Thursday, November 17, 2011

How are you, Jen? (a diary entry on GERD, stress and happiness)

This is an entry that I thought long and hard about sharing here. Some things are quite secret and some information are quite sensitive.  Then I figured, not a lot of people can handle a very long post so I guess not a lot of people will really know what has been going on....

It's been 4 years since I started practicing The Secret. That was late 2007. Prior to that, I've been an emotional wreck (since my adolescent years actually) and I was always stressed out, if not in school (all the way to taking my master's in U.P.), then at work, which is why I like to write about my life be it in a notebook or in my online diaries that are my blogs. Writing has always been a form of catharsis for me.

Looking back, I noticed a certain pattern in my life. Whenever I am super stressed and troubled, my digestive system always gets affected in a major way. My skin breaks out into rashes as well but THAT I can handle. When my tummy or anything related to it gets to be the problem, medical help is definitely needed.

I had peptic ulcer in grade school which was aggravated during my sophomore year in high school. When I was working in GSIS in 2006, I needed to get a colonoscopy because I seriously thought I had stomach cancer. As it turned out, my colon was clean and I was just so stressed at work.

In 2007, I practiced The Secret / Positive Thinking / Meditation and after a year, I started feeling emotionally and phyiscally neutral, which I considered a very good sign; it was better than feeling depressed and sick all the time at least. In 2008, I was starting to feel happy, as in giddy and excited about life, not just neutral and apathetic.  In 2009, I discovered Vita Plus and started taking it religiously. I also bummed for a while and  just did things that made me happy. I was on top of the world. My health was at its prime, I had a ton of money in my savings (yep, I was a millionaire at one point, thanks to my retirement plan at GSIS), I felt like a super woman; I was thinner; even my menstrual period that has been irregular since I was 13 years old started visiting me every month. I was happy.

Then, come 2010, I started to slack off. I was celebrating life to the fullest, thinking that I was invincible. I rarely said no to opportunities ( i.e. I attended blog events while at the same time doing all my full time VA jobs). I also had to manage household chores, got involved in projects and took care of domestic stuff. I ate what I wanted, whenever I wanted. I abused myself mentally, physically and emotionally.

Then this year, I became so busy with everything else and trying to make a living that I didn't notice I wasn't eating and resting well. Peter was busy setting up his own business; our savings were dwindling and I had to compensate for the loss. There were months that I'd forget to ring my upline to send me a stock of Vita Plus. There was one whole month that I didn't sleep right at all. Then I got sick. At first I thought I was pregnant...

But thank God, I wasn't.

This time, it's GERD and it's literally a pain in the neck (in my throat actually as well as my chest). Peter didn't believe me at first. He thought it was just stress from our dwindling finances. I thought so too. Until the doctor told us stress is also one of the things that can aggravate GERD. Aside from having Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, my left knee also feels like it's giving up. I've been having this pain in my left knee since the middle of this year (about the same time Peter had to let go of his job to venture into business which was why I thought it was a psychosomatic symptom due to financial instability) and there were days when I couldn't even bend it. If I bend it, it's painful to stretch it. I'll be seeing my doctor this weekend to have this checked out.

It's been a week since I began taking medication for GERD. It's been a week since I started eating only the food on my doctor's good food list. But it was only when I drank Vita Plus (yesterday, after a month of no stock) that I started feeling much better. Maybe it's psychological; maybe the meds are finally kicking in. But I think the 5 vegetable components of this miracle drink are really helping. My only concern was the sugar component of this drink. Though it's not refined sugar (it's actually raw crystals from sugar cane), I just don't wanna take my chances. I rang up my upline to ask our resident doctors in Vita Plus on how to take this drink for someone who has GERD.

There's actually a way to separate the sugar from the vegetables. I just have to stir the water first. While it's turning, I pour the Vita Plus powdered juice. The sugar will sink at the bottom and the vegetables will mix with the water. I'll explain it more on my food blog next time. Just a note on refined sugar: it's terrible for one's health and causes joints to buckle  according to a research on joint pain I read which is why I am eliminating anything that has refined sugar, as well as white flour, too much salt and caffeine in my diet.

So that's that.
I've also been taking care of my emotional health by bonding with my old friends. Since most of my friends are now high up in the corporate ladder with families of their own, it can be hard to schedule time together. But I believe I can really attract what I want so when I shouted that out to the universe, my friends began scheduling their time with me. This weekend, Peachie and Marichit will stay with us for two nights and I'm really excited! (^_^)

Last Friday, Koryn invited me to watch a rock concert in UST. Though it rained, I was happy with the few minutes that I saw Koryn. The rest of the evening was also spent with my hubby just bonding together under the rain, feeling like college sweethearts, which we never actually were since I had a different boyfriend then who was taking biochemistry in UST.

That night was not only romantic for us, but there was a funny moment as well. It went like this:
While being soaked under the rain as Peter and I were walking holding hands across the muddy open grounds of UST...
Jen: OMG! This is so romantic, I feel like we're college sweethearts.
Peter: squeezed my hand tightly and smiled.
Jen: Shucks, memories... I suddenly remember my old college boyfriend!
Peter: Yiheee... tulak kita sa putik eh!
Jen: LOL!
Anyway, after that, we went back to the car, took off my wet and muddy Mango boots and wore my ever reliable crocs, then went off to O'Pollo for dinner.

After that we then went to The Fort to meet up with Danes who I have been missing for a while now. I was so happy to spend that night til dawn with her just chatting and catching up on each other's lives.

The next day, I had lunch with Net at ATC, watched Praybeyt Benjamin with her (laughter is the best medicine) and just bonded like high school gal pals until 5 pm.

The following day, I was supposed to be with my other girl friends, Irene and Ces, but my GERD attack was so severe because I had too much too eat the previous night that I was throwing up all over and I had to cancel our date.

After that incident, I learned my lesson and really followed my doctor's instructions to the letter.

That was all last weekend.

I promised myself to be better and happier.I now pace my activities and only do things that I felt like doing (like writing this post). I''m now exercising every day. I do a little yoga and jog on my trampoline (it helps with my knee). I don't let stuff pressure me anymore. I eat on time and I eat right. I sleep like a baby. It's okay to live life to the fullest as long as I'm not abusing my body, my time, my health. Balance is always the key.
Now I think things are really getting better. Peter has a better paying job which he very much deserves; I have my savings back; Our house is looking really homey with all our new stuff. We even talked about finally having a baby (maybe in two years if he marries me in church/beach first!); and I don't wake up to a panic attack anymore (Yup, for a whole month before my diagnosis, I always woke up with a huge knot in my tummy, like I was doomed... like someone is out to kill me... actually there is, but I'm not entertaining that thought anymore.)

Hopefully, things will continue to look up. Cheers to a life that's just getting better and better and better. (^_^)

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