I had a different post in mind today, but yesterday I had some light bulb moments that I wanted to journal about. I think I have journaled before about the extreme tiredness I have been experiencing since an infection I had in February. This, paired with the fact that my voice has felt tired and croaky, saw me making an appointment with the doctor. And this led to my current reflection on my healthy lifestyle…
Tests, Tests and More Tests
A couple of weeks ago I had a load of blood tests done. To my joy, they were looking waaaay better than they had from my last blood test a few years ago. Yay me! However, I was slightly low on vitamin D (which actually surprised me given I walk the dog most days) and still had a slightly raised cholesterol. I also had a chest x-ray. It was clear. There were no glaring reasons for either the tiredness or the voice issues.
So my doctor referred me to an ENT. Within three days I had got an appointment for an endoscopy and the word cancer was bandied about both vocally and in texts. I was told not to worry. They just wanted to check.
I’ve had cancer. Of course I’m going to worry!! Had it come back?
My ENT Appointment
Yesterday, I had my ENT appointment. I went alone. Not because I had no-one to go with me – both mum and Gary offered – no, it was more that I felt completely capable of going alone and completely content to do so.
My First Reflection on my Healthy Lifestyle
This is my first reflection. My anxiety did not get out of control. Yes, I was worried – I had a nightmare the night before about cannibalism and death (make of that whatever you will!) – but I was coping and better still I was coping without support. Exercise is a great leveller and I have found it grounds me in ways nothing else does. Walking in nature for an hour allowed me to put my fears into perspective. It had done the same ten years ago, after I was diagnosed with cancer.
This time though it was a habit I was already doing and its benefits sprung into action with absolutely no effort on my behalf.
Okay, so back at the hospital. I don’t just exercise now. I also paint, draw and listen to audio books. Audibles is on my phone and therefore everywhere I go. And I am currently turning elements in my paintings into stickers to sell using Procreate on my iPad. So armed with just my iPad and my phone (and ear buds, of course), I registered at the ENT clinic half an hour early.
An hour later I was called in. I think in years gone by I would have worked myself into a complete paddy by this point. Yet, yesterday I was as calm as anything. I sat, completely in my own little world, listening to Stephen King’s On Writing and merrily taking out the back ground and isolating individual elements of my paintings. I was zen (and I don’t even know what that word means!).
My Second Reflection on my Healthy Lifestyle
This is my second reflection. My habit stacking over the last six months has created a smorgasbord of activities and hobbies which, on account of them becoming a part of my everyday life, are on hand whenever I need them. Time is so precious, and in the past I have wasted a lot of it worrying over what might be rather than grounding myself in what is. Yesterday showed me how important it is to take my health seriously, advocate for myself, get the tests done…and then focus on something which brings me joy.
I had the endoscopy done. The doctor placed a camera down my nose and into my throat with immense care – so much so that I felt nothing! Thankfully he did not see anything amiss. My adenoids were swollen but he wasn’t worried about those. He thinks maybe I have silent reflux. He’s sending me for a non urgent CT scan just to be sure to be sure (so to speak) and advised that I take Gaviscon before eating and before choir!
Well, that’s an easy fix.
But the Tiredness…
However, there was one thing he could not account for and that was my extreme tiredness. I have said right from the start that this is not an insomnia tiredness. It is different to my normal tiredness. But there does not seem to be any reason for it. Perhaps it is menopause? Or perhaps it is my early morning routine…it did come about around the time I changed my wake time. Maybe, just maybe, it is a little bit of both. I love getting up early, but perhaps it is not doing me any favours right now?
My Third Reflection of my Healthy Lifestyle
This is my third reflection. Getting up early is only worth it if it is worth it. As I am currently on summer break I am going to experiment a little. I will keep my nighttime routine exactly the same. My bedtime will be the same and all the things I do running up to bedtime will be the same. What I will change is my alarm. I’m going to sleep with the curtains open and I’m going to allow myself to wake up whenever I wake up. I will get out of bed immediately and go through my normal
early morning routine. Nothing else will change, there just won’t be an alarm.
I have about four weeks to try to get on top of this and figure it out before I go back to home schooling and also before I start up my master’s degree again. By then, this tiredness needs to have gone!
In conclusion, I think the main thing that is coming from this is how important it is to try everything and find what works for you. There are billions of videos on YouTube about morning routines and healthy routines and habit stacking and productivity. There is much over the past six months that has benefitted me greatly. I now need to weed out the things that are less helpful. Maybe this is a lifetime procedure, because as one ages one changes, and with those changes come tweaks and alterations to the way one lives.
I shall be interested in where my experimentation takes me.