05/11/2015 10:32 am ET Updated May 07, 2016

Taking Care of Our Bodies -- With Our Minds!

Wouldn't it be great if we could all take charge of our health? What an empowering image! My goal is to THRIVE and be HEALTHY until I turn 200! And then, we'll renegotiate. More and more, I'm coming to believe... If it is to be, a large part of it is up to ME!

Have you missed me? I've just been through three hallmark months -- it's been very scary... and also, in some ways, highly exhilarating. I've decided to share some of the peaks and valleys with you, my SPs.

First, a strange fact about my unusually "perfect" health during the first 74 years of my life... other than my genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, I've been health problem-free. Little did I realize how lucky I was!

During the past several months, I began to notice things happening in my body that I'd never felt before... Muscles were aching to the point of interfering with my workouts, I began to have itching and skin rashes, as well as ankle and leg swelling, more fatigue than I'd ever experienced before, and an overall feeling of something being "amiss."

As my old, faithful cardiologist had recently Rewired, I began to see an internist he recommended. To get a baseline of my overall health, he had me do many tests and lots of lab work. The results were one of my most shocking realizations ever -- things were not working as ideally in my body as I'd thought.

We, including the kidney specialist he'd then referred me to, began to investigate why my body (my kidneys in particular) was playing all these dirty tricks on me.

I'm realizing that I've seen more doctors and had more lab tests done in the past few months than in the entire prior years of my life! What a shocking reality! Now we're all trying to find ways of dealing with this new state of affairs, without me loosing my "joie de vivre!" (... that's the remains of my French, meaning -- "joy of life"!)

At first, we suspected that the powerful and dangerous statin drug Crestor, which I was taking to lower my cholesterol level, may have created much of this havoc for my body. But other realities -- including aging (!) had to included in the mix of problem possibilities. So investigation of what quickly became my top priority -- my kidneys, took center stage, medically.

Upon realization that I'd seen more doctors, had more lab tests, and was taking more new medications in the past few months that in the entire prior years of my life combined! I now realized that I could no longer count on Mother Nature and Good Luck. I'd have to take a much more active mental role in helping to keep my body physically healthy and happy.

Amazingly, as fate/luck would have it, at one of the highest physical and mental stress times of my life, my dear daughter Lyse came to visit with Mike and I for 10 days. Along with the pure pleasure of having her so close, she got involved in doing some awesome research about my new and scary health problem. She's an excellent Internet "pro," having had some health issues of her own to investigate. She's not a fan of "finding the prefect drug," nor are Mike and I. So together, we found, and read about ways to tackle health problems as naturally as possible. Just her savvy ideas and clever "finds" had a most calming and hopeful effect on me. Even my doctors were impressed.

Fortunately, tons of research is now easily accessible online. All we have to do is look for it, and make the commitment to stay current with the latest and greatest. And let's not get discouraged when some new studies contradict the "old" ones, preventing us from staying up to date. It's better to know what the best researchers are finding today, than to remain ignorant about the newest and most promising information science is now revealing. Being anxious and nervous just doesn't cut it, I keep telling myself.

So, my next step was having a kidney biopsy -- to get a more accurate picture of the main problems kicking up in my body. During the harrowing process, I heard lots of ideas and opinions, all very well meant -- from doctors, naturopaths, loved ones and dear friends. I seem to have created an amazing support team.

The best news from the biopsy... There is no very bad news!

There is uncertainty, and no evidence of why the problems started. Seems my kidneys has kicked up a fuss and keeps on testing us all. So -- lots of pills to establish control while we wait for my body to heal itself over the coming months.

As my dear husband and I are coming to understand, doing our ongoing research and homework is key to opening our minds to knowing more about the latest findings and how we can best help in the healing process.

We're sharing our findings with our doctors, and we so appreciate their open mindedness to our involved approach -- taking an active role in our own health care.

More than that, I also appreciate my most helpful relationships that provide such vital support. I try to avoid hearing the occasional toxic and negative comments such as: "Get over it! Stress is not good for you!" or "You sure look awful!"

I promise an update on my next blog. My sincere wish for each of you is to stay healthy and invigorated, using your smarts to be on top of your body's "issues." Then you can live your life to its fullest capabilities -- every day!

Thanks for being one of my Special People.


May 7, 2015