42 and Feeling Like 84…

I’ve really been struggling for the past few months.  I wish I could blame it completely on poor nutrition, but honestly, some of these problems have been around for the past couple of years (I’ve just chosen to ignore them) and the sleep issue has been well-discussed here.  While the Whole30 and the Daniel Fast both led me to feel somewhat better, nothing ever completed resolved my problems.  Here is where I am now:

I quit CrossFit when my son decided not to do it any longer.  I am now doing Taekwondo with my youngest.  So far, so good.  In addition, I am walking.  This is quite a difference from my previous super-active lifestyle, but it seems some of my former fitness choices may have been exacerbating my problems.

My weight is manageable, a little more than it should be, not certainly not enough that it should be causing me to feel like I do.

My nutrition is not great, but it’s not terrible either.  Again, not bad enough to put me in this place.

My sleep is doing better, but that’s thanks to a new doctor who is creative on sleep aids, but still nothing has helped me sleep through the night.  I also don’t want to rely on medication to sleep, but that’s where I am right now, and it’s still not completely working, unfortunately.

My lower back and left hand numbness seems better, but again, that’s due to medication and it’s not perfect.  I still tend to accumulate a ton of knots.  In fact, I went to a trigger point massage therapist for a 60-minute massage, and he wasn’t even able to work on all of my trigger points during that time.  I was sore afterwards and the knots were just as painful a couple days later.

My blood pressure has been high and now I am on blood pressure medication, after much resistance to that suggestion.  Clearly, I am not thrilled about this.  I was even encouraged to start taking a second medication because my blood pressure is not consistently in the “normal” range with the medication, but I have yet to do that.  One side effect of the medication I am on is coughing and I am experiencing that.  That’s not helping my sleep or the next problem I will mention.  The kidney doctor says he will help me get off of my blood pressure medicine when my blood pressure gets under control, but he said first I need to figure out how to sleep better.  Easier said than done.

I have some issues related to my bladder.  I saw a urologist a year or two ago who wanted to do surgery.  I tried physical therapy to avoid the surgery, but it didn’t really help.  I ignored the problem for a while, hoping it would go away.  No such luck.  I am seeing a new urologist and had a urodymanics study done (I do not recommend this to anyone, as it was a miserable experience) and he wants to try a lesser procedure and if that doesn’t work, then we can try surgery (but done in a way that I’m more comfortable with) than what the first urologist recommended.

An old note with a physical therapist’s number “magically” appeared on my desk a couple of weeks ago.  I am taking that as a sign from God to try physical therapy one more time before taking the urologist’s recommendations.  I found a new therapist who is local and she seems to have good ideas.  Interestingly, her recommendations for “exercise” so far involve relaxation only, not strengthening.  Apparently, I am pretty strong in that area (if I told you more about the awful urodymanics test, maybe that would make things more clear, but that’s way TMI, even for me).

Not surprisingly, stress is likely the common thread of everything that’s going on… stress to my body, as well as emotional stress.  The crazy thing is, I feel less stressed and more content with everything than I ever have in my life.  My spiritual life is going well; I can clear my head at night; I rarely get upset.  But, something is taking a toll on my body.  It’s like my muscles and my blood circulation seem to disagree with how I think I should feel.

I’m leaning to yoga as the answer once again… well, at least I am starting with a few relaxation postures of yoga that my new physical therapist and I discussed when her suggested exercise reminded me of a yoga pose.  Yoga is for all ages and all physical fitness levels, so it’s got to be beneficial for where I am.

For now, my fitness routine consists of walking, taekwondo (very basic stuff, not sparing or anything intense), and five simple yoga poses (cow, child’s pose, downward dog, happy baby, and legs on the wall).  I would be lying if I said this truth wasn’t contributing to a decreased mental state, as I feel the young vibrant woman who can take on the world is slowly fading away.  Prayers are appreciated, as I believe God can restore peace to my life and heal my body better than any medication.

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