Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Something is Seriously Kicking My Butt

Well hey, you all wanted to know about my health, right?

I'm now in my eighth week of work at the hospital. My shift is 8:00-2:30, Monday to Friday. It's a pretty sweet shift, really. I have to drive 41km from Ucluelet to Tofino, which on a good day takes me about 35 minutes. During the past few months, however, the tree service guys have been out holding up traffic while they shear the side off the forest, lest it should get blown into a power pole during one of our winter storms. There have been several crews out, which means no fewer than four sets of flag people with their "SLOW" or "STOP" sign.

So this delay means I have been leaving around 7:15am to get to work, getting home around 3:15pm, give or take. It makes my work an eight hour day. My job is also pretty physical: I'm walking around a lot, up and down stairs, lifting boxes (with correct posture, I might add), moving supplies and equipment. Nothing I can't handle, but it is physically demanding.

Because I hadn't worked in so long, starting a new job and a new routine took some adjusting. I was in my third or fourth week of work when I got sick, had to take two days off work. It was around this time that Ellie asked me (it was before I got sick, I think) if I would be willing to take part in the relay team for the Edge to Edge marathon. Add to this my self-imposed committment to knit as many Cookie A socks as I can before the retreat. Not to mention housework.

The Saturday after I was sick and unable to work, I had a bit of a relapse. I was feeling achy and fatigued, didn't feel like I would be safe to drive much less babysit that night, so I had to cancel.

That was a few weeks ago now and I have to admit I still don't feel like I'm getting healthy. I still have tightness in my sore throat and a productive cough.

I have a history of depression. Not really bad, but I was on quite a cocktail of antidepressants for a few months several years ago. In the spring and summer after we moved here to Ucluelet, I had several depressive episodes, probably springing from our uncertainty about what our options were at the time.

I've been knitting a lot and writing a lot and typing a lot and otherwise using my hands/arms/wrists a lot and I am forced to admit that they hurt. My hands, arms, and wrists hurt. I should be taking it easy and not breaking my neck over some self-imposed challenge of knitting so many socks.

This past weekend Dan & I took a trip to Powell River, to check it out. (That's fodder for another post). We left on Saturday morning around 8:30am, got home around 9:00pm on Sunday. While it was tremendous good fun, it was also exhausting. It meant I didn't get time to rest, rejuvenate, or clean the house like I usually do on the weekend.

I have a number of health issues that have been creeping up on me. I'm not going to go into them here, but I did make an appointment to see a doctor in Tofino. We've lived here a year and I hadn't gotten around to finding a family doctor yet. Well I finally chose one (based on the ones I met while working at the hospital) and I'll see her tomorrow. I'll go in to talk about my sore throat and the fact that I don't feel like I've gotten better from that cold.

Tomorrow I turn 37, and while I don't want to be melodramatic or paranoid, I have real fears I might be admitted to the hospital I work at. I am feeling absolutely depleted, physically and mentally. Doing laundry seems to take the piss out of me. I even like doing laundry. I feel like I can't get anything done and because I have a mountain of things that need to get done, the list grows. Is my immune system giving me trouble? Am I having another depressive episode? Is this the early onset of menopause I was told to expect?  I eat well, I take vitamins, I usually get enough sleep, and if it didn't exhaust me I would be exercising. I'm at my wit's end. I'm used to being physically strong and full of energy; I am a generally happy person and often all I need is a coffee go perk me up. But now... the coffee just kills my appetite and I go to bed hours later with nausea and an empty stomach.

I think about some of my favourite podcasters that have recently had major health issues. Dr. Gemma and Susan Dolph are the ones I am thinking of. We pushpushpush ourselves because we believe that what we are doing is so important and at the end of the day, our energy stores get depleted. I forget sometimes that I need to recharge my battery. The problem is that I don't know what that looks like right now. I still have to go to work, but perhaps I will take the weekend off of everything, laundry and vacuuming be damned. I might even have to take a break from my weight loss program - two pounds a week is agressive and it means that at the moment, I am allowed only 1166 calories per day (not counting any exercise I do, which increases my allowable intake). It's been going so well and I am pleased with the results, but shrinking sick me isn't as good as healthy me.

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