As a child, I think I always loved food a little too much. I depended on it to bring me joy. I hoped it would make me happy. I would think about it constantly and had to eat everything I craved. Any food I saw, I just had to have.
It’s no secret that the American healthcare system is a flawed and expensive institution. In 2014, following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, 33 million people remained uninsured (Smith and Medalia, 2015). That same year, the United States spent a total of 3 trillion dollars on healthcare and two years later, the state of healthcare still remained critical (Health Expenditures, 2016).
Tori* was an active person who used to working out frequently. One day while working out, she was suddenly struck with a crippling dizziness that would stick with her for 7 years.
Living with a chronic or undiagnosed disease is a grueling, endless battle that leaves you clinging to the remnants of your sanity. The symptoms are incapacitating, the financial strain is crippling, and the emotional toll it takes is a beast unlike any other.
The emotional destruction is almost a rite of passage for the chronically ill patient. You may turn to family and friends for support, but quickly find that no one understands your plight. During your darkest moments, their indifference can feel like a betrayal. Where do you go from there?
“Well, that’s quite a rash you have there”
“Yes, it is–what is it?”
“That sounds serious?”
“It’s nothing to worry about”
“So, what do I do about it?”
“Nothing, it’ll go away on it’s own.”
Most people think that the hardest part of Alzheimers is watching someone you love deteriorate before your eyes. Alzheimer’s systematically takes away each quality that you love about that person, ticking each element off each piece of their character off like it’s a check list, one by one, until there is nothing left but the hollow shell of the person they once were.
With my experience, I found that my biggest Alzheimer’s heart break wasn’t with the patient, but with the care taker.
Your outfit of the day, your #OOTD, your power suit, your perfect desk to date wear, it sounds like such a small thing to be able to wear something that you are proud of and feel good in to work, but the second that is taken away from you, you realize it makes all the difference. It changes your attitude, your demeanor and how you carry yourself amongst your co-workers, customers or in this case, your patients.
I have been chronically ill for over seven years, and had chronic pain for four. Living in this state, exercise is not easy, I’m only 24 years old and close to diabetes. But no excuses, it’s time to take care of myself.
The first step in getting into the exercise habit is to find your reason, your main motive. Whether it’s for you to fit into that amazing dress, to be healthier, for your kids or partner, anything! If downloading “Pokemon Go” or another game will help to make getting out and about fun, do that! My reason is for my self-esteem, confidence, and my future.
Jennifer was experiencing incredibly weak and painful muscles and joints. She would feel extremely stiff whenever she would try to stand and was sore all over her body. On top of that she was experiencing constant confusion, dizziness, chronic fatigue, tingling down her legs and arms, burning feet and drastic bowel changes.
Good movies often set the bar real high for real life. Empire Records ruined the concept of the familial record store just a few years before they disappeared into obscurity. Casper ruined the concept of the perfect romance – like all boyfriends don’t turn out to be Devon Sawa in the end? And then there was The Goonies – setting the highest bar for adventure, and a story I will attempt to capture in my own life for the rest of it.