Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An Update on My Health - Stress Can Make You Sick

I work too much, I stress too much, I don't get enough sleep.  Sound familiar?  You are probably exactly the same.  But after weeks of recovering from my time in the hospital, doctors visits and tests, that is the conclusion.

Basically, my body does not navigate stress as well as it once did.  So, doctors orders are - "Don't stress as much".  Um, how much did I pay for that?

I know, the upside is - they say my heart is healthy, I do not have a brain tumor, I do not have an ulcer, I do not have arterial damage, I do not have leukemia, I do not have high blood pressure, I do not have diabetes, I do not have a lot of things.  And I am grateful for all of the above.

The one struggle I have is, how do I deal with this?  I mean on any given day I have so much to do for work, that if I wasn't borderline ADD, I would never be able to switch gears and make it all happen.

It's been suggested I workout more, take up meditation and find a hobby outside of work.  All very good suggestions.  But then I stop and think, how?  Where does any of this fit?  By the time I get home, I am exhausted.  If it doesn't involve a remote control, I don't feel capable.

The problem is, if I don't find a way to bring my life under control, I will end up back in the hospital.  In fact, last week, in the middle of a very stressful day at work, I almost passed out again.  This time I noted everything that had happened leading up to it and concluded that the doctors are right - I stress on my own and then I feed off of everybody else's stress.  I literally empathize my way to illness.

The funny thing is, doctors have been telling me this since I was a teen and I'll be honest, I laughed it off.  The first doctor who told me that, I spent years thinking he was a quack.  Counselors have been blunt and told me most of my mental pain comes from taking on the issues of others.  And now, not one but four doctors, have recently told me the same thing - I feel too much.

That's really hard to hear because I pride myself on helping other people, trying to assuage their pains, having a killer work ethic and basically taking care of the world.  I now must seek a way to be myself and yet close off enough to keep my health.

Just writing this helps, at least for the moment.  I feel like I am at my first meeting of some sort - "I'm Kate and I am a care-oholic".  So, I am open to any ideas you have, 'steps' I might take to stop this spin.  For now, I better go home, been here too long again.

Yours in Health,


  1. When your worklife is in chaos, it helps if your retreat-your personal world- is in order. A tidy,organized space at home, that you can refresh your mind and spirit in, are what you need. The effort it takes to accomplish this should NOT contribute to your stress. You know I'm right. You are a big girl now and you can do this for yourself. Hugs nd kisses!