Health problems creates change in lifestyle, outlook

It would seem that it takes something drastic for us to realize how misplaced our priorities are.

Over the past couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to do something that I really haven’t done in a long time – relax. That’s not to say I didn’t get any work done at all, but I didn’t push myself to finish a bunch of stuff in a small amount of time.

I’ve eaten less junk food, mostly because I had to, but I’ve found healthier ways to snack and haven’t gone out to eat as much.

Most importantly, I tried not to worry too much about things that I couldn’t control. I didn’t stop worrying completely, but even worrying less helped.

I’ve found this to help me be a little less stressed and a lot happier, but it wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t go to the ER a couple of weeks ago.

I woke up on a Wednesday morning and had this horrible, stabbing pain worse than anything I’ve probably ever felt. I went to the emergency room, and they told me my tests were coming up great. They didn’t know exactly what was going on, but they said they’d give me some medicine.

A couple of days later, I went to the doctors, who told me that I had an ulcer caused by increase of stomach acid and stress. Since then I had a list of stuff I couldn’t eat: anything that would increase the acid in my stomach.

So in a nutshell, I had to cut out most of my dietary staples: caffeine, chocolate, anything fatty, anything with tomato sauce and the occasional alcoholic beverage.

Since this diet has been part of my daily routine since about the time I got to Gannon, I had a lot of major changes to make. The stress has been a normal element since about junior year, but I never thought THAT would ever affect my physical health.

I had to make the executive decision to decrease the amount of stress in my life – which was difficult because it’s been a part of my life for almost two years now.

Now, I couldn’t exactly quit doing some things – I have a job, my position at The Knight and schoolwork to worry about – but what I could do is approach how I look at things differently.

Now, I’m trying not to worry about to the point where it turns into me panicking about what I need to do.

I realized that most of my time was spent worrying about school, work and my other responsibilities and I haven’t spent time with any of my other hobbies and interests, hanging out with my friends or visiting my family.

I know college is supposed to be one of the busier, more stressful times in your life, but I think putting you in the hospital is taking things a bit too far.

I’m not saying that I’m not ever going to be stressed out ever again, but I’m going to make my health a bit more of a priority, as well as doing more things that I like.



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