Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lessons from my life part 3

So, in this busy season I experienced, the mistakes I made were factors in poor health after the busy season was over. A crash I guess you could say.
I shared with you already about posture. I shared about human contact.

Today. Movement.

You see, 4 months of working at the computer, not going anywhere, not doing any physical work caused me to become weak and flabby. My muscles already battle with diet and trying to keep this thyroid in control, but the WORSE thing I could do is NOT use my muscles.
Of course when you are working nonstop, you dont realize this and in fact, because your brain is working so hard, the physical almost appears that it is moving along with your head. But it is not.
No, sending my husband to do all the chores while I worked, was not a smart thing. Sure he had no jobs, but maybe doing our work together could have made a difference in us both.

Those that know me, understand that I am not lazy. I have helped lay carpet, build decks and done many tasks alongside men with no problem.
And I think my body actually needs some hard labor like that once in awhile.

I use to member at Curves. They were so good to me there, but when work is not flowing, it is hard to commit to $30+ per month for excercise when there surely must be soemthing else that can be done.
So I quit a year ago when I waitressed.
But after that job, I never went back.

And the effect show. And I know better. That is the part that bugs me most. I could have done better in this area.

Most of you know that in 2006, I was diagnosed with 1b2 stage cervical cancer after dropping 50 pounds, working out at Curves...wow...life just seemed to be really getting good for me when the dx came.
And it was probably a miracle that the cancer was even found because I dont have health insurance, therefore dont usually have money for doctor visits.

I found out that a local retired nurse midwife that was also on the board of our health food co op was doing pap smears for other local midwives for a reasonable fee.

That gave me an open door to not only see her and feel safe, but also to take my daughter for her first exam.
She had to give me the news after some very tell tale signs in her office. I was devastated.
After another exam with a gynecologist, I was sent to a gynecologist oncologist and from there, after much research and praying I had radical surgery asking for my ovaries to remain so that I may continue producing some hormones and maintain some health benefit at age 40.
I recovered fairly well, save the fact that my poor bladder just gave up for a couple weeks. Then the pathology came that cancer was invasing the lymph vascular space so radiation would be required. That was devastating. The ovaries were going to be toast. But we got through that part ok. And the health care team all around have been wonderful and never condmening to any of my natural ideas.
But for me that was a huge change that made life very different.

For one, you worry about recurrance. There is nothing left really to be done except all the innards removed.
Yet, all the treatment recieved gave me a really good chance of no recurrance.

But what I do have is scar tissue physical changes and I was slammed into menopause at age 40.
I am almost 42 now and the effect of treatment over the past couple years have been noticed.
(all of this story is part of the lessons..I promise)

One of the things that happens as we age, and especially menopausal women is we lose tone in our muscles. Much because of hormones, gravity, time. Unless we are working these muscles and moving, they will become dormant and stiff and lifeless.
You probably would not imagine that, especially if you are young.

But since the symptoms of menopause are not usually discussed until you are about there, I feel it disserves our women because we do not have proper time to prepare.

For example bone building ends in your 30's and one herbalist actually stated in 20's.
Therefore, the bones we need for life, are built in our active years and yet that is the time we feel invincible and dont care for ourselves nor thinking of our future health.
Maybe awareness will help so I do share these things so that women can examine their lives, and read books if they are inclined to learn about the changes to come so they are prepared.

Movement, especially weight bearing excercise is essential to keeping muscles strong and to maintain and not lose the bone that has been built.

So, imagine sitting fairly idle for 4 months. Yes working, but not moving except to package orders, make soap, and teas. That is not enough.

Even my husband was tending to the household chores so that I could keep working. I probably vacuumed a couple times in the entire winter because my husband did the housework too.

So lesson number 3 is movement. Stretching, yoga, walk, tai chi,dance, work, something! For women, our modern day housework may not be enough because of our conveniences we dont use our muscles for the day to day activities very much.

We dont even cut our veggies anymore, but have fancy processors for them. Bread machines. And of course washer and dryers. Thank goodness for some conveniences indeed, but do not allow them to make you dry up. Allow them to benefit you and you get excercise somewhere else:)

And dont forget kegels. Heavens, things travel south quickly after menopause especially if you have had children.
If you would like to keep your vagina and or uterus inside your body, keep your bladder toned, and prevent atrophy of the pelvic muscles in menopause, work on this now and remember to do them often. It could save you embarrasing problems later in life.


Anonymous said...

Keep sharing. You experience will teach, share and benefit others.

Michelle said...

Oh, this post rings true for me! This was such a tough winter for us and I spent too much (TOO MUCH!) time in front of the computer trying to hide from real life problems. The result shocked me as I realized just how much I let my body go. Now, as Spring blooms and warm weather comes, I have been so busy outdoors. Moving, hiking, raking, chasing my kids. What a difference I feel!

Love ya sweets! Hope you're doing well! I want to see pics of the new hair! :)