Unbeknownst to many, I had two near calls in my life. The first one was in early 2005 when during a meeting, after many sleepless days and intense work and personal problems, I passed out for a few seconds feeling my head too heavy to carry. When I came to, I just sipped my ice tea and continued on. After my meeting, I casually asked my secretary to call the office doctor to inquire on what possibly could have caused that. The nurses and doctors came to my office quickly and gave me sublingual pills to manage my high blood pressure to more manageable levels. I was asked to rest, immediately see a cardiologist, and all which of course I didn’t heed. I did however, started to exercise more regularly and for a time, I lost some weight and felt almost myself again.
Fast forward to 10 years later, I again gained weight, had bad eating habits etc and experienced a full month of vertigo, combined with migraine attacks. This continued on and off for 2 years until I could not ignore it anymore as it already affected my work and personal well-being. There were days and weeks on end that I would be in constant pain from migraines or in a hazy confused state of constant vertigo. I had the highest dosages prescribed to knock me out – but everything came back when I awoke, sometimes in stupor and vomiting my way to the bathroom. Darkness and quiet were my only refuge. Depression and anxiety in desperate anticipation and dread for the next wave of attacks my constant companion.
At some point, doctors advised surgery and full on rest. That became my eureka moment as that meant telling the world what I had, including my children. Their invincible mother now weakened by this debilitating illness that not many understand or believe. I lost my job because of it. In a telco and tech world when constant communication was key – I couldn’t even bear the sound or light of the phone, much less reply to emails and messages, do conference calls and the like.
I didn’t want to do the surgery and botox injections. These were supposed to relieve the pressure on my head whenever I have the attacks. These were not a real fix but a way to manage it better. Luckily, thru sheer luck or God’s providence, I caught up with a friend and we discussed more natural ways of having a healthier and fulfilling life. Upon evaluation, while I didn’t have clear illnesses yet (all near borderline though), I had a metabolic age of a ripe old age of 56 at 47 years old. That meant, I have lost 10 almost 10 years of my life!
Cut short, I under went a detox and metabolic reboot program – which taught me how to eat properly, exercise more diligently (I was already a runner years before and deemed myself fit), rest accordingly. I had to rehaul my life in order to live.
After a year, I am not perfect but way on my road back to wellness from the dead and dreary. 21 pounds and 21 inches lost, I am back to my old self. And this is why I do the things I do – that most people now see me doing – run every day, eat healthier, sleep at 10 or max 11pm every night, cross train 4-5x a week. It’s a lot, I know. I start my day waking up at 430am for the most part to exercise and be done by 6am in time for my kids waking up when I’m with them, or take the first conf call on a busy day. I make sure I take walk breaks, count my caffeine intake (max of 2 americanos), avoid sugar and have less salt.
And this is why I do these things – so I can spend more time with my kids, do the things I want to do, encourage people to live joyful and healthier lives.
And this is why I do these things – so I can remain passionately living my life instead of chasing after medications and doctors.
And this is why I do these things – so I can travel, find joy in the smallest things, be an example of goodness to the world. To write, to read, to be inspired and be an inspiration for a better life.
And this is why I do these things – for my children, for my loved ones, to find love again.
And this is why I do these things – to give glory to God by taking care of the earthly vessel he has given me, be the woman he created me to be, be the person he planned and molded me to be when he first created me.
And this is why I do these things.
About this post: Wrote this shortly after hearing of yet another friend gone too soon. Too many people at the prime of their lives gone thru illnesses that could have been avoided or better managed it only they lived healthier, more balanced lives.