Hey Everyone – so another setback kept me off the web for a while.
For over 2 years I was exhausted, thoroughly, completely and utterly exhausted. I had no energy at all. Having a shower was an enormous event. Days spent either lying on the couch or lying in bed. I was having trouble focusing on anything, concentration was limited. All of my energy reserves went towards my kids. I pushed myself to make sure that their needs were met and then I would collapse.
I knew it wasn’t depression, because we had decided to move (another article will be published about mould and toxic environments). I was excited about new environment, decorating and planning. Checking out all the new things in our new city. Our finances had never been better, I had lost weight. Too much weight and too quickly. This wasn’t something I really wanted to complain about, but it was just happening too quickly. Just like my weight gain had happened too quickly. That was because of Gluten and Cortisol. I inherently knew something was wrong and it wasn’t pain related.
The pain when I ate was brutal, so I really didn’t want to eat. This, of course, had ramifications for energy levels. The pain in my right side was brutal. I couldn’t understand it. Constipation was awful, so I had to use Senokat every day and over what I should be doing. If I didn’t then the pain from Constipation was awful.
Finally, I get referred to a Gastroenterologist. We do a Colonoscopy (so much fun – uhh no), turns up normal. Which is good news. However, us Painies know, that having a diagnosis is better than telling you they have nothing. Then we do a Gastrocope. They put you under – which is fine – and it is far less embarrassing and no prep. Turns out I had two massive bleeding ulcers. They were in very bad shape and I was bleeding out.
All those meds had ripped my stomach open. The stress of pain had made them worse. I was diagnosed with profound anemia and very low hemoglobin. My Iron levels were at a 4 – it is supposed to be around 20. My GP and Gastro – both said they were surprised I was standing up.
Thank God, I was vindicated. I wasn’t faking an illness, I wasn’t depressed, it wasn’t in my head. I – for the first time in a long time – had a real life, tangible and diagnosed disorder. That could be fixed.
It has taken a year – I am still healing – but I have more UP days. So the treatment protocol was as follows:
- Medication to heal the ulcers
- No spicy food, coffee, chocolate (sorry can’t do that but hey whattya gonna do)
- Add to diet – Watermelon, spinach, beets
- Mindful meditation
- Iron infusions – I am not able to tolerate Iron Supplements
So far the pain has reduced. I have many more good days. We still have to work on my iron levels and hemoglobin – but they have stabilized for the first time in months. My cognitive function is much better. It is nice to not feel stupid anymore from pain brain fog.
I will always have to be careful with my diet. I am clean eater, but I don’t really like to eat. This is a challenge for me, always has been since I was a child. However, if I don’t eat I feel the pain and I get tired.
So, for those of you who are feeling fatigued and can’t explain why, maybe ask your Dr. about checking your Iron levels. Anti-inflammatories and multiple medications (as you know they always like to prescribe and send you on your way) can cause serious damage to your stomach lining. Especially if you have several different specialists prescribing several different things, the mix may cause damage.
Now that my energy levels are better, I will keep writing.
Wishing you a Pain Free Day!!!!