Firstly, apologies for not blogging properly for a while.
I went to my GP two weeks ago who listened to my symptoms, he asked me what was going on and after ruling out asthma worsening (amongst other things) put me on fluid retention tablets. My ankles were puffing up, at 10am. I was really out of breath doing the most basic of things, like walking into the office and to my desk. And you know women are supposed to ‘glow’; after a walk at lunchtime three weeks ago, I looked such a state and took so long to get my breath back, one Manager thought they’d need the crash trolley. Not reassuring.
R (GP) is great, he ordered blood tests (still sporting bruise), an ECG (totally normal) and prescribed these tablets. I have to take one in the morning, as basically it forces my kidneys to work a bit harder (she said diplomatically). R said if I got light-headed, as they can affect your blood pressure, to let him know, they didn’t but did affect my digestive system (she said even more diplomatically). I felt awful the first day of taking them; so bad I had to go back to bed. The second day I wasn’t great, but pushed on through, getting better as the day wore on. By midday on the third day, Wednesday, I felt back to normal.
By the first weekend: I was sleeping through the night; I had more energy; I wasn’t a puddle when I exercised; my mind was clearer; my ankles weren’t swelling up and now two full weeks in, I feel literally like a new person.
This was me yesterday, in the middle of a 16km run. I’m on top of the Bolte Bridge in Melbourne. Three weeks ago, I wouldn’t have had the energy to complete the run. I don’t care that it took me 2hours, 24minutes to get round. I don’t care that I walked most of the last 10km, as I know K and I ran probably 8km in total. I started off and ran over 2km without having to stop, normally I’m blowing out my butt (technical term) by 1km and have to stop to catch my breath. The only reason I had to slow down yesterday was because we were running in the Domain Tunnel, I was dressed as Wonder Woman and the cape was so hot over my shoulders – I was melting. Once repined around my waist, off we trotted again.
Inside the tunnel, the single best thing happened on the run, even better than me completing the run if I’m honest as it gave me goose bumps. Somebody shouted ‘Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!’ the whole tunnel shouted back ‘Oi! Oi! Oi’ – it was magical.
For months, if not years, I’ve been going backwards and forwards to my doctors about how tired I am. I’m coeliac, with IBS, and a small child, working full time – my fatigue was hidden in the minutiae of life. But I persevered, kept pushing R, saying this is not normal.
Sitting in his office this morning, the pair of us were grinning at each other, chuffed that we’d cracked (mostly) it. Something so simple, that until my ankles started randomly swelling up wasn’t picked up on before, because everything else going on in my life hid it. People laugh at how hot and sweaty I get when I exercise; the week before last, I hit the treadmill, 45 mins, 5km and I didn’t need a shower afterwards. I’d not run for ages, so I didn’t go flat-out, but I didn’t collapse in a heap after 750m either. I can run up and downstairs again, I am concentrating more at work, I whizzing through books again, and (HUGE bonus) I don’t have to go to bed at 9:30 so I can function the next day.
We’re not entirely out the woods yet, as I’ve got some more testing of my medication levels I need to do, but R and I have a plan. While we don’t know why fluid is collecting in my chest, all my other tests came back fine and dandy, we do know it’s not serious. (Insert loud “Phew!” here).
Fluid collecting on your chest is scary, which is why I’ve not written anything over the past couple of weeks. I didn’t know what was going on, but at the same time it was so huge, I didn’t think I could write about anything without wandering into it. I hope you understand.
What is amazing to me is how long it could have been going on for? I’ve had problems with fatigue for ages, literally going back to my teenage years. Makes me wonder how far back I could track it. You can understand why I was excited this morning, R said I’d worked really hard, he was proud of me.