Category - Health

1
Purple Day—Our Epilepsy Story
2
Why I Broke My “No Juice For You” Rule
3
The 411 on Shingles
4
Living With The Fear of SUDEP
5
This Workout Works Out For Me—Orangetheory Fitness
6
Anxiety and SAD
7
Will My Daughter Ever Get To Be A Mother?
8
Why This Simple Diet Plan Works
9
You Don’t Want To Miss The Fall Fit Women’s Weekend
10
Why I Became A Walker (No, not the Zombie Kind)

Purple Day—Our Epilepsy Story

When our daughter was eight months old she was diagnosed with a chromosome 3P deletion/duplication disorder. Doctors told us to expect some devastating things. Some came true, but thankfully most did not. The one thing they didn’t tell us to expect was seizures—those began when Avery turned three. We were caught completely by surprise.  One afternoon I put Avery down for her nap and when it seemed to last a little longer than usual, I went to check on her. When I stepped inside her room I knew something was wrong. There was vomit on her crib rails, she was blue, and she wasn’t breathing. I scooped her up, limp in my arms and called 911. I must’ve screamed because our son, who was six at the time, had come out from his room and was looking at me with the most fearful eyes.  I said, “Sebastian don’t be afraid, but in a few minutes some fireman are going to come through the door to help Avery.” I didn’t understand what was happening. I’d never seen her have a seizure. We didn’t even know she had epilepsy. I told our son to keep out of the way and that everything[…]

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Why I Broke My “No Juice For You” Rule

As a new mom-to-be, I swore my kids would never drink juice or pop or even know the taste of sugar. I absolutely believed that as I rubbed my pregnant belly and made all kinds of rigid proclamations about my future parenting. I also vowed that my babies would be exclusively breastfed until they could talk. But, thanks to birthing two tongue-tied infants, that didn’t quite go as planned. I made loads of rules, including the one stating there would be absolutely no television until school age. Ha! I really wish I could find the photo my husband took of our infant son—bottle propped up by a pillow and tipped toward his mouth, totally fixated on a Baby Einstein DVD while I rocked his bouncy chair with my foot from the couch. You learn quickly as a new parent that plans change. The most successful and relaxed parents are cool to roll with it and they don’t beat themselves up about it. I really did try to limit the amount of sugar in our house, including fruit juice.  But then my daughter started taking anti-seizure medication three times a day and they were horrible. They tasted like chalk dipped in[…]

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The 411 on Shingles

If you think you’re too young to get shingles—think again.  When I took my son to our doctor about a lingering cough, I thought since I was there I’d asked her about seven red weird welts on my hip. I thought they could be spider bites. (Thank you to my brother for putting that horrific thought into my head.) I also wondered if I could be allergic to my new jeans — specifically the dark wash that was dying my skin blue. My husband helpfully suggested the hives could be from “tight pants and all the rubbing.” He paid handsomely for that comment.  I assumed that when I lifted my shirt to expose the rash on my lateral muffin-top the doctor would say, “That? Oh it’s nothing. Just dry skin. Be on your way you adorable little hypochondriac.”  Imagine my surprise when she told me I had SHINGLES! “Are you kidding me?” I gasped. “What am I, eighty?!” Turns out my indignation was misplaced. Apparently the shingles virus is not elderly exclusive. Upon announcing my affliction on Facebook, as one does, I was surprised to learn many of my young-ish peers have also suffered from this painful ailment. One friend told me when she experienced shingles in[…]

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Living With The Fear of SUDEP

SUDEP (sudden unexplained death in epilepsy) When a child in our community dies suddenly, the world closes in around us. Having to explain to our daughter that her ten-year-old friend died unexpectedly was hard. It’s tough enough to make sense of it as an adult. For a child, it’s incomprehensible. The sorrow we feel for this beautiful family goes beyond sympathy. We feel a level of empathy that only other epilepsy parents would know. When a child is lost to SUDEP all parents of children with epilepsy receive a jarring reminder that this can happen. No child is exempt.  We are devastated for the family. It hits close to home as we direct some of the shock inward by recalling our own children’s worst seizures. We relive the panic. We hear the ambulance sirens and repeat the silent prayers and promises to the almighty or whomever is listening to “Just please, please let her be okay.” When an otherwise healthy child dies without warning or explanation, it shakes us to the core. For me, post traumatic stress has brought up memories from our daughter’s first violent seizures at the age of three when we came very close to losing her. SUDEP—sudden[…]

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This Workout Works Out For Me—Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness has not only changed my body, it has changed my ‘meh’ attitude toward fitness. I haven’t had to worry too much about diet or exercise until my forties. Then my metabolism slowed down and I lost my general zestiness. I started gaining weight and losing tone. I watched it happen, but I did nothing to stop it.  The weight gain and general decline in my overall fitness occurred for several reasons. Like… a) Working from home and sitting on my rear end all day. b) The complete lack of self-control. For example, I bought three boxes of Girl Guide cookies just to be neighbourly and put them in the freezer to stop myself from eating them. And guess what? Frozen chocolate mint cookies are delicious.  As adults, there’s nobody to tell us, “Lisa you can’t eat the whole bag of chips. No, you may not have a second helping. Eat your vegetables! That’s enough wine there missy!! For the love, drink some water!” c) Exhaustion. Aside from a legitimate issue with low iron, this predicament is my own doing. I’d rather stay up late binging on “Call the Midwife” and potato chips, than go to bed at a sensible[…]

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Anxiety and SAD

I don’t enjoy sharing my personal experience with anxiety because frankly, it’s embarrassing. I know, mental health should be stigma free by now. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and yet I am.  I feel more comfortable discussing my anxiety when I preface my symptoms with the caveat that I’ve been through some trauma. I like to point out that the majority of my issues are rooted in post traumatic stress resulting from some terrifying medical emergencies with our daughter. It’s like by explaining that my situation was thrust upon me, by no fault of my own, I free myself from any appearance of weakness. I’m merely a victim of circumstance. My mind may go to the worst case scenario now and then, but I’m normal. Nothing wrong with this gal.  Apparently my ego requires a cushion since I clearly feel the need to justify my anxious feelings. Perhaps it would help if I carried my psyche around on a little satin pillow? I know I should talk about it though because I’m not alone. ESPECIALLY when it comes to parenting a child with a disability. By avoiding the topic of mental health challenges, I’m not helping myself or anybody else.  Here’s[…]

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Will My Daughter Ever Get To Be A Mother?

My daughter will probably never become a mother. The idea guts me. So I try not to think about it. But it’s hard to ignore the facts when your kid is patting your neighbour’s pregnant belly saying, “Dare’s a baby in dare? Awwwww. I can’t wait to see your baby. I’m going to have a baby too.” For weeks since my daughter found out this new baby was on the way, she’s been walking around with her rubber Dora ball tucked up inside her shirt, rubbing her tummy saying, “I’m going to be a mummy! I’m just pretending, but when I’m big I’ll have a baby, right Mummy?”  Knowing how amazing it is to be a mother, the thought of her never having the privilege, stings. I squash those thoughts as soon as they enter my head.  But, the thoughts are harder to ignore when you’re faced with them head on. As my daughter Avery waddled around the kitchen, back arched, smiling wide, telling her big brother that her baby is a girl named Little Avery, my son asked me under his breath, “Mum, CAN she have a baby? Like, do you think she will?” He waited expectantly (pardon the pun) for an answer.[…]

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Why This Simple Diet Plan Works

When I was in my early twenties a boyfriend suggested I could “drop a few.” Charming. So, to make him happy I restricted myself to one small meal a day for weeks. Apparently I needed to slim down my bulky 115 pound frame. That “health kick” ended when I fainted during my shift at Bootlegger (a jean store, I didn’t run booze across the county line).  In my thirties, as the parent of young children, I walked everywhere—pushing a stroller to the grocery story, the community centre, the park. I got a lot of accidental exercise. Plus as a teacher I was on my feet all day. More accidental exercise. And now here I am in my forties. I drive everywhere because the ‘burbs are spread out. Speaking of which, I work from home now, which results in a lot of ass time. As in, sitting on. The days of accidental exercise have vanished into thin air like that Costco-size bag of Chicago Mix I bought to share with the family, but ate all by myself. But recently when I looked down at my unbuttoned pants (I had to undo them for safety reasons) I took note of the alarming numbers on[…]

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You Don’t Want To Miss The Fall Fit Women’s Weekend

Last year when a friend invited me to a fitness retreat I was all, “Um, it’s not one of those meditation retreats where you can’t talk, is it? I wouldn’t last thirty minutes. And what level of fitness are we talkin’?”  My comfort zone has solid borders and tall walls. It’s also comfortably furnished, so I find it hard to leave.  Sometimes the only thing that can force me out is a swift kick in the butt.  This post is me kicking you. But only if you want me to. (Don’t worry, I’ve removed my shoes.) Have you heard about She Getaways’ Fall Fit Women’s Weekend? If not, I’d love to tell you about it. Not because I’m trying to sell it to you. It sells out very quickly on its own. They don’t need my help.  But, I found the experience to be life changing. I know, cliché, but I’m serious. During the doldrums of winter I find myself fantasizing about it—me on a paddle board pondering life, breathing deeply, laughing by the campfire, noticing the soft earth under my flip-flops as I head to the mess hall to enjoy a meal with friends.   So I’m sharing my thoughts[…]

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Why I Became A Walker (No, not the Zombie Kind)

I love to run. Well, maybe not “love,” but I certainly enjoy the feeling running gives me. I feel like a badass when I run—like I’m young and powerful and super speedy. (Even though I’m none of those things, the happy endorphins coursing through my body make me believe otherwise).  After a lazy and lengthy hiatus from running or even walking fast or lifting anything heavy, I decided to stop making excuses. I joined a gym last year and I haven’t looked back. The bottom line is, my bottom, and other bits, are stronger and leaner than they’ve been in years. But this story isn’t about that. It’s about how I ditched running and have fully embraced walking.  I wrote a bit about how I tippy toed toward walking in a post called, “How To Injure Yourself While Exercising If Four Easy Steps” Main point of the post? I’m a mega klutz who requires constant supervision.  I’d been running 3-4 times a week on the treadmill and my hips and joints were suffering. Maybe if I stretched regularly, and started sitting properly on the couch instead of frozen in an awkward position as not to disturb the animals perched on my lap,[…]

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