I had to delete a Facebook acquaintance today. With all that is on my plate right now, I don’t have time for people who are going to try and verbally beat me down when I am trying to take some healthy steps. This person and I were really just acquaintances so it’s likely I won’t feel much loss. Let me explain –
I have spent pretty much every day of my life tired. I don’t just mean since I became a mom. I remember being a kid and my mom saying I should go outside and play but all I wanted to do was crash! I thought everybody got all-over-achy when they were tired; that it was normal to have some level of a full-body ache at the end of every day. Turns out I was wrong.
Then I got pregnant for the first time and had the obligatory blood work done. At the next doctor’s appointment, my Doctor looked at the bloodwork results and said, “You are anemic.” (Pause.) “Really anemic.” (Pause again.) “So anemic that I think you might have always been a anemic.” So we add iron supplements to the prenatal vitamins. After my daughter was born, my doctor came to my room on rounds and made a note on my chart that my blood needed to be tested at my first post-baby check-up. He wanted to see if his hunch was right. It was. I was severely anemic even without pregnancy hormones screwing with everything.
Enter the iron supplements. And learning to eat iron rich foods – I have always liked nuts (thought I can’t stand almonds!) and have learned to LOVE raw spinach; working on learning to like beets and I’m almost there!
When I mentioned my Doctor’s findings to my mom, her response surprised me – “You had anemia when you were born. The doctor told us that most children outgrow so we just assumed you would too and never bothered to have it checked again.” So there it was. An answer for some of the chronic “tiredness” I had battled all of my life.
I didn’t do real well being diligent about the iron at first. But I’ve gotten better in recent years. Much, much better. Only to find that I’m always still kind of pooped!
At a recent “well-woman” check-up, the Nurse Practitioner scheduled me for a fasting blood draw. When all the tests had been run, the office called me to let me know the results. With my families history of diabetes, my age (turning 45 this month!) and the extra weight that I carry (and should lose) I was expecting my blood sugar or cholesterol numbers to come back in the “bad” zone. Nope. They were fine. Surprised the heck out of me!
The next statement didn’t surprise me – “The tests showed that you are ‘significantly’ anemic” – okay, that hasn’t changed – “and your thyroid function is low.” She paused.
I said, “Excuse me, could you say that again?”
“Your thyroid function is low. It’s just past the bottom edge of normal but it’s in the low range. Technically, it’s called ‘hypothroidism’.” At this point she went on to ask me if I ever suffered from any or all of four specific “issues” related to the condition. I don’t specifically remember the four but I said “yes, almost always” to two of them and “from time to time” to a third!
She continued – “Okay. Then the recommendation of this office is that we get you started on a prescription to deal with the condition. We’ll call you when it has been called in to the pharmacy.”
And that was it. I have hypothyroidism on top of anemia.
How does this relate to booting someone off of my Facebook island? I’ll tell you.
I posted about the diagnosis on Facebook. Just a quick status update with a sort of “Huh, who knew?” approach. Within minutes, I had a private message from this person. The individual started by admitting that they didn’t know the whole story but they were concerned that I “went looking for medical excuses for laziness and bad habits. If you want to lose weight, work out more, don’t make excuses.”
I was stunned. I went back to the update I had posted and I had actually said nothing about weight loss or weight management. I simply stated that I was going to need a prescription for my under-active thyroid. This person kept stating that they were only sharing “out of concern for a friend” but the message was one long scolding! I was told that there was no substitute for good old fashioned hard work whether the focus was losing weight, taking care of a home, or holding down a job. I was told that blaming genetics for exhaustion or weight gain was “cowardly”. As a final shot, this person told me that they would pray for me, that I would avoid the dark path to drug addiction that I had started on by saying yes to the prescription for my “condition” – and yes, this person ALWAYS put the word condition in quotation marks like hypothyroidism is not a legitimate diagnosis.
Do I need to make some changes in the realm of personal choices?! Absolutely! And I’ve been doing my homework to figure out just how to begin taking baby steps in a healthier direction. But my physical health isn’t my only concern. That person I unfriended? Yeah, she wasn’t good for my emotional health or my focus so she’s gone!
But I have learned my lesson – just because I hear part of a story, I should not open my mouth until I know all of it and even then . . . might be best to say nothing!