Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A month of health woes

(Doctor Maya....to the rescue!)

Even though I do live my life like an open book, sometimes I feel unsure about what to reveal online - especially when it comes to health problems. I have been meaning to respond to all my reader's comments for quite a while, but I have had a really bad month health-wise, to be honest. In the last month, I have been admitted to the hospital five times, which is scary in itself.

I suppose it all started a few months ago - with not my own health problems, but my dads. I mentioned it briefly that I was stressed out about it, yet until I myself landed sick - I really didn`t realize to what extent it had affected me. For the past couple of years, my dad has struggled with his balance and has been consistently tested for everything under the sun - until this year, when he was diagnosed with Ataxia. Having survived colon cancer last year, we all felt grateful that he got a clean bill of health...or so we thought. Having Ataxia means that he will gradually lose muscle control and end up in a wheelchair, unless he is proactive about it and exercises to improve his muscle tone. My dad has been completely in denial about it and has outrightly refused to exercise to help improve the Ataxia, and it has made us all worried sick. We have begged, we have pleaded, we have yelled at him, we have given him helpful tips, we have offered to exercise along with him....and he has refused. This has gone on for months now. It is extremely hard to see someone you love shrivel away right in front of you - very much a choice - and you can do nothing about it.

Not only that, but since the new year started, husband-ji & I have been trying for a second child with no luck, so far. Which makes me feel like such a failure as a woman. My doctor said she thinks stress has a lot to do with it. So I have been making this huge effort to de-stress, including doing nightly evening yoga, reading books, doing Art, going for massage and reflexology....I have been so proactive about de-stressing that I have practically made it into a job! And... I'm still stressed out about my dad! I see my dad quite frequently and every time is hard for me to see him deteriorate a little bit more than they day before. I have been trying to take control over this stress, but I essentially feel quite powerless. I don't really know how not to get stressed about it.

Shortly after Easter, I began to feel nauseated - identical to pregnancy nausea. For the first time in my life, I was actually happy to be nauseous. In my mind, I was calculating a due date, thinking about how I would tell our family, and dreaming of onesies and baby socks again. Not long after, I felt more sick along with a strange dizziness that made it difficult for me to walk. I immediately went to the hospital, wherein they gave me a triple whammy - I had a bad kidney infection, I was not pregnant, AND I have anemia. Turns out that I had an undiagnosed bladder infection which turned into a kidney infection - that I was literally so preoccupied with my dad's health that I completely forgot about my own health. Talk about a big wake up call!

Now the doctor has me on iron tablets, eating iron rich foods, and is insisting that I eat meats at least once a day. The only problem? Holy cow-worshipping husband-ji doesn't allow meats in the house, since he is a strict vegetarian. Luckily, since the doctor gave her orders, he has let up a bit by allowing me to have take-out meat dishes at home. But I can tell the smell really bothers him, which is enough to make me feel crappy about it!

Almost immediately after I recovered from my kidney infection, I landed in the hospital again after catching a bad case of strep throat - which I swear I actually caught from that same hospital! So, now I am on the mend from that....and feeling utterly drained from FIVE visits to the hospital in one month, and never-ending antibiotics that seem to drain my already frail energy. It has been really depressing too. This past weekend was husband-ji's birthday and Mother's Day - my favorite annual event - and I was too sick to even celebrate it!

Now, both my MIL and my superstitious Greek godmother are convinced that I have some kind of evil eye“ hex on me! At this point, I'm just glad that Maya and husband-ji are healthy. And I am definitely grateful that we are in Canada, which means I can go to the hospital so many times without having to ever take out my wallet!

In many ways, the readers of my blog have become a supportive village for me, coming along on these experiences for me, giving me advice and rooting for me. So many times with health problems - people suffer in silence. I hope by being honest about all this will send me some good vibes around the world to aid my recovery, and hopefully help get my strength back.

If I'm able to feel better this week, I'd like a do-over of husband-ji's birthday & Mother's Day! Those are my plans for next weekend!


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16 comments

  1. Get well soon Alexandra! Don't forget to take care of yourself and your health too! It's important to live a healthy life.

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  2. Alex,

    So sorry to hear about your Dad, I hope he does exercise his muscles more. This is very distressing. On the same note I hope you get better very soon. Sorry you have had strep and anemia. We will pray for good health for you and your family. Maya is really a great doctor! Such a great picture of her and husband-ji.

    Melissa

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  3. Hi! I've been a vegetarian for more than ten years now and I have suffered from anemia for a couple of years. Two years ago I started to eat more consciously and I tried to include much more peas, beans, millet, oats, fresh herbs and many other iron-containing foods in my diet. My last two blood tests were completely normal. It's worth to look up some iron-containing foods and to integrate them into yout daily meals. Also, lingonberry juice helped me when I had a chronic bladder infection. Get well soon!

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  4. It sounds like the thought of the stress has been causing more stress and I can understand completely how that is. Are you able to take some time off to get away from the environment completely? A student of mine was telling me about a 10 day meditation camp (in complete silence) and it has always worked wonders for me. Being a mother, like you, I cannot simply take off for 10 days, but I can manage 3-5 days- see if you can too and if there are meditation camps/retreats close to home so you can get away for a few days, really start to destress, and then go from there.

    Hang in there.

    Raina.

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  5. Oh my god!!! Its too bad you have anaemia right now but on another note it was good that you got diagnosed before getting pregnant. Having anemia during pregnancy is worse than that! Also stress and anxiety are the deadliest things that get in the way when trying for a child. Try not to be too bothered by it and leave it to the heavens. It will certainly happen at the right time. My sister was diagnosed of anemia once and I remember the doc saying that natural sources of nutrition is the best no matter what! Supplements are so far good but they tend to interfere in our body's system and in some cases do more harm than good. So stop making yourself feel guilty about eating non veg. That is the last thing to be on your mind. I hope ur dad listens to you guys soon. If only it were easy to watch ur loved ones go on the path if self destruction. Sigh.

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  6. So sorry to hear about all your health problems. Hope you are feeling better soon and that your Dad comes around to helping himself.

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  7. Oh, no, poor you !

    Have you tried taking probiotics, they are very good to me. Don't worry about the pregnancy, they say one year is the average time to get pregnant. Before my last pregnancy I did a detox diet, with plenty of leafy greens (including in green smoothies), nuts, pulses and unrefined grains, and going easy on gluten, sugar and dairies + taking all kinds of herbal products and it balanced both my body and mind. I was not even trying to get pregnant and it happened under contraception.

    I wouldn't get worked up about eating meat, even Dalai Lama has it when he is very ill. As for your husband, I am sure he puts your health first.

    Get well soon ! <3 (Padparadscha)

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    Replies
    1. Apparently 50% of Indian women have anemia. It's less in Kerala (20%) and some nutritionnists think it's because they eat a lot of coconut over there (Pad).

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  8. I understand your stress about your dad's health issue, but a little detachment is necessary given that he himself is not ready to do anything about it. I know easier said than done, but I've implemented that in my own life, since I've a very stubborn dad.

    I'm a vegetarian just like your husband, born in a veg household, green leafy vegetables and nuts does wonders for anemia. Good luck and take care.

    You are a very positive person, I'm sure your positivity will immensely help you during the stressful period.

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  9. Sorry about your health. Take care and eat well. Also, I do not know what to say or how to deal with your dad and it is a very difficult situation. It is very sad when people you love refuse to take care of their health.

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  10. oh dear alex ... take care dear .. u always give us positives vibes ..then why u feel so many negatives things .. ur all readers are with u .... please take care urself .. for ur cute daughter n for ur husband n for urself too..and dont stress or hurry for ur pregnancy .. infact dis is ur second time ..then why u feel like dis ..dis is not at all gud ...first be fit after that u think about second baby ... .. take care dear ...

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  11. Geez, that sounds intense. Sending good vibes your way !

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  12. Sorry to hear that. Take care of yourself.

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  13. Exercise more.

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  14. Hi Alexandra,
    I hope that your health is improving!
    The situation with your Dad is really tough.
    I would never recommend natural family planning for avoiding pregnancy but it can be effective for couples seeking pregnancy. Your local Catholic Church should have more information about where you can take classes. We were fortunate to have friends who are teachers of NFP and they omitted the religious part of the course as we are not Catholic.
    - Rebecca

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  15. Hi Alexandra,
    I hope that your health is improving!
    The situation with your Dad is really tough.
    I would never recommend natural family planning for avoiding pregnancy but it can be effective for couples seeking pregnancy. Your local Catholic Church should have more information about where you can take classes. We were fortunate to have friends who are teachers of NFP and they omitted the religious part of the course as we are not Catholic.
    - Rebecca

    ReplyDelete

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