So many people have been asking me about my Facebook status updates regarding my health, but it is so difficult to explain the entire turbulent journey in a few sentences. This is why I decided to tell the whole story here in the hope that my loved ones can understand what I go through.
It all started a few years back when there was a sudden marked decrease in my energy level. I thought that it was simply a matter of ageing, but I couldn't shake the feeling that it was more than that since it wasn't a gradual change. I even went to the clinic to check my thyroid, just in case, but the test came back fine.
Then, I found out that I was pregnant. I was very shocked because the vision God had given me showed only 4 children. Already utterly exhausted with caring for the existing kids, I was simply too busy to do anything about my discovery. I didn't even have the chance to tell anyone about it or go to the gynaecologist. Two weeks later, I started spotting. Since I spotted before in my previous pregnancies, I did not think of it as a big deal and continued to run the crazy daily schedule. After a couple of days, I miscarried.
I was devastated. I thought that I had lost the little one because I didn't take care of myself. Worse still, I feared that I had wished him away with my state of denial. The guilt was so heavy that I couldn't talk about it at all to anyone else.
Half a year later, a CG mate noticed that I seemed to be having an emotional meltdown about once a month. I had initially thought that I was simply burnt out and losing patience dealing with all the stress. However, the regularity of the occurrences seemed like too much of a coincidence. She suggested that I might have been having PMS. I was taken aback because all along I was only plagued with severe cramps during the first 2-3 days of heavy periods but I have never been especially irritable or emotionally affected before the time of the month.
Another change brought the matter to a head. I began having ovulation pain too. It was a foreign concept to me until I researched online and found out that it was actually a thing. My CG mates encouraged me to go to see the doctor. After a few trips with scans and tests, one doctor suggested that I was probably suffering from hormonal imbalance. She prescribed hormonal pills and all the symptoms disappeared! This proved that her diagnosis was accurate. That was when I plucked up my courage to ask whether that had anything to do with my miscarriage at the beginning of the year and she said yes. Apparently, hormonal imbalance causes infertility and miscarriages. After hearing that, I finally felt relieved of the burden in thinking that it was my fault losing that child. Thus, I continued with the hormone therapy for almost two years which kept my health stable for a while.
The next thing I knew, I fell into depression. To combat it, I made many lifestyle changes which included doing away with the hormone pills. Sadly, after my depression got better, the symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance came back with a vengeance. I tried to put myself back on the pills but it triggered a massive depression episode. I realised then that it was the hormone therapy which made me susceptible to depression in the first place.
Hoping to find an alternative solution, last year was spent making multiple expensive hospital trips to see if the doctors could help me. After scans, tests and procedures, the verdict was this: there was nothing more they could do for me. The next step they suggested was exploratory surgery which has no guarantee of improving my condition. The risks outweigh the possible benefits. I stopped going back to the hospital.
Currently, during every ovulation, I'll experience lower abdominal pain and emotional upheaval for about a week. I will have PMS a few days before my menstruation and have cramps for about yet another week. This means I am basically enduring pain and feeling weepy half the time. On top of that, my ailment also causes chronic fatigue. No amount of sleep and rest can recharge my battery. I can't even properly enjoy myself doing fun stuff because I tire too easily.
At the moment, I am coming to terms with my health condition while trying out supplements recommended by friends. There's not much improvement so far but it might help after long term use. Who knows?
All I know is that God is there for me. He does not condemn me for my reduced capacity even though my children find it hard to understand my limitations. I thank God for a loving husband who has been faithful to pick up the slack and took over some of the household responsibilities and the care of the children whenever I get incapacitated. I'm learning to be a human being, instead of a human 'doing'. I am slowing down my pace of life and I no longer feel guilty taking care of my needs first. At least, the children are older and more independent now. I want to truly appreciate this season of my life despite all these physical challenges. I am counting my blessings.