19 October 2011
In the past month or so, I've had an intense dilemma as to what my goals should be. Should I find a way to have more energy? Lose the blues? Kick off those few extra pounds? Eat more vegetables? Eat only vegetables?
It's quite confusing, really, and concentrating on those little details pulls me down quite a bit. So to close this segment of "Run and Not Be Weary," I'd like to quote part of a sermon from one of the leaders of the church I belong to:
"In the beloved children’s story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the mysterious candy maker Willy Wonka hides a golden ticket in five of his candy bars and announces that whoever finds one of the tickets wins a tour of his factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate.
Written on each golden ticket is this message: “Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket … ! Tremendous things are in store for you! Many wonderful surprises await you! … Mystic and marvelous surprises … will … delight, … astonish, and perplex you.”
In this classic children’s story, people all over the world desperately yearn to find a golden ticket. Some feel that their entire future happiness depends on whether or not a golden ticket falls into their hands. In their anxiousness, people begin to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket.
So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket—the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about. For some, the golden ticket may be a perfect marriage; for others, a magazine-cover home or perhaps freedom from stress or worry.
There is nothing wrong with righteous yearnings—we hope and seek after things that are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.” The problem comes when we put our happiness on hold as we wait for some future event—our golden ticket—to appear.
... The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy."
- President Dieter F. Uchdorf, Forget Me Not
On our journey to optimum health, let us not forget to savor the everyday moments. These are the moments that make life worth living-- healthy bodies and minds just enhance the experience even more!
To read past posts on this topic, click here.
17 October 2011
12 October 2011
But then I thought about how Allie asked me to write a post about having an active family. And I figured I better live up to the jive. So I told my little boy that before he could watch a show he had to go outside and jump on the trampoline and play on the swing set with his siblings. And then I sighed and realized that if I was going to do this whole “active family” thing I better go whole hog and head outside to play with them too.
So what did I learn this afternoon? That being active is fun. It can be creative. It can be bonding. And it is mighty good for the heart and trimming the chubs that do like to hug my mid-section. How’s that for efficient?
The alone hour I could have had? Didn’t miss it at all.
I’d love to grab up a few more good ideas for being active as a family from readers of this blog. I’ll come back and read the comments to find out your good ideas. I like this sharing stuff. I bet you do too. We are women you know.
10 October 2011
I have a friend that I have only recently come back into contact with. We were closer when we were younger but as life shifted, our contact slipped. Thanks to social networks and blogging, we have been able to see what each others lives have become so far. I really admire her for her strength and faith and courage, for it took great courage to share her experience with us. She wishes to remain anonymous but I know that you can also see her kind heart and strength of character as you read about her experience.
When I was introduced to this blog, I was quickly drawn to the “We Are Women” book’s beneficiaries. Let me tell you why.
My water brakes - our baby boy is coming! We head to the hospital and are so excited to meet our infant. I can almost feel what it will be like to hold him for the first time.
No. No. No. Tears start to well up - this isn’t how my story is supposed to go. Where is the doctor? Why are there so many nurses in here? Where are they taking my baby? I tell my husband to not let him out of his sight. My thoughts are with my boys but my body is not, I feel myself start to get dizzy.
14 Hours Later
I still haven’t held my baby. I tried to visit him in the NICU, but I got nauseous and almost fainted while they were wheeling me in. I am losing a lot of blood and sometimes feel gushes of horrible-smelling air when I try to sit up or walk.
Peace in the Storm
Finally - I hold my baby for the first time at 4:00 A.M the next day. My body hurts so badly I can barely sit down, but I don’t care, I take in the moment. My baby is in my arms.
The air thing is getting worse. I can barely move anywhere without it flowing out. This can’t be normal. I call my doctor. He tells me that in his 30 years of delivering babies he’s never seen something like this first hand. He apologizes and tells me this can sometimes happen with 4th degree episiotomies. He can’t help me. He tells me to wait the weekend and see a specialist on Monday. Wait the weekend? Like this? How? I need to be seen now. I go to the E.R., but my body is too sore and my wounds too fresh to examine. I’m given antibiotics. Pray. Wait. Pray again. Monday can’t come soon enough.
The colorectal specialist can see the problem: the beginning of a fistula. He tells me that this is common in Africa and can also happen to women who have 4th degree episiotomies. Deep breath. He tells me to wait it out. There is a chance that I can avoid surgery and that my body can heal on its own.
I wait weeks. I can’t go anywhere without a foul odor accompanying me. Uncontrollable gas and who knows what else flows randomly throughout the day. My body is out of control. I ache constantly. My mind is consumed with fear and worries. More deep breaths. I long to be happy and wish I was enjoying this time of my life. My heart is heavy. My husband’s love, my son’s countenance, and my faith in God and His Son push me to keep going.
Hope Comes with Healing
Second appointment with the specialist: it’s getting smaller! I breathe a sigh of relief. I’m not out of the dark yet, but there is light. There will be more follow up appointments. Life begins to be a little more normal each day. I continue to have appointments. I hold my breath after each exam as I wait for the report. Good news is followed by better news. My body is healing on its own - I don’t need surgery. Prayers are answered. I am relieved.
Putting my thoughts down has been painful and healing at the same time. My experience with the fistula has been one of the most frightening and traumatizing things I’ve experienced. My compassion and respect for women who are affected by fistulas have increased. I recognize that many women have not had as happy an ending as I have. I am grateful to share my story and hope that it can raise awareness about this worldwide issue.
If you would like to learn more about Fistula, you can see a brief explanation here or visit the website for the Campaign to End Fistula here. Also, all the proceeds from the We Are Women book go to the Campaign to End Fistula, to help train doctors in prevention and care of women who experience it and it goes toward the $300 treatment for those who have it.
Obstetric Fistula is something that affects women everywhere. Thank you, dear friend, for sharing your experience and making this issue more personal and real for us.
04 October 2011
03 October 2011
And that is how I developed a fear of running. Because who wants to be stabbed in the shin?
And then my running shoes got too small (Do I have a different shoe size in the South? Was it from when they got sogging wet then dried for 3 days straight when I helped sandbag a town a few months back?), and 6:30am was just way too early to think about aerobic exercise, etc.
And now here we are. Sister Koford and I, running despite my fear of shin splints and her concern about side aches. If you wake up at 6:30am and live in our little town, you may see us slowly "jogging" down the street. Of course, I'm in my Keds, and there's a good chance that we both slept in the clothes that we are running around in. When it's 6:30am, you do what you can.
I love this video about the physical and spiritual benefits of eating well and taking care of our bodies. It references the Word of Wisdom, the health code for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but is of course applicable to any healthy lifestyle.