Wednesday 18 April 2018

Facing The Consequences Of Getting Older...

So the other day I was walking along the street and I saw an older man who I often say 'hello' to. We've never really ever commented on any more than the weather and then carried on our way. Unusually, he stopped, grinned, put his hand on my shoulder and said "He'll let you know when your time is up. He'll tap you on the shoulder and tell you to 'come on'. He won't forget you". Then he grinned and said "when it's your time".

I didn't really have an answer, you wouldn't really would you? I said something like "sure. He will" smiled and carried on. I was a bit rattled because it was a weird thing to happen, but it was even more weird because there was no way he could have known I was on my way home from the Doctor, where I'd just been given a series of unfavourable test results. I was already contemplating my own mortality, but I at least took it as a positive. Apparently my time is not up just yet.

The bad test results were a complete surprise. I was actually visiting my Doctor about something entirely unrelated and she took a look at me and felt something wasn't right. It's possible she just listened to me talk and heard something wasn't right by the fact I could barely breathe. I have been saying it myself for months - in fact this is my third time telling a Doctor. In a previous visit the Doctor I saw told me it was stress and "when the stress has gone you'll feel better". It didn't really give me a lot of hope, but I left with stoic resilience, determined that if I was to feel this knackered forever, so be it. People have it worse. In fact it turned out I had quite severe Anaemia, very high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

I've got used to feeling tired and out of breath and anxious, and my eyesight being poor I'd put down to old age. I was sent for extra eye tests following my last regular appointment and was told everything looked fine. Really that was a very clear sign something else wasn't as it should be and I should have considered it more carefully.

I should probably mention the reason I was actually visiting my Doctor. I caught a cold and it was nothing special until the moment I sneezed, something burst and a big lump popped out of my abdomen. I recognised it straightaway as another hernia. My luck sure isn't great.

Like curly hair and green eyes, this is part and parcel of my DNA. It turns out that it's mainly inherited and a lot can be traced down through my mother's family. My Doctor asked if all of my maternal relatives have high blood pressure and cholesterol. I told her it's slightly worse than that - they're almost entirely deceased.

When I encountered Mr Death on my way home 20 minutes later, his message couldn't have come at a more relevant time. He knows things. I'll be keeping an eye on him...

I'll also be taking masses of iron, which is already having a huge effect - I am awake and have more energy than I have in ages. I'm now on a low salt, low fat, veg rich diet, I've started eating fancy cholesterol-lowering margarine and plenty of walnuts...

Five years of stress and disaster have had an obvious effect on all of our mental health, but I had no idea it was going to prove to have such a huge physical cost. Luckily I don't really drink these days, so I won't have to cut back on that, and I'm a big lover of veggies...

Jen from MyMummiesPennies response the other day when I told her all of this was "Cup half full" and I guess that's me. My cup has been half full for a long time... it is probably best now if I fill it with low fat, low salt, low calorie tap water... thankfully I can at least cope with that.

1 comment:

  1. I am not a fan of iron, I have to take it a lot too and an anaemic due to my kidney disease. I eat lots of baby spinach and try to eat well, but you know it's tough. You look amazing and I think you are just awesome. Love you x


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