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Disease. Diagnosis. Decision.

 

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If it has not happened to you yet, it probably will.

Either you or a loved one experiences a symptom. The process begins.

What is causing the symptom? (Name this DISEASE) What do I have to do to make the symptom stop? (Give me a DIAGNOSIS) What effect will the symptom (or the cure) have on my current lifestyle? (DECISIONS!)

You begin the process with questions – mostly trying to find out who has answers. And better yet, who has answers I understand and incorporate into my current life?

I experienced this process.

In 1998, my hemoglobin rate deceased. During a routine doctor visit, my medical physician noted the drop. At the time, her comment held no value to me other than the numbers on the chart had changed. There was no direct impact on my life style. She named the DISEASE: Anemia.

A healthy hemoglobin range for women is defined between 12 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter (12 grams per liter) of blood and 15.5 grams per deciliter (155 grams per liter). As my hemoglobin continued to drop, I began to feel the effects: the anemia caused me to tire easily and constantly. All I wanted was sleep.

I began seeking a DIAGNOSIS. Bouncing from one specialist to another, taking time for independent research and questioning alternative options, I grew more and more weary, feeling desperate.  Although my condition had a name (anemia), I had no diagnosis, no plan of action to ‘fix this’.

Finally, my hemoglobin level reached a low level of 4.0 grams per deciliter. My medical team (basically me moving from one medical doctor to another – I never really felt as if I had a ‘team’ other than an incredibly supportive husband) completed six years of invasive procedures with no diagnosis.

After six years of searching, my last stop was the oncologist. Although I had no signs of cancer, no other physician could assist me. Depending on the diagnosis, the options were bone marrow transplant or iron transfusions. Because my oncologist could not find justifiable data for the bone marrow transplant, he opted for iron transfusions.

Iron transfusions differ from blood transfusions. I signed a document acknowledging I may die from the transfusion. Nurses are not allowed to perform iron transfusions – the medical doctor has to conduct the one hour office procedure. My oncologist inserted the IV and began the process –he sat and stared at me for one hour – waiting to see if I was going to die or not.

I didn’t die.

I also did not improve.

In desperation, my doctor asked me if I had sprue. Unsure of the question, I asked him if I could invite my supportive husband to the next office visit so he could help me understand a possible diagnosis.

Next visit, my oncologist explained sprue was also known as celiac disease – although it was not truly a disease as all symptoms disappear once the diet changes. A simple blood test with results back in two days confirmed the diagnosis: my DISEASE of anemia was cause by sprue. The DIAGNOSIS was simple – diet change. Diet change? All I have to do is change my diet?

Knowing my diagnosis, my next step was making a DECISION. Do I want to make a diet change to improve my hemoglobin level? No surgery required? No medication? Just me changing my diet? YES!

Within one week of adhering to the altered diet, my hemoglobin returned to within normal range.

One week! Back to health!

How magical it would be if all symptoms could end with the seemingly simple process – even though my process took six years! Admittedly, changing my diet was drastic – no wheat, barley, or rye the rest of my life. My new diet included no cakes, no cookies, no pasta (!), no English muffins, no licorice, or other foods toxic to me. Any cheating on my part results in immediate reaction and one year for my body to heal.

As our family now moves along the similar path for another family member, I reflect on each stage of this process: Disease; Diagnosis; and Decision. What disease is causing this symptom? What diagnosis is available? What decisions have to be made?

I realize we each have a life to live. And the life ends at some point. For some of us (5%, based on 2014 report from Center for Disease Control & Prevention) we will never go through this process – our deaths will be labeled ‘accidental’. No medical professional will label our symptoms, provide statistics on our probability of living, or offer possible solutions we have to consider. The 5% die without having someone provide probabilities and alternatives to prevent death a bit longer.

However, the vast majority of us will seek the name for the cause of our symptoms – what Disease do I have? And we will receive a Diagnosis – a probability of life expectancy based on prior patients’ experiences. Then the Decision – which path do I want to follow? Do I decide to seek alternative methods, accept this diagnosis, or continue with a proposed plan?

Or I could decide now, today, to take my health into my own hands? Can I find eight minutes a day devoted to extending my life? How can I manage my FITNESS: the air I breathe, the food I eat, the liquids I drink, the way I rest, the way I move, the thoughts I think?

Fitness! For your life balance! Regardless of your current fitness status, we can each improve. Are you breathing clean air? Is the food you eat healthy for you? Do you drink sufficient water to allow your body to operate at high levels? Are you providing sufficient rest for your body to recharge? Do you exercise 60 minutes a day? Will you identify your negative emotions and work through them using EFT or other modalities so you can think clearly? FITNESS is critical to your sustainable living. If you are unsure where to begin to improve your FITNESS, consider reaching out to me for assistance.

Contact me (DrNallSpeaks at gmail) for more information on how we can work together for you to stabilize your FITNESS for your life!

CR8 UR F8 (create your fate): The eight facets of life to observe and determine preferred outcomes which include: F1: Function – how we spend our days; F2: Foundation – our education & experience to prepare us for our Function; F3: Family – individuals who helped shape us as we grow; F4: Friends – people we select to be around outside of our Family; F5: Finances – the money we earn, spend, and save; F6: Fitness – the air we breathe the food we eat, what we drink, the way we rest, the way we move, the thought we think; F7: Faith – our belief in Something beyond ourselves; and F8: Fun! – how we enjoy life!

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July – a month of Independence & Dependence

July is the montDollarphotoclub_8927422 Two Women Drinking Coffeeh we celebrate America’s Independence with our individual reunions – both family and friends. In a way, we celebrate our Dependence upon one another.

This month we had a family reunion. We were blessed to share time with all our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren. We had a chance to share warm memories, catch up with one another on a deeper level than social media, and share love with one another: the opportunity to ‘be’ with one another.

After our family reunion, I traveled to Nebraska to celebrate a high school reunion. I felt overwhelmed with emotion –  a sense of belonging to something bigger than myself. The sensation of swimming in the warmth of good memories felt refreshing. The passage of time provided me to forgive past transgressions – whatever they may have been.

Returning home, I realized these celebrations of Independence and Dependence allowed me to find common ground among family and friends. The time spent together gave me better understanding and appreciation of differences between and among one another.

Family. Friends. Fun. When you gather with your Family, Friends, to enjoy one another and have Fun, are you able to ‘be’ there? Are you able to release those past misunderstandings? Or are you weighted down with hurt and disappointment? If Family and Friends create anxiety and pain which prevent you from enjoying the Fun, consider reaching out for assistance through Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

Contact me (DrNallSpeaks at gmail) for more information on how we can work together so you can enjoy the time together with Family and Friends to have Fun!

CR8 UR F8 (create your fate): The eight facets of life to observe and determine preferred outcomes which include: F1: Function – how we spend our days; F2: Foundation – our education & experience to prepare us for our Function; F3: Family – individuals who helped shape us as we grow; F4: Friends – people we select to be around outside of our Family; F5: Finances – the money we earn, spend, and save; F6: Fitness – the air we breathe the food we eat, what we drink, the way we rest, the way we move, the thought we think; F7: Faith – our belief in Something beyond ourselves; and F8: Fun! – how we enjoy life!

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Control.Movement.Not.Momentum

Perpetual motion

You know you are ready for a change in your life. You are through with your excuses, done with listening to others, and now today is the day everything will change.

Except nothing changes.

Wait! What is (not) happening here? Today you remember to “Control the Movement Not the Momentum.”

Every weekday morning I wake at 5:00 a.m. to either stretch or do cardio for 45 minutes. One of my video instructors is Michelle Austin who puts me through grueling stretching using a type of torture exercise on something called a ‘Fluidity Bar’ – kind of like a ballet bar in your bedroom.

During one of our exercises, Michelle used the phrase ‘Control the Movement Not the Momentum.’ The phrase stuck in my head. When we work to make a change, we first have to recognize we are creatures of habit. Our subconscious actions control 90% of our lives, if not more. Our conscious mind creates ideas, plans, wishes, dreams, and then requests our subconscious minds to Make It Happen!

But nothing happens. Why not?

Nothing happens because our subconscious minds (90% of more of our actions) work hard to maintain habits we have developed over time to ‘protect’ us and keep us safe. Until we open the communication between the well-meaning conscious mind (control the movement!) and the habit-formed subconscious (maintain momentum) nothing will change.

The question is, how do we open the communication between the conscious and subconscious?

The bridge between the conscious and the subconscious is our emotions. Consider the word ‘home’ – think of the emotion you have about that word. Now add the word ‘work’ to ‘home’ to get ‘homework’ and what emotion do you now have? Both home and homework are just words. Our emotions to each word give them meaning and power.

In future blogs, we can review how emotions drive the momentum and acknowledging and shifting the emotions can control the moment.

Simple solution for a possible difficult problem. This problem solving approach has made my life easier for years. I am excited to share any and all NallEdge Nuggets to make your life easier. What difficult challenges are you encountering today? How can I help you today?

 

 

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Expectations.of.Sadness

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Some days it feels as if it just is not worth getting out of bed.

Ever have one of those days where any project, including brushing your teeth, seems overwhelming? These past two weekends, my days were spent sitting and staring out the window. Very uncomfortable for me. My pace is to create my ‘to-do’ list and storm through the items until everything is complete. And my lengthy and urgent lists beckoned me.

Feeling alone and turning to others for advice, my o-so-wise sister and many of my friends encouraged me to embrace my sadness, to allow myself some down time. There words of acceptance did not ease my pain.

What pain? That question was my puzzlement.

My life overflows with happiness, joy, and abundance: a mate who loves me and whom I love; a family I am crazy about; a successful business; great health; more than sufficient finances; peaceful spiritual life; and lots of fun activities.

Why the sadness?

Then I recalled a quote someone told me was from Shakespeare, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” Surely the wise Bard-on-Avon was shedding light on my discomfort.

Further research found Shakespeare never penned that line, nor many others (http://www.scribd.com/doc/32744381/Not-by-Shakespeare-Correctly-Attributing-The-Most-Popular-Things-That-Shakespeare-Didn-t-Say). And the quote appears to have no one to attribute. What should I have expected? Ha!

Regardless of the author, the quote did bring me peace. Yes, I have high expectations – not only of myself, but also of those who are important to me. And it does appear my expectations are not aligned with the expectations, abilities, or interests of others. Could that disconnect be the root of my heartache? Somehow shifting my perspective to reviewing my expectations began to lift my emotional fog – began to shed light on my darkness.

And now I’m back. Stronger. More determined. More focused.

Simple solution for a possible difficult problem. Reviewing my level of expectation of others and myself makes my life easier. I am excited to share any and all NallEdge Nuggets to make your life easier. What expectations are you holding today? How can I help you?

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Effective.Decision.Making

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Studies done by Florida State University Dr. Roy Baumeister found decisions utilize a type of energy source that wains throughout the day. Subsequent studies by Dr. Kathleen Vohs of University of Minnesota found decisions, regardless of importance, wear away the decision energy source.

To ensure you have sufficient decision energy source, reduce the number of small mundane decisions to be made during the day.

Decide to exercise for one hour a day – don’t waste time deciding. Find a system (exercise) you enjoy and carve 60 minutes out of your day so you can live longer.

Decide on one breakfast meal each day. Make it healthy. I am blessed with a caring husband who generously wakes with me and makes an amazing smoothie. Every day. I don’t have to decide or think about it.

Decide on your meals. Some people have certain days for certain meals. Some create menus on the weekend and make the meals ahead of time for the busy week. Some decide to meet key people on certain days. Make those decisions ahead of time. Each Thursday my husband and I save time for one another to meet at our favorite restaurant for lunch. Over the weekend, I prepare dinner meals we can eat throughout the week.

Decide on a work uniform. Steve Jobs’ work attire was very predictable. He did not have to worry about what to pull out of the closet or drawer every morning. Besides reducing your number of decisions, a work uniform will reduce your closet creating an organized space in your home. Although I am still working on my preferred work uniform, the concept of the work uniform has made me limit my clothing purchase as I work to determine the ideal uniform for me.

Decide to connect with people who are important in your life. Certain times of the week are dedicated to telephone calls and FaceTime with family members. Phone calls and postcards to extended family are made on a regular basis. Scheduling time with important relationships ensures I am not overlooking people.

With these small steps already decided, you will be prepared for your riskier decisions as they arrive, sometimes without notice.

Simple solution for a possible difficult problem. This problem solving approach has made my life easier for years. I am excited to share any and all NallEdge Nuggets to make your life easier. What difficult challenges are you encountering today? How can I help you?

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Simple.Solutions

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Despite my husband’s strenuous objections and advice to tell you otherwise, here goes: I am inherently lazy. Always have been and always will be.

Not to say I do not get anything done – I accomplish quite a bit. However, before I recreate the wheel I spend a good amount of time looking for a similar wheel. Let me give you an example.

Attending college was a blast for me – I was a non-traditional student living off campus. I loved attending class – any class. We lived in San Francisco and my lifestyle was casual. My general attire was bell-bottom blue-jeans (o yes, it was a few years ago!), any available t-shirt, and my one and only belt. Top the outfit with a pair of Birkenstocks and voila – a fashion statement! You can only guess what people thought as I rode my bicycle back and forth to school in my stunning outfit.

Then, I got the letter: I graduated and had to leave school and enter the workforce. Argh! There were no job opportunities requiring aged jeans and Birkenstock sandals at that time.

What is a girl with no income, lots of college loans, and a huge need for clothes to interview? I didn’t even know what clothes to purchase and I had NO room for error.

Simple solution: Find what other successful people are doing and copy it!

Not much research located John T. Molloy’s book entitled Dress for Success.

After reading Molloy’s book, I knew exactly what my limited budget could find, walked to the nearest thrift shop, and began my search for a professional attire.

Simple solution for a possible difficult problem. With the help of John Molloy, I made smart, inexpensive, and impressive purchases with small investment of time. This problem solving approach has made my life easier for years. I am excited to share any and all NallEdge Nuggets to make your life easier. What difficult challenges are you encountering today? How can I help you?

 

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My.Mission.Statement

My.Mission.Statement greenboard

Over quarter of a century ago, a supervisor challenged me to develop my personal mission statement. The process forced me to consider my life purpose, my priorities, and how my life would be lived. I did not take the assignment lightly.

First I determined the personal part of the mission statement: what defines me – and how should my future define me? After months of consideration, I concluded the most important aspect affecting all parts of my life was education. During my formative years, it seemed my family and friends promoted the value and resiliency of education – no one can ever take education away from you. Education appeared as an open-ended path with lots of possible options. Both learning and sharing education comforted me. The process of education had to be part of my mission statement.

Next my definition of ‘me’ created my mission. What about education? One supervisor once asked me if education was important to me only to acquire knowledge. He may have thought he was insulting me – maybe implying my education was never put to good use – but instead he gave me more to ponder. What is the purpose of education – what do we do with the information, the insight once we receive it? How does education impact me?

Oh yeah, and the mission statement had to be 20 words or fewer – the hardest part!

What did I find? My mission statement created 25 years ago: Education at every turn.

What does it mean? Regardless if I am the student or the guide, education occurs. Regardless of the outcome, something is to be learned and implemented by someone. How has the mission statement guided me over the years? When I make mistakes (and I have doozies), I see them as learning experiences. When something works in my life (every now and then), I want to know how to incorporate more of the same into my life.

Over all, my mission statement has proven to be individual, driven, and easy to remember. When difficult decisions arise, I rely on my personal mission statement to guide me – and so far, I am pleased with the results. What is your mission statement and how does it propel you throughout life?

 

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772-480-0541 Katie@NallEdgeCo.com