Sunday, October 20, 2013

On Being Healthy

Before moving back to Chicagoland I had made two health goals.
1. Find a new allergist within my insurance plan who had a great reputation from their patients
2. Find a new gym to workout at.

I am proud to report, three months in,  I have accomplished both!

I visited the allergist for the first time once September rolled around and insurance kicked in. She was amazing! She was able to not only notice things that most allergists in the past had just ignored or shrugged off as nothing but she connected my sinus/allergy issues to a host of other issues and "irritants" that made them worse. I had made these connections years ago but no one was able to back them up or told me I was silly. Now I had proof, from medical journal articles she gave me and pamphlets on ways to protect my environment (all of which I have done for years). In one four hour visit, I was tested for all sorts of allergies from mold to trees to weeds to animals to the foods I had supposedly been allergic to. Most of the tests came back as I expected. The food allergies, I am pleased to say, are all extinct.

I also received a list of the times of years when my allergies would be worst and why. Apparently Spring is my worst time (I always felt it was fall, which as I am learning this last week is not a good time of year but it is not due to allergies). It starts with the trees (my worst allergy) and molds then leads to summer with the grasses. That then turns into weed season and mold again, which is frequent due to inclement weather and temperature swings. It is these temp swings that have been wrecking havoc on my sinuses these last few days. Subtle changes in humidity are tough. Just going from my door to the car then back out and into work can disrupt the balance. I suppose this is what several sinus surgeries can do to a person. I don't regret either of them for any reason, even the botched first one helped for a few years. But there are issues that surgery can not even change. Much the way knee or shoulder surgery patients say they can feel the weather changes in their bones, I suppose.

ANYWAY, on to the other vow to myself. Join a gym. I researched a bunch in Champaign. It took a few weeks (3) of unpacking before I resumed the quest. I ended up calling a place called The SweatShop. I walked in on Wednesday night expecting a brief chat and assessment. What I got was a full on workout. Wasn't expecting that. But now that I know how the gym operates, I should have! The place is genius. A workout "Plan" on the board gives a theme for the day. Walk in whenever you like, no classes (except on Sat mornings). I've seen everything from Toss Your Cookies to Alphabet Sweats.  It is a fun place to workout and I can tell people that attend are in the same zone as I am - needing the workouts, enjoying the workouts and willing to work hard but at our own pace.

In addition to the workouts I have been participating in a Biggest Loser contest at work. Turns out, one of the Biggest Loser contestant winners attended Mundelein. She was at Homecoming festivities this year. I have come close one week to wining something. I was a half pound off. I am not sure if I will enter the contest for Term 2. I will probably do so. With holidays on the horizon it can't hurt to have another motivator!

I am trying to get healthy. I can tell I am stronger. Now that finals are over I can hopefully graze a bit less on popcorn while grading. And if I can get past not feeling so great with my nose being stupid I might just plow through and not eat trying to ignore how nasty my sinuses are behaving!

So here we go. Towards the holiday season.  Give me a little cheering on! Being supportive is the best to keep me going!

Good luck to each of you as you also press on.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on reaching both of your goals. You will only continue to improve your health if you stick with it.

    I think its great your fellow teachers are also trying to keep healthy and host the "biggest loser". Keep up the great work!