I want to share with you an experience that I have been through this past year. Warning: it may be TMI (too much information) but you know me, I’m a sharer especially with things that I know may also help others.
This time last year I went to my new doctor (I found a doctor closer to our new home after the move) to get my contraceptive pill prescription renewed. She asked me for a full history and asked so many questions, many that I had not been asked in a good 6 or more years by any other doctors renewing my script. Between all those years, so much had happened and I didn’t realise was quite significant for my doctor to know.
My mum passed away a few years ago of a sudden brain tumour. She was on blood thinning medication due to blood clots and one of my siblings is also on medication due to blood clots. This sent alarm bells to my Dr, who then refused to renew my script. She was astonished that doctors had been filling my script all these years. She was so worried for me and said I 100% shouldn’t be on the pill. She sent me for an instant blood test that day and the following day to check I didn’t have any clots. Thankfully, everything came back OK… no clots. That was a very scary 24 hours.
However, this frightened me so much and from this, I made one really big decision. My hubby and I always talked about the snip, so we finally booked him in for the procedure so I could stay off the pill… no more babies for us!
While on the pill, I have to admit I skipped quite a few sugar pills so I didn’t have to experience ‘that time of the month’. I could probably count on 2 hands the number of times I had ‘girl flu’ in the previous 2-3 years (is that bad??). But I was actually really content with the idea to get my body back to a natural state as I am approaching the big 4-0 later this year. Apart from trying to conceive my gorgeous children, I had been on the pill since I was 18, My ‘lady business’ before that was light, pain-free and mood-free.
What I didn’t expect was ‘Aunt Flo’ to be very different. No longer light and pain/mood-free, it gave ‘shark week’ a whole new meaning. For the past year I have been experiencing the most painful and heavy periods, resulting in me being extremely tired, moody and, at times, just had trouble dealing with the every day. However, I was trying to suck it up because my girls are young and I didn’t want them to fear ‘moon time’. I just thought that it was a part of this stage of life… my age, perhaps?
I went to the doctor a few weeks ago for my annual cholesterol check and, while I was there, mentioned I have been getting painful and restless legs which are keeping me awake at night. For months, I had just presumed they are varicose veins. My mum had them and I thought it was a genetic thing so I had just been putting up with it.
LESSON…. DON’T COME UP WITH YOUR OWN CONCLUSION & PUT UP WITH IT.
The doctor was concerned, much more than me. She checked my legs and said it was not varicose veins. She was worried it was keeping me awake and ordered for me to get some blood tests. My blood tests came back saying I was borderline iron anaemic. She instantly asked me “Do you have heavy ‘periods’?” I curiously answered, “Yes I do!” So, this may be the cause. She has medicated me to help my iron levels and I have to do some tests over the next few weeks, she has suggested some other ideas.
I googled Non-anaemic Iron Deficiency when I got home. I know this is a no-no but I can’t tell you how much relief I have after reading the symptoms:
- Poor work productivity
- Poor attention and memory
- Sore tongue
- Restless legs syndrome
Over the past year (as I mentioned here in February too), I have not been my usual happy energetic self and didn’t actually trigger it to going off the pill. I have felt every single one of these symptoms above. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like I wasn’t looking after me (and putting the kids first as we mums tend to do), I have tried so hard to boost my energy so many ways with no success.
I have been on my new iron tablets for the past fortnight and even in this short time, I am feeling so much better and am gradually feeling the old me coming back! I even did a Facebook Live yesterday… that’s how good I am feeling.
So moral of why I wanted to share this story is….. don’t make your own conclusion, see your doctor about the most simplest of ailments as they could end up more than you realise and can be fixed quite easily.
Note: If you have heavy periods, please don’t presume you too are low in iron and self-medicate, it’s very important you seek your doctors advice.