I have been at war with myself as to weather or not I should update you on my issue with exhaustion and overtiredness. This is for a a couple reasons. . .
1.) The pure fact that many people I personally know read this blog, and sometimes it’s nice to keep personal stuff personal. But hey, I run a “health and living” blog, and hey, I already brought it up initially. Honestly, it would be easier typing this up if I knew that only people in the blog world would read this, not those I know in “real life.” Sometimes it’s easier talking to strangers, ya feel me? Plus, once a couple people know something about you, it’s not long before everyone else knows too.
2.) Judging. Yes yes, get over it Eryn. You learn to develop a thick skin when blogging. When you allow your life to become so public, you also let in super opinionated, ornery people who are bent on ruining your day. On the upside though, you also get kind people who relate with your posts and are filled with positivity. Those people far outweigh the ones who are mad at the world and have nothing better to do than spread their misery around.
After taking all this into consideration and thinking it over for a month or so, I decided because my issues were relevant to the blog, I would share.
I feel I must throw it out there – talking about my issues doesn’t make me a lesser person. We all go through “stuff” in our lives. New flash: It’s called being human. And yes, for the most part I believe in keeping your crap to yourself, but again, I live part of my life very public, and choose to share certain parts of it on here.
“Out with it!” you say! Okay okay!
As I mentioned previously, I have been struggling with extreme exhaustion since mid summer. As in, I get up in the morning with a huge list to accomplish, but within hours of being up its like an invisible weight has been placed on my shoulders and I couldn’t force myself to move. I would tell myself I’ll just take a small nap while Tyrion naps, but would end up sleeping as long as he would, and even after getting him up and dressed, I’d struggle to motivate myself to get busy and not sit down on the couch again. If you know me personally, you know this is not Eryn behavior. I’m usually up with the sun and going until I drop into bed at night. But lately on most days by noon I would feel so behind I started beating myself up about it, telling myself how lazy and selfish I was not getting needed things done around the house. I spent most afternoons fighting the urge to sleep, and trying to make it seem like I actually cared about any of it.
A snowball effect of sorts entailed. I would be tired, then mad I was tired, then that anger would rub off on those I spent the most time with (insert Travis here), and then at night I would go run my little heart out to prove to myself I really wasn’t the looser I felt like. It came to a head a couple months ago when I tried to do a 10 mile but just couldn’t. At about mile 6 I gave up. It felt like someone was zipping my lungs closed, while adding ten pound weights to my ankles. I called Travis in tears and asked him to come get me. I was truly terrified something was wrong. Why did it feel like I couldn’t get through a regular no fuss day without breaking down?
Travis and I talked, and we thought maybe I wasn’t eating enough, but after a couple weeks of a changed diet and little improvement, I couldn’t take it anymore and went to the doctor.
Let me throw this out there – I love my doctor. He doesn’t like using meds unless it’s a last result, and unlike other doctors I have been to in my life, he practices what he preaches. That’s something I can truly appreciate.
I sat in his office and almost immediately broke down in tears. Lame, I know. I told him I felt like a crazy person. As if I’m trying to make something out of nothing and like I shouldn’t even be here. After talking for a half an hour and being asked a bazillion questions, he said it seemed to him like I had late onset postpartum depression, which I was self medicating with running/exercising.
My initial response: “But I can’t be depressed! I have nothing to be depressed about! My life is great!” His response: “That’s why it’s depression. If you had something to be depressed about you would be entitled to be heartbroken and sad. But when you suffer from depressions the reason it’s an issue is because you have nothing to be depressed about, yet you still are.”
He went on to explain that he thinks it’s a very mild depression, and something he would be hesitant to medicate. Since I don’t want to jump on the medication train I was glad to hear that. He told me that while running is a great way to get cardio in, he thinks I am running to an extent that is almost unhealthy. He went on to say that if I continue to run the amount I have been over the summer, I’d most likely be looking at hip or knee replacements in my late 30’s to mid 40’s. He admitted to not actually believing how much I worked out until he listened to my resting heart rate, which was 52, below average.
Those who are serious runners may take offense to what he said, but I went into this appointment knowing he wasn’t in love with the runners lifestyle. He went on to explain that the more they research those who run excessively, the more they are finding running linked to not only the breaking down of knees, hips, and such, but also the affiliation of heart disease as well. Will this news affect my running? I’m not sure yet.
Since I disclosed that we will add on to our family in the next couple years, he said most definitely that he would not consider medication at this time. He sighed, leaned back in his chair and said, “Look. If running is what helps you at this time in your life, then I’m not going to say stop, not like you would listen anyway. But, after you are done having children, and if you are still having issues, it may be time to consider other options. For now, if you can, maybe taper down the running a bit, but if you can’t, well then just be careful.”
They ran blood work just to be sure and it came back fantastic, besides being a little low on Vitamin D, which is pretty normal for me. I have been bad at taking my vitamins lately. Back on that bandwagon!
Overall the best part of leaving that appointment was knowing I’m not crazy or loosing my mind. There is really something wrong, and however small, it still affects me. Looking back now, I believe I’ve had issues with depression in my past. Want to know a true story? My parents sat Travis down years ago when he went to them to ask for my hand in marriage, and told him I experience extreme highs and lows, and they wanted him to be well aware of it. Have you ever heard of parents warning the potential husband of their daughter that she is a little crazy? Ha!
Believe me when I say for the longest time I thought depression was a joke. I assumed some people used it as an excuse and medication was there to numb whatever it was they couldn’t deal with. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that now. Over the past few years I have been able to see first hand real depression and the affects it has on a person. Do I think depression is over-diagnosed and over-medicated? Yes. But I also believe some people do legitimately have, and need medication for it. Am I to that point? Not anywhere close!
Honestly this past month has been pretty good. I think just knowing I’m not loony is part of it. I have also been researching treating depression with essential oils and may try that in the future. But for right now knowing there is nothing physically wrong with me is good enough. I’ve also found if I can manage to fight off that initially urge to nap when Tyrion naps, that the exhaustion does ebb a bit and I’m able to function. PiYo in the morning also wakes me up and helps my productivity throughout the day.
So there you have it! My little “issue” of late. In conclusion, (I feel like I’m doing a book report) I’m glad I finally broke down and went in to see the doctor, and feel the steps I’m taking now are going to benefit my health in the long run.
If you are still reading this long winded post thank you! Sorry for not breaking it up with photos, but nothing really seemed appropriate.
I’m off to enjoy some cuddle time on the couch with my boys. It’s raining outside, we have the fire going inside, and it’s time to soak in some family time!