Iron deficient (not anemic)

For the longest time it felt like I was always tired.  Just pooped.  Not much energy.  I couldn’t even wash all the dishes because standing for that long ended with me resting on the couch.

This lack of energy was so persistent that I had to will myself to get up and keep going in order to live a normal life.  Walking for an hour just exhausted me.  And let alone, running.  With running, I slogged through it, moving as if through quicksand.  And all this time I thought the problem was me.

Turns out I’m iron deficient.  My ferritin level is 14.  And it should be over 45 (for me at least).

What’s crazy is that I’ve been trying to figure out why I seemed to have little to no energy for years now.  After I saw my new doctor (who came along with new health insurance plan), she ran a serum ferritin blood test.  This particular test is not usually part of the CBC (complete blood count) they usually run.  Serum ferritin measures the level of your iron stores, which I interpreted as your endurance.  It explains why I couldn’t make it through the day without taking a nap or bullying myself into “getting out there” and running.

I want other women who are feeling constantly tired to ask their doctors for this serum ferritin test.  The usually requested tests won’t measure your serum ferritin, only hemoglobin and hematocrit.  My understanding is that hemoglobin and hematocrit measure the amount of iron that exists in your blood.  And even those levels can be normal while your iron stores get depleted.  Menstruation, blood donation and being a runner can take a toll on your iron stores.  And even though I eat meat and love a good steak, my ferritin level was low.

The doctor put me on iron supplements, 65 mg twice a day.  It’s only been two weeks, but I’m hoping to see improvement at three weeks.

Good luck out there!  And remember to persist about that awful fatigue!


President-Elect Trump

Just writing the title is painful.  There are many emotions I and others are experiencing this week, and may well for the next four years.

I was stunned, stupefied, and flummoxed.  Whatever that feeling is when you think things will turn out awesome, great (“our first woman president”) and then the outcome is at the opposite end of the spectrum.

After I realized Trump had won the election, I couldn’t wrap my head around it for a few hours, and then when my body completely absorbed and accepted the idea, I crapped my pants.  Literally.  I was hiking and had one too many cups of coffee apparently.  And on my way down, I didn’t make it to the bathroom fast enough.  I will carry that memory with me for the next four years.

I am still stunned and petrified about what this means for our country.  Hearing bits and pieces of who is leading the transition team, and who’s going to be in the cabinet, is traumatizing.

But perhaps, it won’t be that bad, perhaps it wont effect my friends and family.  Still, the fact that a first-class asshole can become president reduces our country’s influence.  What kind of a role model is he?  He doesn’t pay taxes, he’s an internet bully, and he’s a man-child.  I don’t see how this will end up well.

While I don’t expect anyone to read this, I just needed to get this down.  I haven’t even really fully talked this over with anyone.  I’m too paralyzed and in a little bit of denial.

So this is the time where I advocate self-care.  Even if it’s just going through the motions, we need healthy citizens of this country.  How else are we going to make it through the next four years?  Let’s be kind to ourselves and one another.  If we can’t, then maybe see a therapist to work out why.

I’m not sure what role I will carve out for myself, but this election has certainly put a fire under my ass.  I can only think in broad strokes right now, but I need to think about how I can help citizens who will definitely be bullied.

How can you heal the entire nation when half won’t listen to facts or simple logic?  Is it even possible?


My heart hurts today

Yesterday I ran into an old friend yesterday. We stopped seeing each other because of her husband. (He’s one of the toxic people I need to avoid.)  I was super happy to see her. She, not-so-much. After an awkward hug we parted ways. It wasn’t until later that my emotions surfaced and I realized how much I miss my friend. 

A few hours later we saw “Trainwreck”, which was awesome. But it totally reminded me of my old life and what it was like: the drinking, the partying, lack of close friends. I don’t miss it, but Amy reminded me of myself and made me super emotional. 

So today I am still a little emotional and sad.  But luckily a new In-n-Out opened up in Alameda, so I’m going to stuff my feelings for a litle while. 

Thank you Dr. Johanna Lelke!

Thank you Dr. Johanna Lelke!

Dr. Lelke came out and helped out some Oakland youth over the last several months.  She stepped up and gave knowledgeable advice and practical stretches for aches and pains.  I know one young student religiously did her stretches for shin pain and she was able to complete her first half marathon because of it.  Thanks Johanna!  You are an angel!

Oaklanders, I hope you’ll help support Johanna and seek her out when you need chiropractic care. Her office is in Berkeley, check out her website: Lelke Chiropractic Sports Therapy.

Here’s her post on Running for a Better Oakland: