Imagine a sunny day. You want to go house shopping. You spend a lot of time looking for that perfect house. No ordinary house will do. You want a house that works for you and for your needs. You have it in your mind how you want the house to look. How the kitchen will look because you plan on cooking really wonderful meals in that kitchen for your family. You know that you want enough rooms for you little family. A nice yard, maybe a pool or a swing set. Finally after all the time looking and hunting you decide that you will build the perfect house for you and your family. By choosing to build you know that it will turn out exactly as you wish. Once it’s built, you move all your things in. You have carefully selected the colors of the paint, the furniture for each room and then you start to fill this house with all the things you love. Everything that you do with this home represents you, sure over the years there will be normal wear and tear… there will be replacements and things that will break… and you of course will take care of it because it is YOUR home, Your shelter. YOU will obtain home owners insurance to protect it and the things you love because you love your home that you built, and you want to live there with the knowledge that you are insured and covered when bad things happen. Why wouldn’t you? It is your investment.
I have been doing a lot of thinking about this because me and my fiance have recently picked out a home, and soon enough we will move in and fill it with lots of happy memories and all the things we love. We would never intentionally set out to destroy something so precious to us. So this made me think of our bodies, our well being and our health.
My physical therapist told me a story today during my MLD session, I think she told me the story because I was saying really hateful things about myself and my fat legs, butt and thighs. She told me of doctor that had shared a story with her. It was about one of his patients that had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The lady was beside herself and distraught… what would she tell her family, her husband and her kids? A few days later she came back to the doctor and told him that if she was dying she was going to learn to ” LOVE” herself. Yes. That is what I said, Love herself? She started meditation and soon followed with yoga, she did deep breathing… she saw herself as beautiful, every inch of herself, every molecule.. she simply loved it, she loved her cancer, she loved her scars, she loved everything about herself. You see to her there was nothing left to hate. Soon enough it was time for her to come in for more tests, to the doctors surprise she was doing remarkably well. She is still alive. She is still breathing and she is no longer terminal. I thought about this all day. I thought about it on the way home and I am still thinking about it. To love myself completely would just be amazing. Then I thought of my body. Then I thought of our upcoming wedding and our house.
My body is my house. IT is MY job to fill my home with LOVE. I didn’t purposely cause the damage that has been done, but I didn’t do enough to be proactive in it’s care either. For 20 years I knew that something was wrong. I allowed doctors to fill my mind with self doubt and shame. I poisoned my body because I didn’t know.. and I didn’t know because the 20 plus doctors didn’t know. They only diagnosed me with a million other things but always at the top of the chart it said “Obese” … even when I lost a lot of weight it still said ” Obese” even when my body looked good and somewhat proportionate it said ” OBESE”!!! If I had known that certain foods make it worse, that exercise can go against you, that sweating and shaving was bad… that hormones were poison, would I have brought those things to my home? My temple? NO WAY…
20 years and two very different bodies later I have to forgive myself. I have to give myself the love that I quit giving… I have to accept that this is me. Every curve, every dimple and every breath in me needs and deserves love from me. To do this, I have to fight for it, I have to demand that my insurance company sees that this is the hand I have been dealt because doctors are just now learning of this disorder/ disease. I have to hope and pray that they see that 45k in 6 surgeries is needed and they should pay because I too deserve to have a better quality of life. 45k pays for a car, half a house… how am I supposed to come up with that kind of money.. especially when I have insurance to protect my investment, my home… my temple? I am no different than a chronically ill patient, a cancer patient or someone diagnosed with a rare disease. I will love myself enough to fight for that. Lipedema is not a case of being lazy, it is not a case of ” woe is me” … it is a case of not enough doctors being educated and not enough insurance companies understanding what just one day living the life of a Lippy lady is like. I don’t have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol ….. but one look at my body you would certainly argue with me, even my brother has. I have gotten so used to looking down, to frowning down at the scale, crying when I left numerous doctor’s offices because NO ONE WOULD LISTEN TO ME!!!! I am not crazy people, I know what I have been dealing with and you can’t tell me that there was no indication that something just wasn’t right!!! In college I threw the shot put, the javelin, the discus… I was active, but I remember many times going to the doctor with leg pain and I was stumpy from the waist down back then too…
20 years difference, 20 years of me not standing up for myself. 20 years of me not loving myself because I stood out in so many ways from others. Today that changes. Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 41, for the next 20 years I plan on loving myself a lot more. I plan on loving all of me. I plan on sharing my story as much as possible. I will fight for my body, I will fight for the care of my body. I hope that I have the chance to do that.. I want these next 20 years. I need them. This is my happy beginning. I will share with anyone I can my story and other ladies like me. It is my goal. I will not look down. I will look forward, and I will cast every stone of judgement that has been cast at me. I will breathe deeply and I will appreciate every moment just a little more. And when I am down, I hope that I can be reminded of how important it is that I stay positive and love the woman I am. Maybe soon enough the world will change some with new awareness, maybe we will be approved for medical treatment more often and to the doctor’s that are by our side pushing for a change, let us remember that change begins within you, within your home and within your mind.
Til next time, Stay blessed and love yourself more today, less than tomorrow and more than yesterday!