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Getting ready to quietly celebrate an important two year anniversary

Posted Jan 16 2013 9:32pm

January 25th will mark the two year anniversary since I underwent the surgery that removed all the endometriosis that was growing inside me and wreaking havoc on my digestive tract.

As I head toward this important milestone I am reminded of how much healing my body has been able to do in the past two years. I realize that I can sit and work at my computer for much longer periods of time without having painful repercussions. I am so much more mobile than I was before surgery. I can do the things in my garden that I wanted to do before, but couldn't. My fatigue levels aren't nearly as debilitating either.

It isn't all roses and sunshine, however. I am still learning how to manage the chronic conditions that are a permanent part of my life thanks to three decades of the chronic stress caused by my body being assaulted by the disease. There's only so much a body can take before the endocrine and other systems become affected. I am no exception.

Little by little I'm learning to manage my fibromyalgia. My flare-ups are fewer and farther apart if I manage my stress and nutrition correctly. I found out the hard way over the Christmas holiday that stress and creamy desserts like cheesecake will trigger a flare-up like no other. I've also learned to pay attention to my left shoulder because a flare-up will always start and end there.

I've also learned that I have to baby my liver with the nutrition found in a good solid Mediterranean diet. Even though the rest of me is Scot-Irish-Hispanic-Swiss-German my liver must be Italian. It digs olive oil, bruschetta, hearty pastas with a red meat sauce, and gelato (or sorbet). But give it ice cream, cheesecake or a cream sauce and it throws a fit. I'm convinced my liver and fibromyalgia are in cahoots and the best of BFF's.

I've discovered the blessings of taking large daily doses of Vitamin D. The same is true for my Omega-3-6-9 supplements. I also know that I can't got without my daily dose of anti-inflammatory snack of walnuts or I will be very very sorry. And I've discovered that 1 ounce of super dark chocolate daily is a necessity that doesn't make me gain weight so there's no need to feel guilty in the least for consuming it for the same reason I eat the walnuts.

I've learned that sitting in the sun for 30 minutes a day (particularly during the winter months) is a critical component to managing my wellness on many levels. And I've changed my thinking so I almost don't feel guilty about every one of those precious 30 minutes spent soaking up the warm rays like a cat in a patch of sun. I do it without earbuds in my ears so I can be quiet. The pondering and meditation it makes possible heal and rejuvenate me. I continually remind myself that I will not feel guilty for giving myself this gift.

And although I've known it for a long time, I've come to terms with the reality that the vacuum cleaner and I will never be best of friends. As much as I want a perfectly vacuumed floor all the time, it just isn't going to happen. The vacuum is too mean to my back. I can haul wheelbarrows of sand and rocks around all day long in the garden, but for some reason the vacuum cleaner can defeat me and my sciatic nerve in less than 30 minutes. I've decided to choose my battles wisely--this isn't the hill I'm willing to die on. Hubby can forge a close friendship with the vacuum cleaner. And in the meantime, I can pretend I don't see that dust bunny over there in the corner.
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