Trying to be Healthy

Good early morning,

It is about 6:00 a.m. MST and I have spent most of the night with the shakes and shivering in my motel room. I think the stress of these last three weeks, the battle of the last seven months and the travel has ganged up on my body. All of this led to a less than ideal sleeping night and though I seldom remember dreams, somehow I dreamt two or three times and the dreams, while related, were a bit bizarre. I keep dreaming about the Green Bay Packers, and the dreams are a bit goofy because they are about impossible scenarios. Perhaps the good part of feeling less than stellar will be i can lose some of this weight that I’ve gained over the last month. I managed to gain back about 15 pounds and it doesn’t make me particularly happy. Of course to be perfectly honest I have not been juicing as I should and I haven’t taken my vitamins as well as I should. Lack of healthy diet probably means lack of health.

I’m in Salt Lake City to meet with the founder and the main brain trust behind the company that my students worked with last semester. I’m not sure exactly when I can say about the company right now but I can’t say that I am learning a lot about how to start up companies work. Both Dr. Decker’s classes and my classes worked with the company and now I’m hoping interns and small groups of students will continue that work. I am particularly excited for two reasons. The opportunity for interns to work on the front lines and learn things is especially helpful. Second this might open up additional opportunities for students. While we often talk about preparing students for the real-world, this actually does it. Last night after dinner I have the opportunity to join in on the chat, Skype chat, as the primaries through that of the company work through various issues on their development. It was amazing to see how they used both language and technology to accomplish their tasks. The use of apps and software programming and other technology makes the turnaround time unbelievably fast compared to the past. We’re not talking days, nor talking hours, sometimes it’s minutes. That is the hard thing for students to understand. So over the next day I will be working on this and try to figure out the best way to both help the company and help my students. It might be one part of my position that I enjoy the most.

As I was speaking with my colleague on the way to the airport yesterday, he brought up something I have thought of over the last couple weeks. Is it really interesting and a coincidence or was it planned by Lydia that she would have gone in her battle against dementia, and pass away only a couple weeks after I was notified that I have been granted tenure. In spite of everything, did she somehow knows that yes I would be okay. Knowing her this would not surprise me a bit. Her attorney during our conversation the other day noted that she picked the perfect day as far as taxes to pass away. Again I don’t think I’m surprised. As I’ve noted over the last weeks, she was in charge to the very end. I am certainly fading as I write this: sneezing, coughing, shivering and sniffling; so it seems I have managed to do this full-blown. Hopefully, I can get back on track soon. I am getting some hot water for Emerg-C now and I will be chugging water like crazy to keep hydrated and adding some Chloraseptic spray on the side.  As I was thinking about Lydia’s strength, I am still amazed that she held on to her life for almost 13 days after she decided to go to bed. Again, she had one time when she got up (on the 26th) and about 8-10 ounces of water in that time. Yet, she maintained, and according to Nate and Carissa was pretty stable, though weak, until the last 36 hours or so. Our bodies are such astounding instruments. They endure so much and manage to function, serving us remarkably well, and yet they are still quite fragile, but we fail to realize it. I think what I am realizing, again perhaps because I am technically into the year that I begin another decade, that our bodies manage because they are so resilient, but they do not go unaffected. What we do throughout our lives has a consequence. If I were to graph my life in terms of healthy or unhealthy (or in between) habits, I think I might be shocked at what I have put my body through, sometimes knowingly, sometimes somewhat unknowingly, and even sometimes merely because I was subjected to it. I know that last category might seem a  bit sketchy, but hear me out. When I was very small, as I have noted, the first two years of my life were under less than idea circumstances, and I am pretty sure from what I have heard, my sister and I were malnutritioned. Add that to my being born at about 17 ounces, and I was fighting an uphill battle from the outset. The next three years with my grandmother, who I do adore, was probably like the Tale of Two Cities. I think there are times we ate very appropriately and nutritionally, but there were the other times because she worked all day and there were other health issues in her own life. When I came to the Martin household at almost 5, I think things probably improved on some level, but my adopted mother was not a good cook, nor did she enjoy it, so there were way too many starches, canned vegetables, and overcooked things. Overcooked can be both damaging to the nutrients, but more importantly, it tasted badly and so eating was not particularly enjoyable. I remember in high school already being diagnosed with ulcers and I had other intestinal issues, I now realize, that were precursors to the Crohn’s that would be an eventual diagnosis. In my twenties, I fluctuated between eating very well and eating fast food garbage. If it were a psychological diagnosis in terms of my eating it would probably be multiple personality disorder. I could go through the entire almost sixty years, but that is not that interesting. To be more concise, I have probably eaten in a honestly healthy manner in a combined total of less than 1/10 of my life. That is not to say there was nothing healthy in what I did the other times, but to be carefully and intentionally nutritious in a systematic way has not been something I have done nearly as carefully, especially as a IBD person, as I should have.

What is perhaps amazing to me now is how not being as intentional in the past month as already taken its toll on me. While I am not back in Bloomsburg until next Thursday, a week from now, I can still do some things while on the road to try to maintain and do a bit better than I have. I did do some of that last night when I had things boxed up and I was more careful about portion control. I guess one of the positives in my current health situation is my body tells me almost immediately if it is happy or not. It has forced me to pay attention and that is probably in my best interest.

It is now Thursday evening and I had a great day of meetings. On the other hand my conversation about health is so appropriate at this moment. To say that I feel rotten would be serious understatement. I had chicken noodle soup for a late lunch and I have been doing Emergen-C all day. I can only hope that it starts to make a difference soon. This is a case of where I’m sure that my traveling has taken it’s toll. There’s also been some stress in the day but that’s an entirely different story. None of that stress was unpredicted but dealing with it is an entirely different thing. People continue to amaze me, and yet I guess I shouldn’t be. There are persons who believe that my help that I have given Lydia for 10 years was based on what I would receive from it. Not surprisingly those persons are making themselves known at this point. While these things are stressful there’s little I can do about it. I was simply allow the attorney to do her job.

In the meanwhile to keep my stress down I need to do my schoolwork and prepare for second semester. I’m hoping just keeping a low profile and doing my work over the next few days will give me a chance to get healthy and lower my stress. Life is what it is. I think the people who really know me know that I am a giver not a taker. I guess I just have to let that story come out. In the meanwhile it’s time for more chicken soup.

Thank you as always for reading.

Michael

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