I woke up at 5:30 a.m. (to get ready for the 6:45 a.m. Mass) but I felt terrible. Stomach queasiness and some weakness/fatigue. Back to sleep. Up a while later, still feeling off. Back to sleep. Woke up in time for the last English Mass of the day... only to feel weak (heaviness in muscles) and really off. For the next hour or so, I felt the same -- weak/heaviness, fatigue, groggy eyes (which I still have), and a bit of shortness of breath.
I worried for a while. "Why am I feeling this way? This is kind of scary. What's going on?" I did the Memorare prayer 3-4 times, asking Mama Mary for help to illuminate my mind. Did I have to go to the ER? Was it anxiety related? I got the idea to look up the symptoms on Google (a big "no no" if you have anxiety/panic disorder) and I found the cause pretty quickly: anemia. All the symptoms I have (and have had this past week) are all anemia related. My anxiety levels went down... and a new determination set in.
I hate missing Mass. If you've read this blog long enough you know that I am reduced to tears most of the time that I can't attend Mass. I say "most of the time" because sometimes I understand that, no matter how hard I try, my body just doesn't cooperate with me... and I know that God loves me regardless. Most of the time, though, I cry because I get frustrated. All I want to do is attend Mass! Why can't I just attend Mass?
Recently I've been "okay" with the fact that my health stinks because I know that it's forced me to slow down and reevaluate things. I was a healthy child and teenager. I rarely got sick and, when I did, it was never too bad... however, I developed a slew of crummy habits and was heading down the wrong path. I will say that I didn't do anything like drinking, drugs, or sleeping around but I was still doing stupid things I regret.
I got anxiety as a teenager (at 15). That forced me to redirect my path. I learned to live with it... and then I was hit with a bad breakdown at 21 that, in the end, resulted in my return to the Church. That put me on the right path. In the past year, I had gotten a handle on my stomach issues and I was thriving in terms of not having anxiety... then I was hit with low platelets (and, lately) anemia.
I know this (minus the platelets) was brought on by poor nutrition (seriously, I was eating junk) and not taking care of myself for several years (I always put others before myself). I know that this is a good thing because, even though I feel exhausted and blah most days, it's forcing me to finally take care of myself and my needs. Most importantly, it's also giving me the chance to improve my relationship with God. I was so busy and focused on other things that my prayer life took a backseat to everything else. So, thanks for this anemia... but, seriously, why can't I just go to Mass?!
I hope to make it to Mass during the week but I've been trying for weeks without success. Last Sunday I was falling asleep in Mass but I made it. This week... nope. If any of you have any suggestions (besides red meat, lentils, leafy greens, liver, beans, iron-enriched cereals) for anemia, please send them my way. My stomach couldn't handle the iron pills the doctor gave me so... suggestions are welcomed. I'm also going to be selfish and ask for prayers because it's sometimes hard just to make it through the day with the fatigue and/or shortness of breath.