Recession Mama











{July 8, 2009}   Unhealthy Recession

By: Heather

With stars dropping like flies and President Obama talking about national health care, I can’t help but think about the physical and mental health of our nation. And I’ve decided we’re in a nasty little funk y’all. 

Well duh!  You say.

Yes, we’re swimming in a sea of problems. But it could be worse. We’re not being slaughtered for our race or religion, there are no riots and we still have the constitutional right to whine, bitch and moan about the folks running the country. Not bad.

I don’t have a sure-fire answer as to how we get out of this Picasso- like blue period, but I do have one suggestion. Adopt a mantra and stick to it.

Mine is “Hum Sa.”  

My happy place

My happy place

What makes me an expert? Nothing.  I can just share my experience. Years of negative thinking, lack of sleep, bad eating habits and STRESS have left me physically and emotionally weak.

But I am determined to get stronger and healthier.

As you may know I have a form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis. It’s in my spine, hips and neck. It’s sucks a big, rotten Easter egg. But I manage. I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck every morning, so I just have to “ease” into the day.

I can take medication for it. But I don’t. I’m waiting until I can no longer control my pain with exercise, meditation and heat therapy.

I also have three disc in my spine that have turned to dust (that’s degenerative disc disease to you medical types). I have hypothryroidism and have to take synthroid for that or my brain turns into sponge cake.

sick

Last year I suffered numerous other ailments. They’re listed in the next paragraph, but skip it if you like. They’re actually boring… minus the one I caught in Vegas that later made me look like Jay Leno.

Osteopenia (bone thinning), Endometriosis (girly thing), Vertigo (dizziness, not the movie), Bacterial infections (hello rash), Epstein Barr Virus (that’s kinda like mono that comes back to whip ya again) An MRSA staph infection. (that’s the antibiotic resistant kind) I got that in Vegas, so what happens there doesn’t stay there afterall.

By the way… the staph was on my face! One day I had a bump that looked like a nasty zit… the next day I looked like the former Tonight Show host. It later spread to my hand.  It really, really, really hurt. I couldn’t make food for my kids or bathe them without wearing  latex gloves.

Boo hoo..😦

This is minor crap compared to most people. My sister had cancer. She endured months of chemo and suffered through radiation that nearly burned her leg off. But she’s not complaining. She’s a positive person.

Basically, I’m like an old car. I still start up and putter down the road. But my door sticks, the AC works intermittently and the wipers squeak. It’s just annoying.

I have a point, so just stick with me here. A few months ago I decided that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. So I decided to “heal” myself and adopt a mantra. Hum Sa.

It means “I am that.”

I started out by lying on the floor each night for about five minutes. I would breathe in and say to myself “I am” then I would breathe out and think “that healer.”  I am that healer”  The meditation mantra was free, easy and comforting. Sometimes I change it. I am.. happy, I am… grateful, I am… strong. You get the idea.

I’ve  added exercise (yoga, weights, walking) and better eating habits to my mantra. I feel MUCH better. It’s not expensive either. It just takes a little time and effort. (walking outside is free, eating salad costs less than drive-thru junk)

I also make a grey-green looking shake for my husband and I every morning.

Cheers to good health

Cheers to good health

Gross maybe. But it really doesn’t taste bad. It’s saved me from my late afternoon sinking spells and given me more energy. It’s actually called “Green Super Food” and it’s packed with veggies, vitamins etc. Pretty much all of the “good stuff” that you’re never going to cook and actually eat.

Ingredients in the shake

Ingredients in the shake

I understand now that if I get very little sleep, eat crappy food and consume too much caffeine and alcohol… I’m going to gain weight, weaken my immune system and feel like death warmed over. Sure I have my moments, but I’m trying. I’m also trying to improve my attitude. So when negativity rears itself I turn to my mantra. Hum Sa…

I’m not asking President Obama to make the nation drink  health shakes and do yoga… but I would hope his health care plan would encourage and reward people if they try to take care of themselves. There are no magic pills or government plans that will fix everything. We need to take better care of our mental and physical health. Invest some time in yourself. You deserve it!

I understand there are no simple solutions, but we’ve healed as a nation many times before. Seriously we need a mantra. I’m taking suggestions.

 



Lydia says:

Hey Heather – sorry you’ve got the health challenges you do, but I love your “take charge” attitude. My mom is 77 and has arthritis in a very bad way. She too has to “ease in” to the day. But, she’s determined not to let it lick her. My nephew, the most handsome midshipman in the Navy” will be graduating May 2010. She’s going to be there and see him throw his hat in the air if she has to wrestle a bear to do it!

You are so right about cutting the “crap” out of our diets and do a little exercise. I’m now down to ONE Dr. Pepper (ok, sometimes 1 1/2) a day and trying to do the vegan thing about 3 days a week. So far, I’ve lost about 4 lbs and feel a lot less sluggish. I still have my occasional cheeseburger, after all, I AM from Texas!

Good luck and keep that positive outlook. We can either make it a great day or a bad day with our attitudes alone. God bless!😉



recessionmama says:

Thanks for the kind words Lydia. You’re mom sounds amazing! And I hope her arthritis gets better or at least under control. It’s a tuff one.

Good for you on losing weight. That’s great. It’s wonderful when you find something that really works for you. I too try to avoid meat. But I do eat fish.
Gotta sink my teeth into something once in a while.



Katy says:

Heather, this was a great post! So interesting to compare our nation’s health with your situation (s). Boy, you’ve had a lot of health problems! I would never have guessed. You look amazing. I’ve been feeling lethargic lately, and this post has definitely inspired me to be healthier! I’m going to start by eating healthier and exercising more. I also totally believe in the mental and spiritual being part of healing the physical. I love yoga that includes chanting. Namaste, mama, Namaste!!



Heather B says:

Namaste! I totally sound like a hypochondriac but it’s all confirmed by docs. I think most people feel like this but are not sure what to do about it. It’s amazing what stress can do to the body and mind. I just want people to know that they CAN feel better. Just start slow and treat your body like a cherished gift. Think positive!



Lydia says:

We are the living temple of the Holy Spirit. I don’t think He wants McDonald’s every day… ha!



carla says:

Heather, you are SO on the mark with this post. The way I see it, before the “crash” last fall, so many of us..myself included..were running around like chickens with our heads cut off…going, going, going, working non-stop (in my case, not really working to save, but working to spend) …and not taking care of ourselves, feeding our kids crap bc we were constantly working (i’m proud to say i cook for my children most days now..) ..and yes, we lost sight of the most important thing: our health. Beacause without that, we have nothing. You have come a long way with your health issues and I”m so proud of you for that…and hope to follow in your footsteps now that I’m dealing with the after effects of not taking care of my own health. Great post! I hope this msg spreads to many, many more people. Without our health, we are nothing!



craig says:

Heather, I really enjoyed your blog on the unhealthy recession. You are so right on. We all have things happening in our life. It is just a part of living. I admire you for always trying to do the best no matter how you feel on the inside or out. I have been around you for several years now and you always are giving and giving to those around you and I never hear you complain. You are no Mother Theresa, but pretty damn close. Being grateful for what you have is what life is all about.



Jennifer says:

Love your mantra but not your super green stuff! I like the idea of the health care system rewarding us for taking care of ourselves. Maybe super green food and gym memberships should be a part of the plan. I know that we all sometimes take our health for granted. A very important lesson I learned during my health issue was that your family and your health are things you should never take for granted. My own mantra includes a little PUSH (pray until something happens) and PUL (peace, understanding, and love). Namaste



recessionmama says:

I really like your mantra. May I borrow it sometime? My sister hates my green stuff too. She barfed the first time she tried it. But she has a pretty infamous gag reflex.



hoboduke says:

God bless, and we’ll say a prayer around the campfire in the hobo jungle for you. It sounds like you are taking your pilgrimage without carrying complaint baggage. Hoboes travel light, and we leave complaints and problems outside the box car. Hope your travels are blue skies like Picasso!



jennifer says:

I am your sister and yes you may borrow my mantra anytime you want🙂 But….. we don’t have to share with the world how easily I toss my cookies!!



recessionmama says:

Thanks for the kind words hoboduke. Traveling light sounds like a good plan.

Jennifer… your gag reflex is legendary!



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