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If You Are Excessively Tired, It’s Not In Your Head

I know that I’m under a certain amount of pressure these days. I’m working very hard to do well at a new job I really enjoy and I’m a grad school student. I spend a lot of my free times going over lectures, attending online live sessions, working on papers and projects.

But this semester something was different.

Three weeks ago I got sick at work. My throat felt like it was closing up and I had a lot of serious allergy symptoms.

Me being me, I thought nothing of it, went to get my go-to remedies, orange juice, Vietnamese chicken pho (soup) and took claritin before heading into the work site that was the source of these symptoms and taking nyquil at night.

But even as some of the allergy symptoms started to ease, I was growing actually more tired and more fatigued. I lost interest in my school work and didn’t care and couldn’t complete all of my work and at a certain point I just gave up hoping if I did miss a class to sleep all night, I’d wake up the next day, take a shower and feel like my normal self.

I’d wake up the next day begging God to give me enough strength to get out of bed to take that shower and make it to work. I didn’t want to be sick, I had too much to do. I couldn’t afford it. So, I’d eventually get up after an hour of praying and willing myself to get up and take the shower. The normal burst of energy I feel when I take showers had zero effect. I was dragging myself through my morning rituals, doing just enough not to look absolutely crazy when I headed to work.

Being a natural hair girl, you often have to take a lot of time to style your hair. No energy to do that. I had to keep my styles as simple and basic as possible, from relying on bobby pins and rolling my hair as neatly as possible into buns, or wearing a scarf to run errands.

My friends noticed that I wasn’t doing too well either and kept urging me to see the doctor. It’s pretty horrible that I’m working on my Masters degree in Public Health, killing myself to work on projects about helping people become more healthy and I’m completely worn down. So I went.

I went yesterday and my doctor confirmed I had swollen nodes, post nasal drip and left over congestion from the two weeks prior. She said she wanted to do a blood test to rule in or rule out Epstein Barr virus. My excessive tiredness, seemed to suggest that this virus may be the culprit as to why I was experiencing an abnormal tired that just wasn’t my usual. I told her I knew I couldn’t have been crazy or acting dramatic because I’m the person who often has a lot on my plate and I can push through usual tiredness, get the job done and still get up in the morning.

By the time I survived to the weekend, I could not get out of bed at all.

While I take comfort in getting closer to a reason why I’ve been feeling so bad, I don’t want to claim having EBV. It’s not even something that can be treated. You try to manage it with lowering stress and a more healthy lifestyle. But you will have episodes of extreme fatigue. This has been the worst. Last year there were about two times in the year where I felt extreme fatigue and had difficulty, but just brushed it off. The level of tiredness I’ve been feeling over the last two weeks could not be ignored. So while I was tired of family and friends asking me if I’d seen the doctor, I’m glad I went because it gave me back some control instead of just feeling bad and feeling helpless.

We just have to wait and see what the blood test reveals. My doctor recommended a B complex vitamin to take daily, however I won’t see improvement in my energy for three days. So I’m still struggling a bit right now. I’m also taking an antihistamine and a prescription grade nasal spray. So we’ll see how things go over the next few days.

I really appreciate the love and support 29tolifers have been giving me on the blog and on twitter! You guys are absolutely the best.

Do you know anyone who has Epstein Barr? How do they manage it? What lifestyle changes did people have to make to improve their lives?

Inch By Inch: I See It, Sort Of…

I don’t know if I’m going crazy or not, but since I’ve started doing Zumba twice a week for basically two months now, I haven’t dropped serious weight, but certain pairs of pants are not cutting off my circulation anymore. One pair of pants actually looked baggy yesterday.

Pants I normally wouldn’t wear because I couldn’t button them, I can button if I hold my breath.

Certain shirts don’t make me look like a boxy, shapeless blob.

One of the warning signs that I was gaining weight was the fact that there wasn’t a defining separation between my boobs and my stomach when wearing a tight shirt. It was just a square blob.

One of the warning signs that my health was being threatened by my horribly inactive lifestyle was a bad pain shooting up and down my left arm and shoulder. That was the moment I said enough was enough, and that I need to do something. Truth be told. It scared me.

Since I’ve been doing Zumba, I haven’t felt that pain since.

I’ve been trying to eat better, (but that’s been the most difficult part for me) so I know that’s part of  why I’m not dropping significant amounts of weight yet. And I know I need to kick it up one more notch and either add another day of Zumba or add another day of doing some other form of exercise and then kick it up from there to see for real results on the scale.

The funny thing is, I’m not going nuts over the fact that I may have only lost about 3 pounds in the process, I even looked it up because while my weight has been holding steady, I feel better and I think I look better. I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and she said that I look fantastic and I look more in shape. So that’s good.

Well, this article helped explain what’s going on with that. I was encouraged to read that sometimes this happens because as you are losing fat, you are gaining muscle. The article said if you are losing inches, that’s a good sign you are heading in the right direction.

The author concludes with this : “Now that you understand the different characteristics of fat and muscle, you are probably likely to reconsider your weight loss goals. Losing inches doesn’t seem bad at all. Believe your clothes; only they will tell you the truth first. (check) Second, believe your mirror; it never lies. (check) Third, believe what your BCA indicates. Fourth, your friends and relatives. (check) Fifth, your weighing scale.”

Looking at the scale last, I think is a really great idea. My goal is to just keep moving, and keep working on feeling good and not out of breath. That’s another thing, I was able to run with luggage to catch a bus and I’m so proud of myself. I didn’t feel as tired or out of breath as I would have a few months ago just from walking up a few flights of steps. And I see a difference when I get out of the shower. I’m starting to see the difference between boobs and boxy blob (thank you God). So I feel the little differences! Whoo hoo!

I’m dog tired from traveling (and my period), but I’m going to go to class today anyway. I can’t regress from my progress. Just wanted to check in and give an update! Go me!

Does anyone else have that issue where they can see and feel positive differences in their body, but the scale isn’t moving?

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