Saturday, March 11, 2017

My Body Feels Weak but My Heart is on Fire

Oh, Lent 2017... you're throwing me some massive curveballs I wasn't anticipating. As I mentioned in the last post, on Thursday I went to my follow-up appointment with my doctor following Tuesday's E.R. visit. A new plan was put in place in hopes to better my iron absorption. Ask me if I've been able to get myself to more than one store to try to find either a ferrous gluconate or another iron pill that I can try. Nope. Ask me if this is intentional or because of time management issues? The answer is "nope!" Now that I'm trying to be even more gung-ho about finding other iron alternatives, I have something new (yet old) that's popped up. It's called extreme fatigue lethargy and it stinks.

Since about Wednesday-Thursday, I've felt a lot more run down than usual. I'm sleeping longer and later. I'm randomly falling asleep during the day. I would've blamed my anemia except for the fact that I've had my hemoglobin and iron levels much lower in the past (and they're actually not too bad; I'm only "slightly" anemic) and have still been able to retain enough energy to do what I need to do. No, this is something else. I have a few theories.

The first theory is the stress and all the non-stop busyness that has popped up in the last couple of days. I went from being sick (which a doctor warned me against) to traveling (and getting only 2 hours of sleep the first day) before I was able to full recovery. I also tried to fast on Ash Wednesday and I abstained from meat and, well, fasting and I aren't friends. That and I needed the iron. Yeah, I know, poor thinking on my part.

The second theory is that I ended up accidentally ingesting enough dairy to make me sick when the waitress messed up my order when we were in Tijuana last weekend; the waitress simply scraped off the cheese they had added to my plate (after I told her I was allergic) and didn't bother checking under my grilled chicken or fries where I later found cheese, after accidentally eating a bit of it. This feeling of intense fatigue and lethargy is typical (for me) when I have dairy and is the reason why they took it out of my diet over a decade ago.

My third theory is that it's just been way too hot lately (what is "winter" in March?) and, since we just replaced our central air filter and have been able to turn on the AC today, I've simply overheated during the day the last couple of days.

Right now, I'm going with a combo of all the above though I'm guessing number #2 (accidental dairy consumption) has been the biggest culprit for the additional tiredness. Either way, I've had to change and/or cancel my plans and it's made me a bit grumpy... and very happy.

I was set to help out at a soup kitchen with my fellow young adult group members this morning but I had a feeling I wasn't going to be able to stay on my feet or do anything too productive in the 4 hours we were scheduled to by there. I ended up emailing the group's organizer that I had to cancel. It's a good thing I did because Mom said I looked terrible this morning (before I passed out and slept for another 3 hours due to the exhaustion).

Since I nixed the plans to drive into Hollywood for the community service we were doing, I thought I was going to be okay enough to drive to a local parish for morning confessions. Nope. As I said, Mom said I looked terrible in the morning so we put it off until the afternoon. What happened this afternoon? I started feeling shaky and weak about half an hour before we had to leave. We ended up missing confession and I've not yet recovered enough to attend Saturday Vigil Mass. We'll try again tomorrow.

I normally don't have a bunch of these different health issues come at me all at once. The cold I had two weeks ago was followed by the week-long intense molar pain. That ended up in my jaw for two days and neither the dentist nor the doctor could figure out the cause for it. Now I'm experiencing extreme fatigue and lethargy? What gives? Oh yes, it's Lent and all of this started the weekend before Lent began. No, I'm not blaming Lent... exactly. It's just an interesting coincidence.

I truly believe that I'm going through all of this for a reason I've yet to figure out. Of course, I also have theories (when do I not? lol) about why I've been going through all of this... and most are making me happy. Right now, I'm going with the theory that God is going to prepare me for something good. Whenever I get hit with a bunch of things at once -- whether they are all health-related, school-related, finance-related, etc. -- I end up learning something extremely valuable that also helps me grow in my spiritual life.

Before all of this began, I was feeling pretty stagnant in my spiritual life. After an amazing Advent (with those wonderful 54-day Rosary novena results) and Christmastide, I felt like I had outgrown where I was; like I needed to step things up in both spiritual life and in my life in general. Not only was I feeling like that, the combination of fear and lack of trust were also wrecking havoc on my interior life. I was restless and I felt unworthy of His mercy but I was too afraid to do anything about it.

As weird as it sounds, since this past Thursday -- especially after beginning Roses Among Thorns by St. Francis de Sales -- I feel like I'm starting to break through that. I have such a great desire to attend confession and Mass. I was looking forward to stepping away from my selfishness and doing something for someone else. Needless to say, it's bumming me out more than usual that I missed out on two chances today due to circumstances beyond my control. (P.S. if any of my offline friends are reading this and will be in my area -- and want to help a sister out -- having the option of someone offering to drive me to Mass might help me get there for once. Just saying.)

There's a great joy and hope that I haven't felt for several weeks, maybe even since Advent ended. I feel like something in me has been woken up, that fire has been lit, *insert another cliché here*, and like I'm going to go through another massive change throughout this season. Not only that, I feel like doing a lot of good for others. I'm not sure how with what I have on my plate, but I want to do something that will make a difference in at least one person's life this Lent. Of course, I may just feel like that and nothing may end up happening (remember that feelings can trip you up sometimes) but, I don't know, that hope is there. My optimistic side is clinging onto that feeling like a life preserver.

Perhaps I have to go through all of this now to appreciate what is to come. God only knows. What I do know is that these little bits of hope and joy are giving me the courage to face my fears, a big way, too, and the strength to endure all the physical symptoms I've felt lately. To quote my favorite (soon-to-be) saint, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, "verso l'alto." I may not physically feel energized but, oh, my heart and my spirit feel on fire. ;) (side note: before two of you seminarian friends -- you know who you are -- make the joke, yes, I'm sure it's not heartburn I'm experiencing, thankyouverymuch. ;D)

Anyway, I still have to finish cleaning the apartment (I took a break while I recovered from feeling a bit shaky and weak) so I'll go try to do that now that I feel a bit better.

I hope y'all are having a lovely weekend thus far. :)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless. :D


AnneMarie said...

Whoa, Bl. Frassati is a "soon to be" saint? Is he officially getting canonized soon? Ever since I graduated from Franciscan, I've pretty much lost track of who is getting canonized when and am pretty much like a hobbit when it comes to news of the outside world haha.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Rumor has it he's on the verge of getting canonized and that it may be very soon. I'm excited... and I need a proper notification so I can set aside time and a portion of my savings to be at the Vatican for the day when he gets canonized. lol