I’m sitting at the old, wooden table in my garden, looking over the pond, and wondering how long I’ll be able to stay here before the wind gets too chilly and I’m forced to retreat to the conservatory. I have to sit in the shade to use my laptop because the backlit screen isn’t bright enough to be visible in sunlight.
The last couple of weeks, I’ve been noticing two health issues that I didn’t think were related, which is quite silly because I’ve had them before and they’ve been related, but I obviously have a short memory! I’ve been feeling lethargic and tired, and struggling up the hill out of town on my fully loaded bike, as if I’m lacking strength. At the same time, my asthma has been worse than usual. When I visited the doctor today for my routine depo injection, I considered asking for a prescription for a higher dose inhaler, but that would have meant trying to find an explanation as to why my asthma is worse than usual, and I didn’t really have a clue.
Until I was walking from the doctor’s to Mercadona (the supermarket in town) and the thought crossed my mind that the tiredness might be because I’m anaemic – again. I suffered from anaemia during the winter of 2013/14, when I didn’t feel like eating and my diet was really bad after my partner left. I diagnosed it myself, with the help of a few websites, and took a high dose multi vitamin and iron supplement for a few months. Problem solved.
When I got home from town, I went on the internet and checked the symptoms of anaemia, and lo and behold, according to the NHS website, the most common symptoms include
- tiredness and lethargy (lack of energy) – check
- shortness of breath – check
- heart palpitations (noticeable heartbeats) – I noticed this before I went to sleep last night and thought, “I wonder what’s causing that!”
- a pale complexion – well, I’m very tanned, so it’s kind of difficult to tell
There were some other less common symptoms listed, and the ones I particularly noticed were:
- headache – well, I am prone to headaches, but I’d noticed I’ve been having more lately
- painful ulcers (open sores) on the corners of your mouth – I’ve been getting what I thought was cracked skin (unusual in summer) at the corners of my mouth for the last couple of months
So, that decides it!
When I think about it, my diet this summer hasn’t exactly been loaded with iron. It’s consisted mostly of bread, fruit and soya milk, with a few other grains and a bit of yoghurt and cream cheese. The last thing I’ve wanted to do is use the oven and hob to add to the heat in the house, so I haven’t eaten any hot food since about the end of May.
I went over to my favourite supplements website, and ordered some iron tablets with vitamin C (last time I took them with orange juice, but the vitamin C ones seem a whole lot easier!) and they should be here in a few days. This is one of the problems of being single and just being able to eat whatever you feel like. It’s very easy to end up eating the same things all the time, and not get all the nutrients you need to be healthy.