Last week I took photos of my food all day Wednesday and Thursday, eager to bring you a daily eats post on Friday. However, if you follow me on Instagram (@healthyhitsthespot) and saw my Insta story, Thursday took a turn for the worse (or better?).
On Thursday night I shared a photo saying “tonights plans took a turn” which showed me in the ER. However, I haven’t shared why I was in the ER, so I wanted to do that today.
Many of you know what’s been happening in my personal life this year, because I’ve been pretty open to share it on the blog – I trust you to be considerate of my heart as I share it with you. My sweet mama got diagnosed with cancer back in February.
I wrote, at the beginning of this year, that my word for the year was “LOVE.” This couldn’t be more true. This has definitely been a year of extending love.
It’s been a hard year.
But in moments of hard, I’ve been met with an immeasurable amount of grace. Grace to not go through this alone (thank you family) and grace to be given strength (thank you God) when I haven’t had enough.
My family and friends have shown up in ways that I just didn’t know people had the capacity to show up. It’s been a total blessing, and my mom, myself, and our family, has been showered in love and support.
Over these past six-years, so much has changed and evolved for me. I have grown into the person I always hoped I’d be as a kid – I feel like myself. Basically just the kid version of me, all grown up.
However, a personal battle I’ve always had is trying to do it all, when it comes to things I want to do. There’s so much I want to do. So much I feel like I need to do (self imposed).
I can be really good at saying no to things that don’t feel aligned with what I want to do, but when it comes to things that I want to do, it can be so hard to say no – even when it’s too much. I could clean, serve/help those I love, work, walk, talk, hangout, and be with people all day long.
This past month has surely been a time of trying to do it all.
Recently, I talked about feeling overwhelm, and what I do to help myself when I’m feeling that way. All of these things remain true – more me-time, reprioritize, ask for help, and acknowledgement.
However, this time I waited a little too long to slow down & address the overwhelm…
Thursday, I was struggling with an immense amount of chest pain in the afternoon. It wasn’t sharp, and it didn’t come and go. It truly felt like a 300 lb gorilla was sitting on my chest, taking a peaceful nap, in one spot, not moving at all.
It was a constant, heavy pressure.
I sent a message to my family and said “Hey, I think I’m having anxiety that’s holding up in my chest and causing a bit of chest pain, will you pray for me? I also made an appointment with my counselor next week.”
You can imagine the responses I got.
Paige, what exactly is this feeling like? How long have you felt this? Has it been going on all day? Just came? What?
Me: Oh you know… It’s been about 3 weeks, but this week feels a little worse.
Of course, the phone calls started rolling in, and within a matter of minutes I was on the phone with my uncle (firefighter) counting my heart beats per minute.
Next thing I knew I was headed to the ER, with way too much evidence that I should not, NOT be in the ER. Something was up (which, side note, I knew, but I thought it was just anxiety).
While I was there, they took a ton of tests. EKG, x-rays, blood tests, etc…
But one test they gave me changed it all. They game me medicine to numb my esophagus and said if this alleviates the pressure you’re feeling, we’ll know exactly what it is.
So I took this numbing drink and all of the sudden felt like a new and normal human being. I could breath from my mouth all the way to the bottom of my belly. The 300 lb gorilla got up off my chest and walked away, and I couldn’t believe how good it felt.
A few hours later, I left with the diagnosis of GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease).
Which explains the dry cough I’ve had for years that made me think I was allergic to soy.
Which explains my weird and regular shortness of breath.
Which explains the immense chest pain I was experiencing…
It explained SO MANY THINGS.
Okay, so it wasn’t anxiety. It was GERD, aggravated by stress, which made my chest feel like it was being held captive, which gave me anxiety. Ah, okay. Got it. Anxiety was only a symptom.
This night was a huge wake up call for me. A huge reminder that hey, you’ve got to pay attention for how you’re caring for YOURSELF. Not just through a means of self-care, but literally, you’ve got to slow down, calm down, and let go a bit.
Since this night, I’ve made some important changes… As in, I’m back to working within normal hours, vs. working way too many hours a day. I’m back to taking Saturdays off, as I’d picked up working on Saturdays for the last several weeks.
I’m focusing on calming exercise, vs. vigorous movement (which was actually making me nauseated). I’m back to only taking 12 clients at a time (I’m full now, but will be open in October if you’d like to get on the list here).
I’m back to having a single pointed focus at work. I know exactly what my responsibilities are and where I give my attention, and I also know where I don’t focus. I know where to ask for help, and I know when to slow down, shut off, and turn down the volume on anxious thoughts.
I’ve even had to make little tweaks to my diet to let the acid in my stomach calm down, but through everything I’ve worked on in these past six-years in my relationship with food & how I care for myself (we teach these things in Finally Free) this feels like just another way I’m taking care of myself.
So, ladies, this is what’s been going on! Since Thursday, I’ve watched a lot of Netflix (Maid in Manhattan and The Holiday, anyone?), slept a ton of hours, taken lots of calming walks, and have participated in more slowing down than normal.
To wrap up, really, Thursday was a turn for the better. A turn for the better in remembering, hey, taking care of yourself is no joke. It’s not something that you do if you have time. No, it’s mandatory, and show be a top priority.
Your body is your permanent home, take care of it.
Share with me! Does this remind you of any ways YOU need to take care of yourself? If so, how? Anyone else here have GERD, or felt extreme chest pain from this kind of thing? (It feels like you’re having a heart attack, am I right?)
Thanks so much for being with me, ladies. I swear, a daily eats post is coming soon. Hehe. Oh, and on Thursday a VIP Q&A email is coming where I answer: How do I listen to my body when I’m with friends having a good time? (Just sign-up for my emails at the bottom of this post to get it)