“You Need to Change Your Life”

A week ago I had another appointment with my naturopath. She’s been treating me for my anemia and I have to say that I’ve been feeling a lot better in the past six weeks or so. I’ve still got a long way to go, however, but at this point, any progress is a good thing. The fact that I’ve started running again is proof positive of how much better I’m feeling. I’m getting my life back, finally.

Of course, there’s nothing like getting engaged to the man of your dreams to vastly improve how you’re feeling.

My appointment on Tuesday was interesting. Based on my current symptoms and the amount of stress in my life, she’s now concerned about my adrenal glands, and the possibility of adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue on top of anemia would be a bad mix. So she’s got some recommendations for me.

1. Cut out the coffee.

I told her that this one wasn’t going to happen forever. I love coffee too damn much to give it up forever and ever amen. So she wants me to take a “coffee vacation” to take some of the further stress off my adrenal glands.

2. Cut out processed white sugar entirely.

I have an issue with sugar; this I know. I can’t seem to just eat a little sugar; if I cave and have a bit, then it always turns into more and more and more. White sugar is just plain bad for everyone; eliminating it will be a good thing for my health in general.

3. Cut out wheat.

This is unconnected to my adrenal glands; this is based on my own symptoms that I’ve been tracking for the last little while. It’s not a true allergy but rather more of a sensitivity. I do hope to reach the point where I’m able to occasionally enjoy a little bit of wheat here and there without it adversely affecting my health; but I guess time will tell.

4. Increase my levels of self-care.

It was pretty eye-opening to talk to her about my stress levels and how busy my life is in general. Our appointment turned into a counseling session on stress management and self care. Apparently I’m not very good at either. We talked about what I like to do to relax and reading came up. Reading is something that I’ve always loved to do, but I rarely make time for lately. So now I’m on a “doctor-prescribed” reading program. She has ordered me to dedicate 1% of my day to self-care and relaxation, which amounts to approximately 15 minutes per day. Surely I can commit 15 minutes per day to self-care and relaxation?

This one is going to be a challenge for me, I admit it. Usually I am going, going, going and then when I crawl into bed at night, I collapse. The life of a single parent isn’t easy; I know that there are plenty of you out there who can relate. From time to time I do manage to squeeze in a little reading; but honestly, when I’m crunched for time, that’s the first thing that gets crossed off my list.

At one point my naturopath looked me in the eye and said, “You need to change your life.”

This is going to be a challenge for me, I’ll admit it. Because here I am, a week since my appointment with her, and I have yet to curl up with a book before calling it a day. I need to start taking this self-care issue seriously. It’s going to take some work and it’s going to take some time to get to where I need to be…but I’m hoping that I will get there.

I’ve got some serious work to do.

10 Responses

  1. You can do this! You are so used to doing everything for others, that doing for YOU is incredibly hard Focus on it a little bit each day and you’ll feel the difference, I am sure. 15 mins a day, even, is so worthwhile!!

    • I know that she’s right…self-care is always the one area that I slack on the most, in my effort to get everything else crossed off my to-do list. I’m definitely going to make it a priority going forward.

  2. I just started with a new chiropractor who noticed I have a corn sensitivity. I think it’s easier to cut out wheat than corn. Though I tend to avoid high fructose corn syrup, that crap or other corn additives sneak in to almost everything!

    I too was warned about adrenal fatigue. I don’t drink coffee, avoid caffeine and try to avoid sugar and most processed foods. Still… as you say, this is the life of a single parent and one half of a long distance relationship! It is NOT easy.

    Sending you good health and listening closely. I need some self-care too.



    • I was on a crazy elimination diet all last summer to treat candida, which meant no wheat, dairy, or sugar — at all! It cured the problem and I thought cured my sweet tooth…but then Christmas hit and I seriously caved in to the chocolate.

      I didn’t realize how stressful my life was until the doctor and I started talking about it and she pointed out all the ways my life is stressful. Even the things I do to “relax” (like running) stress the adrenal glands! Yikes. I guess the message — loud and clear — is that I need to learn to slow down…

  3. I am having the same problem right now. My therapist, psychiatrist, and case manager are all telling me the same thing on repeat.

  4. Given that I share custody 50/50 with my ex, you’d think that on the days I don’t have the kids, I’d be able to spend a little “me” time (the self-care you describe). And yet… nope. Somehow, the time never materializes. When I don’t have kids, I have all the chores to do that I can’t do (at least not easily) with the kids around. Reading? Watching a movie? Dinner with friends? What’s *that*?

    When you figure out how to make it happen, please let me know.

    • Yep, that’s exactly the pattern I find myself in as well. My nights “off” are generally spent playing catch up on chores. Last night was another big “fail” in terms of curling up with a book at bedtime…seems like I just can’t seem to get into that habit…

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