Be Mindful of Symptoms – Is Your Body Telling You to go to the Doctor?
How my recent bout with bronchitis put me in the hospital for 5 days
Jean Edelman: Great to be with you this week. Truly, truly great to be with you this week. This week, I wish to talk about me – if you will indulge me for a few minutes to share with you how it was that I came to spend five days in the hospital in early January. As I was experiencing this health event, I was holding what is it that I need to learn? I take super good care of myself with food, self-care, my quiet time and my walks outside with Hoshi. The one piece I was not educated on, my asthma going into bronchitis, which spiraled out of control.
Now, I did go to the doc and I got an inhaler and I got steroids. And actually, for the first time in my life, got a nebulizer treatment. And that all made me feel good. But I had never used these tools before when I was a kid. I took a pill for my asthma and it would clear up. But here I am at 63 and my body needs more support. This cough hid during the day and only flared up at night, so the inhaler got me through until it didn’t.
And by the time I got back to the doctor and got the x-rays and got the nebulizer machine, which are actually in demand right now, it was too late and I was having bronchial spasms. I didn’t even know what they were.
But there’s a learning moment. There’s a moment when you realize that you need help, and that is step one. I knew deep down that I was in trouble and I needed to elevate this. And so as I sat there with my nebulizer, I asked for 911 to be called.
And it was a very surreal moment. I didn’t have any fear. It was like all of a sudden I kind of stepped out of my body and started observing because everyone around me knew exactly what to do to get me to a safe place. But not being able to talk or breathe, then your other senses do kick in. I was watching these amazing EMT guys and the ER staff and the ER doc and then my doc and then the nurses and the pulmonary PA and the pulmonologist.
And I just truly surrendered and trusted that I was in good hands, even though that this was a very, very surreal moment in my life. And even as I heard the words, well, “we’re going to admit you”, there really was no fear. But I sat there watching and observing and thinking about what is it that I need to learn for me in my life.
So slow down was number one. What is so important that I need to rush around so much? And the second piece, which has been a pretty big piece for me, is to stop pushing through. This is something that I learned from my dad that even if you’re sick or something’s not going right or you have a big project or whatever it is, you just keep pushing. You push and push and push until it works out. When you have an inherited piece like this from your parents, which he got from his parents, which they got from their parents, generations of this learning, it’s hard to kind of pull it out of your being.
What have I learned from this health event? That this rushing activity no longer serves me. And so this is something that I am working on. And the next piece that I need to learn is to nourish my soul more. All this rushing around and pushing. Yeah, I was doing good self-care and I was eating well. But I had forgotten the ultimate essence of me and taking care of me. I’m truly, truly grateful for the amazing care that I got at Inova and the nurses and the docs. And I’m grateful to be up and out and walking with Hoshi, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to have looked at this health event as something that I need to learn and things that I need to change for me in my life.
And we’re going to talk more about all these different pieces in the future podcast. And so my word of the week is ME. But I’m hoping that this message will be helpful for you.
The M is for Mindful; to be attentive and consciously aware. Don’t let symptoms go for too long or even just be aware of symptoms, but don’t let things go on too long before seeking medical intervention. I got to the doc after I had the cough for one week, but when it was still with me for two weeks later for me was a little too late. Lesson learned. It’s not only the cough, but my entire body that was trying to support me and the muscles and the adrenals and all the systems. That’s what’s going to take the time to recover because my whole body needs to rest. My whole body needs to restore. And so being mindful of these symptoms when they pop up and then take action.
The E is for Embrace – each day, each moment. You know those five days that I spent in the hospital are the first days in years that I haven’t been outside walking, cooking, being with my family and friends. Was I so arrogant that I thought that a lingering cough would ever take me to that place? Not on your life. But when life is happening to us, it is a wonderful opportunity to learn. And trust me, I got my messages loud and clear. Have a great week, everyone.