The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

Take Care of Yourself

Lately I’ve been thinking about the cost of living, literally. What does it take for you to live? What sacrifices do we make that compromise our health, in order for us to make a living, or what we deprive ourselves of in the name of saving money.

Travel as self care. My favorite photo with me in it from my trip to Batanes in December.

This isn’t a new thought. Last year, when a friend from work had an actual stroke, it was a scary wake up call. That even a person who is a comfort to others and can pull off being there for his family in the day can still be there for his team at night, has a breaking point. I can’t deny that after that, I got extra careful with following my (multiple) doctors’ instructions for my knee, my borderline sugar, and my allergies.

Then this last November I had a very scary incident in the middle of the sea in a ferry from Camiguin to CDO. What started off as a weird manifestation of my usual hives covered my arms in small bumps, only to start swelling through my ears, my lips, my eyes, fingers and throat. When it got difficult to swallow, I asked for help from my (already very concerned) colleagues in finding medical assistance to make sure I didn’t go into anaphylactic shock.

We went to the captain and sadly, the only meds they had were the ones I take everyday, and there was no emergency allergy pen. Although I could see that they were panicking too (and so did my colleague who never left my sad) since they knew it was serious, they could offer nothing but to give us priority in leaving the ferry to get to the nearest ER to get this dealt with.

It was a long hour and a half on the boat and a scary 30 minutes to get to the provincial hospital, which was thankfully empty of other people so they could see me right away. They gave me the allergy medicine intravenously and I foolishly tried to leave fifteen minutes after, quite groggy and promptly fell down to the floor as my legs gave out. The only thing I could say (I think) was “Oh dang.”.

It took me two and a half more hours before we could leave and I’m thankful that my colleagues were patient and incredibly sweet and helpful during the time I was quite helpless (and incredibly disgusting to look at with swollen everything). It took a week for the swelling to fully go down in my body, a first. Ever since then, my family and friends who saw the damage have been extra concerned about my health, especially when I begin to scratch at the hives that arrive almost daily.

It can’t help as well that I’ve been missing a lot of sleep as well. My body clock can’t seem to switch back from weekend to weekday as I used to quite easily before. Maybe it’s a surplus of caffeine to keep me going or something, but recently the most sleep I get is two hours at a time and from everything I’ve read about health, will be horrible in the long term.

So if I accomplish anything major this year, I hope it’s getting all these health things under control. I owe it to myself, and my rabbits to be here for them healthy and able to take care of all their needs. While we can all still enjoy it.

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