by Jackie Braun
I’m too much of a hypochondriac to ignore changes in my health. But sometimes those changes are so gradual that it isn’t until you really start to feel like crap that you realize something is wrong.
That’s what happened to me. I’d felt tired and foggy for a long time. At first I wrote it off as stress. We all have lots of that, right? And I’d been through some challenging times personally and professionally, so it stood to reason.
But then it got ridiculous. I was so tired that I began napping once or twice a day. No amount of caffeine perked me up. I could drink a pot of coffee and by 10 a.m. I would be on the couch, exhausted. I’d get back up a couple hours later, work for a bit and then find myself on the couch again.
I also had a hard time focusing, to the point that I sometimes found it difficult to follow a newscast or the plot of a television program.
I’m sure you can guess what this did to my writing. Words came at a trickle. Every day I got up and seemed to rewrite the same section of whatever book I was working on. I felt as though I was in the movie “Ground Hog Day.”
I managed to finish my last four or five books, but not without deadline extensions.
A year and a half ago, I mentioned my ongoing fatigue and fogginess to my doctor. My thyroid seemed a likely culprit. I had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism in my 20s and have been taking medication ever since. But even after my dosage was tweaked, I still didn’t feel like myself.
Same for the regime of B12 shots. I’d perk up for a bit, but soon would fall back into my slump.
I wasn’t just tired, I was apathetic. I didn’t feel depressed, though. I’ve experienced clinical depression before. This was different. I just didn’t have the energy to care. Then, at one of those blood pressure machines at the drug store, I discovered my blood pressure was low. I’ve always been on the low side, but this was low even for me.
Well, after a whole battery of tests at my annual physical, it was discovered in late May that I am anemic. I’m happy to know the cause. And delighted it was not as some suggested, the fact that I am now 50 and “slowing down.” Pffft!
But my advice to anyone who is feeling scattered and tired is to listen to your body. Go to the doctor and don’t stop going until you get the answers you need.
Jackie Braun is the author of more than 35 romances, including Revenge Best Served Hot, out now from Entangled Indulgence. You can find it here.