Wellness really does work…

Ok, in my previous post I mentioned a recent personal experience that I promised to tell you about later.
The pregnancy and delivery of my youngest son was quite the adventure for me and my family.

I wrote up a piece that was posted on our intranet at work to share with our employees (my clients) as inspiration and motivation to live a healthy lifestyle.  Also as a reminder of how fragile life is and to enjoy it!
I will share that same story with you.

“Wellness really does work,” said Lori Thomas, wellness coordinator. Read Lori’s story below to find out how staying healthy helped save her life after her fourth child, Liam, was born.

We hear it all the time and you hear me preaching it to you all the time, but I experienced first-hand that wellness really does work. Not only does it work… it helped save my life.

Liam and Lori

When pregnant with my fourth child, we ran into some complications. I had placenta previa complete, which in laymen’s terms means the placenta was completely blocking the cervix. With this condition comes a high risk of bleeding and that is exactly what I did. So, I was placed on bed rest on Sept. 9. My due date was Nov. 10, but making it that long with the previa was unlikely and I would have to have a C-section delivery. Thanks to bed rest, I was able to avoid going into labor and scheduled the C-section delivery for Oct. 18, which is when my doctors determined was late enough that the baby would be developed properly, but also early enough that we could avoid a major bleed from the previa (from the pressure of the baby pressing against the placenta).

Oct. 18 came around and we were scheduled for a 12 p.m. C-section delivery. At 12:24 p.m., our son Liam Jackson Thomas was born, weighing in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 19.5 inches long. He was beautiful, healthy and perfect!
The surgery went better than expected and I was closed up and headed to recovery.  My blood pressure was running a little low so they kept me in recovery for longer than normal.

Around 4 p.m., my blood pressure started dropping even lower than it was and I began to show physical symptoms indicating a problem. My nurse sent our son to the nursery (on a different floor) so she could focus all of her attention on me. Soon, I had a room full of nurses and doctors who stayed there for more than two hours trying to determine not only why my blood pressure was dropping the way it was, but also why their efforts to increase it were not working. My blood pressure reached as low as 50s over 40s. All signs pointed to an internal bleed, but the numerous ultrasounds they were doing failed to show any bleeding.

Around 6:30 p.m., they finally found a pooling of blood in my right side towards my back; however, the source of the bleed was yet to be determined. I was told I would have to go back to the operating room for emergency surgery.

Just before they took me to the operating room, my doctor was sitting by my bedside holding my hand. I asked her if I was going to be ok and, looking at her expression and the uncertainty in her eyes, I knew things were very serious. I told her she had to make sure I made it through this as I could not leave my husband to care for our four children on his own… especially only three weeks after his father passed away. She assured me she would do everything she could and then she prayed aloud right there over me.
Then it was off to the operating room.

After spending approximately one and a half hours in surgery, the nurses informed my family that I was out of surgery and recovering. They found the bleed and fixed it – an internal stitch had worked loose just enough that it created a slow bleed. I was taken to the Intensive Care Unit where I spent 24 hours there recovering and stabilizing. I received five units of blood and two units of platelets during this entire ordeal and I can’t say thank you enough to the many donors out there that helped save my life by donating blood and platelets.

My perinatologist and OB/GYN doctors were with me through both surgeries and checked in on me daily during my recovery (even on their days off). They both said the fact that I was healthy prior to all of this happening is one of the main factors for me being here today and able to recover as well and as quickly as I did. With my blood pressure dropping as low as it did, it is incredible that I maintained consciousness and my doctors and family were amazed that even during that ordeal, I was still cracking jokes and had a smile on my face!  Things were very scary and grave for a bit.

I don’t always eat the healthiest foods, and I don’t always exercise as much as I should, but I maintain an overall healthy lifestyle and do things in moderation. That is what helped me still be here today.

If you want to start working on your health and don’t know where to start or are feeling overwhelmed, come talk to me. I am happy to hear your story, and I want to help. Just remember to start slow and don’t think you are going to change drastically overnight. Slow and steady wins the race and I am happy to coach you every step of the way.

Wishing you all good health and happiness,

Lori Thomas
Wellness Coordinator

Now that I have shared my experience with you, please use it as a reminder to live life to the fullest, find your happiness and live an overall healthy lifestyle so that you can be around for a very long time to enjoy all the little things in life!

Make today fantastic!  🙂

Find your happiness…

I attended a memorial service for my Aunt Sue today…a day that would have been her 64th birthday.
She donated her body to science so it was not a formal funeral, but a beautiful service and family gathering to honor and remember her and to celebrate her life.  I am so very proud of her for donating her body to science.  I only hope it helps the doctors learn more about and maybe even find a cure for the disease that took her life.

All of this started the thoughts turning in my head…more so than normal!

I started thinking about what will things be like when I am 64.  Will I live to 64?  Life is so very short and my own personal recent experience has solidified that concept even more for me.  Remind me to share that story with you later…  Without getting into details now, let’s just say that I am very blessed to be here today.

So, with that thought (that life is short), I can’t express enough to everybody to find your “happiness” whatever it may be.
Don’t “settle” for anything.  If there is something in your life that you are not happy with…change it.  You alone hold the power to make your life satisfying.
Don’t like your job?  Hate going to work every day?  Then figure out what you want to do, what will make you happy and pursue it.  Maybe it is a different company to work for, maybe just a different position in the same company, or maybe you just need to talk to your manager and see if your position can be tweaked a little to make you happier!
Finding yourself in a rut?  Unhappy with your day to day?  Find something that makes you happy that you can add to your day.  For me it is playing a game with the kids and acting like a kid myself.  Or some adult social time…that is always nice!
I have found great joy in blogging and that has served as a great “therapy” for me every day!
And then there is my “hug-a-mug” time.  This term I stole from a friend of mine and it is a part of EVERY day for me!  A hot beverage (yes, this is a Sheldon Cooper reference! :)) and at least 5-10 minutes of “me” time to sit and “hug” the mug while drinking said hot beverage is an essential part of my day.  At least it is if I am going to be in a good mood…LOL!

Make today a fantastic day and I leave you with the hopes and wishes that you each find your happiness!

An internal battle with technology…

Technology confuses me…and I am referring to confusion in the terms of the internal battle of emotions I have regarding technology…not just the fact that I am not tech-smart, which I am not! 🙂

I love technology and it excites me to see the many possibilities it offers. The health and fitness apps that are out there and the information available to people at the touch of a button is amazing!  I love that I can access my health insurance information online and see all of my claims right away!  I love that I can access mine and my children’s health and immunization records online and that I can schedule an appointment without having to call the office!  My husband even deposited a check via taking a picture with his phone last week…AWESOME!
However, it scares me at the same time in the way that it has taken over the world.  Are we getting to the point that technology will do most everything for us?  Ever see the movie Wall-E??  I can see that happening…people sitting in chairs that move around making it so we never have to even stand up.  To a wellness coordinator, that is SCARY!  Lack of physical activity is one of the leading causes of health issues today…even more so than tobacco!


So, my random ramblings of the day…
Enjoy technology.  Utilize the many wonderful aspects of these amazing tools we have access to.
However, don’t become dependent on it.  Make it a point to have face-to-face conversations with people each day.  Have a phone conversation with somebody…not just texting!  And most importantly be sure to remain active and remember to get up and move as much as you can!
As my 5 year old would sing…”my like to move it, move it!”
Sing that song (you know the one…you may have seen King Julian singing it on Madagascar…Check it out on YouTube if you haven’t seen it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrBFG6xJF_U) and dance around!
Is it in your head yet? 
No??  Then watch the video…I will wait.
Now is it in your head?  Good!

Now Move it, Move it!!

It makes me giggle a little picturing you all sitting at your computer reading this and singing that song in your head (or out loud) and dancing in your chair!  You know I am doing it!  Teehee! 😀

Hello, my name is…

Well it is 2013 and I am finally starting to get caught up with technology and the rest of the world! 
I thought I would give this blog thing a try.

So, first things first, I should probably introduce myself.
Hello, my name is Lori Thomas. 
Like many others, I wear a plethera of ‘hats’ in life.  I am a daughter, a grand-daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a friend, a corporate Wellness Coordinator, a confidant, etc., etc., etc.

The largest (or most important) ‘hats’ that I wear are being a wife and mother.
I am married to Todd, an amazing man who is patient beyond reason, kind-hearted, and loves me and our children.  I don’t tell him often enough how much I adore him and how much he means to me.  He is an amazing father and an incredible husband.  We have four (yes four) beautiful children.  Now I know that every mother says that their children are beautiful, but mine really are…and yes I am being facetious so don’t get offended already!  LOL! 🙂
Our oldest boy, Logan, will turn 5 years old this March.  Yes you read that correctly…our OLDEST of four children is turning 5 this year.  So let me take this tangent quickly to answer a few questions:
1.  Yes, we are a little crazy.
2.  Yes, we are VERY busy and have our hands full!
3.  Yes, we know how this happens.
4.  No, we are not having any more children and Yes, I am sure because I had the doctor make sure of it!  🙂

Ok, back to the introductions…
As I was saying, Logan will turn 5 this March.
Austin just turned 3 in December.
Alexis (Lexie) turns 2 this Wednesday.
And Liam will be 12 weeks old this Thursday.
My children are my life so you will hear about them frequently.  If you are not interested in hearing about children…it was nice meeting you and very nice chatting with you.  But this is not the blog for you! 🙂

Another major ‘hat’ that I wear is my professional one.  As I stated earlier, I am a corporate Wellness Coordinator.  Now to explain what that is exactly.  I coordinate all of the internal (designed for the employees of the company) wellness programming (health fairs, incentive programs, presentations, team challenges, onsite wellness center, etc.) for a local corporation.  I don’t know the ‘rules’ yet of blogging so I am not sure if it is ok for me to say where I work at this time.  I am very proud of my company and I LOVE what I do so if I am allowed to say, you will likely hear about my job and my company quite often as well.  Again, if that doesn’t sound appealing, it was nice meeting you…now scram! 🙂

Ok, so now that the boring parts are out of the way…on to the blogging!
I plan to use this site to post my random thoughts and experiences, things I learn, mistakes I make, successes I have and successes I help others achieve.  My goal is to reach out and use my life experiences to help others in any way I can.  If I make a fool and learn from it, I hope to help others learn from it too without having to go through the making a fool part themselves!  My entire career is about helping other people set and accomplish goals in their lives and it is such a passion of mine that I want to do that in any capacity I can…even outside of work.  Wellness is not just physical activity and nutrition, but really every aspect of your life.
I will share parenting observances, fun kid-friendly ideas, and sometimes just fun “feel-good” moments from my children.

I hope you choose to follow my blog and that you enjoy me and my random ramblings and life experiences!
I want all to live well and I am the “mama” of these 4 crazy, beautiful beings thus the creation of “livewellmama”!

Enjoy and be sure to make today an incredible day!! 🙂

Join me in my ramblings and life experiences, spreading compassion and being a bit of a bulldog along the way.

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