Well hello there! Hope you’ve all had a gorgeous summer! I certainly have, having just returned from 3 weeks to the USA to visit my family and then do a road trip of New England (which I’d never explored before–and I totally want to go back, especially Boston, Maine, and Cape Cod).
I always find this time of a year a bit… bleak. Don’t get me wrong, there are some beautiful blue-sky days where the air feels crisp and clean. But I’m such a spring/summer girl and the shorter days and lack of green leaves and sunshine really do my head in (I do have a SAD lamp, but nothing beats a walk outside on a summer’s day for me. Nothing.)
So my last post was aptly titled, “I’ve Been Away.” I’ve been away again, but I definitely don’t want to make a habit of it.
This summer, I did some of the most awesomely fun things ever. My friends Lauri and Charlie and I visited our university town of Falmouth, Cornwall. I was busy with multiple trips to Paris and London and the U.S. to see family. My two sisters and I were in the same place at the same time, which is rare these days and always over way too fast. I met my new niece for the first time. Then more trips, my first Star Trek convention, in London (at which I met the entire cast of TNG except for Jonathan Frakes and Wil Wheaton, who didn’t attend, sadly… but it was AMAZING), some friends’ wedding in Lyon, France, and just lots of incredible busy-ness! (Did I mention I met Brent Spiner on both sides of the Atlantic? Data = <3).
But unfortunately, the health problems I was struggling with in my last post are still present. And I’m angry at myself for allowing it to put a damper on everything that happened over the past 8 months.
I just had my 2nd gastroscopy, this time to biopsy my esophagus. I’m awaiting those results, but the scope itself showed that my esophagus and stomach looked to be in perfect working condition. The endoscopist said, “You’ve got a stomach to be proud of!”
All of which is lovely, except it doesn’t explain my mystery swallowing problem. When I eat most foods, it feels like they’re sitting somewhere between the back of my throat and the entrance to my stomach. And no tests or x-rays have been able to show any problems. It might be easy to dismiss this as a mental problem except that I did have gastritis, which has been treated with PPIs that I’m still taking, and the acid reflux it’s caused has been known to also cause swallowing problems. It’s just that no doctor has been able to TELL me, “Yes, this is what’s going on. Do this, and you’ll get better.”
So for now, I’m still taking the PPIs, hoping they’re doing something, and await a specialist appointment in December (that was made in July and can’t be bumped any sooner).
I know this is not a serious issue, and the doctors have assured me of this as well. But to me, it’s serious, because it’s affected my quality of life. It’s made me miserable to be around, and made me miserable, period. I want to eat like I used to. I’d LOVE a glass of red wine. I’d love to just eat like normal and not think twice, “Is this going to feel stuck in my esophagus and make me panic?” Though I remind myself over and over, this isn’t major. Some people have REAL issues. This is not one of them.
And, I have faith. The only real comfort I’ve had has been God getting me through this. I might feel at the end of my rope some days, but I’m back to writing regularly, and exercise.
Which brings me to today’s point. (Yes, I have a point!) — (1) NaNoWriMo, and (2) the gym.
(1) I’m doing NaNo this year! Let’s be buddies! I’ve prepared nothing and have only the beginning of a draft I liked, that had no idea where it was headed, so I’ll work on that.
(2) GYM. Here’s where we throw down. I’ve been trying all sorts of things to overcome the anxiety that’s accompanied this mysterious dysphagia. A lot of it’s been helpful, to a point. I’ve been a runner for years (not a GOOD one, but a runner who does 10ks and is pleased with coming in under an hour. That kind of runner), but since our current neighbourhood isn’t conducive to refreshing jogs, I joined a gym. And it’s time I really use it.
I’ve never done this sort of thing before, but I’m posting it publicly so that, even if no one reads this, I’ll still feel compelled to stick it out. For ONE WEEK, I commit to getting up at 7 on weekdays, going to the gym, and starting my day with a workout behind me. Some people do this without thinking twice. I’d like to just do it, for once 🙂 Beginning next Monday, 3 November.
If you want growth, you gotta get out of your comfort zone, right?
No matter how rainy, no matter how tired, no matter how cold and lazy. I’m going to do it. And we’ll see what all the fuss is about after a week. If I feel better, I’ll try to keep it up. If not, then I’ll go back to once or twice a week whenever I can fit it in.
Until next time, here are some gratuitous photos of the past 4 months (the fun stuff, not the not-fun stuff):
I’m grateful to God that I’ve had the opportunity to do all these amazing things and visit these beautiful, breathtaking places. I just need to learn to stop focusing on my feelings, and focus on what’s real, and the other people around me. And in that department, I need all the help I can get.