It’s funny. I feel like I am forever sharing with you the details of my life behind the blog: what I’m cooking, what ails me, what I’m organizing, where I’m traveling, etc. But I now realize I spread my thoughts across the blog, Facebook, IG, and email so it would be a full-time job to keep up! In today’s Health, Heartful Reflections & Humble Homes I’ll share a health update since followers and friends have kindly filled my inbox with inquiries.
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Health, Heartful Reflections & Humble Homes
The humble homes you’ll see are cute little vintage homes I strolled by in a nearby neighborhood where I went soaking up sunshine and garage sale-ing over the weekend. I should have brought my folding cart like this one since my bag was heavy!
I even toured an open house which was so special – almost everything original remained from the 1920’s.
As far as illness, I take it one day at a time. Because of a restricted diet, there are days I don’t have a lot of energy and days I struggle with irritability.
I don’t know if it’s because of my French heritage (ha…what’s more pleasant than imagining what we’ll devour at the next meal!?!), emotional eating (I could say goodbye to Pinot Noir forever, but avacados? Cheese? Say it aint so!), or just my inner chubby girl with the bottomless pit, but I have always possessed passion for food and a king-sized appetite.
So I’m trying to unhook from food and begin to see it more as fuel and less as comfort, less as a reward.
I am journeying with Crohn’s disease and experiencing what may or may not be a wicked flare after 7 years of sweet remission.
Crohn’s turned my freshman year of college upside down and nearly killed me. The disease complicated my life thoroughly in my 20’s and 30’s, but was no match for my secret weapons: faith, a wonderful support system of family, and a ravenous appetite even during illness.
Symptoms were mostly manageable with medicine and diet in my 40’s until a tricky flareup in 2011 when things worsened.
I was weak and deeply discouraged when my folks gathered a small group of prayer warriors the day before a scheduled colonoscopy in early 2012.
I woke up from anesthesia screaming bloody murder during that scope, which couldn’t continue since there was an issue with the size of an instrument.
The 87 pound me had to forego food another day, and the next day, the scope was successful. Results the GI reported shocked us all: “No sign of disease.”
Even when I told my family, I am not sure anyone including me believed it! But after all the drama and all that prayer, it was a full remission stretching out for years!
What a blessing!
Last summer was a doozy for stress, and since then, I have struggled to properly digest: foods containing fats (even good fats) and too much food at a sitting.
It isn’t unlike what some folks experience after Bariatric surgery or the effect certain weight-loss meds have.
While my liver and pancreas looked okay after the CT scan, my GB was nasty so we were hoping the surgery in September would remedy the digestion issues. Maybe it will just take more time.
In early February, painful attacks resumed despite my healthy diet.
So now I eat a more restricted diet, eliminating most fat and never eating too much at a time.
The sucky part is fats are not only delicious – the good ones do wonderful things for the body!
Fats help proteins do their job, stabilize blood sugar, help the body stockpile certain nutrients, affect mood, help with immune function, and give us a sense we’re full.
So it’s a new normal for me, and I’m clinging to the positive.
Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to manage symptoms with diet and lifestyle changes.
New boundaries, daily transformation, meditation, eating more plants, caring doctors, letting go, enjoying more sleep, friendship…
…therapy, reading poetry, releasing rage, prioritizing self-care, doing zen things, playing piano, spiritual direction, acupressure…
…creating art, Bible, supplements, massage, prayer, hugs, laughter, and Big Love…
…they all contribute to my healing and to moving through stress right now.
If you have been reading this blog for the past few years, then you know I try increasingly to allow reality to be reality, without responding with so much resistance.
It’s one of those pathways to peaceful living enfolding in the second half of life. I feel like the culture around me encourages a warrior spirit, and I get it.
Yet I feel called more often to open up my hands rather than shape them into fists. Welcoming reality scares the pants off of a lot of folks which is why it likely won’t grow in popularity. Here’s Richard Rohr’s take on it:
“To forgive reality is to let go of the negative story line, the painful story line that you’ve created for it. If that story line has become your identity, if you are choosing to live in a victim state, an abused consciousness, it gives you a false kind of power and makes you feel morally superior to others. But let me tell you, it will also destroy you.”
Father Richard Rohr
I think that’s why I am hesitant at times to share too much about my health struggles here. Genetic mutation and Jesus freak Crohnie girl who had the mastectomy and struggles with depression? I’m not sure becoming a victimized persona online and hearing steady echoes of ‘oh, bless her heart’ is helpful when you’re a HEARTFUL MAMA MUDDLING THROUGH WITH BIG LOVE.
Thanks for listening and journeying with me, friends.
What a gift and source of healing to be able to share visual, creative, and heartful topics with a community as tender and open as you. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please click here so you won’t miss one bit of the lovely.
If you missed my last post which was a house tour of a newly built French country home HERE – oh, my word, HELLO LOVELY!
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Peace to you right where you are.
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