Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Health Issues

It occurred to me just a little while ago that I had originally started this blog to keep my friends and family posted on what was going on with me and my move to Ecuador.  When more and more people started reading, I think I moved away from that because I suspect those readers really don't care much about the mundane parts of my life.  I've decided, though, that keeping my original focus is good, so I'll be tucking in posts that may seem totally irrelevant to most of you.  I know you'll understand.

When I first got here I talked about how much improved my health was.  Well, it's still a lot better than it was in the States and I'm still taking far fewer meds than I took when I arrived, but I've made a discovery as well.

Part of my health issues may be related to stress.  Even when I wasn't doing a ton of stuff in the States, just getting from one place to another could involve at least a bit of stress when I was getting to and from places in ugly weather on public transportation.  Then there was that underlying stress I talked about in an earlier post--the stuff that just seems to be everywhere when I lived there.

Well, when I got here, not only did I not have that constant hum of stress, I also slowed down a lot in terms of lifestyle.  Sure, I get out far more often and do more "things" than I did there but they were more laid back things.  The biggest change is the weather.  Since it's always lovely here, I don't have to contend with getting around in snow and ice or in heat that melts things.  I only take a bus when I'm going to another city.  I don't have to contend with hauling a week's worth of groceries home on the bus, etc.  It's just a different pace here.

Well, a few months ago I got a little carried away and got very, very busy.  I kept up that pace for far too long and my fibromyalgia kicked into high gear and laid me pretty low.  There I was, back where I was in the States where I got sick at the drop of a hat or just generally felt awful all the time.  I've been taking it very easy for the past month and I just got over yet another bout of illness but I'm beginning to feel much better every day.  I figure another couple of weeks of behaving myself and I'll be back to what is now my normal.

So, what's the lesson here?  Living here is obviously not a panacea that will cure all ills.  I knew that in my head but it sure seemed like it at first.  The reason, of course, was my personal stress level.  As I up that, I have the same issues I had before.  It's important for me to take care of myself here and to listen to my body about what I can comfortably do and what is too much.

I would imagine, knowing myself fairly well, that I'll get over-confident again and over-commit again and pay for it again but at least I know I have only myself to blame for it.


  1. Cynthia, glad to hear you're doing better. In our current situation I'm the one who is frankly getting stressed out. Barb can just go with the flow or at least she says she can.
    I'm so hopeful that I can also reduce my stress level once we get settled in Cotacachi. Also hope a side benefit is a reduction in the medications we both take. Take care, Ken

    1. I was so stressed out when it was almost time for me to move down here that I was nearly a basket case. My daughter may disagree and say I was definitely a basket case. Once I got here, though, I was so much more relaxed almost immediately. I think you'll be pleased with that part of your move.

  2. Cynthia - I too have the fibro syndrome and I know what you mean about getting laid low. And of course what goes with having one of the invisible illnesses. I'm glad you are finding the lifestyle more amenable to being well. I'm hoping to come down on a visit to Cotacachi to find out if the altitude will affect my body adversely. And considering a place on the coast - wondering if there are people living in Cotacachi who might like to do a house swap since I am being pulled to both places for different reasons!!! Keep on learning how to go with the flow - I am.