All I Want For Christmas... | rolala loves

December 18, 2013

All I Want For Christmas...


I don't really talk about it much but the truth is I've probably had very few days where I've been completely healthy in about 2 years now. This has been something that has been tough to come to terms with cause it feels like I'm acknowledging that my body has been broken. I eat well and and I take care of myself so this struggle has been both frustrating and a real wake up call.

I was recovering from a wrist injury when I first started this blog. Those of you who've been with me for awhile will remember my bout with vertigo and tinnitus in the spring of 2012. That was a particularly low point since the condition left me bedridden and feeling like a shell of myself for the better part of a month. I still shudder to think at how sick to my stomach the mere sound of running water would make me for awhile and it really bites when laying down makes you even dizzier than standing up. After 6 months of Chinese herbal medicine treatments, I was able to recover from most of my symptoms though I did feel like a relapse might hit me early this past Spring. I was able to fend it off but I'd be lying if I told you that I don't live in perpetual fear of it coming back at any time. Since no doctor was able to diagnose me, I self-diagnosed myself and my ailments sounded like they could be due to a magnesium deficiency. I've been taking magnesium supplements twice daily along with epsom baths twice a week and it's been working so I'm sticking with it. Hydrating liberally and sleeping adequately helps as well. I've also continued to limit the time I spend on the computer since I found that prolonged exposure does trigger dizziness in me. That's not really an ideal scenario when you blog but it's necessary in my case. I don't know if I'll ever be able to completely kick this but I'm sure going to keep trying.

At the same time, I was also slowly developing a condition called adhesive capsulitis, better known as frozen shoulder. If I wasn't constantly dizzy and throwing up, I may have had a better realization of what was happening but the fact that I had something else wrong with me was just too much to process so I shielded myself with denial instead. By the time I was finally ready to deal with it, I couldn't even lift my left arm up halfway or reach around my back and the simple act of getting dressed had become excruciatingly painful. My doctor told me that it was bad but I could recover with physical therapy. It took 10 months of physical therapy and home exercise to regain my range of motion and become pain-free, well sort of anyway. There's still an ongoing presence of pain in my left shoulder and in my arm at times that reminds me that this condition can be recurrent. To prevent this, I still do maintenance exercises daily. I've been told the pain will go away eventually and I'm quite ready for that.

Of course it would be my luck that I re-injured my wrist towards the end of rehabbing my shoulder and ended up with a torn tendon. I wore a brace for 6 weeks while it healed before 8 weeks of physical therapy sessions. It still feels a tad prone to injury so I'm extremely careful and try not lift anything too heavy with my left hand. I also wear a brace on it when I sleep most nights to prevent it from turning and to keep myself from rolling or sleeping on it. Yes that has happened and it's no fun.

And then there's the ankle that I sprained on the way to my last therapy session for my shoulder. The irony of that is not lost on me. I was trying to avoid someone biking on the sidewalk and ended up spraining multiple ligaments and tearing tendons in my ankle. I had treatment and quite a few setbacks with this one. It was probably my own fault for walking too much on it before I should've and just kept re-aggravating the condition. I am unfortunately back in the brace and trying again to heal the torn tendons. The doctor has told me that if it doesn't heal this time, it will have to be surgically repaired and I'm trying my best to avoid that. This means laying off walking on it as much as possible for now. It's a good thing it's winter so I won't want to be out and it really hurts too much at the moment anyway.

If only good health came in a box that's really all I'd want this Christmas and many more to come. I realize it's not that easy and this will be another Christmas that I'm not completely well. While I'm accepting that for now, I'm also making a promise to myself to continue to dedicate myself to getting back to 100% or as close as possible. It's not always easy to stay positive when you're unwell and there are days when I just feel utterly defeated. I have to just keep reminding myself I could have worse things wrong with me and I'm lucky for that. I was once a real baby when it came to pain but since becoming a chronic pain sufferer, I'm so used to it that I hardly notice it anymore. If you've actually read this far, I didn't mean for this post to be a downer by any means. I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible gift that good health truly is. If you're lucky enough to enjoy it, make sure you hold onto to it.





66 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, this sounds like such an ordeal!! I'm glad to hear you figured out the magnesium helps. I had a client with similar symptoms you're describing and she did light therapy and claimed it really helped with her pain. Since you're probably on the computer daily, maybe you could try f.lux. It's a free program that helps adjust your display according to the time of day. I know it won't solve your problems but I think it's pretty neat and has scientific backing. Took some getting used to and I still turn it off for color work.

    Christmas is about being grateful for what you have too. I'm rarely sick and actually haven't been ill all year. I don't appreciate it enough and this is a good reminder. Thank you for always being so kind and positive!

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    1. It has been quite an ordeal but I'm still here. I've been using f.lux and find that it does help. If only I didn't have to jailbreak in order to install it on my iPad. I hope your good health continues :)

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  2. Oh dear doll...I pray for better health for you this Christmas and always...may you heal and improve each day...I think it's something we take for granted & we don't understand when others are unwell, just what it means or how it can affect them. Rest and take care as much as you can!! Lots of love and well wishes to you!! Xxxx

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    1. Thanks Kizzy! This experience has taught me to more empathetic when others are unwell for sure. I will try!

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  3. Dear Rowena, I send you some positive energy and light to your way. I know what you are talking about, at least some of it (I suffer of dizziness as well, I always fear it could come all of a sudden when I am out or away, and I also sprained my ankle, still hurts when I walk too much), your words made me think a lot. You are right, people, me included, often complain about silly things taking for granted the others much more important as health, which you know the importance only when it misses. I really hope you can fight all the diseases, stay brave dear: a determined and strong mind can do everything, never give up. Many hugs and kisses my friend, lots of love! xo

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    1. Thank you dear Lilli! I remember you telling me about your problems as well. Make sure you take care of that ankle cause you don't want to end up like me. I really hope we can both overcome our health issues.

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  4. ((((HUGS)))) Rowena.
    My eldest was born with a lot of health problems, so I totally understand what you mean. Being healthy is something we should never take for granted. I do wish good health comes in boxes. I'll be sending one to you now if it does.
    XOXO

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    1. Thanks Emmy! That must be so hard as a mom! I hope your son is over the hump with his health problems. And I'd send them to you and your family as well :)

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  5. Oh my friend so sorry to find out your level of pain its not easy to recover from those type of injury it does take time. Magnesuim help thats a good thing its also good for you I'm glad you keeping a positive perpective on this do not give up.
    http://tifi11.blogspot.com

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  6. Thank you for sharing this with us Rowena, it's truly inspiring that despite all the pain and injuries you've suffered in the past 2 years you're still staying positive and strong. You've reminded me to not take my own health for granted, and it's something I should be very grateful for. I hope you have a wonderful christmas - sending you well wishes, positive vibes and lots of hugs from down under!! ;)

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    1. Thanks Stacey! I've def. had some good days in this time so it hasn't been all bad. Yes take care of yourself and stay healthy. I wish you a magical and wonderful christmas!

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  7. Wow I feel so bad for you. My husband had virtigo and I know what it was like. I had a frozen shoulder few weeks back and boy wasnt that painful. Yet it is not well. My son fractured his wrist and that was another story. So you had all these problems. I feels so bad for you. Take care. Hopefully you will be better in the coming year.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. Thanks Paps! I'm sorry to hear that your family has had health issues as well. Make sure you get proper treatment for that frozen shoulder. It's painful and something that can deteriorate quickly. Let's hope we'll all be better in the coming year.

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  8. Oh Rowena, my heart goes out to you dear. My husband has had constant back pain for years and also says that he just came to accept the ever present pain. He tried acupuncture a few times this past year and it surprisingly helped a bit.
    It is these bouts with the fragility that can be our own body that make us realize what is truly important. I wish you good health and happiness my dear! Take it easy and enjoy the little things!

    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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    1. Thanks dear! I did some acupuncture treatments for my shoulder and it did help. What you said is so true! I will!

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  9. wow rowena. sending you lots of strength and recovery thoughts your way. it's true that not many people realize that having good health is the best gift you can get. i hope you'll be on your way to getting 100% better real soon. xx

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    1. Thanks Jane! I could use the strength and recovery thoughts! I hope so too!

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  10. Rowena, thanks for sharing such a personal post with us. Sending you lots of prayers for health and recovery xx Kat


    Love and Ace

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  11. Oh I hear you. I have had health problems for decades and have even had to have surgery because of it. It also created secondary health problems and has kept me form leading a normal life. Plus there is chronic pain and discomfort. People with out health problems really do not really realize how lucky they are and what a gift they have. I hope things improve for you in 2014!

    Allie of ALLIE NYC
    allienyc.com

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    1. Yes having health problems really keeps you from having a normal life at times. Let's hope both our health issues will clear up in the coming year!

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  12. ah so so sorry for your health problems! I struggled with tendinitis/tenosynovitis in both my wrists for years until I finally got surgery on one of my wrists last year. now i'm careful to do my necessary exercises and stretches. but nothing compared to your issues lately. I hope that you continue to get better!
    -- jackie @ jade and oak

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    1. Thanks Jackie! Our wrists are really more delicate than we know. I hope you do too!

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  13. I feel that sometimes our physical and mental strength has been tested way too many times throughout this life. You feel like please stop all these tests because it is too much a person can handle. I hope your test will end soon and you will become much stronger and healthier. Having just minor sickness is irritating and I just cant imagine how difficult it must be for you in the past years. Sending big hugs and well wishes your way Rowena.

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    1. I'm certainly ready for them to end. I really appreciate it Nelah! Thank you!

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  14. Im so sorry to hear about all that's happened to you! I hope this year will bring nothing but healthiness and happiness to your life! Im sending all good vibes your way and I really hope you get better soon! Thank you for sharing a personal story that inspires others.

    -Vogue&Heels
    www.vogueandheels.com

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  15. Hope your health improves ~ here's to a healthier year ahead :)

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  16. Oh my dear, I'm wishing you nothing but good health and blessings. So sorry to hear about your health issues. Enjoy the simple things in life and continue to be strong. xx/M

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    1. Thanks Madison! The little things have become sweeter because of this for sure. I will try.

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  17. Hey doll! I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I did not know about your recent ailments. I want you to stay positive and realize there is hope. For a couple of years, I had one health problem after another. It never seemed to end. I was so sad. I eventually got through it. It took some time. I pray that you don't need surgery and that it heals on it's own. You will get through this Rowena. I'm going to pray for you. You are in my prayers. Keep your chin up. ((hug))
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. I remember you telling me about your bad period of health and you're an inspiration to me girl! I'm glad you got through it and I hope I will too. You're the sweetest Kim! I really appreciate all your positive energy and prayers!

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  18. I did really the whole lot but I wasn't thinking anything like a downer, I was kind of shocked with how much one person has to cope with. My parter has Crohs so I've got a fair idea with how bad things can get but this is 10-fold.

    On the up for 2014!

    Buckets & Spades

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    1. Thanks for saying that Matthew! It can't be easy for your partner either. On the up to us all for 2014!

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  19. aw I'm so sorry to hear of your two year battle with trying to be healthy! Being healthy sounds like such a "simple" thing but something that can be easily taken for granted for. I wish you the very best in recovery and a wonderful and healthy 2014!! May we all be so lucky to celebrate our health!
    xo,
    nancy

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    1. Yes being healthy sounds simple yet it can slip away quite easily. Thank you so much Nancy! Yes we all should be that lucky!

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  20. I'm so sorry Rowena!
    I totally agree health is the most important thing for each of us .... I wish you the best my dear, I feel that you are a strong and courageous woman!

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  21. Aw no Rowena, I am so sad to hear all of this. I can't imagine how much of pain you had to endure. I know its miserable to be so sick. I am sending you many hugs and prayers that you fully recover from all ailments and get back to your normal self. I had to deal with being very ill a few years ago and all that helped was love and support from family and friends and a lot of rest and care. Wishing you the best of health sweety!

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    1. Thank you Sam! I'm sorry to hear you had to deal with a period of illness as well but I'm glad you were able to recover. I really appreciate your encouragement.

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  22. Dear Rowena,
    I sincerely hope you will have your health back very soon. I can't believe how cheerful and kind you have been to us all this time. I knew you were not completely well but I did not know you're suffering from various conditions.
    I send you hugs and warm wishes. Get well soon!
    (I still find it is very funny to see the first comment posted here is a spam...?)

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    1. Thank you Lena! Being able to visit my fave blogs and chatting with you all has kept me going in this time since I just try to do things that make me happy now. I appreciate your well wishes. I know right ?!

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  23. Oh my dear Rowena, I had no idea you were going through all of this!! I'm so sorry you have to go through this, but I know you were made strong for a reason. You are so positive and such a kind soul, you deserve to be happy and healthy! That quote is so true. I think about it often and I acknowledge and give thanks and praise for being what I consider "healthy". It really is a gift that people need to be thankful for. I send you strength, well wishes, and love your way my dear!! xoxo <3

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    1. You're so sweet Jessica! I'm mostly happy despite this and I hope the healthy part will come back too. You have a great outlook on this. Thanks for the support!

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  24. Oh Rowena, so sorry to hear your had such health problems, I never imagined you had to go through this. I admire your strenght so much and it's so great that you shared this with us, thank you for that. I've come to really appreciate being healthy as well, not from me, but from my mom, she has been through so much since I was very young, so I truly only ask for health as well. I hope you get better and better each day and I send you love! :)

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    1. I'm sorry to hear your mom has had been through health problems as well and I hope she is well and happy now. You def. learn to appreciate the importance of good health when you or loved one is unwell. Thank you for your kindness and support Maru!

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  25. good health is definitely something most people take for granted. we really admire your strength in not only fighting through this, but also in sharing your story. We hope you're on your way to better health and if as you said, good health could be gifted, we would be sending boxes of it your way!!

    http://mkstyleramblings.blogspot.com.au/

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  26. It's amazing the things that we don't think about when we are healthy. I always try to maintain a perspective on this...but it is one of the hardest things! Sending you hugs my friend!

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    1. It is one of the hardest things! Thank you Alexa!

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  27. I am really sorry to hear you are still having to deal with the health issues! I really hope you will find a way to sort them out, though. As a nutritionist, I believe that everything comes from either our diet or lifestyle habits and is a result of biochemical imbalances. I am not able to consult you myself, even via Skype (it's about working in the States vs Europe insurance-wise otherwise I'd be there for you asap), so my suggestion would be to find a nutritional therapist (not just a nutritionist, but nutritional therapist!), have a test to check your vitamin and mineral status plus hair mineral analysis (private lab, function tests - Genova is a good one to start with). There are other tests, but to find the right one for you, you will need to physically talk to somebody about your medical history and diet etc. If you need any advice or help - just email me. xxx

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    1. As I've been trying to sort myself out I've been realizing what you said. I've been pretty careful with my diet since I started getting ill but it probably would be a good idea to consult with a nutritional therapist as you suggested as well. This is something I'll look into in the new year. Thanks for the advice and support Natalia!

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  28. Get well soon and hope the new year will bring you the best of health and all things beautiful! Keep it up and thanks for dropping by my new blog. You are always welcomed to hang around for a chit chat *_^

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    1. Thank you Jenn! I hope the same for you and I'll def. be back to visit you for a chat or two.

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  29. Wishing you a speedy recovery, don't know how I missed this. Yes, health is wealth and we should be thankful everyday if we are healthy.
    effortlesslady.blogspot.ca

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  30. ohh gosh this sounds pretty bad! I really hope you feel better soon!! I am sending you good thoughts and I wish you a speed recovery! Hopefully the near year brings you better health! Stay positive! =)

    http://www.mybrokeneggshells.com

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  31. I hope you'll get better and definitely you are in my prayer. Health is very important and so sorry that you have to go through this when it's a festive holiday season are approaching it's hard to be in a jolly spirit . Take it easy and may you have a wonderful healthy New Year.

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    1. I appreciate the good thoughts at prayer Cynthia! I actually feel like I have more to be grateful for during the holidays since this hasn't completely brought me down.

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  32. I really don't see these posts as a 'downer' because it really is a 'wake-up call' if someone you know is experiencing all these symptoms instead of just hearing about it from random people on the internet. Oh reality @_@
    I am the absolute worst at trying to make people feel better (heh), so just know that this pain will eventually pass (that's what I tell myself everyday, since I'm a baby about pain too). I wish you speedy resolution/recovery on your conditions, and I hope you take it easy during the holidays! You are in dire need of R&R c:

    hughugshugshugs

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    1. Thank you for sharing your perspective Vanessa. Your well wishes and hugs do make me feel better. And yes to the R&R :-)

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  33. Rowena! You know I'm always thinking of you and your health, and if good health did come in a box I would have sent you 10 of them two years ago!! I'm hoping for better health for you in the coming year, it doesn't feel right for you to be taking excellent care of your health and for it to not seem to help.

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  34. Thanks Jeanine! As you know, sometimes your body doesn't want to cooperate even if you do the right things. I really hope for better health for us both in 2014.

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  35. Oh sweetie! I've only now discovered this post, and it made me slightly teary-eyed! And it makes me really angry to know how much you suffer, when you don't deserve it at all! So I'm going to wish you only one thing for 2014: for you to be able to recover 100% from all your ailments and pains, to rediscover fully your joie de vivre. I wish that health and happiness never leave you!

    Sending you the biggest hugs, lots of love, and all my support!

    I miss you!

    xx Ivana

    Macarons and Pearls

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