Thursday, 29 April 2010

Lose Urself 4 Charity!

My Story

Medical Drama
My name is Rudo and my story began last summer when I became unwell with what initially seemed like a regular episode of being 'run down' as I was a bit of a workaholic and therefore worked really long hours in my role as a Facilities Manager. four weeks later I still felt bad but carried on working until July when one Sunday I could not keep any food down and was throwing up almost as I had eaten. I went to the doctors the next day (this was during the swine flu scare) and he advised me to stay at home for a week and see if it went away...but it didn't! I continued to feel worse,  in addition to nausea and vomiting I experienced stomach cramps, bloating, migraines and anemia. This was followed by severe lethargy and more frequent and intense headaches which my doctor diagnosed as 'stress headaches'. 

Since then, almost a year later I have had a multitude of intrusive examinations, what feels like a million blood tests and various other observations with no clue as to what could be wrong! After 6 1/2 months of illness with no idea what was wrong, I went to see a chest specialist and he informed me that he suspected Sarcoidosis was the cause based on information from a CT scan and the Rhumatologist  expressed that I appeared to be recovering from a Sarcoidosis episode. It was real relief to have a diagnosis and to be told i was not dying! (They had initially suspected everything from bowel cancer to lung cancer and everything in between!) But was not excited when they said they was no treatment they could offer and it would simply take time... The doc advised that i take steps to change my lifestyle and get my body into the best possible shape because the healthier I am the quicker i will recover (It apparently takes anything for 1 - 3 years for the body to full return to normal depending on the individual). 

Work Drama
As I mentioned earlier I was a workaholic of sorts not by choice but by circumstances, my job is really busy and has many aspects to it and my responsibilities cannot be easily fulfilled in a normal 9-5 day so I ended up working longer hours to  try to achieve and stay on top of everything and in the end it all got on top of me! I lived alone therefore hardly ever cooked, had an average of 12 cups of coffee a day, very little water, average 1 meal a day and a couple of quick bites in between meetings and employee appraisals, crisis and building project work. I often worked 6 days a week and was on call 24hrs a day, 7 days a week  (except for a couple of weeks when I was on holiday I think...) Recognising the vicious cycle that  my job had become was easy enough, I got really run down every 3or 4 months with flu like symptoms and would be confined to a bed for a week (or I would just work through it feeling awful) but slowing down when the rest of the department was speeding up would never have been acceptable (not when you are still establishing yourself and in a sense proving yourself)  When I was not at work I used the time to participate in the activities at my local church which was the only buffer between me and collapsing I'm sure of it! Then one day my body just stopped... One of the consultants I saw said that it was my lifestyle that had triggered my illness and that this would need to change if I did not want to be in the same condition or worse in the a hard slap across the face as your'e walking along, minding your own business...she got my attention and then I stopped...

No More Drama!
So I am now on this journey called 'Change of lifestyle' which has so far been about internal examination and reflection on what motivates and drives me, what my priorities are and why I had let the 'rat race' run me into the ground??? What  I do know is that I do not want my life to stay the same and to be honest I am in a good place now where my health comes first (a good thing really as I only get this one body and one life...). So the plan is to lose weight (did i mention that my lifestyle came with mandatory weight gain by virtue of neglecting my body and using it like it was a machine rather than living tissue?) and more importantly get healthy again!  For the record I have no intentions of becoming a size 8 or anything like that, I just want to be healthy and ensure that I do all I can not to create an environment where sickness can 'gate crash' my life again!

Positive steps so far...
Well I have spent a lot of the time on my hobbies, the most important of which is my photography which i have been passionate about for as long as I can remember, I also started a blog! Yes a blog where i write about things I hear about, experience or have an opinion about and I post my pictures on there too so its good fun and a way of showing my art and sometimes just having a good rant! Lol...I also started writingpoetry again which has been fun! I used to write poetry when i was 10 or 11 years old and then as a teenager surrendered it for boys! and  in my infirmity poetry came back to me :-) so I am thinking differently, questioning my choices and deliberating before making decisions to make sure I only do the things I really mean to do and not just say yes to keep everyone happy like I used to do which has been an important step for me in the process of change... and now there is the hardest bit, the outward change through 'Lose Urself 4 Charity' and the Charity(Tekva Trust) itself! 

The charity... Tekva Trust...Helping preserve life...building for the future...


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