Infants and toddlers with their new, little immune systems get sick every other week. Everyone knows that. A mom, an adult with a supposedly seasoned and robust immune system, is supposed to be the rock on which her sick children lean. I, unfortunately, am not of such sturdy stock as I imagine all others to be.
Sometime around Darla's first birthday in March, I lost it because every time she was sick, I was sick. By May, it had been two months of a non-stop viral party. I couldn't believe that I just had a weak immune system. I decided there was something terribly wrong with my health. I looked over the past few months. Consistent sinus infections, hand, foot and mouth disease, extreme exhaustion and fevers. The only thing I could glean from this information was that I was anemic, again. I tried taking vitamins, drinking more water and eating better. I still felt like my head was stuft with cotton and that my eyes were hung-over droopy.
After putting it off for months, I went to the doctor. I was ashamed to admit I felt malaise, achy and at my wits end. I thought that there was no way she would under stand the pain I was enduring.
She walked into the office, asked if I had any concerns and I dove right in.
"I have a 14 month, whose actually in the waiting room with her dad. I've been sick non-stop, I'm going brain-dead because I'm so tired and I wake up every morning dreading my to do list. I count the minutes until I can go back to sleep from the second I wake up."
I thought she was going to criticize me for being an unenthusiastic, apathetic parent who can't properly raise a child. I hoped she would diagnose my anemia before she got to that part.
Instead, after she heard my monologue listing my ailments, she gave a look as if to say, "there's more, right?"
I added, "I used to have anemia, so I think its come back."
She shook her head, "I think that you're experiencing what it's like to be a mother. This all sounds very normal."
I wanted to argue with her. Tell her that she didn't know what she was talking about and that being a mom can't be this hard. To have argued that point would have meant ignoring the big elephant in the room (aka her 8 month old pot belly of her second pregnancy).
To placate me, she agreed to run some tests, which I didn't end up taking until two months later.
When I finally went in for the blood tests, I anxiously awaited the day that the results would come in. I was excited to find out that I had a minor problem, which could be cured by a few pills. The phone call I received regarding the results was beyond disappointing. My levels were all normal. There would be no miracle pills for me.
Despite this lack of a diagnosis, I trudge on. The exhaustion has slightly diminished. I went a whole month without getting sick. I only count down the minutes until lunch and then, from there, I count down the minutes until bed. Things are improving!