Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's a Goal...

I would say I'm pretty much like most people when it comes to resolutions, I make them with good intentions and then beat myself up when I manage to blow them royally about 15 minutes into the new year (Why does food have to taste so good?)

That was why last year when I made a list of Health Goals at the coming of the new year I thought quite possibly I was setting myself up for failure. Where is a place you have the least control in your life, now I want to set up goals to try and control my health? I thought maybe my first goal should be seeking counselling (which ironically was a goal I managed to succeed at, go me). I made my initial list of 17 goals and hoped for the best. Throughout the year I pulled out my list and added new things that I wanted to handle as the year went along, when I was finished I had 25 Health Goals for last year.

On New Year's Eve I pulled out the list that I had completely forgotten about in the past two months with surgery looming and then recovery. I was very surprised to fall upon the list and start reading through it." Holy cow, I did that one" and "hey, I accomplished that one" and "no way, I remember how thrilled I was when I pulled that one off". All together I had managed to accomplish 10 goals off my list. Health goals?!?! How could I possibly manage to control my uncontrollable body? Apparently, it wasn't nearly as hard as I had thought if I was really motivated and dedicated to getting it done.

So I grabbed my pen and wrote out a new list. I got rid of some of the old list that I knew I most likely couldn't accomplish and added more of the things that I will need to deal with this year and a new list of 15 was set for this year, here it is...

2014 Health Goals

1. Wean Extended pain meds by half.
2. Wean pain meds by half.
3. Have only 3 cortisone injections this year.
4. Make an appointment with a female Rheumatologist at Loyola. (I've never had a female rheumy and I would love to see if there is any difference),
5. Cortisone injection on left knee (possible surgery or continue PT)
6. Try Actemra - speak to rheumy about loading dose.
7. CT scan of my right foot to rule out non-fusion. Investigate tarsal tunnel.
8. Start weaning off steroids for Adrenal Insufficiency. Possibly 10mg by end of the year.
9. Drop to one Dexilant a day - eat better.
10. Try to control cholesterol better.
11. Meditate daily before bed.
12. Talk about left hip/hamstring tear/possible PT? Pain? Need for surgery?
13. Consider elimination diet again.
14. Make an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
15. Contact PCP about the possibility of an egg free flu shot.

As you can see, none of these things are world shattering but every one of them are things that can be dealt with easily and help me stay healthy through out the year.

When I saw how many of the goals I had completed from last year I was really surprised to learn that there were some facets of my health that I can control and when you feel like most of what is happening in your body is out of control, that is a pretty welcome surprise.

So will you join me this year? It doesn't have to be weaning off meds, it could be adding yoga every day, or seeing a therapist, or having your pain controlled better. Honestly, the options are endless depending on what goal you really would like to achieve this year. I used to be an all or nothing kind of person, if I didn't succeed at all 25 things then I had failed, but as I looked at last years list I felt a huge sense of accomplishment remembering how hard doing one goal was and how happy I was when I was done. Then I looked at a different goal and thought there was no way I could do that one. I think the list was a way to teach me what I could control and what was beyond my limitations, and what I had to let go and be alright with.

I had no idea when I wrote that list last year how empowered it would make me feel and how many things I would actually accomplish. It also gave me back some feelings of control over my body, I'm not sure I knew exactly how much I would need that.

Score: Me-1, RA-0

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