Friday, November 13, 2009

The return of Fatigue

During grad school, off and on I would be sidled with deep fatigue that felt as if I was exhausted all the way to by bones. It came and went and treatment for both anemia and adrenal fatigue helped to eradicate it. Now it is back. Not all of the time, but some days, especially when I get a minute to hold still it returns. Wednesday I had the day off and had plans to get a great deal of work done on a presentation I have to do next week. I was fairly unproductive and felt like I could barely move much of the day-- yet yesterday I was buzzing around the hospital as if it had never happened. I also had beef for dinner and leftovers for lunch yesterday, making it murky as to whether I'm iron deficient or my adrenals are suffering.

The case for anemia: last year when I was anemic I took iron for two months and when my ferritin got just barely in the normal range (normal is between 15-150 or 200 depending on the lab-- mine started at 7 and went up to 35) my doctor said I should stop taking iron. Taking it made me feel immediately better, which the doctor said couldn't be due to the iron (apparently taking iron doesn't make you feel better right away). I think that when there is a range that is so huge for "normal" that maybe being just barely in the normal range is not going to work for every one. Plus, I have not been eating much iron lately (we have beef maybe once every other week, mainly because it is both expensive and because I don't have time to go to PCC very often and I refuse to eat it if it isn't grass fed), and being a girl, I lose iron.

The case for adrenal fatigue: I am not anywhere near as stressed doing this internship as I was in grad school, except that this fatigue started right after my two weeks in ICU hell, which consisted of very little sleep and a lot of stress. I also have been drinking coffee every day, and now I'm drinking it on the weekends too because avoiding it gives me a terrible headache and I don't have time to detox off it right now. Not so good for the adrenals.

So for now, I'm taking my adrenal support, taking iron and trying not to over do it. The fatigue is annoyingly getting in the way of me being consistent working out-- last week in honor of my birthday I went to the gym 5 days (it helped that my rotation didn't start until 9am so I could go in the morning). This week I've been too tired when I've had time.

The other thing that's weird about this term is I somehow, effortlessly learned portion control. I can not eat more than a small portion at a time, even of sweet things which have always been my achilles heel. The only thing I can think of, is that at the very beginning of the semester and again during ICU I was so stressed I lost my appetite entirely and it shrunk my stomach. At any rate I'm definitely not complaining.

I also have been having flare-ups of my TMJ, which usually rarely bothers me. Last night after a tense drive home I took an aleve and spent the evening holding ice to my face. If I had real health insurance I'd see a doctor, but since I don't I'm going to have to figure something else out. It is definitely tension related though.

I've been home more than away this week, which made for some stressful drives. I had Wednesday off and today class was cancelled, so I drove both ways to the hospital yesterday-- I'm so glad I don't do that every day! Three hours in the car is exhausting! After next week I move home, maybe for good, but at least until January-- I'm still not sure where my rotations will be next semester.

1 comment:

Sanja said...

Do you still drink spinach smoothies everyday? I always learned spinach inhibits the absorption of iron...