So, in the last few weeks, I’ve been to a couple of doctors about my fatigue. I first went to my regular family practitioner, my GP. She recommended a physical, which included blood work and urine tests and an EKG and all that. During my appointment she intimated that she suspected the problem was with my thyroid. Well, it turns out that with the exception of my iron (which was crazy low), everything was normal! I was actually excited about the iron level, thinking that it could be the source of my fatigue, but when she called to give me the results, she said that since I’m not anemic, that shouldn’t be a problem. Ugh. (FWIW, my iron levels have been low since I started seeing my naturopath 2 years or so ago. He put me onto an iron supplement at that time and I have been taking it ever since. Personally, I think it’s weird that my iron levels are actually lower than they were 2 years ago in spite of supplementing all this time, but whatever. That is, apparently, neither here nor there.)
Ultimately, the conversation ended on a low note because she ended up giving me the equivalent of the “it’s all in your head” speech by suggesting that possibly this fatigue is actually depression. Now, I’ve been depressed before, y’all, and this is nothing like that. I do understand that fatigue is a symptom of depression, but unlike the times when I have been depressed, I actually WANT to do stuff. I WANT to write, to exercise, to knit, to be awake and to live. My mood is fine. But my body is another story. Most days I feel as though I am encased in cement. My eyes are gritty in the middle of the day. And, no matter how much or how little sleep I get at night and what time I wake up in the morning, I usually need a nap by 2 pm. I seriously do not believe in my heart of hearts that this is depression. I don’t feel depressed. Could I be wrong? Sure. But I really want to explore the idea that it could be something else.
Which is why, in fact, I went to see the sleep doctor and have the sleep study done. Today was the follow-up appointment with him. The good news: I do not have OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea)! Which means that I am not going to die suddenly in my sleep which is a VGT (Very Good Thing). The bad news: I still do not have a reason for constantly being fatigued! One thing my sleep doctor did say, which I found quite irritating, was that during the 3 hours of actual sleep I got, I had 27 instances (9/hour) of partial airway collapse, and, according to him, 10/hour would have meant a diagnosis of mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea (although they still don’t give a CPAP for that). Argh. Perhaps if I had been able to get a better night’s sleep they’d have a better picture of what’s going on with me? I dunno, but it still pissed me off.
So, that’s where we stand. I guess it’s back to the naturopath for me. In the mean time, I started taking vitamin C with my iron. Funny story: when the naturopath first started treating me for the fatigue, he had me taking vitamin C with my iron and for a while I was actually feeling a bit better. Since I was feeling better (and off the gluten) he said I didn’t have to take the vitamin C any more. Anyhoo, I decided to add it back in after my conversation with the GP and GUESS WHAT! HOLY SHIT, I was able to get out of bed at 8:15 this morning, I got through my entire day without a nap, and I am still awake enough at this ungodly hour to write this blog post. I am going to be seriously pissed if 2 years of fatigue boils down to no one telling me “Hey dumbass, you gotta take some vitamin C with that iron.”