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Actively Proactive Makes the Difference

Updated on April 23, 2012

Good Choices Can Save Your Life

Remember those things your mother used to tell you? "Make sure you have some tea in the morning" or "you need to take your cod liver oil before you leave out for school". My mother is from the West Indies, St. Vincent to be exact and she was raised by her grandmother so mom had alot of those to share. Ironically the U.S is coming around to understanding the benefit of those things that so many of us were raised on. The term "holistic" or "organic" didn't exist in our parent's vocabulary, but if we all take a minute to think about what and how we were fed, trully they had it right all along. I remember that my mom never gave me medications for aches and pains but she gave me teas and rubbed me down with warm balms that were concocted from natural ingredients like coconut oil or rosemary. When we had an upset stomach mom would have some type of dried bush leaves and she would me us teas. They didn't always taste the best but where there was fever, it was gone by the morning. My mother juiced before juicing was even popular. And she made sure we were always active; never allowing me to feel sorry for myself.

She taught me very good habits and now as a woman those habits continue on with me. I believe in the power of healthy eating and being active. Thanks to those basics, Lupus has not been able to take me over.

I may not be always physically able to commit to a full out work out, but I do walk when I can. When I'm able to work out I do that too. Someone once said that I was the healthiest sick person they have ever met, why? Because I'm active and never yielding to the slight aches of the day. In terms of eating, I cook and cook often because I want to be in control of the ingredients going into my meals. I don't need high salt, high fat and sugary foods to eat with an immune system that's temperamental I choose to be actively proactive and that means I choose to always be in control of the things I can control.

So does that mean that I don't have a greasy burger when I want to, of course not. But I know when I can splurge and when I can't. Listen, I love food so denying cravings just won't work for me, but, if I'm good most of the time having a fatty treat some of the time won't be that bad.

Rest, rest, rest. It is important to get sufficient rest, and I'm not talking about laying in bed and thinking of everything that needs to be done for the next two weeks. I'm talking about laying down, meditating (my mantra is Jesus) and allowing yourself to be at peace; tomorrow is a new day. Sleep deprivation has been associated with many ailments, and in the case of lupus it can cause the onset of a lupus flare. If you're one of the 40% of Americans that suffers from sleep deprivation, try first adjusting your diet. Try some teas that are said to relax you like chamomile or mint. If this doesn't work run to your doctors office and find out whats going on. Sometimes sleep deprivation can be clues to other stuff going on.

Its not only about resting but it's also about taking time out for yourself, I call them "Diva Days". Go out with your family, enjoy good weather; life is what WE make of it.

I'm currently on dialysis so it's even more important for me to be vigilant. Being on dialysis means that my kidneys don't work (lost them to SLE) and so I have no true filtering system. Hence, I have to attend dialysis treatments 3 times a week to clean out my blood. The problem with dialysis is that no machine can really do what God created to do naturally and so even on dialysis, a persons blood may not be efficiently cleaned. We have a series of labs down once a month, my numbers are usually perfect. I'm not bragging but what I am saying is that I do my part to maintain a good bill of health.

Diva Day, On my way to Central Park with the Family

Your Doctor Doesn't Always Know Best

Remember, to be proactive you have to listen to your own body, the doctor can prescribe the best treatment if you're honest and aware of your body. What works for someone else may not work for you, and this is especially true in the case of Lupus. Lupus can affect the joints and organs as well as the skin (discoid lupus) so try different things to see what makes you feel well.

For me taking a walk on a sunny day makes me feel energized. However, doctors warn against being in the sun with a diagnosis of lupus, so i wear sunblock, in fact, its in my face lotions and body lotions just in case.

Doctors don't always get it right, if you feel that you're just not feeling any better, or that your doctor is not listening then get a second opinion; he/she may not be a fit for you. There is nothing wrong with chasing after better health, its your duty .

I have been blessed with some excellent doctors, and I wouldn't change them. I remember my pediatric rheumatologist telling me, soon after I was diagnosed that I should always ask questions if I didn't understand, there was no such thing as too many questions. And so I say that to you, ask all the questions you can, write them down if you need to, but don't walk around in the dark about your own health.


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    • Lupusmyjourney profile image

      Lupusmyjourney 6 years ago from New York, NY

      DanaTeresa I'm so happy that I can help you in your journey. Sometimes we suffer in silence wondering if anyone really understands, the truth is that most people have felt out of control in their own lives at some point. We all basically know what we need, we just need people to remind us sometimes; keep us on track

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 6 years ago from Ohio

      This is so inspiring and full of such great advice! You really are a remarkable woman to be faced with such adversity and to mve through life with such grace.

      Thank you for helping me with this hub. It could not have come at a better time. I suffer form bipolar disorder and some chronic medical conditions that all have sypmtoms that make me feel like crap at times and restrict my diet. Today I saw my psychiatrist. I told him that I seem to spend half my time sleeping and my mood is very flexible (better than I used to be but not normal by any means). And he said this might be as good as it gets. Well you have reinforced what I know deep down. I need to listen to my body if I really want to feel well. Now when I need encouragement to take care of myself, I will add your voice to those voices of encouragement that I am slowly collecting.

      Take care! And keep on sharing!