Friday, May 15, 2009

Help! I'm stressed!

I was up last night in a lot of pain, so I got up this morning pretty STRESSED out. I'm making great improvements in my pain levels. But when the pain comes back, I hate it, so I freak out. So here's my de-stress routine. Everyone is different, so make your own list to get you through stressful and/or painful days!  And post a comment, letting me know what works for you!

1. Have an anti-stress smoothie.

Health Food Junk Food
1/2 ripe banana
1 cup frozen raspberries or blueberries or both
1/2 TBS honey or agave nectar (Sweeteners that are better for you than sugar)
1 cup spinach (Yes spinach. You can't even taste it at all. You're kids won't even know they're drinking a vegetable)
1/2 cup milk (If you're worried about an IC pain flare take prelief and aloe before you drink the smoothie)

2. Listen to music, breathe deep, do yoga, dance, or take a walk. (If you suffer from chronic pain make sure that you exercise, but that it is always gentle.)

3. Help someone--it always helps me de-stress.  My cousin's little girl is only 10 and she is going to have her 3rd open heart surgery. Talk about stress! You can register to run a 5k to help her. For more information, go here.

4. Try chamomile and peppermint herbal tea.  Both are really relaxing. (I like the Twinings brand because they are gluten-free.)

5. Create something. Don't try to make it perfect or it might stress you out more. Enjoy the task more than the end result. Martha Stewart just came out with an Encyclopedia of Crafts.
I don't usually love her stuff but there are some really classy, simple ideas in the book. Also you can get ideas by going to Etsy and looking around.

6. Blog of course! Or I love reading a good book.

7. Create a safe space. Surround yourself with people that support and uplift you. If someone stresses you out, they are not allowed in your healing space. Most chronic patients have enough deal with already so you have every right to remove people from your life that add to your pain.

8. Get away. If funds are tight, you can get away to a hotel across town. With the recession, you can stay in a nice hotel for $50 using This is good advice when, like my sister who has triplets, there is no time or space to do the things on this list! Sometimes you have to leave the kids, or work, or doctor's appointments behind and go away to de-stress!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

4 Years!

When I first met my husband, I was really sick. I felt like I was drowning. Doctors were having difficulty diagnosing my illness, I weighed only 90 lbs, and I was literally wasting away. I had the thought, though, that I would find someone who would save me from 'drowning' and love and support me through the pain. Without sounding too contrived or cheesy, Benjamin is that person. When we first started dating, I was scared to tell him I was really sick. But when I finally got up the courage to tell him the details of what I was dealing with, his immediate response was "Well then I'll take care of you." This week was our 4 year anniversary! Yeah! I don't want to gush too much (it embarrasses him) but I feel like he deserves lots of applause!

Our early years of marriage have been far from normal. Benjamin has spent most of his 20's as my caretaker. I’ve always been a very independent person so it hasn’t been easy for me, but I am so grateful for him. When I’ve questioned my worth or when others sometimes would look at me with misunderstanding, Benjamin has reassured me and told me I was amazing. He is unfailingly supportive. He's sacrificed so much for me and for our marriage. He's given up awesome well paying jobs that he loves, to go work retail with a Master's degree, so that we can have good health benefits. He works long hours to support our family. He put his schooling on hold and moved with me to a place where I could get better care. He is the most loving, selfless, patient, hard working, and amazing person I know. I feel blessed he chose to marry me!

Let me share a quote that has helped strengthen both me and Benjamin. Elder Orson F. Whitney wrote: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God..."(quoted in Improvement Era Mar. 1966, 211).