Happy New Year!!! 2017 is here and I’m ready for it.
2016 was a challenge for me, but I refuse to call it a bad year. It was an opportunity to learn…and learn I did. My biggest challenges were health issues. There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears…literally, but I survived.
This year, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis/RA after years of suffering from the symptoms. This led to having a complicated and what I would call gruesome surgery which included having my Achilles tendon cut and a joint fusion procedure. You can read about it here: Joint Fusion Surgery Part 1 and Joint Fusion Surgery Part 2.
I put on a brave face; however, this surgery and everything related to it was and is incredibly difficult. I had the surgery six months ago, and my surgeon says I’m only half way through the healing process. So I’m currently dealing with a very bad limp, grotesque swelling, and nearly constant pain. The surgery had a negative impact on me spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. But I’m getting better and that’s all that matters.
Lessons Learned for 2017 and the future
Plan for emergencies such as surgeries or illnesses. If your health goes, you will have to rely on a solid support system. Make sure that you have people who will be there for you. The people who came through for me were dear friends, and I’ll be forever grateful. When you can’t walk and someone stops by to cook for you, do household chores or simply call to check to see if you need anything, it means the world. I’m so thankful to everyone who prayed and thought about me during a very difficult time. I won’t forget it.
Put yourself first. I learned that there comes a point where you have to put yourself first in order to become a healthier person. Whether you have high blood pressure, diabetes or any other health issue, take it seriously. Research the illness, join support groups, and stay on top of your illness. No one knows what you’re going through unless they share your condition. They might critical or unsympathetic. These are people you must remove from your life. Only surround yourself with people who care about your well-being. Keep yourself in a positive space because stress or drama will be detrimental to your condition.
Focus on finances. Establish a solid nest egg for emergencies. Although my healthcare covered most of my expenses, I still had to shell out a lot of money related to my surgery and my RA treatment. I also had to buy a new car last year. With two unexpected expenses, I had to learn the difference between a want and a need and trim down my luxuries. In the end, I made a few changes to my household budget and cut the fat.
Set Personal & Professional Goals. I operate better when I’m working towards something. A personal goal could be to buy a new home or take a luxury vacation. We all work hard and deserve to treat ourselves. A professional goal could be to take a course, attend a conference or even enroll in college. I plan to begin writing again, starting with short stories and expanding from there.
My New Year’s resolutions are relatively simple. Getting healthier is key to managing my Rheumatoid Arthritis. My biggest issue is my diet, so I’m working with a dietician and implementing a fitness plan. Reaching a healthy weight and sticking to a nutritional diet reduces the chances of a painful RA episode. So my motivation is real.
2016 was a rough one, but we all survived and now it’s time to flourish in 2017 with God’s blessing.
Stay blessed and thank you for your support. I love and appreciate you all.