Over the last few months my youngest has been plagued by illness. He just gets over the flu and gets chicken pox with a chest infection. He recovers from that only to go back to nursery a pick up an ear infection. Urgh, it’s been one thing after another but at least it’s only one of them and not both because that’s when it is really hard work! I’m lucky enough not to have to go out to do ‘my job’ so we can both chill at home for most of the day, without worry or interruption. But, no matter how much sleep I’ve managed to get (there have been many broken night between ds waking up and my RA causing me jip) I am just exhausted. I barely have the energy to open my eyelids let alone drag myself out of bed to begin the day.
I’m wondering why I’m so very tired. Why that third cup of tea in an hour has failed to clear the fug and has only resulted in more trips to the loo than usual!
Then I have one of those rare but invaluable flashes of clarity, a true light bulb moment. I’m walking up to the doctors after the school drop. It’s raining so I’m pushing said ill child in the buggy to keep him warm and dry. I’m on my way to have my bloods done (ready for my upcoming trip to the Rheumatologist) and I recall vaguely that I might be due a B12 injection. The nurse confirms my suspicions and informs me that it’s actually overdue by a month. Well, it’s no wonder I’m a zombie-mum at the moment, I’ve been running on empty!
During all the screenings and tests that were carried out when I first became unwell the doctor discovered that I was vitamin B12 and D deficient. Pernicious anaemia is not something that will go away, I will have it for the rest of my life (sounding familiar isn’t it?) so every 3 months I need a top-up with a B12 injection and occasionally extra Vit D. I forget that both of these deficiencies contribute to the worsening of my RA symptoms and can cause similar problems to RA just by themselves. After three years I should know the warning signs off by heart but somehow in the muddle of family life I have pushed them aside…a bit like my ironing pile. I should have been more on the ball but someone kicked it out from under me when I wasn't looking.
With fatigue being a major part of RA it can be impossible to separate the two and see the tiredness for the red flag it really is. I’ve solved a little mystery this morning a real Miss Marple in the making... Don’t worry though, I won’t forget the next one - it’s in my diary already in thick red pen!! I’ll be fine just as long as I don’t misplace my diary…
How do you answer when someone asks you how you are? My stock reply tends to be “Oh, you know, I’m tired” and usually the other person will quip flippantly “Oh but Jo, you’re ALWAYS tired”.
Yes I am and don’t I know it?!