Life, as I had known it, changed forever in December 2004. I lost my Mum. Nothing had prepared me for the absolutely excruciating sense of loss, pain and heartache. At that time, I honestly didn’t care whether I lived or died.
I stopped going to the gym, I no longer read books and I had lost my appetite.
To say the least, I was definitely in shock. In hindsight, it wasn’t the best way to deal with grief – it was all I was capable of at the time.
So, due to not looking after myself properly, I caught pneumonia three times.
Having read that certain illnesses can manifest themselves in the body, it explained to me why I ended up with pneumonia and bronchiectasis. Lungs have to do with grief and I was definitely grief stricken and I clearly didn’t cope with life at that time.
Slowly over a period of 6 years I was able to come back to life through a variety of choices:
1. Dogs have always played a major role in making me happy. So the arrival of Gucci in 2005 into our home was the starting point in improving my health. Read more about how Gucci joined our pack in another blog.
2. Something prompted me to start to read books again about life, philosophy, about wellness covering physical, mental and emotional wellness. I read books by Oprah, Dr Christiane Northrup, Louise Hay, Dr Phil, James Redfield, Esther Hicks, etc. Reading books had always been a way for me to escape the everyday. It is also a great tool to learn new things. Mum always said that you will learn until your last breath. So slowly by reading (and absorbing the contents of) books, listening to others, observing life etc. I carefully opened my heart to life’s experiences.
When I caught pneumonia for the third time, the GP threatened to admit me to hospital. I decided that I didn’t want to go to hospital. It reminded me of all the visits to my mum in hospital. It was about time that I took charge of my life. I promised the GP that I would stay in bed and recuperate from pneumonia at home. It was during this two-week period of strict bed rest that I read somewhere about salt rooms or halo therapy.
Like my mother, I too was more into natural remedies than medication. When I felt strong enough to leave bed, I made an appointment to visit a salt room and experience for myself what that was all about. I was definitely intrigued after having read the article. To my amazement, I found immediate relief and I was breathing much better and easier – that was after the first visit. I visited the salt rooms every week for the first three months. My overall physical health improved dramatically. I had more energy and I was more upbeat.
These days I still visit a local salt room whenever I feel a cold or flu coming on so that it doesn’t progress into full blown pneumonia.
3. Next I tackled the issue of looking after my body. I was so out of shape as I hadn’t been to a gym in well over 6 years. So I thought it was best that I invest in my health once again and make that a priority. So with help of a P/T, I gradually build up my strength with 30 minutes of cardio exercises, three to four times a week. Cardio was specifically aimed at improving my lungs. After cardio I did some weight & resistance training. I then discovered that I loved (kick) boxing and we incorporated 20 minutes of boxing once a week. I realise that I do need to look after my lungs and my health generally.
Earlier this month we moved to a warmer climate for my health.
On top of our list of priorities was to find a local gym. We are grateful to have found a gym that incorporates all that we need in terms of equipment, facilities and providing a supportive environment. I realise that I need to be at the gym at least 3 times a week – incorporating 20 minutes of cardio. Anything less than 3 visits doesn’t do me much good. I can easily fall back to bad habits and do 2 gym visits a week, and then to none.
Not only is it good to stay physically fit; it also helps ward off any negative, unwelcome thoughts that could try to creep back into my head. A 20- minute session on a treadmill helps to clear the mind.
I also am looking forward to returning to other interests like dancing , learning foreign languages and anything else that makes me happy; hobbies or interests that I have been passionate about since early childhood.
E.G. I recently found a french conversation group and am looking forward to brushing up on my french and meeting some new people