Love This Body

Two weeks ago, I received a wake-up call from the Universe. It came in the form of an irregular MRI of my brain.

I’d been experiencing vertigo, some numbness in my back and arm, and a few other weird symptoms for a few months and finally got scared enough to talk to my doc. He promptly found a heart murmur. He sent me in for an echocardiogram and brain MRI. The following day, he called to say the heart murmur was innocent but there were shadows on my brain and I needed to speak with a neurologist. He had no real information for me, and said the specialist would explain. He told me not to worry, or let it ruin my weekend.

I got on a plane mere hours later and went home to Chicago for a visit we’d scheduled weeks before. I told my parents this news in person. And we had a great time together all weekend, but were all constantly, subtly tense and terrified. We were thinking about lupus and brain tumors and MS and any number of unnamed, unknown things that could be going wrong in my brain, and alter my life forever.

I am 33 years old and have been healthy as a horse my entire life. I have been married 8 years and intended to grow old with my Mike. I graduated from college in 1998, but have only just found my calling and my life’s passion. I wept as I thought of life in illness, the loss of my future, an early grave. And I cursed myself for taking MY ENTIRE LIFE for granted and never being satisfied with my lot.

Since suspense makes me irate, I’ll tell you right now that I am just fine. I have inner-ear vertigo which will be treated with physical therapy, and my other symptoms are related to a protruding disc in my back. When the neurologist told me this, I gripped her leg and wept again with relief.

Does this sound a little melodramatic? Good. I have never been more frightened in my LIFE people, and the whole experience made me see my world in a completely different light. I have always known, intellectually, that wasting time and energy worrying about big hips or jiggly upper arms is idiotic. But now I know it on a much, much deeper level. I am alive. I am healthy. I can walk, talk, eat, sing, write, bike, work, cuddle, laugh, and grow old slowly. My body is sound, my mind is sound, and I am beyond lucky. I don’t have any flaws. I never did. I love this body, and I am going to do my damndest never to take it for granted again.

It can be so hard to keep perspective when thinness and youth are painted as life’s greatest prizes. But I see more clearly than ever that life is its own greatest prize. And I’m so incredibly grateful for mine, and for the body that makes it all possible.

I’ve been a bit absent lately from comments and such because of all this, but I’ll be returning to normalcy soon. I appreciate you marvelous folks sticking around in the meantime. And the sickness I was battling all weekend is totally unrelated, I swear. I’m the kind of person who can power through any personal stress … but once that stress lets up, my immune system flies a white flag and I come down with a bad cold. I’m on the mend now, thank goodness. Finally, unless something drastic changes, I am unlikely to bring this up again. For me, moving on means looking ahead. And that will mean posting regularly about style and body image and all the good stuff that this blog has always been about. Now with renewed fervor, as I have never loved my own body more.

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129 Responses to “Love This Body”

  1. Rachel @ Suburban Yogini

    Thank you for sharing this Sal. It's all so true.

    One of the blessings I have found about having health issues and chronic pain most of my life is that the good days can never be taken for granted. No days can really, but sometimes I guess we never know when the next good day will be.

    So pleased that it is just inner ear vertigo. I hope you feel better soon.

    Live, Love and Love Living xxx

  2. Judith

    Oh Sal, so glad to hear everything's okay. I look forward to many, many more wonderful posts from you! Keep rockin' it, girl.

  3. Gillian

    You just made me tear up a little Sal. I'm SO glad that you're okay.

  4. Linda

    glad you are okay. There has been alot happening around me that really has opened my eyes too, not to me but to the people around. I have an uncle suffering with brain cancer and it is slowly killing him, even though it was caught early. The "treatment" has sent his body out of whack and they have no idea what is going to happen.
    You should be grateful, I know I now am.

  5. Meli22

    I am terribly sorry on one level that you went through all of this, but the silver lining was your discovery and new appriciation for life. I think all things happen for a reason- and this was just a message for perhaps all of us to stop and think for a minute about why we should be glad to be who we are, what we are, where we are NOW.

    I am really glad to hear you are getting better!! AND MUCH MORE GLAD to hear this all was just a scare!

  6. Sam

    That is the most beautiful and raw post I have read for a while. You continue to be an inspiration Sal in helping us all see beyond the mirror and seeking to love our bodies, for all the capabilities we have and life we still have in us. Yes, feeling good about ourselves being pretty is nice but when you ground it, like you have here, we are all so profoundly fortunate each and every day, no matter the challenges we face (socially, physically, mentally, or emotionally), we are beautiful and should love our bodies! And I am glad that everything is ok!

  7. Branka

    I've been following your blow for a while now and after reading this i feel obligated to leave you a comment for the first time.. you touched me with your words and made me stop and think about my own life and how precious it is.
    I'm glad to hear you are ok.. and thank you 🙂

  8. Lisa

    Sal – I understand completley, two years ago I fell and broke both ankles (one required surgery and they weren't sure just how much mobility I'd recover – with a lot of physical therapy & hard work, I can walk, do stairs – the works!) But every day as I get out of bed I'm just so thankful that I can walk into the bathroom; it's amazing how much you appreciate the friends and family that helped you get through and you're right, I really don't care about my "Polish peasant thighs" that were the bane of my teenage existance. Thanks for a great post & I'm glad you're okay!


  9. La Historiadora de Moda

    Oh, Sal, I'm just so glad to read that you're fine!

    Now, get over that cold! Lots of water and vitamin C and rest!

  10. Charlie

    glad to hear you´re okey! I can totally relate to what you´ve experienced because I lost consciousness a few times for no apparent reason at all a few months ago. Just heard from my doc that I´ve got some hormone stuff that isn´t dangerous or anything, just need to take a pill a day and I´ll be just fine. Relief. 🙂

  11. Casey

    Firstly, I want to say that I'm so glad to hear that the resulting diagnosis wasn't something utterly terrible and incurable! I was biting my nails while I was reading the first part of your entry… I don't think you were melodramatic in the least… I know I'd be a wreck just waiting to find out the results. :/

    "It can be so hard to keep perspective when thinness and youth are painted as life’s greatest prizes. But I see more clearly than ever that life is its own greatest prize. And I’m so incredibly grateful for mine, and for the body that makes it all possible."

    Thank you so much for saying this. I had a late night, very deep discussion with my husband yesterday about my ongoing struggles with body image, and this was a great reminder this morning about being thankful for what I've got (instead of the "grass is greener" syndrome about what I "don't have").

    Wishing you a quick recovery from that cold! 🙂 Be well!

    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  12. fspitz

    So, so, so glad you are fine. I don't usually post, but this is worth coming out of "hiding." I look forward to you everyday and would greatly miss you if you weren't around. Selfish I know, but true. You are the a little voice of reason and humor in an otherwise somewhat skewed world.

  13. hillary

    Sal honey I am so sorry you had to go through that scare. I kinda know where you are coming from oddly I've also had shadows on a mri and I have a heart murmur. It is things like this that shake us up and make us want to do the best for our bodies we can so they last as long as they are meant to. My pop dying of a heartattack when he wasn't sick and didn't have health problems made me question is what I've dismissed as heart burn really heart burn. Are my migraines really just migraines.

    I am glad you are going to be ok and I hope you don't get a scare like that again. *hugs*

  14. Suzanne Sergis @

    I am so thankful that you aren't still left waiting and wondering! Now, knowing what part of your body needs help and how it needs it, you will refocus your mental energy on that rather instead of worry and fear.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Keep taking care of you!

  15. Anonymous

    Sal, what a horrible experience to have been through but what a wonderful lesson to have learned! You are always upbeat and positive but I think this experience will make you even more so. Love reading your blog and I'm so happy for you!!

  16. orchidsinbuttonholes

    Sal, thank you so much for sharing this. First, I am so so so happy that you are fine. My father-in-law has vetigo, as does my brother's wife, and so I know about it and know, too, that they live very normal, very full lives despite it.

    But I love how you have shared this to point out that life – this life and this body right now – is the reward. What a scare you had, but what a wonderful realization to take from it. Thank you for sharing with us.

    A year ago Wednesday my doctor found a lump in my breast that, after a mammogram and biopsy, turned out to be just a cyst. It was a huge wake-up to me to appreciate my body and my breasts, though I have gone through life wishing my shape were a certain way. I needed a reminder, though, that what I have is more than just enough – it is wonderful. So thank you, Sal.

  17. Julia

    I'm sorry you had to go through something this stressful, but happy that you are healthy! Sometimes it takes these health scares to really appreciate what we have, and for that we can be thankful for the little wake up calls. I understand and have been through similar things (my breasts like to grow benign tumors and my colon enjoys growing polyps) and everytime I get the call that things are ok, it's the biggest sigh of relief and is a reminder to continue being healthy, taking care of your body, and getting checked regularly. Scary as hell though. I'm so very glad you're ok!!!

  18. Daisy Dukes

    Sal, I am so glad you are alright and I understand what you mean about an entirely new perspective after such a fright.

    My first husband was killed in a homicide. It was after we divorced but I will never forget those first few days walking around thinking about all the things I had worried about up to then. How bad I thought things were – I was – stupid things like buying a pair of shoes was – and I suddenly realized how innocent it all was in the face of the horrible, horrible news I had just received. Just a complete rape of my soul occured.

    I don't mean to be a downer, just to say I understand the shift in perception and we all should remember to adjust our perspectives as we go along. Sometimes it is hard when everything is peachy.

    Also I am like you in that I get a cold right after every stress storm. Like clockwork.

    And lastly, I get the inner ear vertigo thing, too. It has been a while, but it comes and goes. Very irritating.

    It sounds like your earlier back problem was at the root of all this(which I have had, too, well a back problem, don't know if it was exactly the same) but physical therapy REALLY helped me. Non- invasive treatment, no drugs, and exercises I continued at home. Have you tried physical therapy?

    So glad you are OK.

  19. Deja Pseu

    So glad to hear you're OK. It's true, sometimes it takes moments like this to remind us of what really matters. Enjoy that clarity!

  20. Toby Wollin

    Sal – as someone who is at the 'grayer' end of your audience I can tell you that I am so sorry that you had that experience. The anticipation is always so much worse. On the other hand, your 'wake up call' is not like Steve Jobs' – and of course you are much younger. So much more time – the only question for you is: What do you tackle first???

  21. Anonymous

    I have had several health scares in the past couple of years, all of which turned out to be okay, but were still damn frightening. I, too, spent weekends weeping while waiting for results (and don't you just love it when the docs tell you not to worry? WTH? Of COURSE you're going to worry!)

    The good thing about a health scare is that it does give you a new appreciation for what you have.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad you are OK!

  22. EvaNadine

    so sorry to hear about your scare, but so very glad youre all right.

  23. Kym

    Sal, I am so glad all turned out well with your health.

    I lost both my sister- and mother-in-law in the past 6 weeks. I've always known deep down that worrying about weight & inches is pointless in the greater scheme of things, but these 2 passings have really driven home the message that a healthy body, whatever size or shape, is to be celebrated every day it can get up in the morning and walk and talk and see and laugh and eat…

    Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  24. ula dee

    Oh wow, I am so glad you are ok, Sal. Life is so fragile, isn't it? Thank you for sharing.

  25. Lauren

    Thank you for this honest, meaningful post, Sal. That sounds terrifying. I'm so glad you're ok! You just made me appreciate my body a little more too.

  26. Lesa

    Sal, I am so glad you are okay. The waiting must have been so hard for you. I have some panic/anxiety issues and my Dr. wants to do ECT (electro convulsive therapy. I am reluctant, because anything to do with the brain is pretty scary stuff. Again, I am so glad you are ok.

  27. poodletail

    Thank you for the reminder to occasionally clear away the b.s. and focus on what's important.

  28. Peter

    Jesus Christ, my palms were sweaty. I'm so glad to hear all is fine!

    And a great message.

  29. ranksubjugation

    I'm so glad you're okay! I have been thinking a lot about this topic, too… mainly because I've been watching too many vampire movies — but still! Life is too short to take for granted.

  30. Hannele

    oh wow, I've recently gone through a health scare myself, and like you, having been healthy as a horse all my life, I was confused and terrified of what it could mean for me and my close ones. Definitely makes one reevaluate certain things, as well as renews our appreciation for the simpler things in life, like is too short!
    I completely understand what you just went through and I'm glad to hear it is nothing serious,
    much love.

  31. Deborah

    Oh dear! You have had MORE than your share of things to handle and yet you do it better than most.

    I am so glad this has a happy ending and yes, we need to enjoy every day.

    It's so true and so hard to do.

  32. sewistafashionista

    What a scary time! I am glad you are okay. And you are right. When I think of all the people I have ever loved I don't care one whit about their jiggly arms, moles, or bald patches. I just know what a treasure they were in my life.

    Thank you for your honest post. It puts my daily morning waffling over which earrings to wear in proper perspective.

  33. Stacy

    So glad to hear it was something that could be cured, Sal.

    I had a similar thing happen to me about this time last year, with some lumps that were found in my breasts. Luckily they were just cysts, but death does cross your mind while you are waiting a week to get an appointment for a mamogram and ultrasound.

    It puts your life in perspective.

  34. Becky

    I'm so glad you're ok! Thank you for sharing this with your blog followers…you sent us a powerful message.

  35. Andie

    I am so glad to hear that all is ok for you! That time when you are wondering- well, I know what that's like!

    Take care!

    PS- I love this post because I am constantly trying to tell people this message all the time


  36. Linda

    I'm so relieved for you, Sal. I also have always been healthy but had a bit of emergency surgery a few years ago and had to stay in the hospital for the first time since I was being birthed. I was sharing a room with a horribly unpleasant woman who probably was that way because she'd been suffering with a painful chronic illness for years, and I would walk around the floor looking at the patients' names on the doors and think about how people of every ethnicity and faith had been brought together to this place by our fallible bodies, and when I finally got outside I cried because the world was so beautiful! I feel rather maudlin about this now but it's making me tear up again.

  37. elnajay

    Oh Sal, so glad to hear things are okay. I was really worrying about you for the first part of that! And I don't think you were overreacting…though perhaps this is because I've done things like find a suspicious-looking mole and completely panic until the next day when I could get it checked out. (as a sidenote: generally better not to do those "do I have skin cancer?" checks at midnight. Sleepiness and late hours are not conducive to calm thinking, at least for me!)

    And thanks for the lovely message. We are here, we are all right, we have these wonderful bodies and should actively, fully, appreciate and love them.

  38. What Would a Nerd Wear

    oh sal! a million hugs to you. what a huge sigh of relief from all of us that you're okay.
    and i'm so glad to hear that this is something powerful and moving to you. i was diagnosed with leukemia in 2002, and let me tell you–it changed my priorities, too, and definitely the way i see my body. things haven't been the same since in both good and bad ways.
    seeing the possibility of terminal illness is a terrifying thing. for me, i don't always know if the gratitude i have now was worth all the fear.
    anyway–a million hugs, seriously. you are amazing.

  39. SimplePea

    Hi Sal, this was a really touching post. I agree about the body image issues entirely. My mantra has been "my weight, my age, my hair color, the shape of my nose, the label of my jeans all mean NOTHING about my personal sense of worth.. my connection or God.. or my place in this universe" … I am feeling your gratitude vibes all the way here and am sharing that feeling. I'm so happy to hear you're doing ok.

    Be well,

  40. Sheila

    Oh my god, you poor thing – how awful to go through that suspense, not knowing. I am so glad you're all right, Sal. *hug*

    Nothing like a little wake-up call. Live life!

  41. Sal

    Thank you ALL for your kind and supportive words, and for sharing your own stories. So many of you have had similar wake-up calls, and my heart squeezes for each and every one of you. Gratitude is precious, but hard-won gratitude is tough love from the Universe.

    I feel hugged!

  42. Anonymous

    This is a wonderful post. I suffer from a form of eating disorder where I focus on how and what I eat 24/7. I'm a normal body weight and most people would not know I suffer from this, but I do. I am slowly working on being satified with the body that I have and trying not to aim for "perfection". That is why I love your blog, because you are so real.
    I'm happy that you are going to be just fine.

  43. Beki @ The Good Girl

    This is a big deal and even on a blog about fashion (maybe esp on a blog about fashion) it's so important to love and appreciate your body and all the wonderful things it can do!

    Glad you're not scary-sick and feel better soon!!!

  44. Stacy

    Thank you for sharing this experience and insight with your readers. My husband and I each had a health scare last year, and we both turned out to be fine. But in the meantime, that waiting was excruciating. So many worst case scenarios run through your mind. Since then, I've been much more appreciative of the silly little joys in life, like a favorite TV show or a cute pair of shoes, because I realize what a luxury it is to be able to enjoy such things.

  45. Faith J.

    Thank you for being so open and honest. But you're always that way on your blog, and I think that's why so many of us love you though we've never met you in person!

    It's so good for the soul to be humbled, whatever the circumstances. Never pleasant at the time, but it is refreshing and helps give perspective on life. Anyways, wishing you health and love as you journey on!

  46. Kelly @ blackdog finds

    Sal, I'm so glad to hear you are OK. Your positivity and strength are remarkable! Thanks for sharing.

  47. Audi

    Oh Sal, I don't know what to say. That must have been so awful. I'm happy that it turned out to be nothing serious, but sheesh, I'm sorry you had to go through that. *hugs*

  48. Anonymous

    Glad to hear it's all right. Had a recent "scare" myself, and it's amazing how happy I was to find out that nothing was wrong. "Benign" is my new favorite word.

  49. Couture Allure Vintage Fashion

    I'm so glad to know that you are OK, relatively speaking. Vertigo is no fun, but it is something you can LIVE with. Hugs to you, my dear.

  50. Euphman

    Sal, I shuddered when I started to read your post, and am soooo relieved to hear that the problems are manageable. Much love from Boston.

  51. Anonymous

    Thank the Lord you are going to be fine! I have recently started reading your blog and love it. I 'm so happy that you have a good answer as to what was wrong. It really does make you see life differently and appreciate LIFE!

  52. La Belette Rouge

    Oh, sweet you, I am so sorry you had this scare. I do think your blog is about self-love and acceptance and so if you ever want to talk about this again then I am fine with it.

  53. Anne

    I'm so glad to hear everything is okay, Sal! That must've been so scary waiting to find out more, but I'm glad it all worked out and that it gave you some time to reflect on what's important.

    My boyfriend and I have both had pretty major health scares over the last year and a half or so, and with everything that's happened, I've realized how stupid some of the things that we all worry about on a daily basis really are. It's definitely good to get some perspective there and I'm glad you were able to draw that from your experience.

  54. Rad_in_Broolyn

    You are really inspiring. I was scared while reading this post and thought long and hard what I would say. I am relieved that you have a manageable condition. I feel sympathy for the emotional rollercoaster that this must have been. Like many of your readers who have never met you, I consider you to be a great style and self confidence mentor (something that Audi talked about recently), and I wish you much health and recovery.
    I am like you in that my body can deal with a lot of stress, but once it's over, I get ill (the end of the semester was like that). I hope that you're feeling better after recuperating this weekend. Thank you for the lovely words to think about. Our bodies are amazing even if we are told otherwise.
    And I'm so glad that you have found your calling. That's something I think about a lot even though I've gone through a career "track."

  55. angie

    I'm sorry that you had to go through the suspense, Sal. Waiting in anticipation is the worse form of stress. But, so glad to hear that the symptoms are manageable. I have a few friends dealing with the same condition of inner ear vertigo and it's hard, but you will get through it. A capable and strong lass such as yourself is robust to have what it takes.

    One day at a time and by all means appreciate what you have. Hug Mike a little extra tonight 🙂

  56. Kelly

    Oh Sal, I'm so sorry you went through this. Of course I'm thrilled to hear that everything is OK with you, but that weekend must have been incredibly stressful.

  57. Rachel

    I'm so glad you're not sick. I actually had a very similar experience recently (also scary brain MRI-related, and also resulting in "you're fine"), and I totally know what you mean about being shocked into gratitude for life and health. Of course, human nature is to quickly forget these kinds of important revelations when everything is okay again and your life returns to normal. Thank you for this post and for reminding me of what I can't believe is so easy to take for granted every day.

  58. Paula

    Dear Sal, it is truly amazing how you deal with your vertigo! I have/had it over months/year and I find it quite depressing, to have this stupid vertigo. I also hate it when they find something on the MRI. especially when the radiologist interprets shadows as something bad only to have the neurologist disagree – 48 hours later. those 48 hours are the worst!

    It is important not to let the feeling go after some shock openes the eyes. Many of us women end up in hospital after cancer-screenings in a very early state of cancer and the surgery is a sucess. The joy of life the moment the doctor calls and tells that everything is fine with the tissue-samples – after 1 week of anxious waiting for the results after surgery – this moment should never be forgotten!

    but I can even enjoy the state of not-having-a-cold.

    brave you are!

  59. Cupcakes and Cashmere

    i'm so very happy to hear that you are happy and healthy. i do the same thing and am constantly reminded that i shouldn't worry until i need to. of course that's much easier said than done, but it sounds like you kept things in perspective and got great news in return. it's so nice when you get wake up calls in a way that's not too traumatic and simply reminds you to enjoy what you have.

  60. K.Line

    Look at you, turning a mega-health scare into an educational experience for us all. I am so thrilled you are well Sally, and that you have learned new perspective from what some might have run from screaming. You are inspirational!

  61. Erin

    Oh, honey! I am so glad that your long-term forecast (both physically and emotionally/mentally) is positive! I can only imagine how scary this event was for you and your fam, but my hat is off to you for finding the silver lining. You are an inspiration.

    Speaking as someone undergoing her own giant changes, sometimes really huge, crazy events are necessary to gain perspective on what is really important. (It's too bad that sometimes this perspective is gained with great anxiety.)

    You are one tough, beautiful, smart, and blessed cookie! Thank you for this moving post.

    Be well!

    Love, evh

  62. Christina F.

    Dear Sal,

    I am so happy for you that you're OK and that you wrote this very wise post today. It is so easy to concentrate on our real or imagined flaws and forget to be grateful for all this is good.

    I'm sniffling through a bad cold right now and my arthritis is making me achy but you know what? The sun is shining today and I have two great kids, and so much to be thankful for.

    I wish you and all dear AP readers all the best.

  63. Sassy Molassy

    I hope the news you get is just fine. I had a health scare earlier this year and at a young age it's no fun. Just keep positive!

  64. Golla

    This post really gave me something to think about. I'm so glad you are fine!

  65. Anonymous

    Hi. I'm a lurker — read your blog almost daily but never comment. I just wanted to say that I'm very, very glad that you are well. You seem like a nice person, and I hope that things will continue to go well for you.

  66. Jane W.

    Holy SHITE that is scary. I'm glad you're okay. My father has Minnear's (sp?) syndrome, so I've had some experience with the inner ear thing. It's totally treatable.

  67. Rachel

    First, I'm so glad you are ok! What a scare! Second, thank you for sharing your personal struggle and being so real about it. Your blog continues to be an inspiration to me. I also spent my weekend crying about health issues – I've been dealing with cystic problems for the last 8 months and an emergency room trip on Friday discovered 5 more recent developments. The pain is astronomical and the illness when they "rectify themselves" (as the Dr's so nicely put it) is almost unbearable. I have not been dealing with it well. Thank you Sal for once again adjusting my attitude and perception of my situation. I should be happy that I'm in a waiting stage and not looking at another surgery, thank you for helping me see that!

    Again, I'm really glad you are ok! Keeping your sodium intake low can help alleviate inner ear problems – esp if it develops into Meniere's Disease (chronic inner ear vertigo. My mother has it and as long as she stays away from salt it stays pretty well regulated).

  68. Amanda

    I'm so glad to hear that you're doing well, Sal. I read your blog almost every day but rarely comment. Thank you for sharing your ordeal with us, even though it turned out to be ok in th end. It is brave to admit being scared, especially in this world. I just returned myself from seeing a neurologist and receiving an MRI of my brain due to a beneign growth on my pituitary gland. I have been on medication for over a year to shrink this growth. I'm waiting on the results and hoping that the scans will show it has dissappeared…knowing that it's there taking up space is something that scares me a little but reminds me to be thankful for each day.
    Thanks again for sharing.

  69. WendyB

    SO relieved you are okay!

    Though inner-ear vertigo is no joy, it's better than the alternatives. Phew.

  70. Sal

    Oh, friends, so many stories of frightening health news. Thanks for sharing them all, and for sharing your gratitude, too. I'm doubly inspired.

  71. Kimberly

    Oh Pretty Lady, I am so glad to hear you are okay (and hope your vertigo eases soon). Life is a wonderful thing and unfortunately it takes reminders like this to kick us in to gear to enjoy every moment of it. ((Hugs))

  72. Make Do Style

    So glad! I know it is hideous to fear the worst but yes those wobbly bits are not super important only relative to health and living life. xxx

  73. Clare

    Sally, I'm SO glad you're okay. I know how scary this kind of thing can be (I had a lump in my breast a few years ago that had to be biopsied and I was absolutely. FREAKING. out.). It definitely puts things in perspective.

    Lots of love!

  74. lisa

    I'm glad you're okay! That must've been so scary to go through.

  75. Stephanie L.

    Not only does the universe speak to you Sal, it speaks THROUGH you. I have had some gyno issues crop up recently, I'm in healthcare and I know I need to be seen. I've found a hundred reasons why I'm too busy to follow up with it, but you just reminided me that I have only this one body….and a beautiful life to support with it. I'm calling the doctor's office right now. Thank you.

  76. Tracey

    De-lurking for the first time to tell you I had a similar situation several years ago, after several months of progressively weird but non-specific symptoms led to a brain MRI. It took me 3 tries & Xanax to get through the procedure (claustrophobia coupled with anxiety about what they might find). A primary care doctor with poor communication skills left me terrified of all that you mentioned & it took several more horrible weeks to be finally referred to a neurologist. He diagnosed migraines and said MRIs can be notoriously non-specific. Migraine meds helped the physical symptoms but combating the anxiety & near-depression that were triggered led me on a journey of self-discovery with which your blog resonates. Glad to hear you're okay, believe me, I know that stress!

  77. Natasha

    As so many others have said, thankyou for sharing this…very meaningful. It is a shame that we do (even if we don't mean to) take life for granted to a rather large extent.

    So pleased you're ok, x

  78. Anonymous

    so very very true! i've had a bunch of chronic health troubles 30 years now, and the massive doses of medicines have taken their toll on my looks. my legs (for example) are flabby, full of cellulite, varicose veins, bruises…..but every time i look at them i just LOVE them SO MUCH!!! they've stuck with me through all this crap, endured being poisoned and developing steroid-induced arthritis, etc…..

    and they keep on going! i have gone from being bed-ridden to being able to walk a few miles a day, several times in my life. i've seen eagles and waterfalls and pileated woodpeckers and Anselm Kiefer paintings and Dark Garden corset shop in SF (one word – GO!!), mariposa lilies and breeching whales and Gold Country ghost towns… so many incredible experiences all courtesy of these two gams.

    Would i trade my gnarly pins for a pretty, wimpy pair? HELL NO!! living life is too much fun. Let's all give our fantastic bodies the respect they've earned. Thank you Sal for reminding us all of this truth. Take care and good luck! steph

  79. Maria

    I am glad that you are well Sal. Awareness of our blessings is another way to profoundly enjoy each moment! María

  80. Trinity


    I'm glad you wrote about this. And, of course, I am really, really glad you are going to grow old in your healthy and capable body.

  81. Madeline P

    Oh how frightening! I am so glad that everything is ok.

    Having suffered my own health problems, I totally know what you mean. It's incredibly scary to have your body not on the same team as you are, and not knowing the implications of your symptoms. But, you are so right that it makes you appreciate the good days.

    Thanks for sharing!

  82. rb

    I had a scary, scary experience with a lump in my breast – which was thankfully benign, but it took a long time to find that out. I know exactly what you mean.

    And I'm really glad you're OK!

  83. Emma Clark

    So pleased that everything turned out well. So like you to take the positive out of a negative situation. I heartily second everything you say about thanking your body for what it can do.

  84. Anonymous

    Can't add much to what everyone else has said, but your portrait is stunningly beautiful. Keep on inspiring us all!

  85. Debra Martin

    Sal, Three years ago I had a motorcycle accident. I was wearing full protective gear – head to toe, but still sustained a concussion. I have permanent memory loss of the moments before I impacted the ground. I was very lucky that I did not suffer permanent or fatal injury that day. So many times I have reflected upon the fleeting nature of life. I also live with chronic pain unrelated to the accident. Some days I want to give in and feel sorry for myself all day, but I always seem to find the strength to live each day to the fullest. I know I will never look back on my life and wish I had been more appreciative. I consider that motorcycle accident to be a gift to me that helped me to accept and love my life.

    I am so happy you are okay. Your portrait is beautiful. I enjoyed your post.

  86. Amy

    Thank goodness you're okay. This post made me tear up because even though i only know you through the 1% of your life you post on this blog, I know enough that you deserve absolutely no misfortune whatsoever. You inspire people everyday and what you said about wasting time thinking about imaginary flaws really struck a chord with me. Bookmarking this post for future reference: thank you so much for sharing.

  87. Chelsea

    Sal – I am SO happy that you are okay. Even though we haven't (yet) met in real life, losing your thoughtful posts and comments and just PRESENCE in the world would be devastating.

    Thanks for this reminder to appreciate life. It's SO easy to get caught up in the superficial shit… and honestly that's where I've been lately. Letting the stupid shit get me down. Gotta keep on overcoming all of the negative media messages and keep on feeling beautiful no matter what the scale says because we are all beautiful and there is so much more to life the conforming to that shit!


  88. futurelint

    Oh my gosh Sal, how scary! I am so relieved to hear that you are okay, but that is so traumatic! Glad that you are turning it into a positive thing and using this experience to gain additional perspective! So, so, so relieved you are healthy!

  89. Pat

    I'm so glad to hear that you're OK. I read most of the post holding my breath!

  90. Sarah R

    Can't believe I missed this post. Sal, so glad you got yourself to the doctor, stat. Take care of yourself, you hear?

  91. The Waves

    Wow, that's one hell of a scare, I am so happy you are okay!

    I experienced a similar situation a few years back (although it was my heart, not my brain), and waiting for the results was nerve-wrecking. I vowed to never take my health for granted again, and now, two years later, I had almost forgotten about the whole thing, as crazy as that sounds. Thank you for sharing this. You reminded me of an important promise I once made to myself.

  92. Bea

    This is great news! We are very blessed with our lives and we need to do what we can to keep it that way. I know this from personal experience. It's a good thing to share.
    My best to you.

  93. Darcie

    oh, sal. i'm so sorry you went through that and so happy that you're well. here's to a fast paced ultimate recovery and tons of fun for years to come! 🙂 you deserve every bit of this goodness!!

  94. closet365

    Wonderful reminder.

    I spent a decade hating and abusing my body. It took many years of hard work and persistence to love it, but now every time I power through a cold, a stressful week or even a hard run at the gym I feel blessed and in awe.

    Still, the gift of loving your body never stops giving. Thanks for passing it on, too.

  95. Mary

    So glad to hear you're ok, Sal! But what a great lesson to come of it all.

  96. Kyla

    Sal, I'm sooo glad that everything turned out okay. I hope your new found perspective makes all those other dreams in life that much more vivid. Thanks for sharing! We can all use a little light sometimes.

  97. Vix

    Glad you have a diagnosis and that it's a relatively simple issue to treat.

    Having known people who've lost their ability to function at their physically ideal level (and having lost my ability to do that for a thankfully brief but way-too-long period in my early 30s), I am always grateful for physical *and* mental health.

    Hope everything resolves as quickly as it can!

  98. Fer

    Sally, I'm so happy you're ok now!

    I don't comment here much, but yours is my favorite blog, hands down! I'm always telling people about it, about you, and I guess you can blame me for any incoming readership from Brazil 😀

    best wishes!

  99. Ang

    Oh, Shitzah. I don't know you, but I sure feel like you are a friend as much as I love your blog! Now with that said, I want to buy you a drink to wash away all this craziness you have had to endure! Thank you so much for sharing your reality check with the rest of us. Here's to good health and loving what we were given!

  100. Anonymous

    Times like that really make you count your blessings. Sally, you are one of my blessings. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do.

  101. LPC

    I've been out of town so I was so glad that you let us know right up front almost that you are fine. My sister has vertigo – it's a pain but completely tolerable. Glad to hear that it turned out to be less awful than you thought at first.

  102. Melissa de la Fuente

    Oh….god. SO glad everything is ok hun and I completely understand what you must have been going through. And you are right….love this body and all it gives us. LIfe itself is the gift. Thank you for giving me this reminder. A huge hug to you my friend.

  103. Valerie - MN

    Glad to hear things are much better than you had hoped. Good luck to you. Keep healthy and keep positive.


    i'm so glad you're ok, sally dear. i can relate – i battled a brain tumor a few years ago and i totally know that feeling of just being so glad you're alive. your thankfulness is as inspiring as everything else about you. thanks for being awesome. xo

  105. Laura

    I am thankful you're ok Sally! Stay healthy we need your inspiration!

  106. Fashion Court

    i'm going to sound like everyone else, but thank you for having enough courage to share this with us. i'm also glad to hear that it wasn't the worst case scenario. i was in a car accident about two years ago and it completely changed my perspective. thanks for giving me some more of it.

  107. Sidewalk Chalk

    I'm so glad everything turned out alright, lady. You are one of my absolute favorites, and so inspiring as well. I hope you're feeling back up to normal soon.

  108. Margarita Tartakovsky

    Than you for sharing. I'm so glad to hear you're OK!! And, no, that doesn't sound melodramatic at all. Health problems definitely put things into perspective. I can totally relate to feeling invincible when I was a teen and in college, like you mentioned in your other post.

    Thank you so much for such a powerful and inspiring post – as always!!

  109. The Budget Babe

    thanks for sharing sal, your strength is contagious and we love you so much!

  110. Queen Michelle

    I am so very glad you are OK. I completely understand. Late last year I had to get tested for breast cancer after finding a lump. The doctor was very concerned due to family history of cancer. I couldn't imagine dying at 36. I didn't break down, I didn't show fear, I just vowed to fight as bravely as I could. When I went to hospital for my biospy I mentally made a list of who all my possessions were to go to. I was, deep down, terrified. It turned out to be cysts thankfully, but realising life could leave you at any moment certainly put things in perspective for me.

  111. Sharon

    I'm so happy to read that you are okay! My 33 year old son discovered he had a brain tumor (cancer ) just a few months ago. While I am not the one experiencing it, I will say that it changes your outlook on life completely!

    Thanks for sharing

  112. Kay

    Much love and strength to you!!! I can empathize how scary that must have been.

  113. Masha

    I hope things have resolved for you. . it sounds IDENTICAL to what I went through a couple of years ago. . and finally, I was diagnosed with a persistent Lyme Disease infection. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but knowledge is power.

    Love your blog. I try to get dressed most days.. . .but I have a frozen shoulder and it’s challenging.