Thursday, July 14, 2016

Unfiltered. Real.

I debated whether or not to post this - we all have our insecurities...but I felt so inspired by a recent unfiltered post by a friend fighting Stage 4 cancer that I decided to write this post today. Last night I got back the pictures from my recent RAW Artist event…and I was immediately struck by the image looking back at me.  Allow me to explain…

I recently had an episode of sudden hearing loss.  As of today, it is thought that the hearing loss is caused by an auto-immune problem with my inner ear, and could potentially be indicative of a deeper auto-immune diagnosis.  To complicate matters, this could be the diagnosis underlying my struggle with my central nervous system (Dysautonomia), and the reason it has taken so long to heal from my TBI.  My goodness, it’s a good thing I spent 15 years of my life in healthcare working on care coordination! But I digress……

There are three photos below, all taken less than two weeks apart.  At the time that the first two photos were taken (at my RAW Art Show), I was being given up to 10G of salt a day along with a special steroid to keep my blood pressure up. I was also getting periodic IV fluids. This is Dysautonomia.  The goal is to keep one’s “tank” full…so that hydration is consistently optimized in order to keep one’s pressure from dropping.  It makes you "puffy." You can see it in the pictures.  

But there was with nagging issue - the difference in my face between the first two pictures and the last picture is so obvious.  Not only is it the degree of puffiness, but there was this "mask" on my face (hidden with makeup, but still apparent). My skin was showing something deeper.  

Fast forward two weeks - I have been being treated as if I have an auto-immune problem that caused the sudden hearing loss. The mask on my face is gone. My hearing is restored. My blood pressure is consistent.  No need for all of the salt. And as the water and inflammation in my body changes, my physical appearance is changing at the same time. The ability of the human body to morph and change is remarkable. 

This brings me back to the images…my skin showed that I was sick. Less than 48 hours after these first two RAW photos were taken, I lost my hearing.  I was swollen, particularly in my lymphatic area under my chin.  All of that is gone now. So here is what I know…

We know our bodies. We know when things are right and when something is wrong.  It is essential to listen deeply to our bodies.  I have had an eating disorder in the past, and I am lucky to have healed from it. But the journey now is learning to KNOW my body, and allow the wisdom within to resonate so strongly that I pay attention when something isn’t right.  That means avoiding the tendency to judge myself, and instead give myself the unconditional love that this God-given body deserves.  It is only through LOVE that I will continue to heal this beautiful body and find the balance that has escaped me my entire life.

I am on a journey of LOVE. 

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