My nurse practitioner/healthcare coordinator from
Olive Leaf called today to tell me that blood tests show I’m anemic. Again. More anemic than last year.
Anemia, or more specifically dietary iron deficiency, is the vegan mom’s ailment, isn’t it? But I eat meat. It’s common among women nearing menopause with heavy menses too. Squeezed between ailing parents and squaking kids, it’s the high-fiber, too-busy-to-eat-full-meals person’s quandry. But me? Little Miss Whole Foods who blogs about her kefir, miso, and Goji berries? How embarrassing.
The first word I spoke when I heard the news was an expletive I almost never use. I’ve been on-and-off anemic for nine years. This is getting tiresome. Then I said, “How can I be anemic again? I feel so good, and at a workshop on Saturday, a woman told me my aura was clear and that I looked fantastic!”
“Hmmmm, well, your positive attitude does not seem to be serving you well in this case,” my nurse said. She seemed unamused. She’s getting to know me too well, I think.
Here’s the strangest part: over the years, numerous experts have given me dietary advice,
recipes, iron skillet sources, as well as easy-to-digest iron supplements. I get caught up with my iron-rich regimin for a time, begin to feel better, and then I …I …I just get busy and assume myself well. I forget to take my iron pills. The two-ounce shots of wheatgrass juice, good for any blood disorder, get further between. Then, I wash back onto the rocky shoals of anemia. And I begin to feel too tired for yoga class. I get spacey, disorganized, and vague. Is this pattern familiar? Are you dizzy when you rise from the couch?
My nurse wants me to get twice weekly B-12/iron shots. “If you think you feel good now, just wait until you get a few of these shots in you,” she told me. I’m certainly game! But it’s strange. I think of myself as a woman who stalwartly connects with her own body. But my image of my own vibrant health tends to override reality sometimes.
My body behaves predictably. It’s my chattering brain that asserts false dominance, and then I fail to focus on the right things.