I saw a new doctor today, and I really liked him. For years, I’ve had various issues, but over this past year, everything seems to be escalating with new problems showing up on a monthly basis. Over the past year, I’ve seen my GP, a cardiologist, an allergist, an ENT, an endocrinologist, and a gastroenterologist. Each one treated me for whatever specific issue I was experiencing within that field. This morning, the new doctor, who I went to see for arthritis, told me that he thinks everything is related. Seriously – everything. From my headaches to my gut issues to my arthritis. He feels confident that I have Chronic Inflammatory Disease and have for most, if not all, of my life; and the thing that trigged all of these major flareups is… you guessed it. My bout with that dreaded virus that just won’t leave us alone.
How I long for the days when I had energy and could eat without worry!
But hopefully those days aren’t far away. You see, here’s the best part about what he told me. He’s planning on treating me for everything. Every ailment, every ache and pain, every headache and stomach upset and endocrine problem because my problem isn’t one thing or one isolated thing. It’s everything as a whole. And you know what, it all makes so much sense to me.
My heart issues are related to the endocrine issues which are related to the digestive issues which are related to the… Well you get the picture. And if all of those areas are having problems and are inflamed, then it stands to reason that many other parts of my body are inflamed, including my shoulder blades and my lower back and my knees.
Here’s the hard part…
In order to begin the journey toward a healthier me, I have to completely change my diet. First, I have to cleanse, so no sugar, no carbs, no meat, and no dairy for a period of time. Then I have to go on an anti-inflammatory diet. I’ve spent the past hour researching that, and no two “experts” say the same thing as far as what that means. One says no tomatoes while another encourages tomatoes. One says no beans or grains while another says the diet should be high in beans and grains. It’s so confusing!
And that leads me to think, no wonder we have so many health issues as a nation. Not only are we fighting a virus on which there is no consensus about, well, about any part of it! We’re also in disagreement about what foods are healthy or not healthy, what foods cause something or help avoid it, and how much of any given food should be consumed in a day or week. Are the experts really experts? On what do they base their advice?
One thing I do know (and have written about before) is that people in the world’s Blue Zones live longer and are much, much healthier than anywhere else. Interestingly, when I compared the most common anti-inflammatory diets to the typical Blue Zone diet, they were almost identical. I think God is trying to tell me something.
For a while, Ken and I tried to eat like the people in the Blue Zones, but I’m not sure we tried as hard as we could have. This time, we have to do better, and we have to stick with it.
G.K. Chesterton once said, “Man does not live by soap alone; and hygiene, or even health, is not much good unless you can take a healthy view of it or, better still, feel a healthy indifference to it.” I think, when he said we should feel a healthy indifference, he wasn’t saying that we should not care about our health but that our health shouldn’t be something we need to think about. If we maintain a healthy view of life, don’t indulge or become lazy, and live according to what is good, then we will automatically develop healthy habits that won’t require constant tending.
So that’s my goal for the rest of this year. I intend to eat the way I should, exercise in ways that truly benefit the needs of my body,and have an overall healthy outlook on life. Hopefully, if I do all of that, then my health issues will go away (adhering to the treatments that my doctor will provide), and I can live without having to think about them. My food and exercise regimen will just be the way I live my life and not something I will need to dread or plan for. I’m hopeful that I have finally found the right doctor to help me make that happen. Now, I just have to do the work to help him help me get to a better, healthier, feel good place. And when I face days in which it’s hard to remember this goal and what I need to do to achieve it, I will remind myself of the words of St. Francis de Sales, “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.”
If you have a great recipe or tip that will help me stick to my anti-inflammatory lifestyle, please send it my way!
Be sure to catch me next at:
September 18 – Book signing – Abbeyfest in Berwyn, Pennsylvania 11:00AM-9:30PM
October 16-17 – Book signing – Maryland Oyster Festival in Leonardtown, Maryland 10:00AM-7:00PM Saturday; 11:00AM-6PM Sunday
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book of Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019.
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020).