“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” –Wayne Dyer
I just love that quote. I’ve lived that quote.
I would say that ten years ago, my mind was probably like 85% jumpy/on edge/on the defense/general negativity and misery, 10% neutral, and about 5% happiness/joy feelings. I would also say that this was my constant state– regardless of external factors.
Now, I’m trying to think about my mind’s current composure. I would say 10% (I started by saying 5%, but think 10% is probably more fair) misery, 25% joy (MAYBE, 20%), and 65% neutral.
I’ve always been a really good “guesstimator” and think that the above percentages are probably pretty spot on– which is actually amazing.
Two recent, insignificant (to me) things happened that made me realize how much my thinking has changed.
I read a local news story about someone who put a cage of guinea pigs next to a dumpster on a freezing 6 degree day. Someone saw and rescued them. There are eleven and many are pregnant. They found a shelter who will take all of them.
As I read, I felt grateful for the human that saw this atrocity and saved those little souls. I also felt joy when I read that the rescue will take all of them. To me, it was a ‘feel good’ story- until I got to the comment section– which of course was full of rage towards the person who left the pigs out to die. It was eye opening because it made me realize how outraged I would have been if I read this a few years ago. I would have probably cried after reading it and questioned God and humanity.
The next realization involves a really sad local story. Back in October, an 18 year old college student disappeared while at another college visiting friends. Our whole state, probably the entire country, has been on the lookout for the young man.
An untamed river runs through the campus and it’s been long thought that he, like others before him, accidently fell into the unforgiving river. Over the past several months there’s been many searches and efforts to find him, including a petition to dam the river to make it easier to search.
Last week they finally found him, another victim of the Red Cedar.
There was a Facebook page dedicated to finding him. Now the page has become a tribute to his legacy and will be used to help find other missing persons.
I’ve seen so many inspirational posts since they found him. From petitions to put more barriers in unsafe areas to making campuses safer by making sure street lights and security cameras are operable. Sadly, this wasn’t the case in this situation– which left many missing pieces to the puzzle as they searched for the young man.
And remember that school shooting back in November? There is a Go-Fund-Me campaign trying to raise money for support dogs in the Oxford schools as students are phased back into the building. The family of the missing man, the one who they just found deceased, just donated $10,000 to this cause in his honor– because he loved dogs. Now the school has more than they asked for so now they will be able to bring in all the dogs they need.
The man who passed was born on the due date of my first baby, April 1, 2003. My heart aches as I look through the pictures on his tribute page and resonate with nearly every single one. Young parents smiling with a brand new baby, young parents on Mackinac Island with their toddler, pumpkin carving, birthday parties, school trips and then finally– middle-aged parents celebrating the graduation of their first-born and excitedly sending him off to college, never to return home. Once upon a time, I wouldn’t have been able to look past the sadness, the tragedy of it all– especially since it was so relatable to me.
Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change. Truth.
Real life examples are powerful and I felt this was worth sharing.
I also want to share something else that I’m really excited about. You know I’ve been on a mission recently to aid my body in getting rid of the autoimmune diseases I was diagnosed with in 2014– rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.
Way back then, I found a group that aids in helping you heal your autoimmune conditions naturally. You see, there’s a huge downside when working with doctors in America. I knew this back in 2014 when I asked my rheumatologist if changing my diet would help at all.
“Some of my patients have had success cutting out sugar.” Was her response.
By then, I had started learning about food sensitivities, gut health and the connection to autoimmune conditions. I didn’t understand why this specialist didn’t know about this connection and jumped right to medication. Medication that, mind you, I would have to take for the rest of my life for my chronic illness.
I wished she knew about gut health and remission, and food sensitivities and physical therapy.
I’ve had a complicated relationship with my rheumy. She’s good for some things, but not for others. When I had a bad foot- she sent me for an MRI and to see a podiatrist. I had the MRI and while the foot specialist studied it, he didn’t even look at my actual foot. He sent me home with an immobilizing boot– which would eventually cause my ankle to be weak and put in right into a flare. I stopped using the boot, but the pain and swelling just lingered.
I put up the bad foot and ankle for about a year until I had an idea. Seeing what the physical therapist at my school does, I thought maybe physical therapy would be good for my ankle/foot problems.
I had a visit with my rheumy coming up and she gave me a prescription for physical therapy without hesitating.
The physical therapist blew me away. What the doctors don’t seem to understand is that the systems, cells and tissues are all connected. One bad part, affects more and more parts and it can be like a chain reaction. Years of walking on a bad ankle affected muscles throughout my entire body. The PT helped me make all these muscles stronger and helped heal my foot. Additionally, she told me that after it was better, she could help me come up with a routine that helps keep all my joints fluid and in-order.
So why the hell don’t the doctors recommend this for everyone who has rheumatoid arthritis?? And why did I have to ask? Thank goodness I work at a school and even knew to ask!
I’ve also been dealing with a hand/wrist flare since the birth of Covid (not kidding and at first I thought I caught Covid and it was manifesting symptoms in my hand/wrist- I still wonder sometimes). It’s been on and off, but even on the best of days my wrist is super weak, and again, not using it was beginning to affect other muscles in my body.
At my last rhuemy visit I asked for physical therapy for my wrist/hand. Again, she gave it to me without hesitation. I put it off due to life stress, but recently started going. In just two weeks, I’ve gotten so much relief in my hand and wrist! When I started a couple weeks ago, my fingers were stiff and wanted to stay in the closed position- the start of classic RA hands. I hate to think of how they worse they would have been if I hadn’t started PT.
The physical therapy is blowing me away. And again, why do I have to ask for this- and what about the people who just don’t know??? All my rheumy offered me is a steroid injection into my hand– and swore it would help tremendously.
I saw an old man rheumy while I waited the three months to see her, this was back in 2014. HE gave me a steriod injection in my hand to help cure my “sausage finger.” Not only did it take forever, and hurt like hell, it didn’t even really help the pain and swelling. The last thing I wanted was that again!
Back in November I tried stopping my weekly injectable poison (to help with RA symptoms) and feel that my hand/wrist got worse, so after a few weeks I started it again. So I’ve had this mental debate since then going on about how the heck am I going to get back my health and get off this. I knew an elimination diet was probably my best bet but I don’t want to do that right now. I’ve been thinking alot about cutting out gluten, dairy and sugar but haven’t made the plunge yet.
Back to that natural group that I found in 2014. The admin, Karen, who I’ve messaged throughout the years and have gotten good advice about diet and natural treatments, is someone who I greatly respect. She is a big advocator for the elimination diet though, so I haven’t reached out recently.
On a whim, I decided to finally do a hair test with her. I’ve seen her talk about this for years and have been so intrigued. I used to think it (health- good choices- etc) would only be helpful if I did the diet and went “all-in” but realized that baby steps might be alright.
First of all, when I told her that I wouldn’t do the diet, her response surprised me. She said it’s very restrictive and they’ve now found that it’s usually just 2-3 big triggers that cause the disease- so it’s okay. That was huge for me to hear 🙂
I won’t have results for a couple of weeks, but am so excited to learn more about my body in a scientific type of way. The tests include info about hormones, adrenals and gut health. She will consult with me and help me get out of this diseased state and hopefully off that damn injection– which isn’t just poison- it stings!
I will be writing about my experience with this and hope you join me on this adventure. In the next couple of weeks while I wait for results, I’m going to keep up the PT and work on my diet. I had a bad month of much overeating and gained ten pounds. I’ve been much more conscientious about my food and have been doing better this week- and feeling better too.
I will be ecstatic if I can have a body without flares and painful and poisonous jabs.