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What’s Been Going On

This was originally posted on my personal blog Well Color Me

V=Back in December, I got sick. I thought it was just a sinus infection. The doctor gave me meds and it went away. All was well in my world, or so I thought. Less than a month later, the sinus infection along with a horrible cough was back. The doctors were reluctant to give me another antibiotic, which I get, because they don’t want to over prescribe. They gave me cough medicine with codeine, and Benzonatate, neither of which did jack for my cough.

I was miserable, people I work with were sick of listening to me cough all day long, and my family was over hearing me cough all night long. Back to the doctor I went and they decided that another antibiotic was indeed in order. Again, it worked and all was well in my world.

Until the cough came back with a vengeance. Nothing was touching this cough. I ate cough drop after cough drop, I tried using a neti pot, over the counter cough remedies and home remedies. And still my cough remained, so back to the doctor I went.

They decided that the best course of treatment was a steroid, coupled with a chest x-ray. My chest had been clear all through this, but they just wanted to make sure. So I took the steroid and I had the chest x-ray. It was a miracle, the steroid worked and my cough went away. But then the call came – my lymph nodes were enlarged and they wanted to do a CAT scan.

So I scheduled the CAT scan and had the necessary blood work done for that – or so I thought. The phlebotomist who drew the blood did a crappy job and I had a bruise and a lump on my arm that could probably be seen from outer space. My students kept asking who bit me, it was that bad. I also got my cough back which resulted in another round of steroids. And as I found out the day of the CAT scan, she didn’t run the right tests. I was ready to walk out then and there because I did not want more blood drawn, but the nice tech at the CAT scan place drew some blood before she hooked up the IV I needed and ran the test really quick.

The cat scan was painless and done very quickly and the results came fairly quickly as well. Yes my lymph nodes were enlarged and my doctor referred me to someone for a biopsy. Now I was starting to get scared. They were tossing out words like lymphoma and another word I had never head of, sarcoidosis. My doctor sent me to another doctor. I went for the appointment and the next thing I know they’re escorting me to another doctor in the hospital who wants to see me right away. “But don’t worry, nothing is really wrong,” they said. “We’re just going to walk you right over there.” Yeah, that freaked me out. I met with the nice doctor and he decided that the biopsy was going to be done next week. “It’s not really a big deal but we want to get it done right away.” Sorry, but all this stuff happining fast screamed big deal to me, but hey, what do I know, right? Anyhow, the biopsy was scheduled and I was quietly freaking out.

I had the biopsy, and the doctor told me I’d probably get the results in 5 to 7 days. I also got another a funnerific cough courtesy of the endoscopy tube shoved down my throat. I was quite surprised when the doctor called me the next night to give me the results. I was confident all along that it wasn’t lymphoma, and I was right. But it is sarcoidosis. He also heard my delightful cough and prescribed another round of steroids. I should be ballooning up like Violet Beauregard from Willie Wonka fame any time now.

After I got my new script filled, I did what any other person in my position would have done. I took to the interwebs to find information. I went to intelligent sites like Mayo Clinic and Web MD but then I made a HUGE mistake and I turned to facebook and looked for support groups. I thought I would find a lot of information from people dealing with the same thing, and there was some good information, but there was also a lot of poor me and boo hoo and I’m so miserable. I get it. I really do. I’m feeling all whiney and boo hooey myself, but I refuse to get in a funk about this. I’m a huge proponent of positive thinking, and I do believe that your mental outlook can go a long way toward repairing your body.

So where I stand right now is in a sea of uncertainty. I don’t know who I’m supposed to be seeing for treatment, I don’t know what type of sarcoidosis I have – apparently there are many different types. I don’t know anything other than I’m on a steroid. I don’t like not knowing anything, but that’s where I am right now. I guess I’ll be reaching out to my doctor to find out what is next in this process of healing and getting this disease into remission. I’ve been slacking a bit on my diet, my doctor actually said just to wait until I got the biopsy dealt with and school was out, because my stress level has been sky high. She didn’t see any point in worrying about keto and macros and all that because I was just stressing out more.

I know that eating healthy will be good and exercising is good, and eliminating stress is also good. However, it’s hard to exercise when you are coughing up a storm, and stress, well I’m a magnet for stress, but I’m still going to try. It’s small baby steps. Like I’m not doing serious keto and I’m not counting macros, but I’m not going to eat french fries and potato chips all day every day. I can’t do hard core exercise right now, but I can walk, and if I have to stop and cough, so be it. As far as the stress goes – I really just need this school year to be done. That is a big part of my stress right there for reasons I won’t go into here, but anyone who knows me knows what I’m talking about!

I have this disease, but this disease does not have me.

Changing your life

I am all about making changes in my life.  I have tons of great ideas about things I want to do to change my life.  I may not be so great with the follow through, but that’s a blog for another day.  Anyhow, back to changing your life.  We all have different vehicles we use to bring about change in our lives.  This website is one of mine.  But I recently read an amazing article about changing your life.  It’s written by Kathleen McGovern, and it’s called.  How To Change Your Life With One Word.  Ms. McGovern says a lot of great things in her article, but this stands out for me….you need clarity and sustained focus over time.

The whole article is great, and I encourage you to read it here, but that one phrase really resonates.  You can’t exercise once and then be healthy or cut back on the junk food for a day and be skinny (oh how I wish that were true).  Nor can you pick up a book and look at it once and think you’ll be prepared for a test the next day. Changing your life takes time and focus, but there are some things you can do to really help you along your way.

Check out the article and let me know what you took away from it, because I truly loved it!

My Book is Available on Amazon! Let’s Celebrate!!

I have some really exciting news to share.  My new book Thinking Positive: Take the Journey to Positivity is available on amazon.come.

In a world where we are constantly bombarded with negativity, one of the best things we can do is to think in a positive manner. Thinking Positive: Take the Journey into Positivity will provide you with tips, tricks and tools to develop a more positive outlook.  To say I’m excited is an understatement.  I can’t wait for you to read it and let me know what you think!

Let’s Connect

Hi Everyone – I’m really hoping to start some meaningful conversations around the topic of positive thinking.  I’ve started a facebook group which you can find here to us as a forum for people to talk about positive thinking.  I want to hear what works for people and what doesn’t.  I think we all have a lot to share and we can really help one another.  Watching the news and reading the paper, I see so much negativity in this world, and I want to combat it, with one positive thought at a time.  But I need help.  I need YOUR help.

So why not stop by and share a tip or a trick, or ask a question.

I Love Ted

Yesterday, I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across a Ted Talk by Susan David. I watched it, and really enjoyed it, and then I moved on to something else. But I didn’t stop thinking about it. It was percolating in the back of my mind as I connected it to this, that, and the other, including a blog post I wrote this week.  Dr. David, of course, spoke far more eloquently than I wrote, and I really think it’s worth watching.  So press play, and then let me know what you think 🙂

Just in Case

I came across this image today, and I promptly shared it everywhere.  I think we should all read it to yourselves or say it to ourselves every morning.

In case you forgot to remind yourself this morning…your butt is perfect. Your smile lights up the room. Your mind is insanely cool. You are way more than enough, and you are doing an amazing job at life.

I know I’ve blogged about this before, but we are our own worst enemy.  Seriously!  I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t talk to my worst enemy the way I talk to myself.  My internal monologues are filled with disgust about myself, my life, my eating habits, my laziness, basically, my everything.  Let’s just take eating habits for a second.  Yeah, my eating habits are not the greatest, but neither are the eating habits of a lot of other people.  There will be times when we’ll be pigging out on junk food and someone will comment on how bad they are eating or how much weight they need to lose.   To them I will say supportive things. “It’s okay to take a break from eating healthy,” or “Splurge today and get right back on the healthy eating wagon tomorrow.”  I will always try to be supportive and positive but when it comes to me, I’m ripping myself apart for what I may have eaten.

I constantly talk down to myself.  In my mind, I am fat, ugly, lazy and stupid, and everything I do is wrong.  I don’t think I’m alone in this hateful self-talk.  I don’t understand why we do this to ourselves.  I don’t know what happened to me to make me be so dissatisfied with the person that I am, but I do know that it needs to change.  Am I a perfect person?  No, of course not.  Are there things I need to improve about myself?  Absolutely.  Are those things worthy of the self-loathing, and hate I heap upon myself?  No.  I do not deserve that kind of talk, and what’s amazing is if anybody else talked to me that way, I’d be inclined to punch them in the face.  At the very least, I’d tell them to shut up, walk away and probably cut them out of my life.  And yet I continue to take the abuse I heap upon myself, and I think I’m not alone.

So while I’m not a big resolution person, I think I am going to make one this year.  I’m going to start treating me, and talking to me they way I treat others and talk to others.  I’d like all of you to join me in this.  Make 2018 the year of loving yourself.  2018 is the year of loving me!

The Power of Positivity: Amy’s Story

Today’s guest post is by Constance Ray of RecoveryWell.org

“I’m so grateful to be set free from living a fear-driven life and carrying the burdens of that fear and worry. I am so thankful that I am happy the majority of the time today.” – Annette, Sobriety Advocate

Depression and addiction are serious illnesses that affect millions of people — and sometimes, they work together to make someone’s life completely

Photo credit: Pixabay

unbearable. And while it’s important to receive treatment for these conditions, whether on their own or as co-occurring disorders, the power of positive thinking can go a long way in helping people find their way back from despair. Amy, a brave addiction warrior, is proof that dancing in the rain is an effective first step in making a positive and permanent life change.

 

***

 

Amy started struggling with mental health issues when she was just a little girl.

 

“From a young age, I started having panic attacks,” she said. “I was in and out of the doctors’ offices, and eventually diagnosed with depression and panic disorder.”

 

Though her parents worked hard to get her the help she needed, she still suffered some dark times during her adolescence.

 

“I experienced quite a bit of childhood trauma growing up. My parents divorced when I was about 12 or 13 years old, and that’s around the time I started drinking. It was also around that time I started having suicidal thoughts.”

 

She continued, “By the time I was 16, I was experiencing constant panic attacks and was unable to breathe and unable to cope. I was drinking, but hadn’t started using drugs yet. I was kicked out of my mom’s house, and instead of going to live with my dad, I moved in with drug dealers.”

 

When she was 18, she underwent open-heart surgery to treat a life-threatening medical condition.

 

“I was so excited to have the surgery because I thought it was really going to help me — so I could breathe normally, be better at sports, and have less anxiety,” she remembered.

 

Sadly, things didn’t turn out the way she hoped.

 

“What no one had told me was that surgery can significantly worsen depression,” she explained. “I couldn’t do the things I normally did to cope with it, like sports or driving. By the time I left the hospital, I was severely addicted to morphine. Everything went quickly downhill after my open-heart surgery, and I turned to pain medication.”

 

Amy continued to try to live a normal life — at that point, she didn’t yet realize that she was addicted. She moved from Chicago to New Orleans for college and completed her freshman year. Unfortunately, she couldn’t keep the momentum going, and soon found herself homeless on the streets of New Orleans.

 

“During that time, I experienced more trauma. I was diagnosed with PTSD. Things got really bad. I was down to about 80 pounds, and I crossed just about every line I had ever established in my life,” she said.

 

She was in and out of counseling, but it wasn’t until a friend connected her with a man who worked in an outpatient treatment program that she got the help she really needed — including the power of positive thinking.

 

She said, “That man, his wife and his family came to meet me on a 12-step call, and I went to a meeting with them. Immediately afterwards, I went out drinking; but the next day, [which was] Mardi Gras when I was 21 years old, I got a sponsor.

 

“Before I went to to that meeting, for the first time in my life, I actually wanted to live,” she continued. “While I was there, I saw people who were truly happy. The family that took me to that meeting — they saved my life. I felt a sense of community I had never experienced.”

 

Now, with over three and a half years of sobriety under her belt, Amy works tirelessly to ensure that others who are struggling the way she once did practice positivity and other body- and mind-healthy habits in their everyday lives.

 

“I am now the regional coordinator for the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network … I bring public education to topics like suicide, substance abuse and mental illness,” she beamed.

 

She shares her story whenever she can in order to help others.

 

She noted, “I realized I couldn’t do what I was doing for a living without expressing myself and my story. Part of my self-care today involves having people around me who are aware of my past and what I’m doing. When I speak with groups, I start up conversations about mental illness, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.”

 

Although Amy worked for years to achieve everything she has accomplished today, she couldn’t truly battle her demons until she committed to having a changed perspective — one that allowed her to view things in a positive way.

 

“The first step is to want it — to really want it. I wish that wasn’t always the case, but it is.”

 

If you are struggling with a mental health condition like addiction, depression or anxiety, know that there is always help available for you. You can overcome any obstacle life throws at you — but as Amy proves, you have to want it, and embrace your strength with hope and positivity.

 

As she said, “It’s so important to have … a willingness to keep walking. No matter how small the step, keep moving forward. It’s all about daily action.”

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The Secret of Deliberate Creation

Have you ever wondered why the Law of Attraction isn’t working well for you?  You’ve watched the video, you’ve read the book, in fact you’ve read many books and still you struggle.  It’s an exercise in frustration.  You’re living in default mode instead of design mode.  You’re conditioned to have low, or even empty expectations, but you cannot achieve success by slapping positive thoughts on top of empty expectations.  Trust me, I know.  I was banging my head against the wall.  I’m Joe positive…I’m always thinking positive and looking for the good everywhere and in everything.  But then I learned about The Secret of Deliberate Creation.  Dr. Robert Anthony breaks it all down and helps you to work through the roadblocks that are sabotaging your success.  If you want to learn more about this fantastic program, Click Here!  Give yourself permission to TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE, and start manifesting your heart’s desire.

What Follows YOUR I Am?

I just read an amazing article at YourTango.com – here is a brief snippit of it and a link to the complete article – it’s really good, I suggest you check it out, and more importantly – change your I Am statements.

by RJ Banks

It’s all about the law of attraction.

Do any of these statements sound familiar?

“I’m so broke.”

“I’m so tired.”

“I’m so stupid,”

And the list goes on…

Whether you know it or not, or like it or not, you’re reciting affirmations for your subconscious mind to program your beliefs about yourself and your life. Unfortunately, negative affirmations are just as effective in our lives as positive affirmations…….  Continue reading HERE

A Cool Idea for the New Year 

We should all do this

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