Preserving the Fragile Shell . . .

The past few weeks have been a reminder to me that I need to be mindful of my health.

My blood pressure has been very high for the past month and I allowed an upsetting situation to put my heart in an irregular beat pattern.

I have noticed my blood pressure has been high for a while. My remedy was to keep on my meditation schedule but also to increase the dose of my blood pressure medications. (The medications helped marginally and eventually I had to schedule a meeting with my doctor.)

As far as the irregular heart rhythm . . . I allowed myself to participate in a stressful situation. I knew better but instantly I got emotionally drawn in. In the midst of it, as I noticed my heart beat going really fast (and the funny feeling that comes with that), I immediately regretted it and wished I’d stayed calm.

I know that my body is fragile. I know that I have a strong physical reaction that is directly related to my emotions.

I should have known and done better.

My doctor and I discussed my “dialysis goal weight” and decided that with a lower weight target I should be able to get my blood pressure back into a reasonable range.

My “dialysis goal weight” is an on-going weight target that I strive for when I get on my dialysis machine.

So, if my goal weight is 63 kilograms and I weigh in at 64 kg, I know I need to take off at least 1kg during my dialysis session.

In my case I no longer make urine so the only way to remove fluid from my body is to take that fluid off on my dialysis machine. It’s a fine line though. Too much fluid off can lead to low blood pressure and a sick, drained and tired feeling. Leaving too much fluid on can cause blood pressure issues and be hard on your heart. I am working on getting to the right number so I can best balance these factors.

As far as allowing myself to get caught up in unnecessary drama . . . so much so that I nearly ended up in the emergency department – I need to do better than that. What a wasteful and careless use of my precious energy.

I was really scared (at the time) and disappointed with myself.

My over-all lesson is . . . I am a strong person mentally but physically I am vulnerable.

I feel like a chick in a broken shell. I have work and life (growing) to do and it has to be completed in this shell. 

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If I want to dream of having 30 or 40 years ahead of me I have to take better care of this body. I have no other choice.

Part of the blood pressure issue is anxiety and excitement.

My body seems to react to the amazing things that are happening to me – changes and evolution in my life – in the same way as if things were going badly. (My body doesn’t seem to be able to distinguish between good and bad stimulus.) My blood pressure is high for both.

And ultimately I am very happy now. What underlies my feelings is an ongoing excitement for my future and all the good on my plate now and ahead of me.

Knowing this I have to be extra careful. Things are only getting better . . . and more exciting.

I need to find the strategies that will keep me healthy and balanced – now and for the future.

The gym helps.

Yoga definitely helps.

And meditation and spiritual reading help too.

I will keep these daily practices up to try to find my best and healthiest balance.

My goal is to set myself up for success by establishing these routines from now.

(Things will only get busier and better and more exciting. I will not survive these changes if I don’t set good habits now – when things are just getting started.)

My heart . . .

I have to keep a balance with my emotions. Be present enough to enjoy the moments but reign myself in from getting caught up in the extremes of high and low. This week showed me the huge consequence of allowing myself to go overboard. I nearly ended up in emergency.

(Luckily spending a few minutes with my boss seemed to help. For two hours my heart raced, despite; deep breathing, meditation and calm thoughts. My boss is pregnant though so being around her there was a power that calmed me that was beyond either of our understanding or control. After being in her office for 5 minutes my heart went back to normal. I was lucky this time.)

This week was a reminder that I need to keep myself on even keel. Balanced and replenished.

The hard cold truth is that without my health I will have no goals or exciting milestones to look forward to. Period.

I have to remember that my good health is within my control. If I do the right things and make good decisions I will have the chance to realize my dreams.

But it is up to me.

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