August 19, 2010

Sodium Girl Guest Blog - Part 2: Not in Kansas Anymore

After four months of being in the hospital - with the help of great medical care, wonderful family and friends, and an enormous amount of support - I became stronger and healthier and miraculously, my kidneys partially regenerated. I had been given a gift—a chance to reenter the world once again. But it was in this moment, when I started to recover, that the real challenge began.

I see now that my toughest battle was not the one for my life, but to reclaim my life as normal. I spent my first five years (post diagnosis) clinging to the idea of an expected course – graduating with my class, working full-time, pushing my body beyond its capabilities. My health quickly became my last priority and everything from doctors appointments to picking up medication fell dangerously to the wayside. I had taken the gift of recovery and run myself right back into the ground.

I had been so focused on tangible goals of success and ambition, that I had forgotten the most important, the most delicate, the most coveted objective of all – health. As my health quickly declined, I realized that if I wanted to live a long life, I needed to make a drastic change…so I did.

I decided that if my life was about my health, then my health would be the muse of my career. I began a blog about the adventures of living on a no-sodium diet, documenting the tasks and cooking experiments that take up much of my time. The blog grew into more articles about wellness, and I quickly realized that the daily health chores that once seemed roadblocks to success had become my greatest assets. I had a defined niche, endless amounts of material, and—most importantly—I was doing something that would not only benefit me, but also others on a similar journey.

I thought that by listening to the needs of my body, my achievements would be stunted. But the results have been quite the opposite. I am now the best version of myself, with the energy and mental capacity to accomplish more than I ever could before. Once I stopped trying to be ordinary, I could begin to approach my illness, my career, and, ultimately, my life by seeking the extraordinary.

Come back tomorrow for the 3rd and final post: Beating Odds and Eggs.
Learn more about Jessica
Visit Jessica at Sodium Girl
Part 1: The Detour

1 comment:

JB Haslett said...

Hi Jessica -- Getting chills reading your blog entries and have a feeling you've helped me wkae up to some stifled realities in my own life. My wife, age 34, had had SLE for 10 solid years (diagnosed that is). Earlier this year it went active and the Kidneys went under attack for the first time (Stage IV Lupus Nephritis). 1 week in the hospital, 3 months on Cytoxan IV and now 3,000 mg Cellcept daily In short it began a wake up call that we are still understanding and trying to remain conscious of. We went low to no sodium for the first 3 or 4 months but admittedly now as symptoms are decreasing and "normal" activity increasing back in has crept the salt... Being a trained chef and life long foodie I belive I wanted to deny the salt issue perhaps more than Lupus in general! I've only a few minutes now but have just read the first 2 of these 3 guest blogs and know I will be reading more soon. My friend at CHRONICLYsILLy helped me "cut the shit" and begin to face some realities I've been hiding out from a few months back and now this... Looking forward to digging in to your story and of course your recipes! Keep on keeping on.... You've reached on more Lupie (by extension) in need of inspiration and a swift kick in the salt shaker! Peace and much love, Johnbruce Haslett (JB)