How Life Changes . . .

How Life Changes . . .

Right before vacation I traveled down to Morgantown, Wv with my sister. She had an interview and I went because I love Morgantown and really look for any excuse I can to go down there. I went to West Virginia University which is in Motown 🙂

Living The Chronic Life … Not Being Able To Do What You Used To Do | | #Spoonie #ChronicLife #Autoimmune #arthritisShe dropped me off downtown while she went for her interview and I, of course, bought some WVU garb. (I mean, duhhhh) I had some time to kill before she was done, so I made my way to this little cafe that my friends and I always hung out at. We’d eat lunch there so many times a week and I can’t tell you how many exams I crammed for at that place!

The Daily Grind, or DG as we referred to it as. “Meet at DG!” Seemed to be the routine text. My usual order was a Popeye sandwich on an onion bagel. It was a tuna salad with spinach, roasted red peppers, olives and some yummy dressing. All their sandwiches came with potato chips and they were hard not to eat. We’d challenge each other to only eat the whole chips or sometimes only the broken chips. I loved dipping my chips in the tuna salad, so I usually ended up eating them all. Haha! And of course, a diet coke to top of the meal.

As I sat there, I was reminded of the awesome, delicious taste of that sandwich and all the awesome times I had with my friends. Having a much different diet now, instead of my usual, I was enjoying a chai tea (water + tea bag+ almond milk + some stevia I had in my purse). I was surprised to see they offered many non-dairy options for their drinks!

When I lived in Morgantown, the only time I was worried about food choices was if I was watching my weight. I didn’t worry about my health being affected by the choices I made. As I crutched down High Street (the Main Street in Morgantown) I was quickly reminded of all the fun, ridiculous times I had. Most alcohol fueled and usually finished with pizza from Casa or a calzone from D.P. dough. It’s no wonder I used to have horrible stomach problems when I was in college! It’s no wonder that I complained about my energy levels enough to spend the night in the hospital having a sleep study! It’s no wonder I would throw up, on the reg, because my digestive system was so messed up. I know my problems didn’t start when I moved there, but my activities during my years there sure didn’t help my situation!

Living The Chronic Life … Not Being Able To Do What You Used To Do | | #Spoonie #ChronicLife #Autoimmune #arthritisIt’s really hard to visit somewhere where you have such amazing memories and not want to partake in the things you used to.

It’s hard not to go up and order that sandwich or go to my favorite bar and order a beer. 3 years ago I wouldn’t have had a second thought about doing that, but now I know better. Now I know that I’ll just end up regretting it, laying in bed, wishing I hadn’t eaten that food. And if I was lucky, I’d only pay for that indulgence for a few days… More than likely it would affect me for about 2 weeks. At least.

Do I wish I could go back and undo what I did?

No, I actually don’t. Because at the time my ignorance was definitely bliss. I had such a great time, made friendships I’ll have for a life time and wouldn’t do anything differently. It would be easy for me to look at this situation and wish I hadn’t drunk so much or eaten so much gluten or dairy… But dwelling on the past isn’t going to help my current situation. It would only end up hurting my current health.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were wishing you could do something that you did pre-diagnosis, but unfortunately cannot do now? How did you deal with it? It honestly is so easy for us to start getting depressed and wishing our situation was different, but try this….

Try to look to see any positive or lessons you can take away from the experience?

Living The Chronic Life … Not Being Able To Do What You Used To Do | | #Spoonie #ChronicLife #Autoimmune #arthritisMy positive or lesson takeaways –

– I’m so grateful for the amazing memories I have! It’s fun to sit and relive them for the moment. I know we shouldn’t live in the past, but it definitely makes me happy to reminisce about the good conversations and connections this place gave me.

– I’m grateful that I now know eating gluten, dairy, soy, etc really affects my health. Had I not realized this, I definitely would have indulged in this meal and definitely ended up paying for it. And I have weekend plans, so those definitely would have been canceled!

– I’m walking away from this place with a smile on my face and feeling uplifted thinking about all the fun times I had. It would be easy for me to be dwelling on the fact of what I CANT do at the moment, but I’m grateful that I realize this and am instead focusing on the positive, happy moments! 🙂

– I’m walking away with some fun new WVU stuff that I love… And that always puts a smile on my face!

Approaching this experience with a positive outlook, I’m definitely walking away more fulfilled from the situation. I urge you to try to do the same next time you find yourself in a place like DG! And, make sure to let me know how it goes!

Wishing You A Pain Free Day!