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  • Writer's pictureMegan Zechel

Mama Went AWOL


AWOL: Absent from one's post but without intent to desert.

Hey everyone so I'm still here and I’m writing up some blogs feeling refreshed after coming home from our vacation. I’ve been absent for the last few weeks since we spent a much needed 10 days visiting some friends in Rincon, Puerto Rico where we enjoyed the sunshine, incredible food and good company.


This trip almost didn't happen. We've gone the last couple years but due to the year that we’ve been having and all the expenses that have gone out for Harlo‘s medical treatments we almost said no. However once we got closer to April I realized how much not only Harlo would benefit from being in some sunshine but how much Jeb and I really needed it.

Harlo’s healing has been going really well with a few setbacks but otherwise we continue on her journey which I will write more about in the next blog. However Jeb and I realized this winter how mentally and physically drained we both have been. I think it's easy to forget when you’re taking care of someone else how much time, energy and focus goes into that. Stress can certainly be good and is something that we're all effected by however it's the amount of stress and kind of stress that matters. Jeb and I found that since Harlo started having seizures we were primed and ready to go at anytime in case something happened. This also means our stress adapters were on high alert causing us both to be drained and exhausted.


Neither of us realized this of course until we met with Dagmara and started to fully understand what it was doing to us both. When I had my initial meeting with Dagmara I told her I handle stress just fine I’m ready for anything and she said that’s the problem you’re always ready for anything which means your body is given no rest. As I’ve mentioned in previous post I’ve had Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism for many years and usually I have it well-maintained however it starts to flare it’s ugly head every once in a while and It certainly started to do that this winter. Which I now realize now can be due to different situations or times in our lives that may cause a bit more stress than others.


So needless to say I book this trip to Puerto Rico and tried to talk Jeb into leaving for 2 weeks ha! We ended up settling on 10 days since it takes about a full day to travel so it gave us plenty of time to enjoy ourselves and not feel like we were packing right back up when we got there. Why Puerto Rico? Well this was our third year back to Puerto Rico and certainly not because we know it’s the best place ever but we have two dear friends who own an Airbnb there, the ocean is within a mile, the views are beautiful, the food is amazing and the people that we have met are wonderful. In time Jeb and I hope to travel to many more places and different islands but for now each year as we learn more more about Rincon it’s becoming a home away from home.

On the islands it’s such a simple life and I think when you’re home it’s easy to get caught up with a lot of different things and the easy accessibility that we have. I mean Amazon can be at our door within a day or two. So when we go to Rincon it gives both of us a chance to connect, reflect and think about what we're doing in our lives now and our future plans. There's something to be said when your in an environment that focuses on the necessities simply because there's no other choice. Now I’m not saying to not dream big because we certainly still do that it just allows us to really think on the things we want, need, the experiences we want to have in our life and our priorities.


As Jeb stepped away from competing this year his role as an athlete got put aside which was a very hard decision for him. When you take away such a significant role that effects your daily life it can take a bit of your identity with it. Of course this was his decision and it may only be a break for this year and I know there's plenty of people who think it's all fun and games doing what you love, working out, competing however our world revolves around it. Where can we eat dinner, where can we travel based on food and gyms nearby, what time we get home so he can rest up for his training the following day etc. So this vacation was a good time for him to rest and really start thinking about what he wants to do moving forward.


For myself my passion has always been to be kind to others to shoot for the stars to be an advocate for yourself and your family and to spread some love. Now that I have a background in nutrition holistic health healing and skin care etc. It’s making sure I keep everything in line with my goals. Sometimes I feel I have so much to say that I don’t even know where to begin which can be a bit overwhelming and that’s what I really took the time to start thinking over.


Most of you know I started this blog as an update on Harlo’s health and then as it progressed it slowly turned into sharing our family story and our journey. There’s been so many of you that have already reached out so I hope to continue sharing things that I learn - the "what to do's"and "what not to do’s". I certainly don’t have all the answers as I’m still figuring it out myself but if I can possibly speed up the process for others or at least give you some insight then I realize at the end of the day I’m doing exactly what I want to do. So thank you again to all of you who are reading Healing Harlo.

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