Friday, March 6, 2015

Like a Box of Chocolates

Well friends, I can certainly say that the last two and a half years have been quite a journey!  I accepted a promotion at work which led me to the hip urban setting of the Twin Cities and also some of the most challenging career stress that I have experienced.  Working 10-12 hour days under intense pressure and often not eating, drinking or doing enough self care put me in a state of physical distress to say the least.  I developed unusual symptoms, including daily pain, intermittent debilitating migraines, stomach upset, lethargy and occasionally I would stumble back into the depths of depression.  I was nowhere that I wanted to be, although seemingly on the surface all was well for me in my new job, new city and new direction. 

I bounced between a few useless doctors before having a long discussion with an OB GYN who seemed to understand that I wasn't into popping pills or invasive tests, and she gave me some practical advice as well as a likely cause of the pain I was having- Interstitial Cystitis, a chronic inflammation of the lining of the bladder.  I started doing a daily practice of Hatha Yoga- yoga postures designed to promote wellness and encourage detoxification and began working with meditation more regularly to combat stress.  I cut back drastically on caffeine and stopped using the junk food I was surrounded with all day at work as a coping mechanism.  

Those small changes worked wonders to relieve my pain, but the migraines were still plaguing me like clockwork every month with my cycle.  I visited an amazing chiropractor who told me more about my body and the causes of my symptoms in the first 10 minutes of my appointment than all of the medical professionals I've encountered in my life combined.  He explained that Magnesium deficiency is prevalent in our modern lives because the soil has been depleted of this nutrient to a point of extinction.  He recommended Epsom salt baths rather than oral supplements due to the better absorption and retention of the mineral through the skin and also recommended a B-Vitamin supplement to combat the high level of stress I was experiencing.  Chiropractic adjustments were also part of his recommendations of course, along with drinking more clean water (apparently Minnesota has a high level of estrogen in the water - enough to make the boy frogs start turning to girls!) and avoiding soy and excess amounts of dairy and wheat. 

Today I am happy to say that I haven't had a migraine in over 4 months!  Although my workload is continually increasing, I have found many ways to cope with and reduce the stress, including using essential oils daily and adding a weekly Tai Chi class to my established practice of yoga and mediation. I've found creative ways to manage my team and my schedule so that I am being more productive and I've actually been able to work less hours while getting more done! 

There's still a long road ahead.  My symptoms still rear up occasionally as a nagging pain, mild nausea or depressed afternoon, but I now have tools I can use to help me stay more balanced and feel better on a daily basis.  I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences in more detail in my blogs again, now that I have a reliable PC at home and a little extra time here and there to write. 

Thanks for listening, and feel free to reach out to share your stories of the journey.


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