Don’t create your own conclusion about your health

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.

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.

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:

  • Fatigue
  • 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.

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15 comments

Melissa June 7, 2017 - 6:38 AM

Kat, thank you so much for sharing this story! It is so important for women to discuss these topics more openly. Sending you well wishes and hoping you only continue to improve from here 🙂

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 7, 2017 - 1:44 PM

thank you lovely, I have all the hope it’s just upwards from here 😉

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Roz June 7, 2017 - 7:26 AM

Can I please add another warning for readers? Don’t assume that because you are tired and maybe have heavy periods that you are low on iron and start taking over the counter iron tablets. This can also be dangerous as there are multiple other causes with similar symptoms including a condition where there is too much iron in the blood. I can’t reiterate Kat’s warning enough – see your doctor!! And if you can’t talk to your current doctor about your problems get a new doctor!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 7, 2017 - 1:44 PM

Brilliant point Roz, I have actually just edited the post to put in that little note. Our bodies are all different so we can’t come to the same conclusion. Yes you need to be able to be comfortable with your doctor and follow up on tests to find the solutions.

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Susan June 7, 2017 - 12:14 PM

Hi Kat. Thanks for your story. It sounds like you have a very thorough doctor. Sometimes we can all go on through habit doing the same things with no one checking. Thank goodness you are feeling a lot better.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 7, 2017 - 1:43 PM

My doctor is brilliant, and I think that makes a big difference where you can feel comfortable with talking to them and they take the time with you and not be so rushed.

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Susie June 7, 2017 - 1:04 PM

Thanks for the timely reminder. I’m glad you have some answers. I was meant to get a follow up blood test for my iron deficiency in January …… I’ve just started holidays today but will book it in as soon as I get back.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 7, 2017 - 1:42 PM

good idea to check and see how it is going. Hope you enjoy your holidays 🙂

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Susie June 7, 2017 - 6:13 PM

I’ve just ordered the book ‘The Period Repair Manual’ by Lara Briden. Heavy, painful periods (with mood swings) don’t have to be accepted as ‘just my time of life’. I’m hoping this book will help with that. Should be an interesting read, anyway. Your doctor sounds great!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 8, 2017 - 11:23 AM

She’s great, I was chatting with her yesterday after I wrote this post a bit further about the other tests she is doing to find the cause of why they have suddenly got heavier. I’m not a huge reader but I’ll have a look out for the book 🙂

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Anon M June 8, 2017 - 11:07 AM

Hi Kat, I agree with a lot of it. However with 9 kids, I’d be practically living at the gp’s. Lol. General colds and such are treated at home, I never go for a suspected uti. But I also try and be informed and sensative to the needs of my kids and acknowledge that I don’t have all the resources. Then we seek medical help. This also goes for hubby and me too. I’m so glad you are feeling better. Keep up the good work.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 8, 2017 - 2:38 PM

that’s good M that you are at least aware that you don’ thave all the information and then you seek the additional help 🙂

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Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid June 8, 2017 - 3:58 PM

It’s so important to listen to your body and seek help when you know it’s not right. I think in this day and age, with so much accessibility to information (here’s looking at you, Dr Google) we’re so prone to self-diagnosis but often doctor really does know best. It’s so important that we as woman have these open and honest discussions and can help and support each other. So pleased you’re feeling better – here’s to happy and healthy days ahead!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 9, 2017 - 9:54 AM

Yes, my grandfather used to always self-diagnose himself, I can only imagine what he would have been like if Google was around in his day.

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Elizabeth Hegarty June 11, 2017 - 12:01 AM

I have had restless legs my whole life. I never connected it to Iron. I take magnesium supplements nightly to help with it. They come and go but this year have been constant. Over the last few months I have been exhausted 24/7 and my iron levels won’t rise even though I’m on tablets. I had the gastric sleeve 4 years ago so I put low iron down to that and I was recently diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy so I put the low energy & breathlessness down to that. Luckily I have yearly blood tests with my GP and he is sending me off for a colonoscopy & endoscopy this week to see if there is a small bleed somewhere causing the iron deficiency. Luckily I don’t have to deal with periods anymore after having an ablation done 7 years ago. I have PCOS so I would have stages of heavy periods, to none for months, and in the end I was spotting daily for 9-10 months. Hence the ablation. Best decision ever. Periods suck. I hope you don’t have to keep going through heavy painful ones for too much longer.

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