The chapter I call: getting healthy

It’s Saturday morning. Usually, Saturday’s are my favorite day. But today’s a busy day with lots of errands to do. It’s grocery day. I’ve also been invited to a wedding at the church. I’m trying this thing where I’m being more social and getting out more.

I’ve been pretty mum on the work situation. I don’t like talking about it in this blog. But.. I’m now off work waiting for disability payments to kick in. We think we’ve found the source of my illness. Exposure to irritants in the work place – without giving more information than that.

Three years ago – I was healthy. I was almost 30 pounds lighter than I am now. I was happy. I was still performing in local festivals musically. I was doing a lot at the church. I was also helping my dad out at the house. A lot.

But then things changed. And my doctor and I couldn’t quite pin point what had happened. I started getting debilitating migraines on a weekly basis. Some migraines would last for days on end or weeks on end. Medications stopped working. We had tried just about all the medications.

I started getting sick – a lot. I thought at first it was because I was pretty run down. But the amount of sinus infections and ear infections I had in 2017 was mind-blowing. Literally. I kept getting sick. I’d need to take a few days off work – or a week. But never more than that.

I was an idiot and tried working through this all. I should have taken time off that was offered to me but I couldn’t afford it. I had bills to pay and as a single salary household, I couldn’t do it. Money was tight. Even worse right now being off work.

It wasn’t until recently when I found out that another coworker is sick that I connected the dots. I had a suspicious that it was the air quality at the office but I had no proof. I went back in my calendar and counted recent days that I had taken off work. And they seemed to coincide with my suspicions. Like I said – I don’t want to get into too much detail.

For the past two years I’ve given up much in my personal life. The weight gain was depressing. No matter what I did in my personal life, I couldn’t take the weight off. I was doing all the right things – but at the end of the day, my ankles and legs would swell up so much that it hurt. It hurt to move. It hurt to breathe.

It wasn’t until I was in Toronto in July that I realized how much weight I had gained and how bad I was. I was heavier than I had ever been in my life – even after losing ten pounds. My skin was dry and cracked on my legs from the swelling. I had redness on my cheeks. I was constantly plugged up from sinus infections.

In Toronto, I slept most of the week. The room was so quiet that I realized how tired I was. The heat didn’t help much. I picked the wrong time to go. I did a lot of walking that week thinking I was in good shape. But I actually hurt by the end of each day. And the wheezing. That’s when I really noticed how bad the wheezing had gotten. Despite my use of nasal sprays and medications.

August came and I got really sick again. It felt like bronchitis something I am familiar with. I still have a lingering cough. When I coughed for the doctor at the clinic he asked if I smoked. He was convinced that I did. “You sound like a heavy smoker.”

Joke’s on him. I’ve never smoked in my adult life. I only had one cigarette in my whole life and it made me puke. I was trying to be the cool kid in high school but opted out of it fast.

He put me on an inhaler. Something I haven’t needed in years . YEARS – like over ten years.

I went from being this healthy and active person three years ago – to now I rely on inhalers and struggle to breathe. My voice is constantly dry and hoarse. And sometimes when I cough, I taste smoke. But.. I’m not a smoker.

I’m off work while waiting for an appointment with a lung specialist. I didn’t realize that breathing problems could affect your weight. And when you’re constantly in an environment that makes you ill – it does affect your weight in the long run.

But since being at home I’ve dropped – say what? Twelve pounds. How can that be possible? Just being removed from the irritant was enough?

I’ve been sick so much the past two years with migraines and repeat sinus and ear infections that I just mostly came home and slept after work. Even with a healthy diet, my weight wouldn’t budge. And now I’m down 12 pounds in just a week?

The only thing I’ve changed – I’m sticking to a regular sleep schedule. I’m eating breakfast which consists of cereal and coffee. I have a light lunch without heavy carbs – so mostly salads, soups, vegetables. I save the carbs for dinner and have a healthy slab of meat (pork, chicken, or fish) with a side of veggies. Snacks are light including fruit, granola bars.

I’m exercising – not much more than I was when I was working. But different kinds of exercising. I’ve slept a lot this week. A lot. So may that has helped too.

At work, there were days I would skip lunch because I wasn’t hungry. The tightness in my chest often made me sick to my stomach. I would skip meals. This made things worse in the long run. I felt so tired all the time. So, damn tired.

But seriously – 12 pounds in one week? Is this all I needed? A break? Some much needed time off to let my body heal?

You may have noticed I changed the website name back to Mostly Single. I’m finding that my weight loss motivation and fitness tips are getting more hits than my music posts. I’m still figuring this blogging thing out. I’m also thinking long term options. I’m not sure what this illness means for my career.

But I know for my own health – I need to focus solely on the weight loss for the next few months and hope that disability kicks in soon. There are bills to pay. Rent to pay. Medication to buy.

I’m hoping in a few weeks when my energy is back up that I can join a fitness class. This is part of health and recovery. It will help with the knees too.

So — this week. Today. Starts a new chapter of my life. It’s call the Getting Healthy chapter. My body is still crying out for more sleep. It’s been sick and abused so much. I’m not doing this for anyone else – but me.

Music will still be there and I’ll record when I feel up to it. But I find I’m so scatterbrained these days it’s hard to focus on much of anything. What I am looking forward to is being more social and catching up with friends – that is long overdue.

Have a great Saturday folks. Remember. Your health is important. Look after you.

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