Editorial from April 2021
In the middle of putting together this ‘health’ issue, I experienced a debilitating illness that literally stopped me in my tracks. I recently moved house, had just driven back from London with the final carload of my stuff and I was exhausted. One of the things I admit to in my book, Still Standing – 100 Lessons From An ‘Unsuccessful’ Life, is being partial to the occasional emotional overeat. And so it was on this occasion. I devoured almost an entire loaf of organic sourdough bread in one standing. Not being the first time, I expected the bloating that followed and, as usual, ate less the next day to “make up for it”.
But in the days that followed, the slight bloating developed into a persistent distended abdomen that, according to my midwife friend, made me look as though I were 20 weeks pregnant. In constant pain and unable to eat, I went for a walk with my new neighbour and could barely talk due to shortness of breath. Something was seriously wrong.
In a video consultation with a private doctor I was advised to get face-to-face treatment straight away and so I took myself to A&E. After bloodwork and an x-ray I was sent by immediate referral to a bigger hospital to see a specialist. After more tests and waiting, I was told that I was suffering some sort of chronic gynaecological issue, which needed urgent attention, and my haemoglobin levels were so low they recommended I have a blood transfusion.
The shock of realising I am not superhuman took me back to the day my daughter died in hospital after I gave birth by spontaneous labour. Why had my body failed me? Like Lily Earle, daughter of health leader Liz Earle, I had always been very active and thought, aside from the occasional aforementioned binge, that I lived a healthy lifestyle.
But I believe this was a terrifying wake-up call for me, as I began to recognise the ignored signs of a body depleted of nutrients and much needed rest. Is there an area of health you’re ignoring in your own life? Our bodies are temples of God; let’s give them the respect they deserve.
With love from,
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