I am sitting in the doctor’s office right now waiting for my appointment, and I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I have a suspicion that I am suffering from hyperthyroidism or anemia. I have a history of anemia so that makes sense, but the symptoms I have been experiencing the last two months have to be more than just anemia.
Although this post is “all about me” it is very much about mothers in general. We tend to put ourselves on the back burner compared to our children and our significant others. I let myself go, I didn’t practice self-care, and I got myself into quite a pickle here. I’m hoping to find out at my appointment today that there is, in fact, something wrong with me. I know that sounds silly, but the symptoms I’ve been experiencing cannot be in my head. I do have a history of anxiety and tend to dwell on my symptoms. However, I’ve learned many amazing coping mechanisms for my anxiety, and it has been very tolerable for the last year. This feels different.
The last two months I stopped taking care of myself. I have two children at home; a four-year-old boy, and a five-month-old girl. I exclusively breastfeed my daughter. Breastfeeding takes a lot from your body; it takes away vital nutrients and water to ensure that the breastmilk is perfect for baby. For some reason I stopped taking my supplements. I would forget to take them, and then I’d promise myself I would take them the next day... and then that didn’t happen. I also started eating like crap and not sticking to my meal plans. I was exhausted from motherhood in general, so I started drinking caffeine to keep myself awake. I don’t drink coffee at all, so I would resort to tea, but still too much caffeine compared to my normal… which is none.
About a month ago I started experiencing some odd symptoms. I would be sitting at my desk and my heart would start beating almost like it was out of control. At first I attributed it to my anxiety. Maybe deep down I was anxious about something? A week later I noticed these were coming more frequently. One morning I was browsing my Fit Bit app and saw my resting heart rate average (last 30 days) went from 67 to 89. I freaked. So, of course, I start having a panic attack. It’s OK… I’ve had panic attacks before. It took me a while, but eventually I was able to get myself out of that. But my symptoms did not stop.
I have had a racing heart rate, over 100 bpm, for the last 11 days... all day long, even when I feel relaxed.
Even when all this is coming to light, I still didn’t go to the doctor. I had a busy week coming up and I didn’t want to risk getting even more behind on my daily tasks. So this is where I am now… 11 days after my panic attack, 11 days after the symptoms started to be more severe, 11 days after I should have gone to the doctor.
I know that there is something wrong with me that is more than just typical anxiety. I am almost completely sure that I either have hyperthyroidism or anemia, which is contributing to my fast heart rate and subsequent panic attacks. I have already cut out caffeine, started we taking my supplements, started Meditation again, and started eating better.
This time, I’m taking an extra step to help heal. I am going to challenge myself to 30 days of self-care. Although today was the start of my journey, I am officially starting tomorrow and I invite you to follow me as well. I will be posting my progress on Instagram with the hashtag #SelfcareMamaJourney.
Every day we should practice some form of self care, whether it be putting on make up for the first time in several days, or going to get a massage or your nails done. I understand, that as a mother, some of those things seem impossible. The days begin to blur together as you care for everyone else in the household but yourself. Even if it’s something small, I want you to make note of it. Just recognizing that can be very helpful to your overall mental health and physical well-being.
Today I went to the doctor. Tomorrow, I am taking my son to the library and will check out a book for myself... one I’ve been wanting to read for a while. Instead of saying, “hopefully, I will get to take time to read this today,“ I will make sure I read it.
I will also post updates to the blog with my official diagnosis once I get more info. Part of me wants nothing to be wrong, because I’m hoping that I can heal without medications or other medical interventions. I’m hoping that the simple practice of self-care can make me feel normal again. But then again, part of me wants something “wrong” so that I can hopefully have the reassurance that I will be OK. I’m not sure if that even make sense… I’m just sitting here in the waiting room hoping that I get as much info as possible at today’s appointment.
Update: the nurse practitioner wanted to do some further testing, including bloodwork and a chest x-ray. Because I’ve waited so long having a heart rate of over 100 bpm, my doctor is concerned of possible blood vessel dilation or fluid retention, based on some other symptoms I’m having. I am going to have an x-ray today at an imaging facility, along with bloodwork, and then a follow up on Wednesday.
More to come… Hope you continue to follow with me. How do you plan on practicing self care? Comment below!