Life transitions, day 10: Illness

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I began to see aura in my eye, and it wouldn’t go away.

Some time passed, and I could see clearly again. But now, I couldn’t think. And my head starting pounding like Godzilla in Japan.

To top it all off, nausea hit me like a bullet train.

I’d assumed it was the flu. It wasn’t.

This is Life Transitions. Welcome to Day 10.

Life Transitions Due to Illness

There are different types of illnesses, and they aren’t all created equal.

Some illnesses are passing. They might amount to little more than mild annoyance. Sometimes the symptoms can be especially severe and irritating.

Then there are serious illnesses. These may not be life threatening, but they may be especially tenacious and sometimes permanent.

Finally, there are illnesses that lead to death. Death is a category of transition all its own (and if you couldn’t tell, I’ve basically been putting off talking about it until the very end of this series).

Preparing for expiration may not be all unicorns farting rainbows. But that is another transition that can stem from a serious illness.

Minor illnesses shouldn’t result in any major life changes. If you reacted to a beverage, food, substance, or otherwise, you may vow to never partake in it again (I tend to react to aspartame, dairy, and nitrites and try to avoid those).

But serious illness, regardless of type, can certainly usher in major transitions.

The Pounding

As referenced in the intro, in my 20s, I started getting migraines.

And I experienced the greatest frequency of them during that time.

Little did I know that I was reacting to artificial sweeteners, dairy, and nitrites. And, to some degree, I was reacting to Calgary’s fast changing weather conditions too.

In 2007, I came across Steve Pavlina. He’s known as the top online personal development blogger.

Feeling motivated by stories of what he’d accomplished, I decided to start waking at 6 AM in 2008.

It wasn’t exactly easy for me to get up that early, and I would often feel tired. But I started making progress on some of my creative projects, and that served as fuel to keep going.

Before long, I started feeling exhausted. I wasn’t getting to sleep much earlier than I was prior to starting this habit, and I didn’t have any additional habits to support this new lifestyle either (e.g. meditation, exercise, eating healthy, etc.).

Then, my anxiety and stress levels started to rise. I didn’t even notice at first.

I would have a stress response every time I would think about the unbearable pain of a migraine. And, unfortunately, that was more often than I’d like to admit.

One night, after coming come from teaching guitar, I started to feel pain in my heart and left arm. Had I left it alone and focused on resting, it would not have evolved into anything. But I was scared.

And, when it started getting worse, I chewed on Aspirin and told my roommates what was going on.

While my roommates were rushing me to the hospital, I had a full on anxiety attack.

It would take me the next four months to recover from that incident, and it was a long, difficult journey.

How to Handle Illness Related Transitions

It’s safe to say we will all get sick at one time or another.

How illness affects one differs from person to person, and there are also many types of illnesses.

That being the case, there isn’t a silver bullet for illness related transitions. (Click To Tweet)

At times, because of illness, you may end up needing to change careers. As I’ve said many times throughout this series, inevitably, one transition leads to another transition.

And, when transitions occur in rapid succession, your stress levels can elevate to a significant level.

As with anything, meditation can be of huge help during times of stress (after all, disease is dis-ease), though it should not be thought of as a substitute to healthcare.

And while I am not a doctor or physician (disclaimer), and I’m not here to give health advice, there is something I want to share from my own experience.

From my own experience, the average physician or doctor doesn’t know everything there is to know about the human body. Nor are they studied in or trained to prescribe what some might consider “unconventional” medicine (such as herbs and homeopathic meds), but which I would consider more effective in a variety of cases.

I still recall the time I went to the doctor because of migraines. Something didn’t sit well with me about the entire experience.

After waiting hours, the doctor only spent about 15 minutes with me, and he was quick to prescribe a pharmaceutical.

I asked him how it was to be used, and he said, “whenever you feel symptoms coming on, just take it.”

So, not only was he disinterested in treating the root cause (which I observed straight away); he was basically sentencing me to a life of painful headaches.

Reading Kevin Trudeau’s (saying nothing of his character) Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About taught me more about migraines in seconds than a doctor could in minutes.

Because that’s how I finally made the connection that aspartame was one of the core causes (I’ve never had issues with sucralose or acesulfame potassium, but I basically stay away from all other artificial sweeteners).

In terms of healthcare, there is far more available to the average person than they may even realize. I have had considerable success with naturopathy, and even know a naturopath who practices chiropractic care, cranial sacral therapy, and other modalities most of us never had the chance to learn about through conventional means.

All I’m saying is, never take anything as a “death sentence”, literal or figurative. There may be solutions to your illness you never knew existed.

The naturopath, I referenced, by the way, cured himself of cancer. That’s how he came to pursue his passion of naturopathy.

Illness, Final Though

There’s nothing easy about life transitions, and when it comes to illness, there can be many factors at play.

You may need to change your diet. You may need to take on a new career.

There are some things you may end up living with for the rest of your life.

But be assured that the human body has been designed to handle a variety of illnesses. It knows how to heal itself. Sometimes we do need to give it the right conditions to heal though.

What illnesses have you dealt with? How did you handle the transition?

I look forward to sharing more on life transitions, and if you have any questions, let me know.

Leave a comment below.

Originally published at https://davidandrewwiebe.com on November 14, 2020.

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