Be An Investigator Of Your Reality

Today, I woke up with blocked meibomian glands.

Meibomian glands are lipid glands along the rims of the eyelid inside the tarsal plate, which produce an oily substance to prevent the evaporation of tears. Mine are selectively operational. The fatty substance blocks the exit, creating small cysts, leaving my eyes red and dry.

This is the first recurrence in several months, so I’m taking it as an opportunity to put on my thinking cap and investigate, rather than fret. What have I done differently lately? Is this accompanied by any other subtle autoimmune symptoms?

While I may not have access to a lab or large cohort of study participants, I can run my own one-man observational study. I can follow up with additional studies, implementing small changes and then analyze results. With enough experimentation, I may come to understand which factors are problematic for me.

I am curious by nature.

Developing chronic illness amplified that superpower.

Recovering from chronic illness allowed me to redirect that curiosity toward more meaningful endeavors.

Yet, my life is still brimming over with these mini-medical mysteries. As I question the cold feet, hair loss, and meibomian gland dysfunction, I find myself researching, hypothesizing, and analyzing. I find myself entrenched in the scientific method.

This wasn’t meant to be a science lesson.

Instead, it’s a reminder to be a constant observer of your life.

My awareness has sharpened, as overlooking a single symptom could leave me bedridden. But it is a skill that anyone can learn. Pay attention to sensations in your body, pay attention to the thoughts passing through your mind, and pay attention to how you feel in your interactions with others. These seemingly small things matter in the holistic story of your life.

Start with an observation and then launch into the scientific method. For example, you may suspect your lack of confidence stems from being bullied as a child. From there, research solutions that have worked for others and hypothesize what may work best for you. Perform your experiment approaching strangers or speaking publicly and then analyze the data. You survived, didn’t you? How did it feel? Perhaps not as bad as you anticipated? Try it again, and again.

The same principles apply to physical health, mental well-being, career, finances, relationships, and more! Keep observing, keep tweaking, and keep growing.

16 thoughts on “Be An Investigator Of Your Reality

  1. I know you said you didn’t intend for your post to be a lesson, but it’s a good one — and I appreciate your potent reminder — of how important it is to know your body. And this! “Developing chronic illness amplified that superpower.” Your vigilance about your health is inspiring, Erin. Superpower, indeed! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Vicki! It’s one of those lessons or skills that I hadn’t really intended for, but life has it’s plans for us. All we can do it go with the flow and try to take away all the we can from it. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you describe curiosity as a super power. I think it’s so easy to lose that power so I love this great post and reminder. I’d never heard of meibomian glands so thanks for that too!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Wynne! I think curiosity is such a great tool, and it’s a shame so many people forget they have access to it. Glad you were able to learn something new–that’s always a fun experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d never heard of meibomian glands either! Very interesting, although I’m sorry to learn of them in this way – by them affecting you.

    I find myself doing the same kind of analysis, health-wise, on a regular basis. What have I done differently? What did I eat to make me feel bad? Etc. So that part I’m familiar with, but I don’t always stop to apply that same level of curiosity to other parts of life. The way you worded this was a great reminder to do that. And being about health, it really resonated. Thank you, Erin!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thankfully, that’s been one of the more minor issues I’ve had to face, but I think it’s so useful to look more critically as these seemingly small things. I try not look backwards too often, but I suspect overlooking small symptoms led to bigger issues for me. Lesson learned. I think curiosity really is a great multi-tool that we all have access to, and there is so much we can learn from just paying a bit more attention.

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  4. When I have a health glitch, I look at what’s going on in my life… is there too much stress that is affecting my immune system? My sleep? That’s usually a culprit for me. When it happens, I make it a point to get extra sleep, eat extra healthily, and take more supplements for my immune system. That usually clears up the issue. If it doesn’t, then like you I put on my investigative cap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the term “health glitch,” as it implies a minor snag and an easy fix. I think I’ll be using that! Yes, I’ve noticed the same primary culprits–sleep, food, and immune support–make such a difference. Thanks for your comments, Tamara!

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      1. I learned years ago how we frame things affects how we navigate through our lives, so finding ways to flip the script is important. When I used to say I had health problems, it would trigger me to spiral into a depression, feeling overwhelmed, because “here we go again” was coloring my thoughts. When I learned to reframe my thoughts, I felt more empowered to be able to do something about it.

        Thankfully I found that making adjustments to the basics made a huge difference. It is surprising what tweaking those things can produce, isn’t it!


      2. Yes, it is surprising, and also so empowering! I once felt helpless, but after seeing the positive (and negative) effects of sleep, food, social interactions and more, I realized I had control… maybe not full control over everything, but enough control to motivate me to influence those things that I could. I still can’t believe how powerful the exercise is.


      3. It’s amazing how our stories can change when we realize we have a modicum of control, and if we do handle the things within our control, how we end up getting more!

        Liked by 1 person

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