January 08, 2013


Last week I drove Mr. Fix-It to the airport to catch his flight. The tunnel leading to Logan Airport is about a mile long, and I drive through effortlessly.

This was not always the case.

It use to be a claustrophobic, white knuckle, heart racing event for me to drive through the tunnel. It started about 25 years ago when I worked for a Swiss yarn importer and one of my responsibilities was to pick up all of our sales reps in a fifteen-passenger van at the airport, often in Boston's rush hour traffic, and drive them to our bi-annual sales meeting.

Be still my heart.

I was born a slightly anxious, worrywart of a girl, who use to miss my mommy when I went off to nursery school and the early years of grammar school.

And I have been in rehabilitation ever since :-)

These days though I feel like I am on some sort of valium compared to how I sometimes use to feel, but I am not.

The defining moment came for me about eight years ago when I had my annual check-up with a new doctor. My daughter had awoken with a stabbing pain in her abdomen that morning and after rushing her to the hospital, it passed. Tests showed an ovarian cyst had burst. With this resolved, I was still able to make it to my check-up, but I left the house a little late, got lost on my way, and arrived even later.

By the time I sat down for the annual blood work-up, I felt like I had been through a wringer.

My doctor called the next morning and asked if I had been nervous when I came in. Ummm...just a hair! She said that my sugar levels were very high and she wanted me to come in and take the test again. She explained that anxiety (which releases cortisol, the stress hormone) causes your sugar levels to spike which isn't good.

So I calmly went in the next day and had another blood test.

It came back totally normal.

"Ohhh....I see the mind/body connection now," I thought. I experienced personally how stress affects our health.

It was like a gift.

The light at the end of the tunnel.

This knowledge, coupled with kicking coffee, has made a huge impact on my life. I have learned to "change the channel" when I start having anxious thoughts, and it has made a big difference in my well-being.

I think twice now if anxiety begins to rivet my body. It isn't worth the toll it takes.

Just thought you might be interested to hear one worrywart's story, should you happen to be one yourself.



  1. As you may or may not know, anxiety issues grip our household. I rarely experience this level of anxiety, but I'm all too aware of the mind/body connection - and boy is it powerful.

  2. Thanks Jane for your comment. I did know that you are dealing with this in your household and am compassionate to what you are going through. The good thing is that issues like this seem to get much better with age and with the knowledge of how to better take care of our physical health with exercise, nutrition, sleep, and even with who we are spending our time with.

    1. Thanks Louise! Yes, I do think we are kindred spirits. I so agree with you on how issues like this seem to get better with age and knowledge. We are on a good path here. As I have opened up to others, I am amazed to see the challenging journeys so many others face.

  3. From my book on aging:

    An entire field has developed to study mind-body integrative medicine. This field has shown us the important role of our minds on health and disease (Full Catastrophic Living). It is an approach to healing that honors the connections between the processes of the brain and the biological and biochemical reactions of the body. It harnesses the power of our thoughts and feelings to positively influence our physical health. This taps into the natural healing potential within each of us. . .

  4. Thank you doctor Cheryl. I had not yet heard the term Full Catastrophic Living. I always appreciate your comments and helpful information. Happy new year.

    1. I hope I responded to your comment that the term is the name of the book from which this information came. Happy new year to you as well!

  5. Oh! Thank you for the clarification Cheryl.

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