On exactly this day last year I was receiving really bad news.
Anemia – Or Why I Should Have Worried Long Ago
Chronic anemia was something I suspected and knew about for a while, but didn’t know to what extent. My body was in shutdown and the most basic tasks would elude me. In short – my blood wasn’t producing enough red cells to sustain and carry oxygen. I would find it hard to climb one flight of stairs, not from weight but because I couldn’t breathe. I was constantly tired, constantly in pain from not being able to heal from work and daily life. I was in a constant brain fog and anxiety that was crippling my existence day in and day out.
But You Don’t Look Sick…
When my doctor called, she said that I needed to be sent an ambulance and taken to the hospital. I was told that my iron levels were so low that I shouldn’t be walking around like a normal person (to get an idea, normal iron levels are 12 to 15, mine were 6). I was told that I needed to receive an immediate blood transfusion and iron infusion. Like… that night!!! (didn’t happen. But about that and how broken the American medical system is, another post for another day)
Oh, what a difference a year makes…
First, you find out very quick who your friends are. And that is probably the scariest part, to realize that friendships you put energy and soul in, with people you trusted and you thought the world of – they are gone…
They don’t actually care to be in your life when things are tough. And you just have to be okay with that, move on, tend to yourself and be on different journeys.
You really learn a lot in a year. You learn that no matter how “busy” you are, you either make a change or die.
You learn to love taking medicine and supplements that you loathe, because basically that’s how you’ll function for the rest of your existence.
You learn what foods you can eat (AND when!!) that won’t impede the absorption of iron because LADIES AND GENTLEMEN – that’s science in itself!!!
You learn that saying no only helps your growth and healing and there is absolutely nothing wrong with turning down work!!!
You learn to love the feeling of exhaustion after training. Because you’ve proven yourself one more time that you did conquer the fear of failing. And you can do more, you can lift heavier, you can go longer. And that it’s just the start!!
You learn to love waking up with every day as a gift and be grateful that you can even take that first step out of bed.
One year later – today…
I hiked more than 8 miles up, down and around Stone Mountain in Georgia.
The beautiful sunny weather and cool breezy air made everyone get out and enjoy the day!
Up and down that hike I saw hundreds of people – young, old, black, white, hispanic, asian, fit, curvy, shy, outgoing…
But there was something we had in common: we were all climbing our own mountain.