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In the days before the farm I lived a very different life. I thought I was invincible as most young folk do; I was going to 7 aerobics classes in five days and the hubby and I were both working 60+ hours a week. We both maintained healthy habits as best we could given our busy lifestyles. There were those exercise classes for me, he was a runner and we ate as healthy a diet as we could given our schedules. Then Life threw one of those curve balls she just so loves to toss. At 37 years old I was diagnosed with a progressive brain disorder and a rather large aneurysm behind my right eye.
I owe you one.
Surgery was quickly scheduled for the aneurysm as it was life threatening. (The progressive disorder was put on hold. It would ultimately lead to a second brain surgery 18 months later.) I had the surgery on December 17, 1996 – some Christmas present! It was more complicated than expected but I came through it with just a couple of residual issues. One was a headache that has not let up since January of 1997 and the other was double vision. The vision is currently corrected with glasses and the headache – well, I’ve named it Harold. Anything you live with every day of your life needs to have a name, don’t you think?
I went through more doctors and more medications in the succeeding years and yet Harold refused to leave – rather like some unwanted house guest. The progressive disorder is stable – for now – but it gives me its own set of problems. What I have learned from all of this is to pay close attention to the little things. If I had not kept questioning my doctor about why my hands were going numb all the time and pushing for more than “because you type a lot” I never would have had the MRI that saved my life. When a neurosurgeon looks you in the eye and says, “you would have been dead within six months without this surgery” you start looking at life a little bit differently.
So now I take care of myself as best as I’m able. I know I am living on borrowed time. The medications and stress caused me to go through menopause at 44 (not a curse in some ways, horrific in others). My gynecologist had always stressed the importance of calcium to protect my bones and while I don’t have osteoporosis yet I do have its precursor, osteopenia. Because of this I make sure to get my calcium. I also take a multivitamin every day. But here’s the rub; I have the world’s worst time swallowing pills. I can barely take my daily medications without gagging and those pills are teeny tiny. This is why I am so very glad that I can find chewable vitamins and calcium tablets at my favorite drugstore, Walgreens.
I had been taking a chewable children’s vitamin but I’ll tell you, it did not taste good! The chewable calcium tablets I had been using were like eating chalk. I was so happy to find that Walgreens had ADULT chewable vitamins – and they are gummies. I love gummies! (OK – I admit it. I’m a still a kid at heart.) When I tried them I found that they were quite tasty. I am not sure why the calcium chews for adults are Sponge Bob but they are even better tasting than the vitamins; they have a bit of tartness to them that I really like. I no longer dread taking my calcium! They were quite easy to find and in fact, when I went shopping for them Walgreens was celebrating Women’s Health Month with a display full of products just for us ladies.
I found need specific vitamins and other products that would keep me in the pink no matter what.
Go Walgreens for really caring about #HerHealth!
It was after all of my health issues surfaced that the hubby made the decision to retire early which led to our traveling the country in the fifthwheel for three years and ultimately settling in Montana and starting our little farm. The garden gives us all of our vegetables, the chickens our eggs and the goats our milk. We made a commitment to a very different kind of life. It’s work – I’ll admit that the hubby does the bulk of it as I move slowly on many a day – but it’s a very healthy life. We know where our food comes from and exactly what we are eating.
The goats provide me with exercise and they motivate me to get out of bed. There are some mornings where I really just want to stay there because my head hurts but I know they are counting on me. So up I get and 7 mornings out of 10 I’m feeling somewhat better by the time I’ve had fresh air and the laughs that the goats provide. I don’t want to discuss the other mornings and I’m sure you don’t want to read about them.
I thoroughly enjoy my little herd and they keep me hopping. I get so much joy out of caring for them and watching them play provides endless fun. As they say, laughter is the best medicine! I also find contentment in my cooking, lots of reading and my soapmaking. I do what I love at my pace. I’ve learned that I can only do what I can do. It’s a lesson that was hard learned but I know that if I overdo I pay for it dearly.
I certainly thank Walgreens for having what I need to help me stay as healthy as I can. I also love that by using my Balance Rewards Card I can save money! When I was in this last time I saved $5! I don’t know about you but I love saving money! Erm, I will neither confirm nor deny that Whoppers are beneficial to a woman’s health although I suspect that the #CollectiveBias would state that a little chocolate never hurts.
None of us is going to live forever but for the time we are here we might as well make the best of the life we have. I was very lucky to have been given a great big wake up call. It left me with a huge appreciation for life and for taking care of my health. I’ve had 17 years more than I probably should have had and I’m hoping for many, many more. I’ll keep taking my multivitamin and calcium to do what I can to stay healthy. And when they are as tasty as the gummies from Walgreens – it’s fun rather than a chore.