Every once in a while you get a clue that life has to change. If you’re smart you’ll listen. Like when you’re staring at the grease pooling under the pizza on your plate and think, “I really should eat better.” Or ignoring the wave from the despondent elliptical machine in the corner: “HEY! Remember me? I’m over here!”
In my case, it was a hammer blow to the chest this week that began with heart palpitations and breathlessness and ended in a cardiologist’s office with a diagnosis of high-blood pressure. Are you kidding me?
It wasn’t a heart attack, or anything that dramatic. But it was a burst of anxiety that revealed the other problem during a stress test to make sure. I was running on a treadmill with such a steep incline I had to cling to it to stay on. I’d like to think that was why my pressure spiked, but, the doctor said it wasn’t.
The anxiety I could understand, because my life, like yours, I’d guess, is busy. Is there anyone who isn’t juggling a million things, whether it’s kids, relatives, a home and mortgage, the demands of earning a living, and everything else that goes with being a normal person?
I admit I may be carrying a few (!) extra pounds, and maybe don’t get enough sleep, and might be running around pretty much all the time, but I’ve had no health issues up to now. My body is strong and I’m grateful for it. I play tennis two to three times a week which I blog about passionately. I walk the dog incessantly and run up and down the stairs constantly, so, what’s with this pressure problem?
Somehow, as life has rolled along, my health got away from me. I guess it’s not so surprising seeing the pace I keep, and I’m thankful my body, the good friend that it is, decided to tip me off while I can still do something about it. So, I’m going to listen.
Armed with a pep talk from a new heart doctor, an armload of healthy living brochures, orders to meditate, pray, or do whatever I have to do to get out from under stress –AND get out and move more than I am (is this possible?) — I am ready to start living differently.
Women are programmed to put everyone and everything else before themselves, and I am certainly a good example of that. I’ve done it lovingly, but the effects are the same. As my doctor said, I won’t be much good to my family and friends if I’m dead. So today I pledge to add myself to the top of the list of to-dos and shift some priorities. When you come down to it, there just isn’t any other choice.