Keepin it Real

by Jogger on April 9, 2009

I am now comfortable telling you that I am a vegetarian. A new vegetarian, but still a vegetarian.

I am also now comfortable telling you that in hindsight, maybe it’s not all because of the fact that I hate meat. I am a creature of habit, and I have a habit of taking drastic measures when it comes to matters of health. As I get older, I am trying more and more to not become one of those “jump on the bandwagon for 3 days then jump off” kind of gals. I am very dedicated to lifestyle changes rather than quick fixes.

When I became very, extra, super dedicated to my ED in my mid-20′s, it began as a fear of developing diabetes like my mom. All I knew is that my mom didn’t have diabetes one day, and then after having two children, she inexplicably just came down with it. To me, that meant that weight gain followed by weight loss, followed by weight gain, followed by weight loss, equaled diabetes. And needles. And 3 times daily shots.

When it comes down to it, I am terrified of chronic illness.

Several of my fathers siblings have passed away due to cancer. Since all of them were smokers, I chalked this up to the evil that is cigarettes. It was the Marlboro Man’s fault, not genetics.

Last year, in one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life, I found out that my niece was diagnosed with histiocytosis, which is a rare autoimmune disease. Doctors don’t know where it comes from or how to really cure it, but she definitely had it. The poor little munchkin was only 4 years old at the time, and had to undergo major surgery to have a mass removed from the back of her head. My heart still aches over the fact that she had to go through that type of ordeal at such a young age. The surgery and resulting biopsy showed no signs that the mass was cancerous, thankfully. She’s a beautiful, well-adjusted, joyful little girl, with no obvious signs that the surgery affected her in any negative ways. But still.

About 10 years ago, my mother’s doctor found nodules on her thyroid. I just chalked up this finding as an offspring of her diabetes, which can often be the catalyst for other illnesses. A biopsy on her thyroid showed no signs of cancer (again, thankfully). The experience of the doctor’s office biopsy (sans anesthesia) caused her to be sent to the emergency room because the doctor performing the biopsy thought that she was having a heart attack. After the horror she went through with the biopsy, she was too scared to go back and get her thyroid checked yearly as instructed.

My aunt, who is in her late 40′s, was just diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She will have to have her thyroid removed next month. With the news of her sisters’ diagnosis, my Mom immediately made an appointment with her doctor.

On Monday, Moms doctor found 3 nodules on her thyroid, and one is very large. Next Monday (4/13), she has a biopsy scheduled.

Over the past year, I’ve come to realize that I’m not immune to illness, and my family is not illness-proof. Now, I’m faced with the knowledge that my family has a history of illness. Now, it’s my responsibility to do everything I can to safeguard myself against these predispositions. It scares me, but I’m not going to let it ruin my life or make me overly-paranoid.

I’m only going to eat vegetarian, go raw, buy an Excalibur Food Dehydrator, convert all of the plastic containers in my house to glass, purchase 2 Ecousable stainless steel water filter bottles (one for me, and one for My Gazelle), start a compost pile, eat only organic, take 15 vitamins per day, live in a plastic glass bubble, sleep in a hyperbaric chamber, and consult my Magic 8 ball prior to making any life changes. From now on.

That’s not too over-the-top, right?

P.s…Does anyone actually have and use this Excalibur Food Dehydrator? I want one, and it is small enough to fit in my postage-stamp-sized kitchen. I just want to know that it works well.

Zesty Cook is giving away some really cute “Get Zesty” logo items. So, check it…(yo?)…

And….breathe.

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  • Karie

    holy camoly! thats all i got to say…

  • http://www.whatdoieatnow.blogspot.com Mariposa

    over the top??? NAH! i wish i had enough discipline to dedicate myself like that!! diabetes, heart disease, and cancer run in my family.. and yet why cant i give up the sugar and snacks??? ill never know, but hopefully all my dancing and keeping active will keep this stuff at bay!

  • http://runtothefinish.blogspot.com RunToFinish

    OH NO my blog reader wasn’t updating I didn’t know you had been posting.. will have to go read!!

  • joggerslife

    Google reader hates me. I transitioned everything from Blogger to WordPress, and Google reader hasn’t resumed my feed for some reason!

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  • http://www.dearthyroid.com dearthyroid

    Wow. I absolutely LOVE this post. You have been so honest, thank you. :)

    I don’t think your health plan seems too over the top. :) I have thyroid disease myself, as your family, and I eat high-raw and don’t cook with or eat anything synthetic or plastic or genetically-modified. It may seem over the top to some people but it really has helped to ease my disease tremendously, and for someone like you, it could be great for prevention purposes. I think you have a really great attitude about it all. :)

    I also write a nutrition column (it’s aimed at thyroid peeps, but is general enough for anyone to get something out of it). It’s called “How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass” on http://www.dearthyroid.com. I’d love for you to check it out and tell me what you think. :)

    Thanks again for the blog.

    Liz :)

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