Feel Like My Body Is Betraying Me
At the time I’m writing this, I am only 47. Some days I feel older. Some days I feel younger. Lately… I’ve just been really struggling with my body and how I feel like it’s failing me! What do I mean by that? Glad you asked cause I’m gonna explain (heck, even if you didn’t ask I was still gonna explain it) 😉
Mysterious Pain Went Undiagnosed For Months
Several months ago, back in October, I started having all sorts of pain in my right side. It was up under my ribs and spread around and into my back. I was also having issues with poo (I know. I know. TMI) – now I’ve had issues with this off and on for several years & my old doctor suspected I had IBS-D (irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea). There were some other symptoms too and one early morning, in October, the pain was so bad my fiancé took me to the ER.
After lots of tests, including a CT scan of my abdomen, they didn’t find anything that explained the pain on that right side. They quickly ruled out kidney stones and a UTI. They did find some cysts on my left ovary, and a lesion on my kidney, but both of those didn’t have anything to do with the pain on the right side. They released me and chalked it up to one of those ‘mysteries’ of unknown pain.
Pain Finally Diagnosed!
My doctor (an amazing naturopath) went through my medical notes and files with a fine-tooth comb and said she felt stumped but wasn’t giving up. And she finally put two and two together that in September I had thrown my back out and it was a few weeks later that this mysterious pain started so maybe it was all related. She made a referral to a chiropractor and low and behold it was discovered I have a herniated disc in my back, my hips were out of alignment, and I had a few ribs (on the right side) that had popped out of alignment – I didn’t even know that could happen (ribs just popping out of alignment). So I started working once a week with her and doing home exercises every day. The pain has greatly improved, although it is still not completely gone.
And Now… This?!
Now let’s fast forward to today – another issue I’ve been having is with my blood sugar. Sometimes my blood tests would show high readings and other times low readings. Now because I wasn’t getting blood work done daily, it’s hard to have a bigger overall picture of what my blood sugar is doing on a regular basis. Well, that’s gonna change – I’ll now be wearing the FreeStyle Libre glucose monitor, a glucose sensor worn on the back of the upper arm (and an app to go with it that monitors the readings) for at least the next 14 days. This will help my doctor have a more accurate understanding of what’s happening with my blood sugar levels every day, several times a day.
This pissed me off! Yes, I needed a few minutes to throw a temper tantrum and be angry at my body! The issue I have is just feeling like once again my body is failing me. The other issue I have is, I have to track my food intake and keep track of everything I’m putting in my mouth. Now for most people, this probably isn’t an issue. But when you suffer from an eating disorder, like I do, having to track food is very triggering and sends me into a downward spiral of being consumed with constant thoughts of wanting to binge/purge. Hopefully, because it’s only 14 days things won’t be so bad… we'll see!
Now It's Time To Embrace The Change & Age Gracefully 🥰
As I’ve begun to notice my body is changing and that’s showing up through the different health issues as well as just not being able to do some of the things I used to do. And quite frankly sometimes it really effing sucks and is hard to not feel discouraged. But, I have decided to embrace these changes and continue to live a life full of happiness, adventure, and more! If you’re struggling, with aging and your body ‘failing’ you, too, I’ve come up with some tips on how we can age gracefully while we learn to live with a body that may no longer be what it once was…
Focus on What You Can Do Rather Than What You Can’t
It’s only natural to find yourself feeling frustrated or sad when your body won’t do something that you used to take for granted. Having said that, it’s important not to dwell on this and instead focus on what you still have the ability to do. For example, if running is no longer an option for you, why not try power walking, walking, or even switching things up and give swimming a try? There are always alternatives out there, so don’t become discouraged if one activity just doesn’t cut it for you anymore. Experiment and find ways to move your body that feel good to you!
For me, there were a few things I was doing in the past that I loved but I’ve had to put on the back burner (for now because it brings too much pain):
- Jumping on my rebounder
- Body Groove
Instead, I’ve found that taking 2-3 quick 10-minute walks, with my doggy, throughout my neighborhood 3-5 times a week is enjoyable and feels good. I’ve also been thinking about rejoining the gym so I can take advantage of the pool (and hot tub of course! Lol) but haven’t decided for sure.
The other thing that I enjoy (and have to make some moderations if I feel pain in my back/hips/ribs) is Tiffany Crow’s Yoga for Complete Fat Beginners (not an affiliate link). Yoga looks different today – I use a chair & sit for some moves – than it did back in 2018 when I was doing it and that's okay!
Listen To Your Body
Your body will tell you what it needs… if you just listen to it! It may be tempting to push yourself beyond your limits because that's how it used to be previously. However, this could lead to injury or exhaustion which only makes things worse in the long run. If you notice signs of fatigue or pain, then take a break! It’s okay to take a break! I give you permission to listen to your body and take a break if you need it!
Take Time to Relax
Taking care of yourself should be at the top of the list! Make sure that stress levels remain low by taking time out each day for self-care and relaxation. That could involve turning on some calming music, taking a warm bath, meditation, journaling – anything that helps you destress, unwind, and relax!
Maybe relaxation for you looks like getting a massage once a week, or a pedicure/manicure once a month. There’s no right way or wrong way to relax – it’s entirely up to you and what works best for you and your needs.
The last thing I want to mention is that we all age differently – some with more ease than others – but learning to listen to your body, and embracing the changes your body is going through will help you age more gracefully and dare I even say with more dignity?!
And, okay one more thing, let’s all remember….
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER! 😉
Great post Tish. I started doing daily in-bed stretches when I turned 40 and feeling like I was walking with wooden shoes. I added an out-of-bed routine and recently added weights as well. I am now 74 and still able to get down on the floor with my grandkids (2-6) and also able to get back up!!
I recently started some yoga on Mondays and Body Groove on Fridays with my daughter. She took a Kundalini course and needed to practice on someone, so my sister and I are doing it.
I have faith in you. Look at what you have already accomplished! You've got this!
Thanks Fran! I miss doing Body Grove – hopefully soon I can get back to it. Thanks for sharing – I love hearing that at 74 you can still get down on the floor (and back up lol) with your grandkids, that is amazing. I need to start doing some more stretches along with my back exercises.