It’s been a while since my last blog post. It actually feels weird that I’m sat down with my laptop writing about this but I want to share why I have been silent over here. A lot happened the past few months and now I feel ready to share how I’ve been because for the first time in a long time, I actually feel like myself again.
So back in May, I went away on a trip with my mum back to the Philippines. Before our trip, I was posting 2-3 times a week as I had so many blog posts written up already and had a schedule. I wanted to continue that when I came back but it didn’t really go to plan. I was back at work, stressed as usual and then July came which was the most stressful time of my life.
My cat Mouse was hit by a car or something and was in and out of the vet. He eventually needed dental surgery and weeks of recovery so that consumed me. After he recovered, I thought I would feel better as the most stressful part was over and I could go back to “normal”. Weeks passed and nothing changed. I was gradually feeling worse and worse.
Then one week, I felt so bad and sick I booked myself a doctor’s appointment. I got a blood test done and the result was something I didn’t expect at all. I got tested for a bunch of things like iron and thyroid etc.
Then I also got tested for B12/folate and it came back low. I was deficient in B12 and after some research, everything I was feeling made sense. I want to share this because if anyone is feeling some of the symptoms below, I highly recommend you go to your GP and get a blood test specifically for it. All my life, it was ingrained in me that it’s important to have vitamins A, C and D, calcium etc. Vitamin B was mentioned but not B12 specifically. Now I know how essential it is. It affects everything.
To give you an idea, this is what I’ve been feeling for months:
I was tired ALL THE TIME. I had zero energy day in and day out and it made me not want to do anything. I thought winter made me feel really lazy but I was so lethargic. Waking up and going to work was a struggle every day and I’d come home so tired I’d fall asleep on the couch or on my bed if I lie down just after getting home.
I thought it was mainly because of all the stress from work, life and Mouse but I’ve never felt so tired every single day of my life. No matter how many hours of sleep I had or the naps I’ve taken in the weekend, I would wake up exhausted. I was so tired I stopped going to lunch time bootcamps at work, I didn’t want to go for walks even though that used to relax and make me happy. I was also short of breath most of the time too. My every day walk from my bus stop to work involves this steep uphill walkway. I would be out of breath when I reach the top and even just going up a flight of stairs.
Headaches and migraines
I started getting migraines maybe 2 years ago and I’ve been getting them occasionally ever since. Besides the awful migraines that were debilitating, I would have headaches regularly. In the week prior to me finally booking a doctor’s appointment, I was getting them every day.
Pins and Needles/Numbness/Tingling
I didn’t think much about this a I didn’t get them all the time but looking back, this should’ve been a tell-tale sign something was off. I’d be lying in bed and my arm or leg would be numb and when I’m sitting at work, my legs would get tingly.
Nausea and heartburn
I never get car sick. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve never had problems being inside a moving vehicle but I started feeling nauseous on the bus on the way home whenever the bus was full and stuffy because none of the buses now have windows you can open. Thankfully my bus home is only 15-20mins because I don’t think I would’ve lasted longer than that.
I also got heart burn at odd times.
I thought this was mainly due to stress as well and me not handling everything well but I felt so down. I felt depressed and anxious. I freaked out over the smallest things and there were a few breakdowns. One day I was working from home and one email about a report I haven’t finished tipped me over the edge and caused me a mental breakdown. I phoned a friend and colleague and I freaked out about how terrible and incompetent I am etc. It was terrible.
I booked myself an EAP session to talk to someone about stress (as I thought it was the main cause) but even after that I didn’t feel better. I actually didn’t enjoy that session at all which was odd because I’ve had a few sessions last year and they were all good but I guess I wasn’t in the right mindset for it that time.
This was a big one that made me think I was going crazy. I didn’t realise it at the time but after researching the symptoms of B12 deficiency, everything makes sense. For the past months, I could not focus. I felt like I couldn’t think properly. I struggled at work and felt incompetent at my job which I’ve been doing for years. I would easily miss things and I couldn’t explain things well.
I also forgot a lot of things. Not just at work but in my every day life. I would forget my house keys at least once a week (I now have a spare key in my bag at all times), I would forget to lock the house which is terrifying because my neighbour got broken into one night and I even forgot my car keys inside my car and left it sitting in the mall carpark a few times. This kept happening and I had no idea why. I would forget every day simple things.
I felt so stupid. I kept thinking, what the hell is wrong with me?!?
Well now I know.
The past months haven’t been the best. Before I went to the doctor, I felt like I was a shell of myself. I didn’t feel like myself for months and it’s because I really wasn’t. I wasn’t functioning at a 100% and my body felt like it was shutting down slowly. I joked that I was 70 years old trapped in a 28 year old body.
I should’ve gone to the doctor’s a lot earlier but as I mentioned at the start, so many things were going on when I got back from my trip that I thought everything was caused by the immense stress I found myself in. I didn’t think there was an underlying cause to that.
Finding out about being deficient in B12 felt bittersweet. I felt relieved to know I wasn’t just going crazy and there is a real reason why I felt the way I felt but also had that ‘shit, there is actually something wrong with me’ feeling.
I’ve done so much research about B12 and now know how important it is. I also find there is a lack of “real” people talking about it from first-hand experience. There are a lot of articles mentioning that people who are vegetarian and vegan are most prone to having B12 deficiency but that’s not necessarily true. I’m not vegetarian or vegan. I eat meat (where you naturally get B12) AND I was already taking B complex vitamins (bought from the supermarket). Clearly they weren’t enough.
I’m currently prescribed high dosage supplements and I’ve been taking them every single day. The first week or so, I didn’t notice much difference. I had a headache every single day and still experienced the symptoms. Now, I feel a lot better and I’ve felt some changes.
The past week just gone is actually the first week I felt like myself again. I felt less tired, more motivated and happier. I’ve joined the gym/leisure centre so I can improve my fitness. I’m going to be seeing a personal trainer who has developed a programme to start me off at low intensity first to slowly build by fitness back up again. I’m a bit teary writing this now because it feels like such a long time ago since I felt good about myself.
I’m sharing this in case anyone has been feeling some of the things I’ve listed above. This may help someone but I also just wanted to be open and honest here before I start posting my usual beauty, food or fashion post. It didn’t feel right just going back to my usual posts.
I have a long way to go still and I take each day as it comes but I’m currently feeling optimistic that I’m on the path to being myself again. Maybe even a better me? I hope so anyway.
If you’ve managed to reach the end, thank you for reading this post. I can’t promise I’ll have a blog schedule again or when my next post will be but I have more motivation to get this blog back again.
I’m not going to force myself and I’m taking a break from NZ Fashion Week this year because I know I won’t be able to handle it but I do have a few posts in mind already.
Thanks again for reading and I’ll see you soon. x