I don’t speak much anymore about my health so this will be the last time. The rest is just a lifetime of dealing with the ups and downs and whatevers that will be each new day concerning these particular health issues of mine, the never-ending malnutrition, and other problems that are directly or indirectly related to it.
When I parked Gypsy the first of September, my body was nutritionally depleted in a serious way although I didn’t know it at the time. I was so tired, so lethargic, couldn’t think, couldn’t see, could barely climb the steps to get inside the camper. Basically, I couldn’t function. For two months after arriving, I did almost nothing but sleep for 18 hours a day. Never had I felt like I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other as much as during that time. All this from the camping Nanny that could hardly wait for the next adventure or next sight she would see.
After doing some backtracking, I saw I had mentioned how I felt in a blog post dated July 31st, so I’d been feeling yucky for a while. I made it to my doc appointment on the second of September and labwork was done. I received a call from the doc within three hours about how lacking my body was in nutrients, the immediate need to rectify this with some heavy hitting pharma meds, injections and whatever else she/he/they thought would work quickly, in addition to seeing a more specialized doc in this field. Well, isn’t this just great, thought the sarcastic me.
Weird how the body works now. I eat as healthy as I can. I cook my own meals and make sure it’s things that will help whatever ails me, in addition to the supplements. Last spring, before the first camping trip, my levels were within normal (albeit low normal) and I eased up on the supplements and relied on the food. Actually, I never thought about any damage I might be doing or falling below the “I’m having a hard time getting through this day” line that my body required. I didn’t realize it then or I could have tried to stop it but it never crossed my mind.
After receiving the lab results today, I see some things are good and others not so much and must be improved upon. Doc and I had quite a prayer meeting Monday but in a nutshell, food will never again be able to sustain my body. Different minerals metabolize in different parts of the body and the tummy surgeries have taken away most of the abilities for anything to work as it’s supposed to. I learned a lot from the doc and we updated the supplements and changed things around some. There’s also a little concern about CNS damage from years of being on the nutrient rollercoaster ride. Eleven years of it, with the last nine being the worst. It’s not funny when you can’t get the right words to come out of your mouth or your fingers.
I do my best not to plan things to do, go out with friends, invite people over or even go visiting. I never know what each day will bring or if sometime during the day ‘it’ will kick in and literally knock me off my game. I take care of necessary stuff and grin and bear it through the rest right now. I’m thankful friends and family understand when I ask them not to stop by and visit. I don’t like seeing people when I feel my worst and, if I should be home, you can probably bet I’m at my worst. Makes me a hermit but it’s the world’s best hermit and I actually like myself even when others don’t get it. There’s no such thing as date nights or time outs with friends because I shouldn’t eat but will do it anyway. Then I’ll pay for it, usually sooner rather than later and that is not fun at all. Or my energy level goes from slim to none and it’s either rest or sleep it off. Believe me, it’s taken a long time to adjust to this but I finally have and I’m good with it. I can only do what I can do, nothing more at this time.
The good news is I don’t have a feeding tube and I will do whatever I have to do in order to keep from having one again. Another thing is, although I can’t repair any damage that has been done previously (especially the CNS and brain), I can do my best to keep the levels within a normal range as long as I take the right supplements every day. We find that out by the labwork. What I have found and as the doc explained to me, it doesn’t take long at all to drop off the charts nutritionally but it takes months to build yourself back up to some kind of normal. Truer words have never been spoken. The past four to six months have been a struggle, to say the least, but I’m still learning how all of this is supposed to work. After all, it’s only been a year and a half since the last surgery and that whole timeframe has been nothing but trial and error.
Malnutrition is not something most of us think about in this day and age. There’s too much stuff out there to keep us on the straight and narrow. However, they don’t make an app to fix it. You have to do it on your own.
Through it all, I’ve been grateful it’s not any worse than what it is. I could be bed-ridden, have a feeding tube, have full-blown dementia symptoms and/or have some dreaded disease added to the list. I don’t bitch or gripe about it anymore or feel sorry for myself. I just don’t talk about it with anyone. I quit because it really doesn’t matter. This journey is mine and I’m doing it the best way I know how with the proper guidance. There aren’t even any more white lies since I’ll bypass this subject. Yes, I am grateful that even though I’m not where I need to be, I’m better than I was. The body still has to learn the ‘new’ normal again and that takes time. So much so that I’ve finally learned to be patient with myself and let me be me in the moment–good or bad moment. The little saying below? Exactly where I am at in the grand scheme of things.
“Happiness is finding peace in the midst of all the chaos.” ~ Unknown