How’s your health these days?

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Melinda and I just took a vacation to reflect on a difficult year and celebrate our good life together.

What a difference a year makes.  I’m convinced everyone who looks back on their life’s work can point to one specific episode signaling the most significant growth: personally and professionally.

One year ago, I began a mysterious health odyssey where I landed in the Emergency Room fives times in less than three weeks.  It began when my tongue swelled to fill my entire mouth cavity, pinching my airway. When the nurse got scared, I got scared…and I wondered how this was going to end. Along the way my face and lips swelled like a chimpanzee several times, and once my esophagus swelled shut. Each instance required a stab from an Epi Pen and a jumbo dose of Benadryl. That got old fast.

In between “episodes” we pursued multiple doctors, who each did separate blood tests in search of mysterious allergies. The more blood we tested, the less the doctors understood. The mystery added to the pressure, which made things worse.

My original blog about the episode: What makes you feel wimpy? is my most popular to date.

 

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This photo we affectionately call “King Louie,” was taken after my second trip to the Emergency Room…after the swelling had significantly receded.

Today, we know Angioedema is the condition I live with: it lies dormant until triggered by significant stress and fatigue. It can also be caused by adverse reactions to a popular drug I had been taking for more than a year. Without effective physical and emotional stress management it worsens with age.

Successful entrepreneurs throw their full body and soul into their ventures, it’s part of the allure of starting a business. In my case, I overloaded my physical and emotional immune systems and tested the very limits of my capabilities as a husband, father and provider. Since I started talking about this, many have shared similar stories. As with most things, some days are better than others.

Now I look on the Angioedema episodes as a gift. An angel appeared in the form of a Blue Cross Blue Shield health coordinator who encouraged me (and my doctors) to stop thinking about the disease as a biochemical imbalance and start thinking about nervous system disorders that could be corrected by acupuncture, massage, mindfulness, meditation and herbal therapy. That was refreshing insight.

Thank heavens it’s working. Today, I happily answer the “how’s your health lately?” question with “I’m good! And overwhelmingly grateful to clients, friends and family who carried me through the past year.” Part of that means I’m making time for vacations to keep my mind, body and soul refreshed. As I write this, Melinda and I are returning from Hawaii, from celebrating her 50th birthday on Maui.  (Oops, did I just say that? More later…) The travel home is tiring and stressful…but what a difference a year makes.

Good leaders make a habit of embracing pain, sickness, fear and hardships as gifts of a good life. And they learn how to pursue significant endeavors without debilitating fatigue and stress.

Share with me, what steps are you taking today so you are healthy for tomorrow?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

4 Comments

  1. heidi on November 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Paul – I can’t even recognized you in the photo …so swollen. This is another great blog and I am going back to my pool class as a workout during this stressful time once a week. It is intense but also no surface impact and it is very cleansing. I know I need to find other ways than my love of execsize to calm my active nature and hope to follow your lead by actually trying to take real time off and not be glued to the screens!!!



  2. heidi on November 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Paul – I can’t even recognized you in the photo …so swollen. This is another great blog and I am going back to my pool class as a workout during this stressful time once a week. It is intense but also no surface impact and it is very cleansing. I know I need to find other ways than my love of execsize to calm my active nature and hope to follow your lead by actually trying to take real time off and not be glued to the screens!!!



  3. Ellie on November 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Yes Paul I agree that looking at everything that we experience as a gift is a key to successful living. That is why taking time to meditate and contemplate are two great self care measures to ensure we are taking care of our body, mind and being.



  4. Ellie on November 6, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Yes Paul I agree that looking at everything that we experience as a gift is a key to successful living. That is why taking time to meditate and contemplate are two great self care measures to ensure we are taking care of our body, mind and being.



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