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39, Ouch!

Wow, I can’t believe I am 39 this year and next year I will be the big 40.

This post will be a review of my 38th year and then what I will be accomplishing for my 39th year.

My year has been a roller coaster of emotions, surgeries, chemo treatments, new doctors, meeting new people, being a part of an amazing organization, and meeting and valuing new and old people who are in my life. I learned a lot this year. Here are some of my high lights:

I had 5 surgeries this year. Four of them were on my throat, keeping it open so that I can obtain oxygen in order to live and one of the surgeries was to remove my gallbladder. From August through October I had my four throat surgeries. I went from a trach to a T-tube then back to a trach in those three months. In October and November I had two bouts of Rituximab Chemo treatment to help me with my auto-immune disease. I am still in the not knowing which one it is, but I do know that the Rituximab is working. I have not had a surgery in my throat since October 24th. I am so happy about this. Being in constant healing mode is exhausting.   I experience an exploded vein and heart palpitations, and having to have my stoma stretched without it being numb was a real treat. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. I learned how much I can endure and how much I appreciate and love my team of doctors, nurses, family, and friends.

I chose to start taking a sleeping medication called Trazadone, because with my trach I wasn’t getting much sleep and I know and everyone knows sleep is vital for a healthy body and mind. I am happy to report that I have been getting between 6 to 9 hours of sleep a night. I love it. I feel so much better when I am able to sleep. I am not so grumpy. I am not easy irritated. I am also able to think clearly and function better. Another marvelous thing I did was doing Pulmonary Rehab which I am done with. I learned some exercises that I can do with my trach. Though admittedly I am not so active now as I once was, but I have some hopes and desire for a recombinant bike which is similar to the NuRide that I used while in Rehab. Somehow I must get my mind and my body back into moving evening if my obesity and breathing issues slow me down and cause me to move slower and not be as up and at them as I once was. I am hoping when I start with my therapy that will be one of the goals we can work on, because having a healthy mind, body, and soul is my ultimate desire.

I chose to shave my hair off in August, because well one I am going bald so what is the use of having hair anyway. Two, I kept having to go to the hospital and having to take care of my hair while there was a pain in the butt, so why not shave it off. I am glad I did. The reactions I received from people were priceless to me. I don’t think people knew what to think or do when they saw me walking down the street. I am happy to say that I have hair now; it isn’t as thick as I once had it, but it is thicker than it was before I shaved it. I have no idea why, but I think cutting it all off and starting over helped it somehow. I am happy with my choice.

I have maintained and met some new people in my life and around my community. I hope to expand and be more involved this year.

My goals for my 39th year:

With my therapist work on my goals and accepting my illness so that I can have a healthy mind set about what I can do and what I can’t and not beat myself up when I can’t do things I once did and figure out what I can do now.

Continue to build healthy relationships with everyone in my life that I choose to have in my life.

Find and take the Well-being with Chronic Illness classes when it is in my area again.

Move, stretch, walk, garden, swim, and do what I need to be active in my life.

Write my “Finding Joy With Illness” book and have it complete by my 40th birthday. I am happy to say I have a good start. If you are interested in becoming a beta reader, let me know.

Lose 50 pounds this year.

Read and write books for my blog.

Taking a cooking class

Try eating the Paleo way for 30 days to see how I feel.

Switch from soda drinker to water drinker more often.

I know I can accomplish these goals in a year…

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