My Wake-Up Call

by | Last updated Apr 17, 2024 | Encouragement, Uncategorized

Have you ever experience a medical wake-up call?  Sometimes these calls can be opportunities for progress. Here Luesette Howell shares her life changing wake up call.

“Wake-up calls:” events that cause us to “take notice.” Some go unheeded; but ignoring wake up calls when it concerns our health may mean we don’t wake up at all, literally.

A health crisis in 2012 was my wake-up call. As an active person, I had had very few illnesses other than the common cold or flu from which I usually bounced back easily. So when I began experiencing shortness of breath, constant fatigue, loss of appetite, and lessened endurance, I took serious notice. Sensing I needed more bed rest, I moved only when I had to.

Even my work life had become sedentary, sitting in long work commutes, sitting in airplanes, and sitting for long hours at my desk. Moreover, our office building was always too cold and had traces of fibrous materials and mold.

Feeling ill, I went to the doctor. My blood pressure was elevated. At 5’5” and 181 pounds, the “excess baggage” that had crept up on me was certainly not helping. My list of symptoms caused the doctor to suspect a lung problem. The MRI showed many tiny blood clots interspersed throughout both of my lungs, consistent with a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. An ultrasound found more clots in my lower extremities, emanating from the ankle and on up to the hip and abdomen. He explained to me that my shortness of breath was caused by the many tiny blood clots blocking full access of blood to the air in my lungs. He further explained that the tiny blood clots had been perhaps one or more larger clots which had burst into tiny ones. This was a serious, life-threatening situation and required serious action.

He applauded me for not ignoring my body’s warning signs that something out of the ordinary was taking place. He also stated that if I had traveled as I had planned to do in the coming days, it could have possibly been my last trip. While hospitalized for several weeks, I had a choice to make regarding my health: either quickly grow in height or lose some weight. The latter was the more logical choice!

My Strategies:

I am formulating this message with lighter fingers, ankles uncrossed, and a stronger, reshaped figure and mental outlook. I lost 31 pounds over six months by taking control over things that I could control. How? Here’s my formula:

I increased my exercise regimen. I not only walk but do water aerobics. The combination improved the cardio aspect as well as my flexibility, stamina, and muscle toning.

I eat earlier and prepare healthier meals. I no longer eat heavy meals after 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

I increased my water intake. I found that when I thought I was hungry, I was really only thirsty. The water has helped to better flush my system and has improved my skin texture.

I am getting more rest. Instead of the 5 to 6 hours I used to get, I now get 7 or 8 hours of restful sleep per night. I am still an earlier riser, but because I no longer work late hours, I go to bed earlier. Besides, when I am sleeping, I’m not eating!

Mental and social exercises – I pursue personal hobbies and pace myself between professional, social, and family events.

My changed lifestyle changed my life!

I’ve learned some valuable lessons and thank God I am still around to share them:

Health is not only about life, it is also about living.

Taking care of my health is not being selfish, for I am better able to help others if I am well.

Listening to my body is essential and taking preventive measures helps me avoid serious illness.

Making improvements in my home and office environments is vital.

Enjoying a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables and making the best of the weather is a path to health. Being outdoors is better than indoors!

I don’t wish for long life… I can opt for a healthy life, no matter the length.

There will always be someone to replace me at work; but to my loved ones, I am irreplaceable.

When it comes to living the fulfilled life, we all have much to learn.


My changed lifestyle changed my life!


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