For the last several weeks, I have lived and breathed my job. With sprinkles of family life thrown in.
This week, that changes.
As of today, I’m off from work for the rest of the week, and will be preparing my contributions to our Thanksgiving meal, gathering with friends and family, enjoying the out of doors, participating in Black Friday shopping, and putting up Christmas decor.
Busy is my middle name, even when I’m away from my job.
Yesterday, after the end of another 12 hour work day, I collapsed into my bed, certain that I would likely require some sort of crane to remove me from it this morning. Thankfully, I slept a solid 9ish hours (which never happens) and I awoke this morning with a renewed fervor for life beyond my career.
Last week, I had a follow up with a new medical professional, a nurse practitioner recommended to me by my sister.
As it happens, I have similar health issues to my sibling, one of which is a gene mutation known as MTHFR.
This mutation affects the body’s ability to process B vitamins and folic acid, and can contribute to a wide variety of medical problems including fatigue, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, etc.
In addition, my previous doctor tried me on a hormone patch earlier this year, but when it caused me some problems, she told me I’d simply have to “tough out” the menopausal symptoms that I have due to my hysterectomy from 3 years ago.
The nurse practitioner I’m seeing now was not satisfied with that approach, and neither am I. We started a regimen of new things based on the results received from some extensive blood work.
For starters, now that we know I have the gene mutation, I can begin taking a superduper mega vitamin that will help me restore my body’s requirements of B vitamins and folate.
Secondly, I have begun monthly injections of HRT. This clinic doesn’t use synthetic stuff, only natural, and, just as the nurse predicted, I am experiencing a surge of energy today from the shot I took last week. My mental clarity is already improved, and due to the Progesterone she started me on after my first visit in October, I am sleeping better than I have in YEARSSSSSS.
She has put me on medication for anxiety/depression that is, what a concept, actually covered by my insurance, and added a baby aspirin to my daily regimen since blood work results also indicated an increased risk that I have for blood clots.
For the first time in many years, I feel cared for, treated, and properly monitored by a health care provider. But only because I have been a fierce advocate for my own health.
Once my ankle and leg have fully healed from my klutz moment on the stairs, I’ll be back on the treadmill (which I had somehow managed to be consistent with the last few months, despite feeling like walking death) and adding weight resistant pilates back into my routine along with lower sugar intake. I’m going to beat the problems and potential risks of my genetics and physical makeup, dammit. I’m not giving up.
I have much to be thankful for this week. I’m on to better days, physically and mentally. My family is whole and healthyish, my job is secure, my bills are paid, and my table is plentiful. My home is warm. My God is faithful.
My cup, indeed, overfloweth.
There are busy weeks ahead, as I’m in the middle of the largest liquidation I’ve ever had to oversee. The time of year that is usually most quiet on my professional front is chaotic and overwhelming at times. But the quiet peace and rich expectation of Advent is on the horizon. And I’m thankful for that as well.
Because of everything mentioned in the previous paragraphs, I feel as though I have wholly neglected many people that are important in my life. But I have had to put myself first a lot recently out of necessity, and I’m learning to not apologize for that. Because I can do nothing for anyone else unless I first care for me.
I was perusing Instagram this morning, looking at the Christmas decorations around places I visited in San Diego this past summer. It reminded me of that trip, and what a truly banner year 2018 has been.
There have been plenty of lows, of course, because the year started with some of the worst depression and sickness I’d experienced in a long, long time. But looking back now, I see how far I’ve come. How far my marriage has come. My parenting. My career. My perspective. I needed every high, and every low, to appreciate where I am and to know exactly what I needed to do to use them for my benefit.
I am a work in progress, after all. As are all of us.
November has certainly been full of madness. Good and bad. Exhausting and exhilarating. But I usually START a new year with the feelings that I’m having at the close of this one: hope, anticipation, high expectations. And there is growth in that realization.
And I’m thankful.