The first step is to admit you have a problem…

Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am #workaholic, who ignores the advice she gives to others professionally…

Since opening my business January 1, 2016, I have been working 6-7 days a week.

I have slowly stopped doing the things that kept my #autoimmune problems in check. Less time in the gym, careless about food choices at times because quick was better than nutritious. I stopped any semblance of a social life, and “work/life balance” was and ideal I told others to try and achieve. My work was too important to follow my own advice right??? I mean, people were depending on me to be there, and I was not going to let anyone down! Before I knew it, my life was get up, got to work, come home and fall asleep till it was time to do it all over again. Sunday, my only real day was was spent motionless on the couch recuperating. The hubby was rarely able to get me to even consider leaving the house on a Sunday.

Well things began to unravel….

Not with my business, but with my body. Mild annoying discomfort was turning into throbbing pain, then severe muscle spasms and burning nerve pain. All of which I did my best to push off with some Advil(yep, I’m not supposed to take that), compression sleeves, #ultrasoundtherapy, and a LOT of #CBD cream.

Then things took a turn for the worse…

In October of 2018 I began experiencing some unusual symptoms, at least unusual for someone with all of my “issues”. My intestines started to feel like the they were burning with sharp stabbing sensations at random moments. There was no discernible pattern, to me at least.

By January of 2019 I began to have LOTS of hives and rashes.

February arrived with a severe outbreak of pustular rosacea, which put me into a state of panic. Something was really wrong because none of my usual go to things was helping any of it.

My thinking was so muddled and foggy, I was having trouble finishing a thought or remembering the most mundane, routine things.

My usual doctor was of no help, he just kept telling me I needed to lose weight and take cholesterol medication.

Then one of my wonderful clients told me about her new doctor. This doctor had figured out all the things her other doctors had missed, and thanks to him, she is now cancer free.

By this point I was desperate to find out what was going on with me.

I didn’t care that this doctor group didn’t take insurance, I was willing to pay whatever it took!

$2,700 and 149 tests later I had some real answers.

#Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is what was wrong with my system.

Another #autoimmunedisease has entered the picture, this one, with a vengeance! This is not an inconsequential disease, I could eventually, have to get surgery to remove my #thyroid gland. There is no cure for this disease, but there are treatments to manage it along with (another) shift in diet.

Since my first appointment I have been on a very restrictive food plan that has removed(including all the foods I’m allergic to) eggs, dairy, night shade fruits and vegetables, anything fermented, vinegar, sugar and a list of spices. It would be shorter to tell you what I can eat!

I have 4 more weeks on the 90 day restrictive diet and I’ve been on two new medications as well as I.V. therapy to address the severe #inflammation, oh and let’s not forget the #lighttherapy because my daytime melatonin levels were too high.

My stomach, intestinal pain and swelling is almost completely gone.

I have been having more days when I wake up feeling rested. Before this, it had been months(maybe years) since I’ve woken up feeling rested even if I slept 9 hours!

I still have some bad days, but I feel a lot of optimism about getting better as time goes on with my new treatment plan.

The one thing that has kept me getting out of bed and facing the day no matter what my body was doing is my job.

I’m incredibly grateful that I have a career that gives me so much purpose. I know I am so fortunate that despite all that has been going on with my health, my little company is still flourishing.

I have had to take my own advice and prioritize my health more which means, spending less time working.

It is in my nature to work hard at anything I do, but I fully understand pushing myself beyond my physical limits is destructive to my health.

Soooo…..

That means I’m taking an extra day off during the week, so I’ll be putting in 40’ish hours instead of 60’ish.

…Baby Steps…

The only reason this is possible is because just at the exact right moment, Mike Barbour walked into my life.

I truly feel it was meant to happen.

I had just been telling my husband, I was NOT going to hire anyone, no way, no how! Then I hear a “ding” come from my phone indicating a email delivery.

Mike reached out to me to see if I would be interested in hiring him.

Something definitely compelled me to set a meeting with him, but I decided not to tell the hubby because I didn’t want him pushing(or as he would say, “gently encouraging”) me into it unless I felt it was right.

The minute I met Mike, I just knew he was the one I should hire.

We talked like we had known each other for years and have so much in common hobby wise. He is way more experienced than I am in #massage, but had spent the last 20 odd years living and working in Baltimore. He was born and raised here in JoCo, and decided to move home after the untimely death of his husband.

I’ve been a solo therapist for so long that it’s been amazing to have someone to work with that cares just as much as I do about massage and helping people feel better. I am not a person who trusts easily, but I am so glad I took a chance with him! I think all of his happy clients would agree with me too!

So here I am admitting that, yes I have a problem #balancing my work and personal life. If you know me, you know how hard it is for me to admit I can’t handle everything by myself with ease.

I’m not someone who complains a lot , or bemoans the hand I’ve been dealt physically. I try to roll with the waves rather than fight them.

Asking for #help is something extremely hard for me to do. I’m a do it myself kind of person.

It occurred to me that I’m just a few years away from the big 50. I’d like to start that chapter feeling better and following my own advice more often.

It’s okay that some of my plans have to be put on hold, because my health is important and I can’t take care of others if I don’t take care of me.

#SlefCare

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