Oct 20, 2017

When Self Care is More Than a Face Mask

Self care has become an incredibly trendy phrase in recent months, wouldn't you think?
And with good reason.
Human beings, especially women, SHOULD be taking more time to care for the person that cares for everyone and everything else. Themselves.

Women are hard-wired to care for everything else around them; be it inanimate objects, relationships, pets, careers, and other human beings.

I always thought self care meant making sure to try a new face mask or take a bubble bath every so often. To slow down and smell the damn roses you have been preening for months.

This year, I learned that self care means making myself a priority to stop pushing potentially bigger issues to the back-burner.

I had two sort of major scares pop up this year.

The first, when I found a lump in my breast. After months of putting off testing, hoping it would just go away, I finally sought treatment. After a painful biopsy and mammogram, the lump was indeed there, but benign.

Months later, after a trip to Madison on our boat, I started getting serious dizzy spells. Dizzy spells that doubled my vision and made it nearly impossible to drive. For weeks, I hoped the general floating feeling and fuzzy-brain feelings would go away. The symptoms would come and go, and I found that if my heart-rate jumped, or I was dealing with something that sparked my anxiety (which was constant), my symptoms would come back full-force. It became exhausting to keep trying to focus on busy patterns or be alert in crowded spaces, or even read sentences on a computer screen.

I went in to see the doctor, who gave me a thorough one-over complete with blood-work. Everything came back normal. Still desperate for an answer I headed in the following week for an MRI. The days in waiting for that procedure were tough. As much as I tried to keep a level-head, the worry and what-ifs would creep in every now and then. I wanted to cancel the appointment so bad, but I knew not knowing would be worse.

I asked to start a Z-pack after my labs came back normal...because what if all this fuzziness was just some sort of whacky sinus infection? I'm sure the doc thought it was a feeble attempt, but I was clinging to anything that would allow me to feel like a normal person again.

I finished the final pill the morning I headed in for my MRI. And to be honest, my head did feel a bit better. Not 100%...but a tad more tolerable, maybe...even if only a placebo effect.

You guys...have you ever had an MRI completed?
Not. Fun.
I knew I would be put in a metal hot dog bun for nearly an hour, but when the tech told me there would be loud banging, I thought she was joking.
That loud, repetitive banging, followed by deafening bouts of solid, loud humming was overwhelming. When the humming lasted for more then a couple minutes, I swear to Jebus it triggered whatever was going on in my head and forced a panic attack.

As someone who didn't know if she was claustrophobic or had serious anxiety problems...I sure as Hell found out that day. I am not claustrophobic. I do have anxiety.

I kept envisioning floating in the pool, with Burn, our Bulldog, lounging on the side. It was the only thing keeping me sane, because the country music in the background sure wasn't.

And the results? Not overly shocking.
The MRI came back normal. (praise the Lord!)

Shortly after the anxiety wore off from the MRI, I dealt with a sinus infection.

As my cold receded, I thought for sure...this was it.
It was over. I'll feel better in no time.

And I did, temporarily.
Because it was the weekend.

But the overall buzzing sensation?
Vision issues and panic attacks?
They came back with a fury.

I realized I had not been treating myself with the respect I deserve, with the self-care that is so important in life. I realized I had to stop putting myself on the back burner and take action.

It was more than a face mask and a glass of wine, that's for sure.
Stay tuned for what really happened.


No comments:

Post a Comment