Thursday, January 09, 2020

Inside of Me

Inside of me there's mixed feelings.

This constant tiredness I have, so limiting, so crushing. Raising the old voices: You're lazy, you're good for nothing. Why are you pretending? You can't be this tired. Nobody can be this exhausted.

Inside of me I think, as I park beneath an ice-covered sign, and get George, my trusty companion cane from his back seat, why am I here again, at my nephrologist's, going over the readings: the stalled (I hope) kidney deterioration, the never really controlled blood pressure. He will be dismissive and win the latest award for complete lack of bedside manner.

Inside of me perks up when his nurse talks about my media appearances how all of them are quite impressed at what I have accomplished even if it's only awareness of the crisis of senior poverty.

Inside of me cringes, I've gained five pounds. Not surprised. I am far too good to myself as my people have it.

Inside of me, I'm pleased he meets my eyes many times and apologizes for having to take a cellphone emergency call from the dialysis unit.

He goes over my latest results on his screen and stabs at my blood readings.

You are severely anaemic! he says, did you know about this? Are you exhausted all the time?

Inside of me I flutter with mixed emotions: well that explains it, oh that's a relief. I'm not a lazy arse after all.

This is serious, he continues, and may involve some kind of bleeding. I'm sending you for some tests.

Inside of me I think: Add this to the Test Pile. I'm on this medical testing treadmill now. An old woman who talks incessantly about the stream of specialists and tests cluttering her daytimer and grimly condemning the wallpaper in God's waiting rooms.

Inside of me I yell at my inside classroom: Which one of you is misbehaving? Is it you liver? I haven't heard from you in a while. Not you bowels, you've always behaved yourself. Sort of, as you can be quite secretive and rebellious. You've let down many of my friends. Skin? No cuts or bruises. Good job there, skin. Heart, you keep booming late at night and missing those beats, and that congestive nonsense has got to stop - that's another test coming up. A Holter test to catch you in the act, so to speak.

Inside of me I think: Is all this necessary? Should I just cruise on, oblivious, reading and knitting and tired and wonky on the pins. Does health stress, tests, consults, exams and all the rest of it contribute to a far earlier demise?

And oh yeah:
This is our current weather status here. Worst winter ever. I offer it to my Australian readers, it might just cool you down, if only for a minute, looking at this.


  1. Thank you.
    For the post (which is all tooo familiar) and for that final cooling photo.
    I have a neurologist's appointment this morning. I hope not to be forced to leap on the test treadmill again (particularly if said tests include an MRI).
    I do understand the fatigue and the self castigation too. I wish I didn't.
    Good luck. I love your attitude.
    My area of Oz is on high alert this weekend. Nearby out of control fires will head our way if the wind changes. And today the forecast is very hot and equally windy.

  2. I would be exhausted all the time, too, if I had to deal with that much cold. One day this past week I went to bed so tired and slept soundly all night, getting about 10 hours of solid sleep after not doing all that much during the previous day. Then I remembered, I had worked hard at staying warm!

  3. No, don't want snow like that, thanks. It is an interesting point you make about just cruising along, doing what you want and ignoring whatever may be happening with your body. Maybe at the age of 60 you could have had similar thoughts, but there is a good reason why you are alive now, modern medicine. While you brain is still good, save your body as best you can manage.

  4. I do think that sometimes the eternal treadmill of testing is more costly than helpful. Statistics say that we live longerthan we used to but often the quality of life is just not there, especially at the end.
    Having said that, if your anaemia is simple, it's an easy fix and you will feel a lot better.

    I wish your winter was less cold, it's all a pattern of greater extremes, which is not good for anyone at all

  5. Ye Dogs, how I detest tests - well not the tests themselves really, but the waiting for results, the anxiety involved, which doesn't do me, or anyone, much good. I hope your anaemia can be easily dealt with WWW. Your style of writing of it all is so picturesque!

    I've been anaemic from time to time in recent years. My GP first prescribed some tablets called "Integra" quite a while ago, before all my recent issues. They have always dealt with the recurring problem quickly - am now finishing my latest refill (a bit expensive but never mind) - I do feel a little less lethargic.

    Your snow photo made me shiver - we are told to expect a little of the white stuff, here in OK, on Saturday, but I doubt it'll be much in volume.

  6. I only recently exited a chamber of tests and more tests. I've read all the results. Don't know what they say.

  7. Tests are stressing and hard on the ease of mind, the waiting time after even more. Piping in with Andrew: Brain is good, get that body fixed. Anemia is most probably the reason not only for tiredness but also for bleak thoughts. At least it has hit me like that as well.
    Thanks for the snow, I'd like some, as we have days of overcast, grey and drizzle with 5 to 8 degrees. Depressing, and never quite daylight. But then again, I would not trade with the Australians.

  8. Hey! Someone dumped a load of washing suds in that street! :)
    Should you cruise on, oblivious? NO. Twice NO.
    Find the cause of the anaemia and free yourself from the never ending tiredness. I'm often anaemic myself because I don't eat enough red meat. I take iron tabs, but it isn't quite the same and after having a steak for dinner, I really notice the difference for the next couple of days. So find your cause and get it fixed or helped at least.
    Last November was tiring for me after a solid week of heavy nosebleeds, but I knew the cause.

  9. The latest diagnosis may well turn out to be the turning point for you and I send you my best wishes that it proves to be so.

  10. Anemia is serious, often involving internal bleeding. Are you taking ibuprofen or aspirin? That could lead to bleeding. I took too much ibuprofen and landed in the hospital. I was given 2 units of blood and taken off ibuprofen. I am not anemic anymore.

  11. Thank you all for these supportive comments. I am (as my Tao meditation said today) not behaving like ash anymore but rising like a phoenix). It was such powerful imagery I had to share it.

    Onward. With flames.


  12. Before I read the others comments . I got my heart to stop missing beats and things by taking magnesium. It worked, didn't take too long and I felt better.
    Anemia too can cause shortness of breath and it could only be iron deficiency.
    With the weather that bad , it would be nice if they would just keep you in house and get all this shite done at once and be done with it and all your fatiguing travel and worry. I wish they got it that all people do not love their dragging out of treatment . The stress it causes is sometimes insurmountable and then you need drugs for that ,as well. Hugs my dear.

    1. Excuse the French. or Irish. shite. my passion overwhelms me sometimes

  13. Here is another symptom of anemia...Anemia can lead to the rapid or irregular heartbeat. In anemia, the heart has to pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the blood. This leads to increase in the size of the heart or heart failure. The last is from a website of symptoms.
    So maybe take iron and you will be right as could take only that little and here they go dragging you through the mud....or snow as it may be. :)

  14. It's a damned if you do damned if you don't kind of thing isn't it? All that medical testing and whatnot wears you out but you do it in hopes that it will provide an answer that will fix you right up. Or at least slow down the deterioration... I heard that NL got walloped by that last storm, but I didn't realize how bad! We got some of it but not quite like that. Now we're in for a weekend of rain, typical NS kind of winter.

  15. That sounds like an awful rigmarole of tests and check-ups. And you have to dig your way there through the snow. Hopefully some good will come out of them. At least you've discovered that your exhaustion is probably due to anaemia.

  16. I hear you on the medical treadmill. Just had an ultrasound for a suspicious lump last week - I feel like I'll be having frequent tests for the rest of my life!

    If it's anemia, the good news is that can be treated and then maybe you'll get some of your energy back.

    We are having unseasonably warm weather here. I was out walk in shirt sleeves today.


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