Monday, December 31, 2012
Counting on the Best
In honor of the year closing and the tradition of new year's resolutions, look back on the year and consider what you would like to be different in the year to come. Many times an individual will use this time to turn over a new leaf, start or stop a behavior, or make progress on a long time goal. I'm not drilling on the same old boring notion, rather since this is a health blog, I'm going that direction.
Has the year been a good one for health or has it been full of illness? For those of us with chronic illness, we wish for every year to have good health. Let's also take the time to add on some new or continued behaviors to encourage good health. Perhaps exercising, eating healthy, reducing stress, following our doctor's recommendations better, complying with our medication regimes for a few examples.
I believe the mind and the body are connected, an issue in one area will appear in the opposite. Not only is taking steps to protect our physical health important, but so is protecting our psyche and mental health.
With chronic illness, we may not be able to change the diagnosis or even the prognosis, but we can take steps to improve the present or delay the inevitable. That can be physically and mentally. So let's do that. Let's make everyday count, actually do it instead of say it.
This can be very difficult when we don't feel well, every step toward a goal makes a difference though. Often times the more active we are, the more our energy level increases and the better we feel physically than when we are sedentary. I notice this in myself when simply working. Periods in between jobs or during breaks, my symptoms tend to flare up even to the point that it's a wonder I'm even able to function for half a day. But when I return to work, my symptoms lessen and my body regulates itself again. Simply because I'm doing something. If you're feeling depressed and it's making it difficult to interact with others and enjoy activities, remember that even the smallest effort to return to previous enjoyable activities is a step forward. Depression sucks us into it's spiral, it affects our brain's chemical balance and we simply lose interest in once enjoyable things. Our mind wants us to stop doing things, our thoughts enable that behavior. If we change one thing - our thoughts, emotions or behavior - then the rest will change. It's a cycle and it can be broken.
Set your goal, find the information and support to help make it reality. We've all been there at some point or another and we're all there in it with each other. Together, we can make changes or continue current practices and welcome the new year with high hopes and actions.
This is my life with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Short Bowel Syndrome. I was diagnosed with FAP as a child, underwent total colectomy at age 9. After complications and 6 more surgeries. I had an ileostomy for 6 years and am currently living with a straight pull-thru.