I’ve never felt that my health is unshakable. I get sick with colds and flus from time to time like everyone else, which is a natural, unavoidable part of having a healthy immune system that is constantly expanding its knowledge and defenses against the multitude of germs we are constantly exposed to.

We are living in times of unprecedented risks to our health and an alarming number of stressors and threats such as chemicals in our food, water and environment, busy, stressful lifestyles, noise and light pollution, lack of connection to nature and natural light, a deficit of nutrients even in our best quality food, lack of sleep, sufficient time to relax and heal, and so much more.

This is why I control everything I can to the best of my ability from day to day. But I know that my health is still at risk due to the things I can’t control. If I do succumb to a health threat, I believe I will find peace knowing that I did an excellent job with my self-care. And my chances of recovery will be far greater because of my choices and the strength of my body, mind and spirit.

It’s incredibly difficult for me to see the people that I love choosing differently. I want them to experience the same benefits of excellent health. But the deeper truth is much more selfish. They are such an important part of my life that I want, need and depend on them, and they are a huge part of my healthy life. When they suffer, I suffer too.

At this very moment, my husband is lying in a hospital bed awaiting transfer to an inpatient rehabilitation facility to receive physical, occupational and speech therapy after having a stroke a week ago. There were no warning signs. He had been in good health and doing his normal activities. He’d been out with his brother in the morning and had been stacking wood and doing yard work a few days prior. His heart appears to be fine and his blood vessels are open with no signs of plaquing.

While we are getting conflicting reports, it appears that he had a partial collapse of the inside lining of a major blood vessel in his brain, causing a partial blockage of blood flow. He now has a stent in that vessel to keep it open. He had a blood clot, but we were told that it appeared as they were placing the stent, and not before. The reasons for this vessel collapse, or dissection, are not well understood, so it’s all a mystery at this point. (But I’ll be researching on my own later to see if I can find some clues. My practitioner brain needs to know.)

We feel extremely lucky as there are no signs of major damage, and it’s very likely that he will be able to recover most, if not all, of the weaknesses that are currently presenting in his left arm and that side of his face. The emergency room staff and surgeons were amazing and I’m so grateful for their speedy attention, expertise and kindness towards us.

Over the years of our marriage, my husband has made many great improvements in his lifestyle. I’m very proud of him and so grateful for his efforts! He even retired early last year after coming to terms with the fact that his overly stressful job was taking its toll. I’ve been encouraging him to work on a few things, like drinking more water, and am constantly tweaking his whole food supplementation protocols. His attention to his health isn’t as strong as mine. I work hard to respect his freedom of choice while sharing my concerns and knowledge.

Now I’m praying for the best possible recovery, and hoping he’ll have a renewed commitment to protect and improve his health. I’m so grateful for the strength and health he had going into this, knowing the outcome could have been very different.

I feel strongly that the best advice I can ever give is to prioritize your health right now. If you’ve already faced a health challenge, I doubt I need to convince you how critical it is. But when you feel fine, it’s easy to focus on other things that seem more pressing. But you are the irreplaceable ingredient in your life and you deserve the best. You cannot live your best life without excellent health.