(Peeks head in)
Is anyone still here?
It has been almost a year since I wrote to you. How can it have been that long? So much has happened, every time I sit down to write to you I don’t know where to start.
But first- how are you all? I have missed you. Your comments and encouragements, interacting on your blogs and Facebook, your emails. This beautiful, giant network of people that spans the globe is such a gift.
“So where the heck have you been Heather??”
I’ve been in bed. At doctors offices. Wandering my house. Driving. Taking my kids to school. At more doctors offices. And back in bed.
Last spring I started feeling more and more exhausted all the time. I thought it was just the stress of parenting three young kids. I found myself able to do less and less, and couldn’t handle normal life like I used to be able to. I was so very tired. Then I started losing weight like crazy. My mom was like- what are you doing to lose weight? I was like- I have no idea, but woohoo! I look great!
Then I started passing out.
And I’ll be honest, by this point I was so out of it, I didn’t even think anything of it. Until I did it in front of my mom and she let me know this was not normal. By that point my mind was so fuzzy I just felt like I was floating along. This was on Friday, so I had the weekend to wait to go to the doctor. I spent it in bed in my own little world, while my sweet husband and mom took care of the kids and worried about me. I think I slept thru it all.
We found out I was severely anemic. I mean like no iron reserves left in my bone marrow anemic. No wonder I was feeling so terrible!
I took my iron 4 times a day like a good girl, but my levels weren’t going up, so we started the tests. I guess that could mean theres some internal bleeding, or virus, the C word was mentioned. We had tubes run up and down me, CT scans, and even saw an oncologist and they couldn’t find anything causing it. And then one day my iron just started shooting back up. It was kind of crazy actually, the doctors were shocked, tested me twice to be sure. But by October I got the green light, and they even took me off iron I was doing so well in my bloodwork.
October and November I started to feel like myself again. I was getting my energy back and able to go to the gym again and enjoy life. I still had headaches occasionally and periods of fuzziness but nothing like before.
Then in December I started feeling tired, down, my head hurt and I was getting that fuzzy feeling in my head again. It just got worse as winter wore on so I finally went back to the doctor. I thought for sure I was anemic again, I mean it felt just like last time, only I wasn’t as tired.
But surprise! My blood work was totally normal!
We decided that perhaps it was depression. I have struggled with it in the past after I had my first child, and it can manifest itself in such different ways. So I started Zoloft, which had worked great for me before. But I quickly began feeling worse and worse. My headache never went away, even when I woke up at night it was there. And the mental confusion became more frequent, and would overwhelm me at times. I stopped the zoloft, but the symptoms just increased.
I found myself at the grocery store with no idea why I was there. I would be mid conversation and completely forget what we were talking about. Carrying a conversation for more than ten minutes was exhausting. I couldn’t remember how to get to places I had been a million times. I couldn’t find the words I wanted, and eventually had so much trouble speaking it alarmed my friends and family.
We were scared. So many thoughts had flitted through my mind the last few weeks, and just wouldn’t let go. Was it a brain tumor? Was something permanent happening in my brain and this would only get worse? I had even thought I should get out my sign language books because speaking had become so exhausting. Or was it all in my head somehow and I had done this to myself?
After a few people gently suggested it we decided to go to the ER to just be safe that nothing crazy bad was going on.
It was a long 6 hours. They decided immediately to do an MRI and some blood work. Have you ever had an MRI on your head when you have a crazy headache? That thing is loud as hell!! And 30 minutes long… I went to my happy place and planned a menu of food I wanted to make. Strawberry Mint Smoothie got me through 🙂
Test results: totally normal! I have a gorgeously normal, without abnormality brain! Dan almost passed out he was so relieved.
We saw a neurologist this week and he doesn’t think theres any of the scary things we imagined it might be going on. He thinks its a combination of migraines, stress and depression that have created this perfect storm in my head.
Huge relief, yes. But now the difficult work of dealing with all of that begins.
Be patient with me on this journey. There will be much food, hopefully laughter, definitely tears. I will share what I can, and we can talk and lament this crazy life over plates of yummy cookies and deep warming bowls of soup.
the journey continues soon…