A Harsh Realization

While taking care of mom, and my surgery, I let me go.  I didn’t realize how bad I got till after mom passed and I had some wake up calls.  My face broke out like a teenager, my hair had thinned to about half of its usual thickness, along with other things.  I am fighting to get me back to where I was.  I decided to start at basics.  Vitamins and water.

I became really depressed.  When I get depressed, I don’t eat, or drink.  And when I do, I don’t make the right food choices.  Sodas, chocolate, candy, etc.  But, I had a wake up call when my face broke out.  When I get stressed, I get certain areas that are prone to break out.  I have always been self conscious about my face. Well, not one, not two, but three places came.  So, I started doing some research on things I have been dealing with.  And this is about what I have found between mom telling me, doctors, and good old research.

My hair has always been my identity.  It has always been thick.  I generally cut it in the summer, and then let it go for another year.  But, this time, my thickness wasn’t there.  And it took forever to get where it is now.  I started noticing that my hair was falling out a lot more than usual when I would wash my hair.  I chalked it up to being closer to 40 and body changing.  Then recently I started having issues energy.  I started taking iron again (always been borderline anemic) because I know when I do, my energy goes up and I also don’t eat as much.  I have been taking iron, along with other vitamins which I will get into later, for a few weeks and noticed today that when I washed my hair, for the first time, the amount lost was half of what I have been.  Also when I stumbled on a youtube titled anemia and hair loss, I was intrigued.  Basically what she talked about was when there is so little red blood cells, the last place it will go is the hair follicles.  So, yes, that made perfect sense.  More red blood cells, the less hair falls out.  I am also going to start taking Biotin to help it along.

I also noticed along with the hair loss, my energy was way down.  Now, I am going to go back to a couple of years ago I went to the doctor and told them I was always drained.  Blood test later revealed my vitamin D level was low.  I was told to take a minimum of 1,000 IU.  When I started taking it, I started feeling better.  Then, for some reason, I stopped.  I feel low again, I start again.  Well, I knew I was tired from taking care of mom, being a wife and mom, and sometimes working.  After mom’s passing, I was drained.  I had zero energy.  At the same time I started taking iron, I started the vitamin D.  My energy levels are back to normal.

Nerve pain.  If you have never had overly sensitive nerves, restless legs, or an amputation, you are not missing anything.  I have had overly sensitive nerves and I had a doctor prescribe me Meloxacam.  It didn’t work. Then he tried me on Gabapentin. It helped, then after my surgery, they upped it because the nerves were shooting off major electric charges that would make my leg jerk hard.  There were times it would wake me from a deep sleep.  Then, I had a friend tell me about some side effects she had, so I looked.  I quit the Gabapentin and figured that mom’s remedy for restless leg syndrome would work, it would help with the other nerve issues.  So, magnesium was started.  My mom swore by taking magnesium for her restless legs and it worked for her.  Now, that I have been taking it, I have not had any major issues.  It actually works better than the pain meds did. And also, it helps you relax.  I actually generally have no issues sleeping.  I don’t get sleepy from it, but I get more relaxed and go to sleep earlier.

I also take vitamin C.  Not only because I work at a school, but if you don’t take vitamin C with iron, you are not getting the full benefit of iron.  Vitamin C helps iron absorb.

Potassium is also in my regimen.  Helps with my muscles not cramping as much.  Now, that I am walking more (no more walking boot from the surgery), my muscles are now having to get stronger, and on long days, I am prone to leg cramps.  I don’t get them that often, but I have had them so bad that it brings me to tears just from stretching.

So there you have it.  This is what I take every day.  I take in the morning vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin D.  Night time I take another vitamin C and magnesium.

On my list to add are:

Vitamin B6… helps acne and boosts blood circulation

May add Vitamin K… also helps tame acne

Biotin.. also known as vitamin H.  Helps with hair loss, makes it not as brittle, helps nails not become as brittle (I also have that issue).

I am blessed to have the health that I do.  But, caregiving took everything out of me.  I didn’t realize how bad I was until after mom passed.  I forgot about me.  People have asked me what my new years resolution was, its to take care of me.  To reclaim who I was.  I have pretty much gotten my mind back into a good place.  Now, I have to get my physical health.  I need to get my leg strength back.  It is going to take a while, and that is ok.  Not everything comes at once.

My one piece of advise to caregivers out there.  You need to take care of yourself too.  I wrote a blog a while back about pouring from empty.  You can’t do that.  The person you are taking care of needs all of you.  Not part of you.  The only way to give all of you is to take care of yourself.  If you are low on energy, I suggest you try taking vitamin D.  It helps me so much and I feel it when I don’t take it.  Now, I am no doctor, but I am telling you what has worked for me over the last few weeks.  I hope this helps someone.  I don’t want anyone to suffer.

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