What follows in this chapter of the book is a compilation of experiences after surviving the hike out that introduces ideas to employ in the quest for Getting Better. The book reveals my journey over the first 5 years of my illness, and some of the humorous and humbling experiences I experienced during the healing process. I expect you will find a number of things to relate to that will make you laugh and smile. Getting Better was written to be inspiring, enlightening and entertaining. My disease has no cure, so I still use these principles today to achieve the highest quality of life possible given my circumstances, and my wish is that you will too.
In March 2011, I woke up at the bottom of the Grand Canyon (one of my favorite places on Earth) in a tent next to my oldest daughter Elise. It was our third day of backpacking, and little did I know it would very nearly be my last.
As beautiful as it is, hiking the Canyon can be rigorous and dangerous. For this reason, most people don’t hike to the bottom or on the lesser-known trails. We did. (Continue Reading…)
The healing process can become even more challenging when all you want to do is leave but know that you are unable. Fear and uncertainty can pervade. Worse yet, people keep telling you to get your rest. But aside from the sleep clinics (which I’ll tell you about later), hospitals are the worst place in the world to rest. It’s nearly impossible to sleep through the night… largely in part because of the vampires. (Continue Reading…)
What follows in this chapter of the book are more humorous anecdotes about how relating to people changes the way they relate to you. It discusses the impact that can have on both your own healing mindset and the mindsets of your caregivers.
Part of the lengthy diagnosis process for me involved a visit to the sleep clinic to check for Sleep Apnea, which (as it turns out) I was able to add to my list of maladies that had been aggravating my condition. I was diagnosed with a condition called Cheyne-Stokes Apnea which they tell me can kill you in your sleep if not treated – especially if you’re a heart patient. So off I go to the Sleep Clinic for evaluation. Sleep Clinic is a misnomer. It should be called the “YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GET ANY SLEEP CLINIC.” (Continue Reading…)
OK, did I mention that I love to eat? Sometimes my meds give me a voracious appetite. Yes, put just about any type of food in front of me and I will attack it like a hyena on road kill. One of my docs told me that I should be on a low-fat, low-salt, low processed sugar diet. OK, that’s not fair for several reasons. (Continue Reading…)