Why Big Scares Lead To Fresh Starts (April Health Confessions)

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My website has changed a lot over the years.

It started as something frothy, girly and novice, and eventually became something honest, bedraggled and perhaps a little bit cynical. My expertise and advise as a lifestyle writer became confessions of my own life struggles… namely, my health. It’s hard to pontificate on lipstick and lashes alone, when hospitals and MRI’s and insurance woes are always at hand. As a patient, I’ve been a good little girl: taking all the pills, doing the hours of treatment, repeat. As a person, I was becoming an emotional shut-in- never wanting to open up on Makeover Momma for fear of judgement, or feeling as if I’m complaining (it’s warranted), or being too vulnerable in general.

After recently inquiring as to the best route for updating concerned friends and fammily on Facebook (“to update, or not to update?”: the eternal first world question), I received a lot of kind responses. The majority overwhelmingly encouraged me to write occasional updates- you know, the kind that actually gives facts so you have less reason to panic. I decided that Makeover Momma is the best place for drama-free earnesty (it’s not a word, but it should be). Still, my reclusive proclivities persist, derived from a mix of A) wanting to maintain the persona of the person I started this website as some 7 years ago (the one who traveled to fashion week in $7 dresses), and B) not wanting to admit my own faults, flaws, failures in dealing with this situation.

The Update: I had a huge scare this week, that left me completely altered in my approach towards sickness. Until now, I’ve begrudgingly accepted whatever medical professionals tell me, without wanting to take much control of the process. Unfortunately, we think the combination of a runaway upper respiratory infection and sinusitis, coupled with newfound diabetic developments pushed my body over the edge. Even though diabetic related symptoms are super common with lung disease (not to mention my lame pancreas and a family history for Type 1), we still never saw this coming. This scare- which now I plan to control with diligent finger pricks, blood sugar monitoring, follow up testing and near constant eating (including snacks in the middle of the night)- left my reeling. I’ve spent the last few months being told to eat anything and everything (the more sugar, fat and calories the better), and now, my sugar is making me bottom out. Shouldn’t I be filling myself with just as many calories… but trying for whole, natural foods instead? Why do we tell everyone to eat healthy, but I get the “junk food free” pass? Suddenly, I had a lot of questions for doctors… and was not afraid to ask them.

Ultimately, with no easy “fix” in sight, I am left with two options when facing illness: to accept where I am with health (low lung-function and all), or to throw every chemical we can at the problem and potentially harm myself more. Wouldn’t I rather attempt to LIVE life- even if it’s an imperfect one- rather than be sedated all the time? I know there is no right or wrong path, but the idea of taking control of where I am now (rather than looking for someone to “save me”/bemoaning my existence) seems valid. Therefore, I have decided to change the narrative of my life (and in turn, Makeover Mommma) to one of fighting back. Expect sick girl confessions via social media, sure, but expect healthy recipes, Yoga poses and holistic tips too. Now is the time to rewrite my story…

TMI In One Paragraph or Less:

My pseudomonas are funky, so I’m chomping the oral Cipro to keep things stable while we wait on pending cultures for other organisms. It’s like a regular Jamestown in there (get it? Colonies? Punny). My nights are rough, so a bipapp is being considered (this could be amazingly positive in the long run). Mt PEG surgery is still pending, even though we’ve done all the pre-op and it had been scheduled previously. My lungs were “cleared for take off”, so now we’re just waiting on a date (we shall see). My sinus CT is soon, which may or may not lead to sinus surgery, which may or may not be another game changer (sinus infections are not helping the lungs!) I have a new vest, which has proven to be incredibly effective and is (somewhat literally) rocking my world in the positive. Also, I am trying to cut back on my steroids since it’s messing with my blood sugar, and find holistic options wherever possible.

My Lifestyle Goals:

* Food: The biggest goal is keeping my blood sugar and digestive system stable by viewing my diet as a 24-7 process, instead of “9 to 5.” By avoiding long periods of fasting (night time), I can space out meals, snack right before bed, and avoid negative side effects. I want to aim for protein, vegetables and healthy gluten-free grains during the day (think Eat Pray Love meals), with natural sugars at night if needed.

* Fitness: After a lifetime of being active, I hate being sidelined. Since I want to start slowly, Yoga seems like the perfect exercise for “cardio”, tone, relaxation and breathing therapy. I want to look at it as a “practice” like those fabulous, buff Yoginis: approaching it for a lifetime, and perfecting every stance. Unfortunately, part of my ballerina brain continues to think, “When can we stop stretching and get to center?”. It’s just a fact.

* Sleep: I rarely sleep. I need to sleep. I hope to sleep more, and want to start reading an hour before bed to wind down. Here’s hoping!

Alternative: Essentials oils? Check. A shot of avocado oil everyday? Sure thing. I plan to be wide open to all sorts of techniques, and I promise to report back on what actually works.

Moving Forward This Month: A lot of people post about this level of illness on fundraising pages or special Facebook boards, but for now, I prefer to shoot it to you guys straight from here. If you have any questions at all, please ask them and I’ll answer in next month’s health update… I’m an open book! However, for the purposes of educating the public on airway clearance techniques, lung diseases and what many CF patients endure (or those with similar ailments), I am embarking on an “April photo challenge” on Makeover Mommma Instagram. I normally hate this type of thing, but ’tis the season!

Health Sound Off: Have YOU ever felt this way? Let’s talk amongst ourselves

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2 comments on “Why Big Scares Lead To Fresh Starts (April Health Confessions)
  1. jenna strickland says:

    Have you heard of Osha Root? I want to try it!! I love that you’re being open to holistic medicine, i’ve been researching natural remedies and such that are supposed to help lung health. It’s definitely worth a shot ! xoxox

  2. Hi Bailey,
    Thank You for your ‘open letter’ I was wondering what was going on with you, your such a beautiful women and too young for this to be happening, and with babies to raise!! How do you carry on? Your a women and need I say more,
    It really hurts my heart to see you go thru this your so young and vibrant only to have to put things aside. I love your posts and the thing you say, you have a way with words that I wish I had. I love the fact you would attend fashion week in a $7 dress!! you go girl!! lol
    I love you Bailey and I really Thank You for sharing, it is a healing part of your venture and for others also.
    MARIA <
    ps: I will check in on you from time to time ~ Just remember i will be praying for you

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