Thursday, September 1, 2011

How the Doctor Made me Cry

I had a doctor's appointment today, which is nothing out of the norm for me. Since the age of 18, I've been seeing a doctor, on average, about once every 12 weeks. Sometimes I've stretched it out to 6 months and sometimes I've had to go every 4 weeks (especially when I was pregnant).

I've had thyroid disease my entire adult life. Not your "typical" thyroid disease either. Oh no, my thyroid has a sense of humor. From time to time it likes to trick my body into thinking I'm diabetic, I have high blood pressure, or that my heart is failing me. On occasion, I have had to take heart medication, I've had to purchase a B/P kit and a glucose monitoring kit and eat a diabetic diet. I still have to take a pill every morning as soon as I wake up and I can't eat for one hour after taking my medication. Sometimes, my levels swing dramatically from month to month, meaning I have to change my medication dosage from month to month and have to have several vials of blood drawn every month. I have been stuck with a needle more times than I could possibly count. My dosage typically changes an average of 3 times a year, it has been as high as 6 times in a year.

Until now.

I have been on the same dosage of medication for 10 months, straight! I went to the doctor today for a check up and for the first time in my entire adult life, EVERYTHING was normal. I am right smack dab in the middle of the normal range on all of my lab work and vitals. All of my thyroid levels: perfect, all of my cholesterol levels: perfect, my blood pressure, kidneys, liver, ALL perfect! Until you have lived your entire life battling an illness where at every doctor's visit something is always just a little "off", you have no IDEA how wonderful that is! For the first time in my life, I am completely healthy! Praise God! I have gone blind, I have had cancer, I have battled thyroid disease, and while I still have to take that little pill everyday for my thyroid, I am HEALTHY! Oh, and another bonus, I've lost 20 lbs.!

When I got into my car, I cried. What a blessing to have health. A lot of people take their health for granted, but for someone like me, who "looks" healthy on the outside, but has been battling an illness or several illnesses on the inside for years, I am humbled, grateful, thankful, ecstatic.

This week, I got to mark two things off my "bucket list." I ran a 5K and I am healthy. Yes, one of the things on my bucket list was just to be completely healthy. That's how important this is to me.

How did I do it, you ask? Exercise. I've always been a healthy eater. I did do a healthy diet and lost 15 lbs. prior to starting an exercise routine, but my blood work and numbers still needed improvement. For me, exercise doesn't do much for my weight, I can take off weight with diet, but it is exercise that works wonders on my health and THAT is what's most important to me. I now run 2, sometimes 3, times a week and do holy yoga 1 day a week. I have no doubt that this exercise is what has made the difference. It is the first time in my life I have had a consistent exercise routine and it is the first time in my life I've been healthy.

It hasn't been easy. In fact, it's been quite hard, but the benefits outweigh the difficulties and make it all worth while. I have found that starting an exercise routine is the HARDEST part. Once you make it a priority and stick with it for a couple of months, it is no longer hard, but something you look forward to. Of course, when you see the results, it becomes much easier as well!

This Thursday, I am truly thankful for my health! My prayer is that this post will help motivate someone else who has been on the fence about exercise to get up and go do it! If I can do it, so can you!

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