Endometriosis awareness month

I’m not sure where March went, but it’s just about behind us now…. taking both the good and the bad that came with it. I’m looking forward to April. It holds a lot of promise and I don’t want to miss a single moment of that.

One thing that I hoped to so more with, that got sidelined by any number of other things going on in March, was Endometriosis Awareness Month. So in these fleeting moments of March, I’d like to provide a small glimpse of what I live with on a daily basis.

I consider myself really very fortunate. It took a long time to figure out at least some piece of the puzzle for my, admittedly odd, personal health profile. A few doctors later, a few tries with various drug treatments later, and with a great deal of support from family and friends, I have what a great number of women with endometriosis do not have: relative stability of the disease. And I’m blessed to have that.

For now, I get to live above the disease. With a relatively low dose of medication each day, I have a way to live with a minimum of symptoms, a minimum of pain, a minimum of drug-related side-effects, and I have a drug plan that pays for all of it. For now, I enjoy this. I know that when I am off of the meds, things are completely different. I also know that it is possible that the treatment might just stop being effective, or may become too much for my system to metabolize, as long-term options can do. These aren’t examples of me fearing the worst. They are just facts. Facts that help me to appreciate what I have right now and enjoy the season while I’m living it. I might be blessed with a very long season. That would be a wonderful but I don’t take that for granted or any kind of right.

I already have it so much better than lots of women. The thing that is important to understand about endo is that it is a remarkably individual disease. While I believe this is true of many diseases and conditions (and not just the ones I live with), endometriosis effects each person quite differently. Some live with immense, constant pain. Some are unable to find a good doctor (or afford a doctor at all). Some find no help from the medications available and need drastic surgery to “cure” the disease. Some have so much damage done that they have no hope of having a child. Some cannot work or keep a job because they are so negatively impacted. Some have no one to care, support, or understand them…. family, significant others, friends, employers….

One of the strange things about endometriosis that I’ve experienced is that it can be difficult to talk about. Unfortunately, I guess it’s part of societal views where women’s health issues are still not always acceptable to discuss. There is no nationally known foundation or society for endometriosis ….. They exist, but mostly nobody has any clue that they do. Or anything about the disease or the challenges that so many women face because of endometriosis. Mostly in silence.

So there. That’s my contribution. Only a slice of my story, but it’s something I wanted to share this March.

Sicko [Movie] – watch it!

Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko” was featured on CBC Newsworld’s “The Passionate Eye” tonight.  So here is my movie review.  Actually it’s only a partial movie review… I only saw the last half-ish or so.  And not really a review — more of a recommendation to watch it if you haven’t yet.  And technically it’s a documentary and not a movie.  So far this blog post is going really well.  LOL

But Michael Moore’s look at the American health care system (comparing it to other countries throughout the world including Canada, the UK, France, and even Cuba) is truly eye opening.  It makes me glad to be in Canada.  It makes me vaguely interested in moving to France.  (If you watch it, you’ll understand why!)  But also makes me question why the Canadian (Ontario, even) way of doing healthcare is… so… incomplete.

I’m grateful for good insurance through my employer… I do recall days where I didn’t have any.  And I’m grateful for essential coverage through the provincial government… again, especially for times when I didn’t have anything else to fall back on.  But why is everything about money?  Healthcare should be an example of something that is solely about quality.  I know that, at present, I’m not informed enough to contrast and compare with specifics and hard, cold facts.  But I’ve had just enough firsthand experience over the years to know that the healthcare workers don’t get what they deserve or need (at least not the good ones!) and often enough neither do the patients.

Anyway – watch the film.  Think for yourself.  Ask questions.  Covet change and work toward that change.

Silly Songs, Sore Muscles, and Sudden Sleepiness

Hmm, thinking about doing a “Silly Songs with Donna” segment on the olivepeopleonline.com website… and/or Facebook.  More on that another time… that was just me thinking out loud.

Another weekend has come and gone.  I’m so busy on my weekends lately (or should be… had to cancel a few recent sets of weekend plans due to bad health) that it’s a wonder that I look forward to them.  But mostly I love my crazy weekends.  Usually they mean I get to see wonderful people who I don’t see often enough and frequently bring a lot of music with them as well.

Part of this weekend was spent helping out my friends in the Ontario Central East (Toronto area) divisional youth chorus by filling in for their accompanist.  I got play for them a lot last season, so it was nice to be able to return and play for them, catch up with them, etc. again.  The amazingly motivated thing that I did before leaving Guelph to help them was take this 30-40 minute “fitness” walk around my neighbourhood – the first of its kind in a long while.  Actually, I’m not sure I ever really did a “fitness” walk before.

The distinction I am making here is that I will take nice long walks, but they are more like strolls.  This walk on Saturday was a walk with great intention to be exercising.  Moving swiftly, doing some cardio, getting the blood pumping… And on Sunday I have sore muscles… muscles that I forgot I had… maybe even muscles that I have never made sore before…  But it’s that “good” I-know-I-have-been-exercising-so-I-feel-better-about-myself-today kind of sore.

And now, I must retire… or at least go to bed and find some sleep.  Listening to books on my iPod seems to do the trick lately. :)

Until another post… O Live, People!

100 Push-ups!

NO!  I cannot do 100 push-ups…. not yet anyway!

In fact, I can hardly do any at all… not of the real type… not yet anyway!

BUT, I have a plan!   (This is the Donna we all know and love!)

There is a website called hundredpushups.com and it is a plan to be able to do 100 push ups at the end of a 6 week program.  I just officially started today.  Granted, I am only doing the knee-based push-ups, but doing 100 of those should give me enough upper body strength to get going on real push-ups.

You can keep track of my progress, help keep me accountable, etc. by checking out my Twitter page.  All my progress on the 100 push-up plan goes here, because I have it linked up with the companion site to the 6-week plan, www.pushupslogger.com … so automatically Twitter gets updated when I log my workout sessions.  Neat eh?

There is also a 200 sit-ups site and logger site.  I may or may not do these… it only focuses on one kind of sit-up and I know there are many types… depends if there is a reason to do this for me.  More research is needed.  But for anybody interested, these sites are: http://twohundredsitups.com and http://www.pushupslogger.com/plog/situps

Let me know if you decide to follow these plans, or other similar online plans!