The number one life impacting symptom for me has been debilitating fatigue. It impacts every decision I make and how I spend each limited molecule of energy. While, I have numerous symptoms from migraines, Raynaud's Syndrome, mouth ulcers, occasion slurred words, etc .... -- the one symptom that I have mentioned to every doctor over the last few decades has been fatigue. I tell them all, it comes down to quality of life. I've cried tears to at least four doctors in the last year over how "my quality of life sucks because of the fatigue".
Finding out I was Vitamin D deficient (blood test) earlier this year and adding the daily D3 supplement has raised my energy level about 20%.
Over the last two weeks, my energy has been raised about another 20% due to the following combination:
Iron supplement - 50 mg daily
Aspirin - raised to 81 mg every twelve hours. So I take one baby aspirin (enteric coated for stomach) twice a day.
Vitamin B's. (including B12). I had been taking B's previously, but a huge change I made was getting a weekly pill dispenser that I fill on Sundays. I am sure I was terrible at remembering what to take prior to having the pill container.
Here are links to my two recent posts on iron studies and fatigue. Do not add iron without reading them.
A few weeks ago, my doctor took blood for the PLT Resistance Asprin Test. This blood test lets doctors know if you can try more aspirin since you don't yet have platelet dysfunction from taking aspirins. Since mine came back at 621 which is greater than 550, my doctor said to up the small dose aspirin I am taking for hyper-coagulation to twice a day. She is going to retest the aspirin platelet dysfunction in a few months to see if I can stay at that level. Why hasn't any other doctor done this blood test on me before?
Those of us who have had fatigue for decades realize we have good periods. Mine is generally a very short window in the fall and in the spring. In addition, there are ups and downs throughout the year. Therefore, all scientific studies on fatigue will have some people (generally around 11-15%) have their symptoms improve while on placebo. It may have nothing to do with the mind, but rather that there are times when the symptoms subside some.
Therefore, I can't say whether this glorious last week filled with energy has been due to the additional supplements or an outside factor. Time will tell. What I can say is I have not felt this much energy in years. While I'm still taking a lay down in the afternoon for an hour, I am getting back up and able to do things for the kids. It's amazing.
While getting back to a total of 40% of what other people's energy levels are, I still have to watch myself. Yet, 40% is so much better - hooray! I haven't taken a nap in the car while waiting for kids. I went to the grocery store when we needed items for dinner last minute. We aren't eating pizza and macaroni & cheese every night. It's down to every other night. I started tackling the four foot high laundry that covers much of the basement and cleaning out one of our daughters' room of toys she has out grown.
While I pray that the energy stays I have the added burden of trying to do all the things on the to do list that have pilled up over the years. My therapist has me doing five things. I see her every 6-8 weeks. More often would be great, but therapy is really not in the budget - yet it's a necessity. Four items for me right now:
1) Don't look at the mountain of "to do's" straight on. It would be depressing. Take something from the mountain to do each day and know that you accomplished great things. The kids have suffered due to the fatigue. Having a mom with energy is always beneficial to children. My husband owes more to his x-wife every month than he earns. Every month he goes deeper into debt. Right now he is a $100,000 in debt to her. The sheriff's have been here in the past to try to put him in jail for not being able to afford his alimony. Our power has been turned off numerous times this year for non-payment. It's a crazy system here in the United States. Yet, his x-wife lives alone (no kids in her home) and has received hundreds of thousands in dollars just in the last two years from inheritance from the deaths of her parents, let alone my husband's income that goes to her. She has been in rehab for alcoholism and earlier this year lost her license due to a DUI, but it's hard to feel sorry for someone with boat loads of money while all that my husband earns goes to her. Here in the United States, they don't count that we have zero in the bank and she has tons. It's what he earned in the past while they were married that counts. He went through bankruptcy a few years ago, but that does not wipe out alimony. At the same time, our family is truly happy (poor and messy piles and all - but tons of friends). My husband's x-wife is miserable with lots of money. I feel sorry for her.
So it's not a matter of wanting to work. I have to work and earn money. I can't when I have zero energy. My business I owned went under for numerous reasons, including my sleeping on the floor of my office, forgetting clients', losing my sight...... In addition, I am being sued by a woman who flashed her chest to one of my cameras during her corporate office party and then her company fired her for what I presume was behavior unbecoming of an employee. She is suing me because she lost her job for being stupid. So not having energy is not an option. I have a thousand to-do's from orthodontics, to one of our children is autistic spectrum with OCD, to earning money, to putting my old business to bed, to house a mess. Looking the mountain straight in the eye would be overwhelming. So I have been taught to glance at it from the side and pull something out.
2) Continue to be centered in joy and happiness.
Mindfulness (focus on the Now, without worrying about tomorrow).
Don't look back at things missed because of fatigue. Be happy in today's energy.
Re-frame (put a new picture frame around the items that appear distressing).
3) Make the supplements a priority. It takes 21 days for new things to become habits.
4) Gratitude. Make an oral list of all the things you are grateful for today. My list is huge!
There was a 5th item my therapist has me working on, but I forget what it was. Brain fog and many other symptoms (such as dizziness) are still here, but with some energy it's like a weight has been lifted.
I believe it is the combination that is helping. The two baby aspirins, the Vitamin D3, the iron supplement (slow release and easy on stomach), and the Vitamin B supplements. All four of these have blood tests to see if I am overdoing it.
I'm praying this new found energy (more than I have had in years) stays. So far the supplement trial seems to be really helping. Time will tell. But I can't allow stress to sideline me. There is dancing with the kids, and enjoying every day, and date night with my husband (even if it is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) at the top of the "to do list". I truly feel blessed.