I’m a (combustible) lemon

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I’ve been in Washington State nearly four months come January.

When I moved here, I decided to make a lot of lifestyle changes to better my health, mentally and physically.

One change includes drinking less.

Not to say I’m an alcoholic but in Kauai I tended to be quite the socialite. I’ve always been quite the social butterfly. I guess that stems from my high school days where I could be seen sitting at lunch tables with band nerds, real nerds, hipsters, punks, jocks or the new kid in school.

But that behavior – the socializing, not the drinking – continued as I moved around in Houston through various groups of friends.

A birthday party I had one year had so many different, random lovely people from all spectrums/ walks of life, I quite literally shouted, “There is so many —-ing people here!”

And had I spent more time in Vegas, I’m sure I would have hobbled my way into a few social groups here and there.

In Kauai, several folks I spent much of my time with spent their time at local favorite drinking hubs. It was the easiest way to catch up with everyone and I loved those places, because I knew all the wait staff, too.

But you know how everyone has been saying that 2016 has been the worst year ever?

Well it has been.

At least for me it has. Health wise.

Confirming that I have endometriosis, that I’m unlikely to have children and that one of my ovaries is blocked by cysts and nodules was not my favorite part of the year.

Having a surgery that cost more than $20,000 then lying in a bed for two weeks with my legs propped up in hopes that it will alleviate some of the pain? That didn’t help much either.

I tried hard to save painkillers, but the 20 pills lasted only a month and that’s because I stretched them out. Now I live with chronic pain.

To help with the pain, I can help myself. Which leads me back to why I’m not drinking and why I have decided to make some lifestyle changes.

Including changing my diet. Red meat and coffee are also off limits, but those things are hard to avoid.

I was recently in the emergency room, because I thought my heart was popping out of my chest. I was silly and didn’t get health insurance after leaving my last job and before getting my new one.

I take five medications a day and for a while there, I was worried I wasn’t going to get them refilled.

Luckily, the Herald’s health reporter, Molly, saved me by bombarding me with information on health plans and health providers… etc. The next day I had health insurance from the state.

My employee coverage kicks in on Jan. 1, so that’s something to look forward, too.

For the record, I’ve only named one health condition I have. I didn’t even tell you about the time I got TB. Yes, I have TB. Yes, that TB.

If I were a car, I’d be a lemon. But as Cave Johnson would say: “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad!”

The bottom line is… take care of yourself people. You may think you’re invulnerable, invincible or immune to all things that could damage your heath, but you’re not.

Eat right. Exercise. Get a pet for your mental health and make good, solid relationships with dependable people.

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