My path through discovering myself as a mother, teacher and self.
New Year and Resolutions
I don’t do “New Year Resolutions,” they never work – at least not for me. I do “let me try my best” efforts.
Last year I started with regular doctor visits. I had gotten away from them when my husband’s job was terminated and we lost our insurance. He became self employed and we were paying nearly $800 a month for health insurance for our family which also had a high co-pay. Finally after nearly two years of paying that, we stopped. One doctor had told us that if we went in for a visit without insurance, we would be paying only $5 more per visit than what we were paying with our co-pay.
It’s been a roller coaster since then, I haven’t had a full-time job until recently, and my husband started working a new job after we had moved back in 2009. No sooner did we get comfortable and he was laid off….again, no insurance. I have been at my job for two years now, and I refuse to get the insurance through my work since I will lose over half my take-home pay. Making a little less than $2 over minimum wage and depending on what I make as a stable part of our income to support five of us, I cannot make that commitment. My husband has since found a job and hopefully by summer we will all have insurance again.
But last winter just before the holidays I found a lump in my breast. My world collapsed. I was 45, my kids were 13, 11, and 9. I wasn’t prepared for this type of financial strain on us. I found that there is a wonderful place here in Pennsylvania that gives medical care for free for low-income based families. I had my PAP and had set up a mammogram. It was one of the most high stress couple weeks of my life. Thankfully, the mammo came back clear. At that moment, I promised myself that I would go back to making sure I take care of myself for my kids (they are also on free health coverage). I don’t like the free hand-outs, and have fought long and hard many years not to take any assistance. These past couple years though, I’ve had to suck up my pride.
Another part of last year, we discovered my thyroid was underactive. This was another struggle. Fatigue was the hardest as well as the weight gain. I jumped into trying a vitamin regimen. This has helped and although it wasn’t an immediate cure, I have been tracking the mild, subtle changes and am pleased to see an improvement. I have since changed my vitamin regimen and am hoping this makes a bigger improvement.
So my “let me try my best” for this year? I will take 30 min a day and write (doing that now!), and I will take 30 min a day or even 3 times a week to exercise. I realized that I needed the exercise as a girlfriend and I were practicing for a “First Night” belly dance performance. It has been two days since the performance and I am still hurting. We did 4 – 20 min sets within 4 hours. Doesn’t sound like much but the 20 minutes stretched into 30 minutes. Not that I’m complaining, we did get paid. But I hurt, and my muscles are telling me that I really need to continue my focus on my health. I have pushed myself aside long enough.
My “Well Woman” exam is on Monday. I’m looking forward to it, as it is my continuation of last year’s “let me try my best.” If not for me, for my kids. I make sure they go to regular visits, fight to make sure any vaccines are necessary and veto the ones that I don’t think they need (flu being the biggest). I want them to know that taking care of them is number one. One way to show them this is by taking care of myself.
I remember my father always trying to take better care of himself. He would rope me into getting up early to go jogging, although his schedule would change and we couldn’t run in the morning anymore and when he would get home at night, my mom would have him so busy that he wasn’t allowed to have any “taking care of self” time. My mother never took care of herself. She never ate healthy, she smoked, she never worked out, and what I do remember is her watching soap operas and talking on the phone or finding me as a disappointment. Sad things to remember. It has made me a better person though, I follow in my father’s foot steps, my kids know that they are super kids even though they are not perfect and I tell them that no one is ever perfect. I buy the good foods (started out mainly for myself so I could eat healthy) and they eat it all up before I can enjoy any of it. My husband is athletic and I am to a degree. But we stay active, always trying to stay busy and not just sitting around the house doing nothing. We do have some nights/days where we just chill and watch movies or make crafts (at least the girls and I, the boys play video games or watch sports).
My other “let me try my best”…. I will stay as positive as I can…..I’m trying. J
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