Here I am.

Published Categorised as Life in General No Comments on Here I am.


(goat girl photo by Anton Babushkin)

My life has been both turbu­lent and boring at the same time lately, and I haven’t been writ­ing here, as I haven’t had the energy. I have been suffer­ing with health prob­lems, deal­ing with family illness, and trying to keep my head above water in a London that is increas­ingly unaf­ford­able and inhos­pit­able. (And to make things even worse, this week­end a homet­own friend died at a horribly young age. RIP Louise).

I came down with shingles twice before Christ­mas, and altern­ated work­ing long gruelling hours as a train­ee teach­er with being on sick leave, until at the end of Febru­ary it became clear that I just wasn’t well enough to do the course and place­ments this year, so I offi­cially deferred my place.

I thought a week or so of rest would make me feel much better, and then I could find some low key work to tide me over. Instead my health got much worse. I was exhausted, with swollen pain­ful joints. I could barely hold a pen, and some morn­ings I’d wake up and not be able to bend my knees. I had constant brain fog, and would struggle to find words or concen­trate, and had terrible insom­nia and anxi­ety and hot flushes. Time at home to rest and recu­per­ate seems an ideal time to read, watch shows and films, and quietly work on creat­ive projects, but I struggled to do any of those. Doing anything remotely fun could wipe me out for days. I did my best to eat health­ily, try to get good sleep at reas­on­able times and get up early, take a whole host of supple­ments just in case, and took up yoga. In the last six months I have had drinks on precisely two occa­sions. None of this healthy living seemed to do me much good.

For 6 weeks I got iller and iller. I felt like I was 80 and had the flu at the same time. I went back and forth for blood tests and doctor’s appoint­ments to rule out scary autoim­mune things like rheum­at­oid arth­rit­is and lupus. They came back clear, thank­fully, as did everything else, but I star­ted to get worried that noth­ing would come up on the tests, and I would just be ill with no explan­a­tion, and star­ted to feel guilty like I was making it up or exag­ger­at­ing or some­thing.

Luck­ily I had a good and sympath­et­ic doctor who was clear that I was actu­ally ill, and she just needed to find out why. The third round of tests picked up that I had a seri­ous vitam­in D defi­ciency, caused by having multiple bouts of shingles, and courses of Pred­nisone over the previ­ous year. The doctor gave me some 10,000% RDA tablets to be taken twice a day for a week. (I had actu­ally already been taking vitam­in D supple­ments, but normal dosage ones, which weren’t enough to put a dent in the defi­ciency). After a couple of days I woke up and suddenly felt human again, and could bend my knees normally again. I still wasn’t 100% but it was pretty dramat­ic! A week later, despite having a stink­ing cold, I feel pretty ok, still not 100%, but normal levels of a little tired.

So if you’re feel­ing unusu­ally achey, tired, anxious or fuzzy brained and just all-round dread­ful, it might be worth asking your doctor to check your vitam­in D, B12 and iron levels, even if you have other phys­ic­al or psycho­lo­gic­al health prob­lems. It could make a big differ­ence. (I hate to think how this would all have gone had I been living under the US medic­al system- I prob­ably wouldn’t currently have insur­ance).

I haven’t been work­ing much lately either. I can’t afford to stay in London, and to be honest I’m not partic­u­larly motiv­ated to try. I had an offer to house-sit for a relat­ive in West Sussex from May to Septem­ber, so I’m going to do that. Some fresh sea air and peace and quiet will do me good, and give me a chance to do a lot of my own projects and try to build up some freel­ance work again.

So I’m on the mend, and on my way out of London in two weeks.

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