfectant gel. If they say they did, ask them to do it again. You can joke about it and say you’re a germ freak. If they refuse, ask for a supervisor. It’s YOUR health at risk, especially if your are immune compromised and many sick people in a hospital are. Wash your hands often. Bring along a small bottle of sanitizer. Don’t touch your face or mouth. Wear a mask. I wear one when I volunteer during the winter months because I don’t get a flu shot. I don’t want to bring anything to my patients or carry something home to my family. As a matter of fact, I decided while I am writing this, I will wear one everyday from now on.

Diseases will always be around. They cannot be stopped. The best defense against them is to take the offense.

To recap:  Wash your hands often. Use sanitizer. Wear a mask in public if you are immune compromised. And if you’re sick STAY HOME!

Be Well and Happy!

Ingebird