Reblog: When The Shoe Is On The Other Foot

I thought that I was just fatigued from the move, but it is getting worse not better. People say to exercise more, and you will feel better, but the more I exercise the worse I feel. But then I never was “Normal”. 😉

Being Lydia!

doctorsnote

My Hubby has been my rock for our 16 years of marriage and the five or so years before that. Even when times were at their worst (and they were), and he wanted to pack it in, he didn’t.

He knew from the start that when he married me that I came with a multitude of health problems and emotional baggage. Over the years he has helped me through so much I couldn’t begin to repay it if that were a consideration.

Well, now it is.

My hubby has been dealing with his own health problems for a long time and I know that he has put them on the side-burner to be there for me and to make a living, even when it has been way too much for him.

Because this is My blog and I do my best to keep the privacy of my friends and family…

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Life with Hemochromatosis

I have always been a person who lacked energy, which is why I started working with computers. I never knew why I lacked energy, most people probably thought I was lazy. The doctors didn’t seem to know either, so I started researching my own symptoms. I found several remedies for different symptoms, but they always seemed to be temporary or very expensive and I couldn’t afford to keep it up.

I never learned about Hemochromatosis until about 10 years ago. My cousin was diagnosed with it, and his wife sent a letter from his doctor saying that relatives should have our DNA tested, because it doesn’t show on the blood tests. I took it a doctor I was seeing at the time, he did the blood test and told me I don’t have it. Ah… What did the letter say? That I should have the DNA test anyway?

I really didn’t want this diagnosis anyway, because the usual remedy is to give blood, and blood tests made me faint / nauseated, never mind sitting for an hour having them drain the stuff out of me.

About a year ago, I finally convinced my new doctor to test me again. She did the blood test and found that my Iron level was 508, and not high enough to continue on to the next test (it requires 600 or more). So, I researched it myself and found out that levels above 500 are considered toxic! If the medical system knows that my levels are toxic, why aren’t they doing something about it?

People are always offering advice on how to get healthier. Eat right, get lots of exercise, etc. So, when my job in the computer industry was downsized, I decided to try more physical jobs to get in shape, and eat more balanced meals.

Now, I am finding out that this was not the best idea. Eating balanced meals, typically involves eating foods that are high in iron, and it seems like my dislike of green vegetables was not psychological, but my body telling me that it contains iron and too much was bad for me. Also, with toxic levels of iron in my system, I barely have enough energy to do a computer job, let alone a physical one.

Speaking of energy, I had always wondered why some simple activities were always too tiring for me. Most people wouldn’t consider going to church a physical or tiring activity (well, depending on if it was a boring sermon, or something). However, I rarely had the energy to stand while singing, and this usually lead to me finding it hard to breathe. Also, I was often cold. In more recent years, I discovered that the more physical I was, the colder I was. Basically it seemed that I had enough energy to heat my body and breathe, or do physical work, but not both.

So, now I am stuck in a physical job that is basically killing me, and I don’t have the energy and willpower to go looking for another, less physical job. It is funny, because in the earlier days all I had was the willpower to help others. It didn’t matter what the job was, if I was making money or not, if it required more thought than muscles, I would do it. Sometimes it did involve muscles, and I would be totally exhausted afterwards, but I was helping people and I felt good about it.

These days I don’t have enough energy to do my job, let alone help other people. I often find myself getting angry at my managers and clients, but I know it is not them making me angry, it is that I don’t have the energy to do what I am doing, so my body and mind are trying to get me out of this job, even if it means I do something stupid that gets me fired.
So, the good news is that I have been able to start giving blood, and I have noticed some improvements. In December, I wasn’t getting tired playing with the dog for 1 minute, but it returned in January before my next blood donation. However, since then the energy hasn’t returned. I did some more research and found that the green leafy lettuce that I wasn’t eating in December, must be the culprit, so I am cutting back on all greens including lettuce.

So, I am making baby steps, but without a diagnosis and the help of the medical system, I am estimating it will take years for me to feel normal again, where other members of my family who were diagnosed were feeling better in as little as 3 months.