Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Not a Baby

I've been tired for months now. Like "I have a newborn tired" or "I'm pregnant tired."

The problem is, I don't have a newborn, and I'm not pregnant.

No matter what I do, no matter how much rest I get, I'm still tired.

Exercise makes me feel worse. Usually exercise makes me feel great (well, not in the moment, but later I feel terrific). I've still be doing The Shred, because I'm really seeing results, but after I'm done I have seriously found myself, several times, wondering why humans don't get to hibernate. Bottom line, exercising makes me jealous of bears.

I've had no energy.

I kept blaming these symptoms on some hard things going on with homeschooling, all know...things have been pretty "off" in lots of areas in my life lately.

I also quit drinking caffeine. I was highly addicted. So I kept thinking that maybe I was tired all the time because I was still in withdrawals from the lack of coffee. Then it dawned on me that I quit caffeine back in August. Surely no one on earth is that addicted to caffeine that they can't function for six months after they quit the stuff. (I still drink decaf, have no fear.)

I finally decided to go to the doctor. I mean seriously, when you want to climb into your baby's bed with him for his morning nap, there's probably something wrong with you.

Especially if you are getting plenty of rest, eating pretty healthy (minus the blue bell ice cream) and exercising several times a week (because of all that blue bell). No joke...I was doing all that healthy stuff, not because I'm Mrs. perfect, but because I felt awful and knew those things were supposed to make me feel better.

At the doctor's office they handed me the "what's up with you paper." I wrote, "I'm here because I probably have cancer."

I mean really, what else could it be? What else could anything be if you're me?

The peeps at Abundant Life Family Practice are used to my fear of cancer.

When I saw Dr. Bacak I told him I didn't really know what all my symptoms were, but I'm just tired of feeling like crap.

He said I could either be anemic, have chronic mono, or have a thyroid issue...or none of those things.

No one in my family has a thyroid issue (that I know of) but I think the desire for a thyroid issue is pretty universal.

Who doesn't want to eat Cheetos all day, take a pill and be skinny?

I had my fingers crossed, "Thyroid..thyroid...please let it be the thyroid."

I was imagining all the chocolate I was going to eat while wearing tiny jeans.

I don't have a thyroid issue though. I'm never that lucky...what was I thinking?

I am anemic and I DO have mono. Like the real mono, not the chronic kind. I have the mono that girls who need more adult supervision in high school get. Awesome.

I always wanted mono in high school. Then I could stay home from school and sleep for a month and people would think I had a boyfriend. As a mother of four kids, mono is not nearly as cool.

This whole time I thought I was tired because I have four crazy kids and a very full life.

I guess the kind of tired where your eyes start burning at 10 a.m. is probably a little over the top though.

I've felt like a big baby lately. All I want to do is sit on the couch. That's so not like me. Naturally, I'm more like a squirrel...or a bouncy ball. I have whatever sin issue is the antonym for laziness. But I've been so tired lately that I've even flaked out in my thoughts, not just in my actions. I'm too tired to even think about all the things I'm not going to end up doing. Now that's tired.

Today I start taking iron and naps.

This might be the second best thing to a thyroid issue.

I am getting me a t-shirt made that says, "I'm not a baby. I have mono."

Although having real live stuff wrong with me kind of stinks, it's also great to know I wasn't losing what's left of my mind. It's good to know that no matter how hard I tried, there was a reason things were not getting better. Praise God for pills and prescribed napping. Even better...praise God my worth is wrapped up in Christ, not in a clean house or all the other 900 things I enjoy doing that have been left undone lately. That's humbling, but oh so good for me.


dtkiecke said...

Heather - so sorry to hear you have not been feeling well but glad you got it diagnosed and (it wasn't cancer!) that you are on your way back to your wonderful self! Love ya - Denese

MacKenzie said...

I hope your start feeling better soon!

I remember when I was first pregnant. I kept taking tests and they kept saying negative but I was just sooo tired and thought that I must surely have mono. Which is when I realized the same thing you did, mono when your mom is not around to take care of you does not sound as appealing - but naps are always good!

Elizabeth said...

"I have the mono that girls who need more adult supervision in high school get. Awesome."

You make me laugh.

Anyway, I got this from the net so take it for what it's worth:

Although the virus usually lasts several weeks, following a healthy diet can help speed recovery and help you regain your energy. Holistic nutrition plays a very important role.

Drink plenty of water to help rid the body of toxins. Add some lemon to your water to help dilute the excess mucus. Look for healthy recipes for soups that are soothing and easy to digest. Include lots of ginger and garlic in your soup for their antiviral properties, as well as orange and green vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, kale, swiss chard, parsley, etc) for natural sources of beta-carotene, iron and vitamin C.

Natural medicine practitioners also advocate for a diet based on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins (avoid red meat). Avoid fatty foods and eat as many green vegetables as possible to boost your immune system. Nutritional supplements such as Green Magma, spirulina, and chlorella may be useful, especially if your appetite is weak.

Additional helpful vitamins and nutritional supplements include vitamin C (1,000 mg every hour) and a vitamin B-complex for regaining overall strength. Herbal medicine practitioners also recommend echinacea and astralagus for enhancing the immune system. The following herbs also have antiviral properties and can be taken as a tea: lemon balm, elderberry, licorice, hyssop and chrysanthemum flowers.

Hope you begin feeling better soon!

God and Ponytails said...

Hey- so sorry- had it as a college girl who needed supervision. Jessica Schmale is a good friend and told me about your blog. WE are beginning adoption in Rwanda and my husband is a pastor. I bet we would be friends if we lived in the same town!

mandi said...

mono??? that's crazy!

i hope you start feeling better soon. i started iron today too. i should have done that right after my miscarriage, but i didn't. so we'll be the anemia sisters, but you can keep your mono to yourself!

Mommy, M.D. said...

Heather, I'm glad you found something to explain it! Hopefully you'll start feeling better soon.

A word of wisdom: take some colace with that iron. Your tummy will thank you.

Jessie Jean said...

Oh no! Heather, I got mono in the 6th grade... probably from someone at a swim meet here at A&M. haha My dad made me drink so much PowerAde to "flush it out" that to to this day I can't drink it now without wanting to gag.
Get some rest, and as my dad would say, "JUICE UP!" Let me know if I can do anything to help!

Bob & Judy said...

Love you, sweetie. If having a Grandma around would help, you just holler.

CarpioFamily said...

that's why you were at the dr. I wanted to say hi and give you a hug. Kinda glad i didn't. IOU - how about that. Sorry you feel yucky, if you need soup or errands run call me.


Connie said...

I'm sorry you have mono! Being constantly tired is the worst!

This is interesting. Two and a half years ago I went to the dr. thinking I had mono (was going to bed at ridiculous times like 6pm) and ended up with a virtually non functioning Thyroid so I have hypothyroidism. Oh Joy. And the pill doesn't make you skinny. Gained 20 lbs during the whole process and am fighting tooth and nail to get at least some of it know this is not like me. Tempted to overdose on those dang pills for a while to get just 5lbs off.

I was anemic while pregnant and did they warn you about the unpleasant side effects of those iron pills?

One suggestion.

Stool softeners.

Feel better soon...:)

Susan, wife of 1, mother of 4 said...

I'm sorry to hear it, Heather. I'll pray for you, sister! I know how hard it is to rest with 4 kids. Take this as a time to feel GOOD about napping and resting! God is in control of ALL OF IT. You can relax. Really!

Anonymous said...

No fun at all. You know I understand, as your sister in mono. :)

No-guilt naps are a must. Discipline in an early bedtime is a must - one I've still not mastered, because I feel guilty about that, too!!!

Love you and will pray for a very fast recovery and a huge boost to your immune system and energy level!


maddie said...

I have a thyroid issue, I hate taking my skinny pill everyday. PLUS i sometimes forget then i am terrified all day that I am going to get fat.
I also had mono once. I almost died. Totally not fun!