Balancing Hepatitis and Health
My life has been spinning since being diagnosed with the Hepatitis C Virus. At first, I ran out of the hospital trying to get away from it. Then I spent the next 6 years coming to grips with what it meant to my future. I began the Liver Loving Diet. I went all out to get a dangerous treatment. I battled hepatic encephalopathy (HE). I continually treated portal hypertension, ascites, and bleeding varices. I had to work in order to maintain insurance. And what was that next thing? Oh Yeah – the liver cancer and transplant. Geez Louise. How did I go about balancing Hepatitis and Health? I’m still working on it. Here’s my current thoughts.
Stop the cycle – Thump! Thump! Thump! When the washing machine gets out of balance, it gets noisy. Mine vibrates in circles all over the washroom. It is definitely dances out a warning. When we hear the pounding, it’s time to run through the house and slam the knob. We redistribute the weight before pulling the knob back out. If the towels or jeans get moved around, it will spin more smoothly. If not, we have to stop and readjust again.
What about our minds? We get all kinds of signals that things are going wrong. We are trying too hard to overcome HE or maybe we are pushing ourselves to keep health insurance. We scrutinize every bite we eat and penny we spend. Fatigue and aches nag at our body. Fear and anxiety tug at our brain. We have to stop the insanity with Hepatitis C and liver disease. We wouldn’t let our washer stay out of balanced. We shouldn’t let our mind stay that way either.
The clatter in our heads is what gets everything out of balance. During illness, we can run a little wild mentally. Stopping the cycle of thinking about negative things is not so easily done. We all try different tactics. I am the queen of distracting myself. The only thing that distraction does is stop the cycle temporarily. It does not redistribute the messy thoughts and emotions.
Listening for imbalance – When we look and listen to our feelings, we can be in more control of our thoughts. What are we thinking about? What record is being played in the background of our minds? Is it something true or is it a story we concocted in our mind? We do that you know, make up a story when we don’t know the truth about a situation. It’s our mind’s way of bringing resolution to an unknown. And it can be a dangerous trap to fall into when you’re sick. If you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed, sad, angry, or depressed – listen to yourself. It may be time to put everything on hold and simply stop and listen.
I’ve been listening to me. I recently got caught in a loop with a fearful thought. I saw some evidence that things were going awry. I looked for ways to fix it. I aimed my best energy toward a healing solution. Then I heard the Thump! Thump! Thump! I was way out of balance. I ran and pulled everything out and weighed the situation. Now I’m in the process of putting it all back in. Carefully – making sure I put my one precious life first. I got honest with my doctors and my loved ones. I reported my symptoms truthfully to all. It didn’t make me less brave. It actually took courage to speak it out.
We should really stop and listen to ourselves. It is surprising how often dwell on the same things over and over in our mind. Push stop. Figure it out. Spend some time in silence. Take a break.
With that little intro, I am announcing my retreat. I’m spending a month visiting my dear family, caregiver, doctor, yoga instructor, Ayervedic gardener, and friends. I’m leaving on my birthday, April 1 and will return on the last day of the month. The whole month honors organ donors internationally. I will also celebrate my 1 year post transplant. It’s my liver birthday. I hope to do some writing on my project. Mostly, I’ll be listening to me: Spirit, Mind, and Body.
I wish I could take you with me. xoxo Karen:)
P.S. My daughter helps edit when she’s here. Then I just post. Forgive typos etcetera etcetera.