Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Oxygen! It's Awesome!

Whoa. Oxygen. It's amazing. Addicting. Who knew well-oxygenated blood could do so much?!

Okay, I should back up here a moment... or several months. Warning: I'm about to get all TMI on you.

I turned 35 in August. I swear that very month, my body went, "You're old!" and began to crap out on me. My next cycle was six weeks long. This was completely different than my post-baby normal of a period every month, lasting only about 3 to 4 days. I've had cycles of varying length and heaviness my entire life so to have a period that was less than a week and fairly light left me VERY happy. I had a few months of super-heavy-painful cramps but some medication took care of that. I was in happy period land... until I turned 35.

My mom said my cycles might go long-short for awhile so I chalked it up to normal. Then in December I had a very, very heavy period. (This is about to become TMI, peeps.) I had two days of bleeding then nothing. I thought I was done but when I used the restroom during Mass, I had some really heavy bleeding. It reminded me of the first few hours or days after you have a baby only it was pure blood, no clots or anything. Of course I didn't have a tampon on me, so I went home to get one. I began to feel shaky, tired and weak. I thought I was coming down with something so I sent a sub to the nursing home instead and went home to sleep.

Even laying down and sleeping, my period was still heavy and I still felt so tired. After a few days, though, I was back to normal and my  next period was heavy, but nothing like the one before it.

Except... I wasn't so normal.

The first week back from vacation I was fine. I had energy. Well, a reasonable amount. Then I began to get really tired, even after a good nights sleep. I thought it was just part of getting back into our routine. Then I had a period and, well, I'm always tired around my period. But I was still tired. Coupled with some hair loss and swelling I finally made an appointment with my doctor. I had been putting off because I didn't want to hear about how much weight I need to loose (I KNOW OKAY!) but it seemed like my thyroid had finally given up.

Nope. I was anemic.

Anemic? Well, that makes sense. All the symptoms I had (including the sudden need for a two hour nap in the middle of the day and STILL being tired!) are signs of anemia. The doctor told me to take iron and vitamin C and to come back in three months for a re-check.

I took my first iron pill that day and PEOPLE. Energy! I had a little breakfast and then went to do some pre-planned organizing and rearranging. I kept going... and going... and going... At one point, I stopped for some lunch and realized I wasn't tired. I wasn't stopping for a breath (something I had been doing and thought it was because of my weight) and I wasn't "I need a nap" exhausted. In fact, Joe and I snuggled to watch a TV show and I didn't fall asleep! I couldn't believe it was working already and joked to Adam that if this was a placebo effect, I'd take it!

The next day was just as awesome. I helped both Camille and the boys in their room and began plans to declutter the house over the next few days. Adam joked he was going to hide my iron. I said the real test would come this week, when I was working and on my feet more.

Well, it's Tuesday. Yesterday was good. George snuggled against me and napped but I didn't! I felt pretty energized and clear headed when I was coaching. I was more tired than the night before, and fell asleep around ten, which I consider a reasonable bed time. It's one pm now and I am feeling a bit of a mid-afternoon slump but nothing like before. My stomach is a little "Eh" but I have really upped my diet of iron rich veggies and cut back on caffeine, both of which is likely playing a part.

I'm giving myself one full cycle to see how this goes (I'm also starting medication to help with the heavy bleeding) but if this energy keeps up, I might even get up early to go swimming!

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