I am a huge proponent of self-care. I care about self-care so much that I created D.A.M.E.S. a self-care platform for mothers raising special needs children.
However sometimes it’s easier to talk the talk than to walk the walk.
About three months ago I got serious about my own self-care and increased my physical activity. I began doing all the D.A.M.E.S. workouts, and sharing my journey with other members. I was feeling good. I was checking off my exercise goals, and then out of nowhere came the pain.
While celebrating Father’s Day I felt a pain in my lower right abdomen that took the breath out of me. I had to sit, breathe through it, and try to finish the celebratory dinner I started.
The pain didn’t leave. Fearing it was my appendix (the last remaining useless organ I have left) we went to the ER. Making this choice wasn’t an easy one for me. I hate to look weak. I hate to acknowledge that kind of pain. I hate leaving a celebration early, especially one that was celebrating the amazing fathers in my life- my husband and my dad.
But… I realized in that moment that to be a proponent of others self-care; I also had to be one of mine.
So we went. After a CAT scan it was revealed it wasn’t my appendix but something else, I had inflammation of my small intestine.
One trip to the Gastroenterologist and one colonoscopy later it was confirmed. I have enteritis. Causing my pain, my increased fatigue, and my ever increasing trips to the bathroom. According to my doctor it is something that I have probably had all my life.
Looking back I now realize that those pains I had off and on my whole life, which I mistook for cramps, was this. It was always present. But what had caused it to flare up?
It appears that what caused my flare up was an increase in alcohol consumption, poor diet, and stress.
The stress of raising two children with autism. The stress of running a business. The stress of trying to keep it together, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Stress has been a past topic of these blogs because stress is constant in my life as a parent raising special needs children.
Now stress hasn’t just emotionally taken its toll, but it has physically taken one.
Now I’m motivated than ever before to change more of my bad habits: to not only workout regularly, but to eat healthier, and to drink less.
These last two months have been hectic to say the least. It was full of ER visits, doctor appointments, and unpleasant medical procedures.
At the end of the day I’m glad I went through all of it and took time for my personal self-care.
I’m glad I have answers.
I’m glad I have time to correct behaviors that were physically harming my body.
To all those other moms out there please listen to your own body.
Go to the doctor when you don’t feel well.
Remember that your health is just as important as your child’s health.