Now that Jonathan has had a "real" job for five or so months, we are able to use our awesome health insurance. I am extremely grateful for this because we have both been insurance-less for oh, a few years. It is a miracle that we were able to get by with nothing at all. The kids have always been covered by the welfare of the state, and that's been very helpful. Even I had medicaid in Idaho but it only covered pregnancy-related stuff. It was such a blessing (having babies is NOT cheap) but I have so many more, non-pregnancy related issues.
In the last few weeks I have taken full advantage of our insurance, and after many doctor appointments I've learned a few things:
1. My vision has slightly worsened, which I didn't think was possible. Without my contacts/glasses I am truly blind. Hopefully Lasik will fix that (though I'm not getting it anytime soon). I also have a retinal coloboma in my left eye but it is no threat right now. The good part of all of this is that I get to buy a new pair of glasses! I've had my eye on a few different pairs ;]
2. I finally have a name for the little bumps all over my arms. Ever since we moved to Oregon the bumps have gotten progressively worse. Its called keratosis pilaris and apparently its common- affecting 50% of the population. I've been getting more & more self-conscious of wearing short-sleeved shirts because it has gotten so bad. Turns out there's no treatment for it but a few things make it better. I've found the best solutions to be an "alpha-hydroxy" lotion in the morning and coconut oil before bed. I already love coconut oil for the kids so it's really no problem using it on myself!
3. Ever since I had Charlotte, I've been having chronic pains in my feet. Even walking hurts. Now, a year and a half later, I decided I need some answers. It turns out that I have over-pronation, which explains why running didn't work out for me. It got so painful I couldn't stand it...often over-pronation can lead to shin splints and plantars fasciitis, both of which I felt I was experiencing. The good news is that with some proper shoes and orthodics I CAN run again! I was so happy to hear this, because I've been wanting to fall into the runner's groove for a while. Plus, I'll enjoy walking around with my family when we go places. And secretly I'm excited to have a good excuse to buy fancy tennis shoes :]
This isn't the end of my health issues, but it's what I have learned so far. I've also realized a few other things:
Although my body is far from perfect, I am still so grateful to have it. I know that regardless of any current or future problems that I have or my children have, we are made in the image of our Heavenly Father. Our bodies are temples- they are sacred and they are perfect. I am far from my ideal weight, I do not have perfectly smooth hair, and my fingers and toes may be abnormally stubby-- but I am ME.
I don't say it often enough (or feel it), but I do love the ME that I am.
I am also so thankful for modern medicine and technology. It is wonderful what doctors can discover with the tools in their trade. We are a blessed generation.
On a slightly different note, there is a book that I've been reading called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility". It's mostly about natural family planning but I have been astounded by the science of gynecology. I'm surprised that, as a woman, I knew so little about my own body before reading this book. It just confirms to me that we women are COMPLETELY AMAZING- regardless of what our body shape or hair type is, etc. Because every single woman has the same inner workings going on in such a rhythmic, beautiful way. (If anyone wants to know more, let me know!)
As I've become more aware of my body and tried to understand the delicate balance of all things in it that work together, I've gotten more curious about my health in general. I know I need to work on a lot of things, mainly diet & exercise. I'm excited to start implementing some changes and creating a happier me :] There is NO time like the present!