I recently got rejected for medical coverage by an insurance company. I was aghast, as I consider myself very healthy. I called them up, and asked why. They replied that I had been insured by them some 20 years ago for five years, and that at that time, I had four chronic diseases. This was in my early to late thirties.I am sure you’re curious, so here goes . . .
I had: 1) high cholesterol levels (sky high, managed by medication, which I was told I would never, ever get off); 2) IBS (irritable bowel syndrome); 3) severe and escalating back and sciatica pain, with a double disk bulge on MRIs (I was told 11 years ago that I had no choice but to have surgery – I declined; and 4) asthma and allergies.
Their underwriting experience told them that someone with such medical issues would be a huge risk some 20 years later and so they did not wish to insure me! (They may not have been aware of two decades of severe headaches almost every day and did not know about my high blood pressure as it happened after I was no longer their client. Both are no longer issues at all!).
I was shocked! Yes, I remembered having these symptoms. Combined, I was a ticking time bomb. In fact, the back and sciatica pain and the headaches got so bad and were so resistant to treatment, that only 11 years ago, I thought repeatedly about ending my own life – and came close.
Today, I am completely free of all these health issues. How did I do it – and what’s the lesson for others? I suspended disbelief! I refused to believe any medical practitioner that told me I couldn’t/wouldn’t get rid of these symptoms, other than through medications (and their side effects), surgery or just living with the problem.
By believing I could, I managed to get off cholesterol and blood pressure medications. My digestive system works well. I haven’t taken allergy medication and ventilators for a few years. I rarely get headaches, and it’s been five years since I stopped taking 100 extra strength Advil a week. And my back is in great shape – I have hiked mountains on four continents, completed numerous long charity walks, finished two walking half marathons, one just this year, completed the CN Tower stair climb, etc. – and just signed up for a 200 K bike ride. I have a huge amount of energy; am pain free most days; and feel and am MUCH healthier than 15 to 20 years ago.
So why am I sharing this rather personal information? So that it helps you realize that with the right belief system (I was determined to get better despite everything I was told); better life balance; reduced stress; making self-care a priority; and the right alternative health support structure, the body can heal remarkably well.
I give thanks every day for my great health – and do my best to stay on top of the self-care that I need: sleep, nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness. It’s a work in progress – there are always other priorities . . .
So no matter whether you have a health or other goal, the first step to achieving your goal is to suspend disbelief. Unless you believe you can get there, chances are you won’t!.
In my next posts, I will talk about how our beliefs impact our behaviours – yet New Year’s resolutions that many people make and break – are focused almost entirely on behaviours.