Taking A Spoon Of My Own Medicine

I learned something about myself.  I am great at telling people the importance of self-care.  Give me a megaphone, and I will boldly proclaim on every street corner that “Self-care is non-negotiable!” I will yell from the rooftops that self-care is not selfish!  If I could write a song, I would label it “Ode to the Yellow Mask on the Airplane,” reminding everyone that you must care for yourself before caring for those you love.   If Oprah invited me to be a guest on her show, I would push the truth, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”  But when it comes to accepting that I have to care for myself, I fail miserably.  I hear myself saying, “Warren, you are too busy.”  “That’s just something we tell our guests at David’s Refuge.”  “I’m doing just fine!”  What a hypocrite!  I feel like I have to join Self-Care Anonymous, stand up, and proclaim, “My name is Warren Pfohl, and I am a Non-Self-Careaholic.”

As many of you know, I have been struggling with Acute Pancreatitis for the past five years.  It has been a long and painful journey.  Thankfully, Mayo Clinic discovered that I have a stricture in my pancreatic duct, which they believe has been causing all the trouble.  They believe my pancreas issues will be solved if they can enlarge the duct by placing progressively larger stents.  So, on May 22nd, the first stent was inserted.  I thought my problems were over.  Sadly, this was far from the truth.  It has been a roller coaster of pain, hospitalization, pain meds, and canceled plans.

Brenda and I finally decided, for our own well-being, that we would cancel all our travel plans for 2024.  We had a trip planned for Boston, Hawaii, Kentucky, New York, and northern Wisconsin.  It was the last thing I wanted to do.  I was disappointed.  It pained me that I let down and disappointed people I love.  I listened to the voices in my head that said you are a weakling. You don’t need to rest.  “My name is Warren Pfohl, and I am a Non-Self-Careaholic.”

Thankfully, having made the decision to care for myself, the anxiety and worry that were pressing me down disappeared. The people I was worried about hurting all said it was the best decision I had made in a long time. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I had something left over to pour out into other people’s lives. It really is true: self-care is not selfish.

I hope you are continuing to apply this simple yet life-changing truth in your life. If not, why not join me at my next Self-Care Anonymous meeting? You will not be alone!