A Series of Writings on my personal wellness journey
Chapter 1
"Keeping it Real" ~ Barcelona, Spain
Things don't tend to "get real," for me — things are always real. When you're sick more days out of the year than you're well, life just has a sense of reality to it that can't be denied….

I am frustrated. Things have been going well, the ice cream is amazing here, and generally just all the food is better, there's a fresh bread bakery right below our flat, and an organic food store right across from us. I'm grateful, no doubt. But then, I go to the restroom before we all sit down to watch a TV show, and chazam, there is the unpleasant discharge my eyes know to be a sign of yeast. I don't freak out, I rarely do, but I drop my head and sigh. This dropping of the head is so common with me, I think, "I should make a choreography based on this movement."

Background: the last time I had a yeast infection it lasted for 2 weeks and at the end of it I got a horrible, ER-rushed-visit UTI, while still having the yeast infection. The ER nurses gave me heavy antibiotics to kill the yeast, and I went home feeling very fragile.

No more bread. That's my first thought. Then I go over all my diet choices the past two weeks. I do this for clients, I know how important it is.


My go-to swear word expresses my feelings to my satisfaction, for the moment, because now I have to go out and pretend all is well and watch this show they're all waiting on me for, but I just feel gross. I'm waiting to tell my husband because I know

1. He loves me and will worry

2. It just doesn't feel "good," "sexy," or "clean" to have a yeast infection and I try to hold off on getting that image in his mind as long as possible. But I want comfort and I know I need his supportive help, so I whisper the bad news, his eyes get big, and he asks about probiotics. He knows about those, cuz I've stressed about getting them and keeping them safe, aka cold, with the tiny ice pack, on the long drives home from the naturopath (those refrigerated ones though! A pain.)

After the movie I am relieved to take a shower and pop my probiotic in two places, my mouth and "down there," aka, the vagina. This method was taught to me by my naturopath and did prove helpful before. I lay down to sleep and stare up at the ceiling. "Did I do something wrong?" I wonder. I don't mean in the sense of deserving punishment as much as "was I not wise, was I stupid, perhaps I deserve this. I should know better." I've been waiting on my period to start for too long now, despite taking supplements for it (they helped for awhile but then proved not very effective), I haven't pooped in 3 days, my skin has been irritated, and now this.

"This is nothing, you're weak. This is too much, you messed up."

I shut down the thoughts and I just practically think of my diet, going through what I'll have to buy tomorrow at the store. I wish I was thinking about dance choreographies. I wish I was discussing movement, politics, culture, anything but food, with Vinny. I'm always having to think about food. I wish he was holding me. Little tears start to form. I can't hold them back. Vinny shuts off his laptop and holds me.

"Hey," he says and "it's going to be ok." Classic "no-no" words for someone in pain (at least to me) because it may not be ok. But this is where faith comes in. Vinny prays for me. I squeeze my eyes shut and pray that God would increase my faith. I want to believe, I want to be well. I don't want my lack of faith to stop me from being well. I receive Vinnys comfort and even his words of "ok's." Cuz who knows what ok really means? It probably is going to be ok. I just have to be ok with just being ok. This isn't the life I want. I want to be WELL. But who's life really is well? I wonder.

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