Monday, January 7, 2013


Have you noticed all of the commercials about diets and exercise equipment on TV?  Each year we are inundated with these messages about losing weight and getting fit.  This is certainly due to the fact that many of us make new year's resolutions about those topics.  We have a lot of hope that this is the year we can stick to it and be healthier.  I certainly encourage anyone who has the conviction to set this type of goal and the dedication to these healthy resolutions. My commitment to becoming more healthy due to weight loss and exercise is evident with my vertical sleeve surgery last September.  After losing weight, I am feeling so much better than I used to feel.  It is amazing to me that activities are easier and that my stamina is so much better.

Health is a very interesting thing.  When we are healthy, we don't think about it.  We just take it for granted. We go about our daily lives never realizing the ease with which we accomplish our tasks.  However, when something happens to take that away, we realize how wonderful it was to feel healthy. A friend recently had surgery and is confined to a cast.  Her mobility is greatly reduced, and she can't drive for several weeks.  She entertains us with pictures of her cast's various outings, and everything is shown with the cast in the picture.  While she has a great sense of humor, she is struggling with pain as she goes about her daily activities and is trying to get her life back to "normal".  Another friend is recovering from pneumonia and is astonished at how easily she becomes exhausted.

As we get older, many people live with pain and illness on a daily basis to the point where we forget what it was like to feel good.  Years ago, I had gall bladder surgery.  After recovery, I realized that I hadn't felt well for over a year but didn't know it.  I had become so used to how I felt that I no longer knew what healthy felt like.  I had established a new "normal".  There are others, irregardless of age. who suffer from what many call an invisible illness.  These are diseases that can compromise a person's daily life and change their idea of healthy.

 I recently saw the following on Facebook and shared it on my page,
"Hard to explain to someone who has no clue.  It's a daily struggle being in pain or feeling sick on the inside while you look fine on the outside..."  It went on to list invisible illnesses such as Crohn's, PTSD, Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Diabetes, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, MS, Arthritis, Cancer, Heart Disease, etc.

If you have never struggled with one of these invisible illnesses or experienced it with a loved one, you can't really understand how it changes your life.  If you know someone who has one of these illnesses, keep in touch with them; reach out through Facebook, texts, and phone calls.  Invite them to do things with you or suggest hanging out with them-watching a movie at home, playing a game, or just talking.  If they don't feel well enough today, invite them again and again.  You may catch them when they finally feel like doing something, and your support and friendship will mean so much during the tough times.  Let them know that you do understand and care.  Make this your new year's resolution because it will truly make a difference in someone's life this year.

Above all else, find joy each day when you feel healthy!

My blog tagline takes on more meaning today:  Have you found your joy today?

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