Putting Myself First

Putting myself first is kind of a foreign concept to me. It’s no news that I have put other things first in my life before myself. When I hit the big milestone birthday, I vowed I would do things a little differently, coining this time of my life as “my second act.” Several years have passed since that event, and I find myself still struggling with putting myself first. Then several life-changing events hit my family and I found myself completely focused on that.

Something’s Missing

While I thought I was taking care of myself, I realized I was missing some key things.
For the last year, I have been monitoring my bloodwork and some of the numbers seemed off. So last November at my six-month check-up, when they tried to draw my blood at the doctor’s office, the simple process went south. After trying to poke me six or seven times, I had enough. I ended up going to the hospital lab department where they are properly trained to draw blood because that is all they do. No offense to the doctor’s office staff, but after the third try, they should have given up and sent me to the hospital right away instead of trying to poke me another four times.
Fortunately, the results came back pretty quickly and that’s when a few of the numbers seemed frightenedly off, at least to me. After reviewing with the experts, I was given a clear directive of what I needed to do and then instructed to rerun the blood work in three months.

Finally Putting Myself First

For the first time in my life I was finally putting myself first. I have worked extremely hard to follow the protocol that I was required to undertake. It felt like forever to get to here, but I made it. This week I combined my annual female wellness check with that follow-up bloodwork. The wait was agonizing but when the results came in, I was so relieved. I was also proud of the work that I had done to greatly improve the functionality of some of the things that weren’t working so well three months ago.

The Protocol (Self Care)

I still have more work to do. Here’s to following the protocol (self care) that I started while adding a few additional items to the list. So what am I doing you ask?
  • First, and foremost, I am drinking more water. You’d be surprised how important this is. Get your bloodwork run and find out how important it is when certain numbers look bad because you are not drinking enough water. Trust me. Truth be told I am not a big fan of plain water (unless it’s Fiji water), so I add things to it to make it more palatable.
  • Second, I have gone almost completely sugar-free. The key here is almost. It wasn’t that hard. While it is a bit more expensive to buy sugar-free items, in the long run, it helps both myself and my guy. My glucose levels are now normal and I lost a few pounds. Ha!
  • Third, I am trying to eat better. The latest bloodwork showed that my potassium is on the low level of normal. I am now needing to incorporate other potassium-rich foods like bananas, broccoli, and including spinach in my salads. They also recommended avocados, but I am allergic, so that won’t be showing up on my plate.
  • Fourth, I am trying to walk more. I am not as good as I was the summer I had my leg surgeries, but I am trying. Steps are better on the weekend, and I am working on other ways to increase steps during the week.
  • Fifth, sleep has become a high priority for me. Another thing you don’t realize how important it is until it starts to affect how your body functions. I have had sleep trouble over the years, so I have taken some steps to improve this part of my life.

Lessons Learned

I have more, but that will come in another post. For now though, take a lesson from me. Get your bloodwork run and take a good look at it to be sure everything is functioning the way it is supposed to. I got lucky because my deficiencies were caught early before they cause some real damage.
Wishing you all moments to put yourself first,

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