Things I learned or remembered while in the hospital

  1. Wash your hands. I washed mine and used the hand sanitizer until they were red and crackly. But they were always clean and I didn’t bring home any extra illnesses.
  2. Be your own patient advocate. Docs and nurses are busy busy busy. They’ll forget a dosage or maybe even give the wrong one. Check every time or have your loved ones do it. Write a list of questions so you don’t forget during doctors’ rounds.
  3. Have faith in your body’s ability to heal. It’s always working hard for you. And same with doctors: trust but verify. Believe the protocol is working and trust the people administering it, but don’t forget number two.
  4. Docs/hospitals make zero connection between what they feed you and what’s happening in your body. I learned this years ago but was starkly reminded when I saw stage 4 cancer patients eating ice cream. I get that at a certain point people should eat whatever they want, but isn’t it common knowledge that cancer loves sugar?
  5. Laugh when you can and keep a light heart. Gallows humor isn’t for everyone, but it helped me get through a rough time. My sense of humor, oddly enough, came roaring back during this time.
  6. Don’t pay for a private room. Hospitals are lonely places, especially at night. Your roommates can keep you sane. Human connection is everything when you’re sick.
  7. Sleep when you can, because it’s hard to get rest in that setting. They’re up your butt all the time: take your temperature, take your medicine, here’s some food, here’s a shot (and not the fun kind). And they wake you up at 6am for no reason!
  8. Bring some comforts from home. Everyone made fun of me, but I had my hub bring me an essential oil diffuser and it helped keep me sane. And people loved it. (There was NO fresh air— the window didn’t even open a crack!)
  9. Music and earphones will keep you sane. Meditations, music, cat videos.. whatever brings you joy.
  10. This was a new one: if you ever want all your Tupperware back, get admitted to hospital.
  11. Really think about who you tell, at least at first. You’re in there to rest and recover, not worry about other people’s feelings about your illness or to get loads of visitors.
  12. Use it as a wake up call. Life is precious, and even if you believe we have many lives, you’ll only have this one once. Who was it who said, ‘Nothing focuses the mind like a hanging’? Get your priorities straight.
  13. Always have a will, even if it’s not finalized. No matter how old you are. Even if you don’t have kids.
  14. Once you’re out, you’ll appreciate the little things again: your own bed, a hot shower, fresh air. Good health of course! Appreciating the little things in life allows for more goodness to come in. I can’t emphasize this enough. The little moments in life are all we have, really. That and love. Appreciate those you love. Friends, family, your pets. Love is why we’re here, after all.

Loving yourself enough to change: Part two

Yesterday’s blog post was in response to my friend asking how I was disciplined enough to eat healthily.  I want to stress again, that I am no expert on this. But I *can* tell you about my experience, and maybe it will be helpful. 

I don’t want to sound like a cult member or anything, but I truly believe that the Medical Medium lifestyle is good for everyone. Sure we’re all different, but there’s nothing that can hurt anyone within it, and it truly is a lifesaver for many.  People are so worried about protein, but a. you really don’t need as much as people think you do and b. you can easily get enough with plant-based foods–like beans, spirulina (a supplement), greens, and even fruits.

If you don’t have any symptoms like constant headaches, fatigue, aches and pains, and so on, or you only have minor ones, and you don’t feel like you have it in you to overhaul your diet, just add in more fruit.  Like more than you ever think you could or want to eat.  People are afraid to eat fruit, which Anthony William calls fruit fear (duh,) because someone put it out there that fruit sugar is bad for you. They say it spikes your blood sugar and makes you fat. Not at all true.  It’s not the blueberries in the blueberry muffin that are adding weight, it’s the sugar and oil.  

Fruit sugar is very different than table sugar or refined sugar.  Our brains are fueled by fruit, our bodies need the glucose.  (This is all according to MM, but I felt enormously better once I added in more fruit. I was barely eating any at all, thinking vegetables were the most important.  Don’t stop eating veggies, though! They are still important, but fruit is vital.)  And you will probably find that you don’t crave sugar as much as you once did.  I didn’t love fruit that much but making different types of smoothies helped that a lot.  There’s creative ways to add fruit in.

Another thing is MM says if you can only do one thing, just start juicing celery juice on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Then wait 20-30 minutes to eat.  It has to be fresh, it has to be drunk within half an hour, and it has to be plain celery juice, nothing else.  Just drinking this for two weeks increased my health by a whole notch when I first started.  Over time, it helps with all kinds of things. MM has an entire book just about the benefits of juicing celery juice.  All the stars are drinking it now too, and there’s a lot of misinformation about it out there now, unfortunately. The bottled celery juice you’re now seeing in supermarkets is basically useless because it isn’t fresh.  You really have to juice it yourself or drink it in a juice bar that has made it fresh for you.

Some other practical tips—and again, I am not an expert on this but..

  • Letting people know beforehand that you have food allergies, or that you are eating differently than normal. Offering to bring something to a dinner party is usually well received, especially if the person knows you can’t eat certain things. 
  • Calling ahead to a restaurant to ask questions about the menu or get assurance that you cannot eat canola oil (for example).  I admit, I have never once done this, but I know people do it a lot.  I did call a farm once to see if their corn was genetically modified. 
  • When you’re traveling, bring whatever you can with you. Find out where the farmer’s markets are beforehand. Google juice bars before you go.  Just doing a little bit of pre-planning can do wonders.

The hardest part is socializing. You have to think ahead about restaurants, where you can go and what you can eat.  You have to let people know your food issues, and you have to be honest but diplomatic and kind.  And if you are sick and trying to heal, you may just have to hunker down, realize that it is going to take some time to heal, and make yourself a priority. Your true friends will understand and stick by you.  One bonus is that you can actually get rid of any toxic friends in your life during this time too. I say that jokingly but also dead seriously.  People sometimes are threatened when their friends change.  It makes them look at themselves, and as I mentioned earlier, people don’t change all that easily.  Don’t let this hold you back.  As I will keep saying over and over, this is your one life, and YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Silent meditation is a b&tch

I’m working with this wonderful coach, which someday I’ll write more about. For now I’ll just say she’s helping me get out of my comfort zone and push through boundaries —like posting every day, showing more of myself, etc.

Part of my ‘homework’ is daily silent meditation. She says it’s non-negotiable. I’m no stranger to meditation—I’ve done it on and off for 15 years, but usually with a mantra, a guided meditation, or at least a group. I’m finding that silent meditation is a b&tch though. I start the usual way: get comfortable, take deep breaths, try to quiet my mind, and… a million thoughts come in. I make lists, suddenly remember things I forgot to do, the typical monkey mind. Sometimes (often) I even forget I’m supposed to be meditating and I get up and do other things! I just completely forget I even started a meditation.

I almost went on a five-day silent retreat once. If I can’t handle a ten-minute silent meditation, can you imagine how that would have gone? In one of the pictures of the event from the prior year, they showed people sitting immersed in these gorgeous alpine settings and looking blissed out—except for one guy who was looking down, hands on his head looking like he was about to lose it. That probably would’ve been me after about three days.

I really want to conquer this.

I never have this problem with guided meditations. What am I doing wrong? Do you meditate silently? Have any tips for me? Someone please help!!!