As a mother of four, I’m very in tune with my kids and their habits. I can tell you when one isn’t feeling well, when one hasn’t had enough sleep, when one has been eating the wrong things. Since our youngest has a metabolic condition, I can tell you just about everything he eats in a day.
So why is it so hard for us to do the same for ourselves?
Last week I went into the doctor for a regular checkup and report on my thyroid. My thyroid decided after baby #4 that it was no longer going to be a team player. I have what they consider hypothyroidism, or more specifically Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I’ve been taking medicine for a few years, but this spring things started going a bit downhill.
I was tired. Not just a little tired, but bone-weary exhausted. And crabby. And I had no motivation. And I was getting these strange bruises all over.
And so we started looking for answers. And found very little. But eventually, things straightened out, and I was able to work out again. Even though a few pounds came back, I thought I’d be able to drop them pretty quickly.
But then August came, and I found myself tired again. I mentioned it when I went in for my medication renewal. And the doctor decided maybe we needed to run a few more tests. This time, instead of running just a hemoglobin, they ran a ferritin. This test tells the doctors how much iron your blood has in stores, not just how much you have right now.
My levels were in the basement. Which explained a bit about the extreme fatigue.
I was scolded a bit about not taking better care of myself. We scheduled a few IV infusions of an iron supplement and a few other things to help get me back on track. We’re still waiting on a few tests to make sure there’s nothing else going on, but I’m certain all will be well.
But I’m still amazed at what it took to get me here. Why am I so stubborn to not listen to my own body? I would have to say that women, for the most part, make great caretakers…but we need someone to remind us that we have to take care of ourselves as well.
The doctor also told me that I need more sleep. I seriously laughed at her. She told me that I should be in bed by 10 – without distractions – and need to shut off my brain. Easier said than done. But I’m working on it.
And a week into my new routine, I’m actually feeling better. And seven more pounds have slid off the scale. And although this first week of back-to-school craziness is hectic, I’m making it through without losing my cool.
Here’s what I learned:
– Fatigue is a symptom, not just a feeling…take it seriously
– Vitamin D and iron are important to energy and feeling good – have it tested
– 4-5 hours of sleep each night is not enough on a regular basis – life happens, but if you want to live longer, get to bed
– Pay attention to your body and give it the attention it deserves. Don’t take it all for granted.
I’m grateful I finally woke up and moved forward with getting these things taken care of now, before they became bigger problems.
It feels great to feel good again.