How long has it been since you have had a doctor visit? I am not going to tell you how long it’s been for me, because it’s kinda shameful, but I can tell you that it was too long between visits. Having younger kids – who require frequent visits for regular issues, let alone health issues – has kept me busy with medications and assessments and doctor visits. I have definitely been putting my health last on the list of things for me to take care of and it is starting to catch up with me.
I have had chronic, ongoing, years-in-the-making problems with insomnia. Both falling asleep and staying asleep. I just chalked it up to being a mom with young kids. But the truth is, I could wake up all on my own and be up from 3:30 a.m. – unable to fall back to sleep – until 11 p.m. that evening, and do it again for 3 or 4 more nights. In fact, it was remarkable when I got a 6-7 hour night of uninterrupted sleep, and those have been few and far between over the years.
Anxiety and depression became “normal” for me to experience – and not just a tag-team version – but sometimes it was a double-team. I have been able to find ways to alleviate some of the chronic stress that came with it, but truthfully, in the past 2 years, I have begun to experience bodywide aches and pains that were unresolved for days at a time.
Again – I chalked it up to aging and just kept trying to chug along. I didn’t have time to be sick and kept telling myself we couldn’t afford another person in our family on medications every month.
You know – the typical “Mom” excuses one might put up because life is stressful.
But the pain increased and manifested itelf in ways that began to affect how I live every day. What I can and cannot manage. With the chronic pain came more problems with sleep, fatigue, brain fog and more.
But there are 3 kids and a husband who need me. And I got to where I was not even functioning in survival mode.
So, I finally made – and kept – an appointment with a local nurse practitioner because of some of my symptoms. She commended my ability to turn to writing / journaling / music meditation as avenues to deal with stress. I appreciated that. =) My weight – although still too heavy – was actually less than I anticipated, so I left the appointment feeling somewhat positive. She ordered a blood panel work up including thyroid, cholesterol, metabolic panel, and a check on my Vitamin D levels.
And wouldn’t you know it? Everything came back NORMAL – except my Vitamin D levels are pretty low. She prescribed high potency Vitamin D, and I have been taking a daily multivitamin, a calcium-vitamin supplement, and finding ways to be out in the sunshine more to boost my D levels.
She also prescribed an anti-anxiety, anti-depression medication. I was not surprised, and rather relieved. I have tried multiple alternative options which have helped, but I think the boost – this temporary boost – will help my body get back on track and it has ALREADY impacted my sleep in positive ways. I have made minor adjustments in the medicine because my first 2 doses – on a weekend – left me like a zombie. I think I slept more than I was awake for 2 good days – and I think my body needed it desperately!
I have no intention of being on the medication forever -and my doctor even stated she wanted to see if it was beneficial and how things would be in only a few months. So I am quite pleased with that!
I’ll go back and have another blood level check in a few weeks and already feel a bit more energetic in general. A good night’s rest is an unbelievable luxury and I am enjoying my sleep so much for the past several days!
I wrote all this so I could say to you – if you haven’t had a doctor’s appointment for a check-up in awhile – I highly recommend you wait no longer. Taking good care of your own health is like putting on your own oxygen mask first – we need to do it so we can be equipped for the things God has blessed us with, and the changes life throws at us!