Friday, March 07, 2003
posted by Julie |
You know I'm a little guilty of seducing myself. I have been feeling mmm… invincible. Having lost weight and gained great ground in becoming fit, I've been feeling all smug in my health. Very sure of it.
As I watched my cohorts and family fall to colds and sniffles all season, there was a little voice in my head that would think, 'gee I wish they'd give up sugar,' and 'oh it's the white flour that's causing all that phlegm.' And as the winter wore on, and I didn't catch a single cold or push through even half a sore throat, I became more convinced. I had become a paragon of great health.
Until this week.
What started out as the same respiratory flu that my whole family has shared in the past weeks on me went straight to pneumonia.
Weak lungs. It's one of my Achilles heels. But it's one I keep denying, for some reason. I'm in such great denial about it that already I've avoided the word… asthma. I deny my asthma, refute the yearly bouts with bronchitis I've had since childhood, and laugh in the face of the other fights with pneumonia I've had - too many - in my life.
I took myself off of my asthma medications years ago. Also I didn't get my flu vaccine. So what should have been a fairly straightforward viral romp went straight to something much worse.
And not a small ego blaster.
Chastised by my long-suffering physicians' assistant, I'm back on asthma meds, on antibiotics, and of course feeling much better. Cranky, but better.
I'm especially cranky because I know this means its high time I cut dairy and caffeine from my diet. Oh I really don't want to. I know it'll make me better. But oh how I will miss my cheese. And my coffee. But if I have to choose between great cheese and coffee and sucking on steroids? Ach. It's still a tough choice.
Now if I had to choose between my pets and sucking steroids. No problem. I'll suck steroids.
I'd like to say it's possible to cure everything by eating right and exercising, but of course it's not. Feeling lots better isn't the same thing as reversing your health issues. We do feel a lot better as we lose weight and get fit, so much so it's easy to take things too far, to take yourself off your meds without consulting your doctor, for instance. Or too fast when you've relied on meds for a long time. People do it all the time. It's understandable behavior.
You don't want your identity wrapped up with high blood pressure, so you drop your bp meds. You don't want to be a diabetic, so you stop taking your glucophage. You don't want to have the medical history you have, so you try to reverse it by self-prescribing. Or self-unprescribing.
Don't be tempted. Converse with your doctor, your naturopath, your nutritionist. If you don't like your doctor, get another doctor. But don't drop all your meds the minute you start feeling perky.
I just set my body back a good bit. Pneumonia isn't cute. Antibiotics cause all sorts of havoc. The inhalers make me jumpy. I hope you won't have to learn this the way I did.
Rats. Poop. Grrrr….
A good book on Asthma
Doc Weil on asthma