About Me & How Healthy Life Planner Came To Life!
Hi, my name is Brea and I am the creator of Healthy Life Planner. I wanted to let you know a bit about myself, and what inspired me to create the Healthy Life Planner.
I am a 31-year-old living in LA, who is one of the millions of people who live with a chronic illness. At 9 years old I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Due to my illness, I had difficulty gaining weight. I was so thin that my classmates teased me and called me “skinny bones Jones.” I remember having a ton of stomachaches growing up, but nothing that was too debilitating.
The moment that I fully understood how awful having Colitis is occurred three years ago at the age of 28. It was the most painful and hardest time of my life. It started with bad acid reflux, I couldn’t keep anything down, and was throwing up multiple times a day. I remember my boss even asking me if I was pregnant since I had to rush to the bathroom in the middle of meetings. A few weeks in I began to have horrible stomach pains that felt like swords inside my body. I felt so much urgency that it became hard to be away from a bathroom for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time. It seemed like no matter what I ate, I would be in the worst pain. The mornings were always the hardest. I would often have to spend hours in the bathroom in the morning, which caused me to be late to work almost every day. As the days went on, I began to feel weaker and weaker. I went from 115 pounds to 92 pounds in the span of a couple months. I remember every time I showered I would look in the mirror and cry because I looked like just skin and bones.
Soon my diet became limited to only a handful of a few very plain ingredients. I would have to eat all my bland foods on repeat and became very jealous passing by people at restaurants. Eating out was impossible for me. I was so weak and in constant pain, that I had to give up my whole social life. I had a hard time even driving or getting my own groceries. I would somehow manage to gather enough strength to Uber to work, but there was a lot of back and forth to the bathroom while at the office. I was so fortunate to have a very empathetic boss that understood every time I had to miss work, leave in the middle of the day for the hospital, or take breaks. When not at work, my time was either spent in bed or in the bathroom. This went on for 4 months until the doctor said that I needed to have infusions every 6 to 8 weeks.
The Idea Arose:
I remember when I was sick with my flare up, my doctor wanted me to keep track of my symptoms. He wanted me to note how often I was going to the bathroom and if I was having any internal bleeding. He would ask how bad my pain has been and when was the last time I had a good day. I remember having all these notes written on my phone about what I was eating for each meal, and about my bathroom habits. It became really unorganized and hard for me to keep track of my symptoms.
That is when I had the aha moment - I should create a planner that is cute and would help people keep track of their health. I have always been a journal lover, so it was important to me to create something that was both a planner and a journal. I started to make notes in my idea journal about what I wanted to include in this planner and what I envisioned it to look like.
The Time Came:
At the beginning of every year I always write down my goals for the year. The first week of 2020, I put making this planner on the top of my list. Two years had already gone by since I had the idea, and I knew I needed to set the wheels in motion. Little did I know that in just a couple months a pandemic would hit, and the world was going to go on lockdown.
When I started being stuck at home with nothing to do but binge Netflix in my free time, I took it as a sign from the universe telling me that now was the time to begin. Right away I started to use all of my free time and energy into creating the ultimate wellness planner / journal.
About Healthy Life Planner:
I created Healthy Life Planner to help people manage their health in an easy and fun way. I didn’t want it to be solely for people with Crohn’s and Colitis; I wanted it to be helpful for anyone who has a chronic illness and even to help those who struggle with their mental health.
I made this planner with the goal of helping people and to make tracking their health fun and easy to do. I included pain and emotion scales each day along with a meal tracker so that you can note if some foods give you more pain then others. You can write down your daily symptoms, when you take your medicine, doctor visit notes, and more. I felt it was important to also include inspirational quotes, mantras, journaling pages and prompts throughout the book to help with your mental health.
Since the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is so close to my heart, I will be donating a percentage of my sales to this organization. I want to not only help people with their health, but to help speed up the search for a cure.
What’s To Come?
The Healthy Life yearly planner is just the beginning! I plan on adding additional items to my shop soon. I want to add items that are helpful when it comes to your health, as well as items that help give you motivation and strength to keep fighting. With every illness there are good days and bad days. I want to help people manage their bad days, but also remind them that their good days will come.
Thank you for reading my story,
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