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Regaining Health after Antibiotics and a Lot of Stress

Readers know I've had a stressful 18 months: family problems, a root canal that took three rounds of antibiotics to clear up, a move across the country, and a job change. My job back in Denver saw me going at ramming speed, spending two hours a day commuting, and dealing with a couple of vile coworkers. House cleaning and repairs took up my weekends and evenings for a few months, my realtor wildly overpriced my house, and I stepped on a nail a few days before I moved. I ate a lot of take-out while my house was for sale and figured I'd get back on track when I got to Indiana.

It's taken five months to get back to normal. My stomach and skin were a mess from the antibiotics--I had cystic acne and just thinking about eating a lot of fat turned my stomach. I couldn't stand for long without a backache. I was so exhausted when I got here that it was a few months before I felt like working full-time again.

Probiotics really helped my skin and stomach. I started taking two per day (Nature's Way Optima) but I've cut back to one a week. I'm eating a lot more home cooking and my stomach feels pretty good again. Getting more sleep has helped in general, too. But the yoga classes I was taking here sometimes left me with aches and pains I didn't go there with.

About a month ago, I took a temp job testing voting machines, which required me to stand all day. Surprise--no back ache! Maybe it's from leading a lower-stress life: ten-minute commute, sufficient sleep, pleasant coworkers, and work that goes at a reasonable pace. And over the past few weeks, I've been taking part in neighborhood cleanups and spent time over the past few days mowing my lawn with a manual mower and weeding my yard and the neighbor's yard. (Their house is for sale and I'd rather attract high-quality neighbors, not people who don't want to do any upkeep.) Surprise--no aches or pains and I feel great!

One good thing about Indianapolis is that if you need exercise, you can just clean up a park or walkway. (Be careful where you go.) There is so much to clean up within a few miles of my house, plus keeping my own property neat and repaired, that I don't see a need for exercise classes. (Aside: want to buy a house in an up-and-coming neighborhood on the cheap--I mean really cheap? Got more time and energy than money?  Homestead an abandoned, historical house here in Indy.)

I've started watching only shows and videos that make me feel good. Watch people who are smart (interviews with Judge Judy, Thomas Sowell), funny (Stephen Colbert, Seinfeld, WKRP in Cincinnati), or go-getters (Better Call Saul, Streets of San Francisco) or can teach you something (Wise Owl tutorials, for example) or otherwise lift your spirit (the guitarist is as good as Eddie Van Halen--who says Japanese musicians aren't passionate?), and the depression box becomes a source of inspiration. Facebook? All I ever hear about it is how depressing and annoying it is. Chat rooms? In my experience, they have too much emotional thinking by what I call "not-willings": people who are very limited in what they're willing to do to improve their lives, then complain about their lack of success. All the otherwise well-done shows where people do rotten things to each other? Pass.

Am I eating clean and avoiding processed foods? Not really. But I'm eating a lot less take-out and more grass-fed beef and free-range eggs and cooking with pastured lard. I'm also eating Quest bars, dark chocolate, take-out French fries, potato chips and meaty, cheesy sandwiches on gluten-free bread from the little co-op where I shop. I avoid nuts--they're worse than wheat for me. I inhaled five slices of pizza at work when I didn't eat enough breakfast--and I didn't regret it. I'm not making a habit of it, though: I still remember how sick I ended up on a high-carb diet several years ago. It doesn't take many meals like that for my stomach to start punishing me for my debauchery. Just being pretty good works for me.

So far, I've been working part time, so I've been able to relax and take care of myself. Going forward, I'm starting a full-time job in a week. There's 15-minute commute and a 30-minute lunch, giving me back two hours a day of my life compared to my job in Denver. Once I'm trained, I'll be working afternoons and nights. In other words, I can sleep as late as I want and run errands when stores and offices aren't busy. I've worked the same shift before and loved it. It's a lot less money than my old job, but with the lower cost of living here, my house being completely paid for and not requiring any significant repairs like the old one, it's more than adequate. I was literally coming home and falling on the bed every day in Denver. It was time for a change.


Denise said…
Good to hear you are doing well, and nice to hear from you. Welcome back.
Larcana said…
Wow, that was a lot of stress...Glad to hear you are on the mend. The house project sounds neat.
I have myself done a lot of that as well. I started reading for pleasure and don't even finish books I don't like anymore. Hah! Take that shame and guilt!
I 've also, given up coffee except occasionally and wine. The wine was the hardest to kick....I still want to taste it...but it gives me poor sleep and heartburn.
I'm packing my lunch and avoiding the restaurant heartburn.
Lori Miller said…
Discipline where it counts FTW!

I don't see any dandelions blooming in the neighbor's yard this morning, so I can take a break from weeding her yard.
So pleased to read this post.
Sounds as if things have picked up for you, after your extremely stressful few months.

Here's to a good Spring!

All the best Jan
Val said…
Sounds like a great lifestyle plan...
I still eat too much takeout & snack on carby crap (just came across these addictive Takis, rolled corn-chip things but at least I break the package down into the 4 servings listed instead of scarfing em all down in one go as I used to), but overall I'd say my diet is 60-70% "good". Still aiming for 80-90%
Lori Miller said…
Thanks, Val and Jan.

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