It was November 2017 when I found myself sitting in a hospital bed, being prodded and poked by doctors who were scratching their heads wondering how I had such a serious blood clot at a relative young age (mid 40’s).
“This should not be happening”, they said.
Batches of tests were being ordered. The nurse who came to draw my blood did a double take at what was required. “I’m going to check with the doctor that this is the correct instruction – This is a lot of blood to be drawn”, she said.
The doctor confirmed.
Yes draw the blood.
I shuddered, because I knew what was coming next and I don’t like it. I’m one of those people where when a needle even comes close to my body, my veins seem to disappear. This usually means a hunting expedition for whoever has to draw the blood. For me it means that my arms are poked and bruised and I look like a drug addict for weeks thereafter.
I won’t go into the gory details of all the prodding and poking, but suffice it to say that every orifice was thoroughly inspected and investigated.
I’d never felt so vulnerable in all my life, ever.
My worst nightmare had come true – having to be naked in front of strangers, and I don’t mean this metaphorically. As a child I often had dreams of suddenly being naked in front of my peers and in the dream they would laugh at me. It was always such a great relief when I woke up and realized it was only a dream.
But this time round it was not a dream.
It was real.
I had to face it.
And then something happened. I realized I did not die. No one laughed at me. I’m still alive. I remember one of the nurses saying with the best of intention “You are so helpless, let me help you”. It was that moment that shook me.
I looked her in the eye and said: “You are wrong, I’m not helpless. I’m a f*&king warrior and I will get through this.” I think that’s a moment that shook her.
I’m a f*&king warrior and I will get through this.
Coming out of hospital I had to make a number of significant life changes to ensure that a repeat of this situation does not occur. I had to review the way I work, travel, get kids to school, find time to exercise and shed some additional weight. And I didn’t have months to figure this out. I did have the luxury of about 6-7 weeks over December before school started.
As a busy Coach and Psychometrist I spend a lot of time sitting, either in coaching conversations or providing developmental feedback to managers and executives. The 6 -7 hours of back to back feedback was now a thing of the past. I also had to cut down on traveling to clients. I had to renegotiate a number of deliverables and timelines with clients. Thank goodness for technology like Zoom and Skype.
In essence I had to review and reinvent my business model, because the one I had was not good for my health.
Making time for regular exercise became non-negotiable. I had to figure out something that I could do anywhere, something I could sustain and that would help me shed those extra kilograms and keep it off.
A key lesson I learned is that when you are in change mode thinking, you might as well change everything. In my case I did not exactly have much of a choice, so I had to change a variety of elements at the same time. I had to reinvent myself in a short space of time. If I had not experienced this personally, I would not have believed that radical change could happen in such a short space of time. It does not mean that the changes were easy. They were not. What makes the change more manageable is having a framework and system to keep you on track. I applied the IROCK coaching framework I use with my clients to this fast changing situation and adapted it for intensive situations requiring rapid change.
So what were the results? I’ve shed 7kg’s and kept it off. I’m working less hours in a leveraged manner and my income is on an upward trajectory. At the end of May I received a clean bill of health and I’m no longer on any medication. My iron levels are within an acceptable range. My hair is thicker. I feel energised. Is my life without stress? No. Do I feel alive? Hell Yes! Do I have it all figured out? No, I’m learning everyday.
I do know that If I want to help other people rock their lives, I have to make sure that I rock my own life.