Thursday, June 28, 2012
The last time we were together, I was getting all healthy and being all vegan and feeling pretty awesome. So, of course, my body said, "Hey, this is the PERFECT time to have a baby!" And I got knocked up. Historically, getting knocked up has led to very bad morning/all day sickness, which proved true this time, except way worse. I couldn't even look at a piece of iceberg for months--forget anything leafier. For awhile I survived on popsicles, saltines, Zofran, and chicken breast. And I hopped back on the Coca-Cola bandwagon because my OB told me it would help with my nausea. (Which it did. Which seems counterintuitive since it has things like phosphoric acid in it.) The extreme sickness finally went away around my 5th month (yes, 5th month, not 12th week like all the pregnancy books tell you) but I continued to have a lot of digestive issues and had to stay away from things like beans and a lot of raw veggies. (I will not lie, I even ate cheese a few times. It was not as awesome as I remembered it, however, and it made my already bad pregnancy congestion even worse, so it didn't stick around for long.)
Pregnancy does suck, but you get to take home a baby afterwards, and I had a beautiful, healthy baby boy last summer. My diet did get better, but nursing a baby 24/7 while taking care of his big brother led to a lot of trips to Wendy's, which conveniently was 2 minutes from our apartment. Then I went back to work and things got even hairier.
I saw a functional medicine doctor last fall and she told me to cut out all carbs, including fruit and rice, and eat only things like vegetable, fish, and eggs. Well, I'm allergic to eggs, I hate fish, and I need to eat more than just veggies because I'm breastfeeding...and it was right before Christmas and I turn into a baking machine over the holidays. I tried to follow most of her suggestions for a few weeks, but it ended badly--I was so hungry all the time that I almost bludgeoned my coworkers and my milk supply dropped, which totally pissed my baby off--so I said, "Screw it, I need to try all these vegan cupcake recipes."
I promised myself I would get back on track after the holidays, which I started to, but then we moved. Moving + working full-time + commuting over 2 hours per day in the Midwest winter + raising 2 children = VERY BAD. I ended up getting mycoplasma pneumoniae.
What is mycoplasma, you may ask? It's pretty much the technical term for walking pneumonia. It's a blood infection that causes an array of symptoms, such as extreme shortness of breath, cough, exhaustion, etc. I didn't have the cough, so I thought I was just tired from moving and I had a bad upper respiratory infection. My (conventional medicine) doctor suspected extreme anemia, and ordered the mycoplasma test along with the bloodwork for anemia and immune function. (He was right about the anemia--which reminds me, I need to take my Floradix...)
I didn't seem very sick outwardly, since I had nary a sniffle and no cough. But I couldn't take a deep breath and I was completely exhausted. I had never been this exhausted in my life, and this is even compared to when my first child was a newborn with colic, GERD, and a milk allergy. This was bone-deep exhaustion. I had to take medical leave from work and it was over 2 months before I fully recovered. I still get bouts of shortness of breath at times, especially when it's hot or I'm stressed.
No one else in my family caught this super-fun mycoplasma, thank goodness, but that made me wonder--how did I get it? I must've just randomly picked it up from somewhere, which is actually hard to do, so my immune system had to have been very compromised in some way. My diet is crap, I'm stressed out a lot, I spend most of my time sitting behind a desk or in my car, and I have approximately zero time to myself.
There's only so much I can do about my limited time, but I can hold myself more accountable for what I'm eating and thinking. I just finished Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr, and, like The Kind Diet, it has a lot of great research and nutrition information, as well as a great section on treating yourself better. I don't have a juicer and I'm not about to get a colonic, but I can incorporate a lot of the ideas slowly into my life. And you are welcome to come along for the ride.