Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Here's what you do next:
Tip 1: Find the nearest deli and order your favorite piece of pie!
Tip 2: Don't panic even though you find it difficult not to. Breathe and stay focused.
Tip 3: Call a friend
Tip 4: Call your doctor's office and make a follow-up appointment to discuss what all this means and ask any questions you didn't get to ask during the initial visit.
Tip 5: Find a support group or organization that has information about the illness
Tip 6: Remember, you are most likely going to experience a new kind of normal
Tip 7: You are not your illness
Tip 8: You can still have a life even if it has limitations
Tip 9: CALL ME! 310-922-3957
Tip 10: EMAIL ME: SEALOVERV@GMAIL.COM
Depending on the diagnosis you receive, you might need to see specialists, undergo more testing, hospitalizations, change in diet, mood swings, sleep changes, etc. Knowledge is important so is attitude. Watch what messages you feed your brain. If you have a tendency to be a pessimist, chances are you will remain one, but practice seeing the glass as half full; it will save you!
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Be an advocate for yourself! Speak up, as my mother used to say. Know your choices and don't settle for less!
In health and peace,
Monday, May 10, 2010
She reminds us of the importance of being in the here and now when eating and recognizing and feeling the feelings that come up instead of heading for the refrig to mask them with food. We have a whole arsenal of feelings inside of us though we tend to not want to feel many of them, mostly feelings such as, loneliness, fear, anxiety, sadness and or boredom. We'd rather eat a bag of chips, Oreos or ___________you fill in the blank, then feel the feelings. Roth reminds us that feelings won't kill us. We might cry, we might feel uncomfortable, but they won't kill us. Here is where I recommend keeping a journal. Write your way through the feelings. Collage your way through the discomfort. Turn on some music. Call a friend. Go for a walk.
She writes about being aware of the Voice. That voice that has been present inside of us since our little brains could make sense of them. The negative and positive messages that still scream in our ears. The voice that maybe says, "You're not wearing that outfit are you?" Or, "You're not going to eat that are you?"And how these statements can trigger an internal reaction or thought about ourselves and inturn sends a message about ourselves to our core. She stresses the importance of listening to our bodies. Where in our bodies to we experience a feeling? How does it feel? What shape is it? What color is it? I use this a lot with art therapy when I ask a client to create an image of what they are feeling in their bodies. We live so disconnected to our precious bodies that we stay in our heads where all the lies dwell about ourselves. The lies that say, we our too fat too thin, too this too that.
I especially like The Eating Guidelines, which include things like: Eat when you are hungry. Eat sitting down in a calm environment. Eat what your body wants. Eat until you are satisfied. These are just a few. I recommend you pick up the book at the library and savior Roth's wisdom and expertise on the subject. Until then, eat mindfully.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
As an active fifteen year old, how was I to know that one day I would wake up feeling nauseous and tired and that the body I had trusted was breaking down before its expiration date. I trusted that if I took care of my body and I didn’t smoke, didn’t drink or use drugs, my body would stay strong and fit until old age. At fifteen I probably thought the worse thing that could happen to me was falling on the ski slope and breaking a leg. I guess I did not give much thought to teenagers getting life-threatening illnesses, falling into comas or contracting hepatitis. Those kinds of things happened to older folks.
So, where am I with trust today? That is a difficult question, but what that I believe helps me is that no matter what, I believe I will be OK. Even if I get sick or I'm in pain, I have a deep-seated belief that, this too shall pass. Sometimes, it's hard to write this truth when I see all the suffering in the world, but it has worked for me to hang onto this belief. It really comes down to what works for you. What do you believe about living with a chronic illness? What do you trust and what don't you trust? It's important to know this.
Be well in body, mind & spirit!
Friday, February 5, 2010
I asked my doctor if he would prefer if I just nodded my head yes and did everything he suggested without asking questions. He smiled and said, "no." I'm not sure if this was an honest answer.
So how do you become an advocate for yourself without being labeled a trouble-maker? It's a thin line. I believe if you know what you are talking about and you've done your research, you will gain your MD's respect. Responding with statements such as, "from what I understand, this medication..." Or, "Is there any reason why I'm not able to take the stress test on a treadmill versus a medication-induced stress test?" Keeping calm when speaking with your MD and not coming from a place of anger is also recommened. I suggest having your questions ready before hand, so you are prepared when you walk into your appointment. Sometimes it's difficult to do this, so I believe it is ok to say, "I'd really like to think about this." I am by no means suggesting that you not follow your doctor's recommendations, but what I am suggesting, is to take part in your health care decisions. To know your options and what choices you have. This way, you feel you have some power in what is taking place with your care and less like a victim.
As far as the red mark in my chart....well, I might have to think of that more as a mark of courage than as a negative branding! The more we speak up for ourselves, the more we can have control and a voice in our health wellness.
Be well in body, mind & spirit!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
A weekly expressive art group for women who live with a chronic health condition
The word Mandala, comes from the Sanskrit language meaning “sacred circle.” The use of mandalas throughout time have been used by various cultures for meditation, self-reflection, healing and as a symbol for the self.
In this weekly group, we will create mandalas from various art mediums including oil and chalk pastels, markers, colored pencils and collage. The workshop is meant to provide a relaxing and reflective experience that supports and promotes healing.
No art experience necessary.
Saturdays: February 20, March 20 & April 17th 2010
10am - 1pm
WEST LOS ANGELES LOCATION
$25 Per session
Facilitated by Victoria Van Zandt, MA
Registered Art & Marriage & Family Therapist
No art experience required.
Please call for more information and/or to participate in the group.
Supervised by Gwen Lotery, MFT #37140
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Welcome to my blog! I've wanted to begin writing about living with a chronic health condition for a while and blogspot will be my home for venting, sharing info, support, and much more. Here's some info about me: I've lived 35 or so years of my 52 year life with kidney dis-ease. From the time I was first diagnosed with renal failure at age 15 to now, where my third kidney transplant will be 19 on August 16, 2009. That's right...bring out the birthday cake. I won't just be writing about kidney dis-ease, but about living with any chronic health condition. I will share with yo what I've learned along the way about caring for myself, dealing with the healthcare system, alternative medicine, do's and don'ts and much more. I invite you to share your stories, lessons learned and anything else you feel is relevant to living with a chronic health condition. I don't claim to be an expert, only a woman who has traveled the sometimes lonely and crazy-making road of living with an ongoing health condition. Also know, that I will include some humor, because if you don't have that...well, the road will be more difficult at times.
Let me first share some of the lessons I've learned along the way:
Hang in there, be strong, and know that this too shall pass.
Be well in body, mind & spirit.