Each day for the last six months or so I sat on the couch and thought to myself that I really should get up and do something. Dishes, laundry, clean the toilet, shower, make dinner, pay the bills, the list was there and growing. There were some good days when I would accomplish things. But it was getting harder and harder to find the energy to even care about anything, and the tasks that I did accomplish were started at the last-minute, almost on the point of being too late. I was tired all of the time. Besides my lack of energy I suffered from recurring headaches that nothing helped. I just didn’t feel good.
I wondered if I was struggling with depression. Heaven knows that there were events in my life last spring that could have triggered that reaction. I was exhausted, my head hurt, but I didn’t feel like I was numb or unhappy. I was considering calling a therapist. I was getting desperate to know that I wasn’t just being lazy and procrastinating everything in my life.
For several years I have been dealing with some feminine problems. (Don’t worry, I’m not elaborating!) During the summer I had visited with my doctor and done multiple tests. Everything came up clean. So I knew that my malaise had nothing to do with those problems. Whatever it was, it was kicking me to the curb on a daily basis. It was like Whatever Woman had moved in and taken over completely.
Last month my feminine problems came to a head, and I decided I couldn’t take anymore. I was going back to the doctor to schedule a hysterectomy, even if I couldn’t pay cash for it. (Sorry Dave Ramsey, I’m just sick of it all! I’ll just have to make a few payments.) It had been just long enough that my doctor had to run a few of the tests. I went home with hope in my heart that at least that problem would be taken care of soon.
The doctor called the next day with the news that I was anemic and needed to pick up a prescription of iron pills at my pharmacy. I did so reluctantly. I had to take iron pills after the birth of Ladybug, the youngest, and I remembered how nasty they were to swallow.
That night, as we laid in bed talking, my husband decided to look up the symptoms of anemia. The number one symptom is fatigue. Other symptoms include headache, cold hands and feet, and dizziness. Check. Check! CHECK! I’d have stood up, waved my arms in the air, and yelled, “This is me,” but I was too tired.
I laid there with my frozen hands and feet (hey, it was winter time, I didn’t know that was caused by something else!) and thought to myself, “That is what is wrong with me. I’m not depressed or just plain lazy. I can FIX this!”
While I am so grateful that I was not struggling with depression, I feel like I now have a deeper understanding of how that can affect someone’s life. It would be nice if all health issues, mental or physical, could be taken care of so simply. In the mean time, I hope that other people who are suffering from fatigue and depression like symptoms will visit a doctor and look for help.
I’ve been taking iron supplements for a little over two weeks. I feel so fabulous. I’m not tired all the time. I am doing my dishes, and laundry, and I even cleaned my toilet the other day. (Disclaimer! This is not the first time in six months!) I vacuumed my bedroom floor the other night and didn’t even think about feeling exhausted. I don’t get up in the morning and fall asleep on the couch anymore, although the first couple of days of time change really tested that…
In fact I haven’t been on the couch that much. I haven’t read more than one book in the last several weeks because I am enjoying the freedom that energy has given me. And because I am saving the ones I really want to read for my recovery time. For the first time in forever I feel like me!
My surgery is scheduled in two weeks, but those two weeks are jammed pack. One of my sisters is coming for part of Spring Break. I am hosting a baby shower (that’s going to be absolutely fabulous!), working concession at a middle school dance, going to a service project, going camping, and getting my house and family in order for my recovery period. And, you know what, I’m not scared or overwhelmed at the amount of stuff the next two weeks hold because I GOT this!
Earlier this year I was asked by a couple of people what my 2015 word to live by was going to be. I was too exhausted to care earlier. But now that I am feeling better I have been thinking about that more and more. I choose Intentional last year because I wanted to be more proactive and deliberate in my approach to life. I hated that so much of my life was about reacting. I made some very real progress last year, even as derailed as I became during the end of the year.
So even though the New Year was almost three whole months ago I have chosen to continue with my word Intentional. My reasons are still the same. I want to be more focused and stick to a basic plan. Last year we managed to get our money under control. We’ve gotten really consistent with family scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening. But I still need to focus on being better at cleaning and cooking in a timely manner. I need to be better at nurturing my relationships. I definitely need to finish a few projects.
Oh, it feels so good to write again! It’s been forever.