Wellness in Illness

August 2nd, 2018 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

Finding Wellness in Illness


So a lot of time has passed since I was a frequent blogger. For some of you I may even be brand new. Here is a fast forward story of how I am finding “wellness in illness”.

I am a 40 something wife and mother of four kids and a couple of doodle pups. I happen to also have a chronic illness, a thin filter and deeply rooted need to overshare. There is always a story brewing.

Having an illness, Dysautonomia, made me feel like health and wellness weren’t options for me. They are opposing. I gave up on the idea of being well, my illness was chronic, it wasn’t ever going away.

To make a long story short I had been to the Mayo Clinic, I was using a wheelchair, and was on a wait list for a cardiac alert dog. I was also taking more medications than I could name without forgetting one. My cardiologist had told me I had run the full course with him. He had no other ideas or recommendations other than follow up appointments to monitor my progression. I made an appointment with a different cardiologist, then another. Rolling into the final cardiologist’s office she took me so off guard. To paraphrase her opening statement to me was, “I know you’re going through a lot but you’re not doing yourself any favors.”

She then went on to talk about cardiac rehab, I went on to think she was crazy. I was not able to finish 4 minutes on a stress test before having a cardiac event. My medical records actually listed me as “exercise intolerant” and this woman wants me to go exercise. So I went, mostly to prove her wrong.

I am not going to lie, it wasn’t like I showed up and started to exercise and then everything magically fell in to place, that isn’t what happened at all. The crash cart was wheeled in as a response to cardiac events my first three days. It was scary, but I kept going back. Slowly I did get stronger, now we are talking about progressing from the Arm Bike to a recumbent bike, but it was progress. I was keeping up with my fellow 70 + years young cardiac rehab guys.

From rolling in day one as a wheelchair user, midway I was back to using a cane, that was more progress than I ever expected. When they moved me over to a seated program using weights everything changed. Adding muscle helped my body regulate some of the wild blood pressure swings, it didn’t make them go away but it was helpful in not making them swing as wild. I also fell in love with those weights.

In comes Beachbody; one of the nurses came over and was giving me suggestions for some exercises to try. As I was checking out and turning in my daily heart rate monitor she told me how great I had done and that the exercises we did were from a program called Body Beast that she bought from a friend. I was telling my neighbor about it and she said she was doing a program called PiYo from the same company.

this is my new baby muscle

Oddly enough I am starting to believe you can have some wellness in illness. I immediately bought both programs on DVD, at the time there wasn’t a Beachbody On Demand. PiYo was a challenge because of the postural changes but I loved them both.

I joined a gym after cardiac rehab because I was a former gym rat years before my illness and wanted that back so badly. Now mind you my illness is still there. I am still on many medications and medically deemed disabled. It wasn’t long before I became a certified personal trainer and moved to the Fitness Manager. I often revisited Body Beast and PiYo over those years but I thought I had found my calling in that gym.

There were flares along the way but I kept going.


Fast forward years later I was miserable, my calling couldn’t be that gym. Things happened that were so unprofessional and I was not treated well. The personal training I was selling was expensive and the more I knew about the gym the less I wanted to be a part of it. I quit.

I reached out to my now Beachbody Sponsor Coach and told her how much I loved fitness and helping people.  We talked about how much I loved the programs from Beachbody that I had used and was considering being a Coach. When she showed me how much the company had grown and what they now had to offer I was all in. My husband, a bit more skeptical, needed some convincing. Once I showed him the Beachbody on Demand platform and we sat and binge-watched workout programs he said, “Let’s do it”.

Today my husband and I are both Beachbody Coaches. We love every second of helping people find programs best suited for their lives and goals. I cannot promise someone any specific level of wellness, but I can provide support while you find what that looks like for yourself.

email me at: [email protected]

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