Listening to Our Bodies

We all know aging means facing health issues. Sometimes, though, we don't listen to our bodies when it comes to our health. We might ignore the signs, and we might not alert our physician.

That's what happened to me approximately 2 years ago. Because I have back issues, I thought the excruciating pain that encompassed my stomach, ribs and back was muscle spasms. I ignored the persistency of the pain and stayed in bed for 2 days suffering. Jack wanted me to go to the hospital, but I was obstinate.  Finally, I gave in. After blood tests, an ultrasound and a CT, I learned that I experienced an acute pancreatic attack.

My GI doctor explained that my pancreas was fine, but I could have another attack at any time. It's not known why I had the attack because I'm not a heavy drinker; I don't have my gallbladder, and even though I love fatty foods, I try not to overindulge. But TRY is the operative word. 

Her prescription was not medicine. It was a low fat diet, lots of water, and very little alcohol. In fact, she suggested only one glass of wine a few times a week. I was good about that for a few months, then came a cruise, travel, and all the experiences of life.

Now we move forward to a month ago. I started having dizzy spells and an ache in my chest. I ignored it. I thought the ache might be my acid reflux. I wasn't sure why I was dizzy. Perhaps it was my allergies.  But since I had an appointment coming up with my physician, I decided to tell him about it. My doctor, as a precaution,  set up a 24 heart monitor for me. The results showed that my heart is fine.

Now I was curious, and it only took a few days to find out the answer. I had another acute pancreatic attack. This time, it only lasted for 30 minutes and subsided. However, I still had a dull ache under my ribs and in my stomach.

I thought about my recent eating habits. I was eating bacon, ice cream, and way too much fast food, even though I had convinced myself that I ate healthy most of the time. I went on the liquid diet my GI doctor prescribed, if I had another attack. I then switched to the BRAT diet (banana, rice, applesauce, and toast). After two days of the diet, I slowly added more foods.

I'm fine now. I am making an appointment with my GI doctor to go over the symptoms of the attack and the symptoms leading up to the attack. I'm doing a better job listening to my body, and I will certainly listen to my doctor.

Staying healthy for a quality life can be daunting as we age, but we must accept it and work on our bodies every day. I walk and ride my bike. Florida weather allows me to get outside most every day. If it's a cool winter day, I wear a jacket. During warmer weather, I wear a tee and shorts. I also wear a tracker to monitor my walking steps. My goal each day is a minimum of 10,000 steps.

I also use my stepper in the evening while watching TV.

My eating habits have improved, as well. Lots of water all day long. Pancreatic inflammation can lead to dehydration. I eat chicken and fish, vegetables and fruit, as well as whole grain. As much as I love ice cream, French fries, potato chips and dip, I have to avoid them.

I do want to make it clear that my symptoms do not mean that you may have pancreatic issues, if you have a stomach ache. However, I have a link here, if you want to learn more about the pancreas.

My purpose is simple. As we age, we need to take our symptoms seriously. We need to visit our doctor regularly and tell him or her everything. Keep records of unusual symptoms, so you don't forget anything when you visit your doctor.

Enjoy life, but don't take anything for granted. That's my speech for the day :)

Enjoy your day! And when is April going to give birth?


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