I’ve always tried to be healthy. I would stay away from cake and candy, drank skim milk and ate low fat packaged foods (this was before I knew fat was good for you). Being healthy was part of our childhood. My mom bought us vitamins, she made us drink Chinese teas after we ate fried foods to detox, and we drank green powders to boost our immune systems.
When I started working, I bought a gym membership. During this time, I started to put the most stress on my body. I worked at a start-up company with a lot of work and too few employees. I worked everyday, 10-14 hours. The couple of times a week I went to the gym and the healthy meals were no where near enough to help my body recover from the lack of sleep and constant stress.
I stopped working when my oldest daughter was 2. The long work hours, trying to spend time with my family, and not being present in anything got to be too much.
After I had my youngest daughter, I had the normal months of fatigue from around the clock feedings and also taking care of a toddler. After six months, the baby was sleeping almost through the night, I was getting into a routine taking care of both children, but I still felt tired all of the time, even after 8 hours of sleep. I was tired, my brain was always in a fog, I had eczema all over my hands and stomach, and I had a 5-second episode when my face twitched and I could not stop.
Something was wrong.
I went to see my primary care physician, she ran blood tests, and the results came back that I was very vitamin B12 deficient. B12 is an essential nutrient for your body because it helps make DNA and red blood cells. It also helps produce the myelin sheath, the insulation around the nerves that helps them carryout messages throughout the body. Because the body needs B12 in so many places, when you become deficient, the symptoms range from fatigue to weight loss to neurological problems.
My physician had me take a B12 supplement and wrote the names of a gastroenterologist and neurologist to go and see. This was the start of months of seeing different doctors, blood tests, hospital procedures, and a lot of Internet research.
In my next blog post, I’ll describe this experience and why I no longer believe in conventional medicine.
The Dumpling Mama xo