I’m generally a very healthy person. I love my vegetables and I love fruit and my legumes.
My blood pressure is, on last check up, around 2 months ago, 94/65 or something like that. While I normally have a very low, but HEALTHY blood pressure… I think that’s a little TOO low. My husband was also a little concerned when I told him. I don’t really have issues, normally, despite it being at that level.
I don’t avoid salt entirely, but yes I do keep it to a minimum when cooking and I always look for prepared food with a low sodium level. I hate salty food – too much salt ruins the taste of good food, in my opinion. Like food that’s too spicy/hot. My way of cooking/eating has helped my husband’s cholesterol and salt levels drop to excellently healthy levels, so that’s a bonus.
But the last few months now, I’ve been having issues. Again. The lethargy, the light-headed feeling. The weak limbs. The feeling like my body is moving faster than my brain. Or the other way around. Can’t even work that out right at this moment.
When I was sixteen, I decided I wanted to be a vegetarian (I’m an animal lover, aren’t I?) and my mother was supportive and made sure that my diet was always up to par – I never had a day of trouble, and I very rarely got sick. I went on like that until around age twenty three or twenty four (I don’t remember exactly) and then I moved out…
I tried as hard as I could to keep my diet correct, and eat the right amount of things to keep my iron levels up and my bones and muscles strong. Around age 26, working at UCT, it started really affecting my life. I was too weak to climb stairs – I had to stop every two or three to catch my breath and stop the stars from swirling around my head and the spots to clear from my eyes. I couldn’t drive very well, because my foot would start to shake on the brake pedal, and I was too weak to lift the handbrake on a hill. It was a recipe for disaster. I finally gave in and went to the doctor (I hated/hate going to the doctor) and she said that I would either have to get iron injections (the supplement form would do nothing for me at this point) or I would have to start eating meat again. I am terrified of needles. The thought of them made me feel sick and faint, and having to get them once a month just made my mind go blank and my body go cold. The doctor had to help me sit up – merely at the thought of it. That was another side effect of being anemic and mineral deficient. So I, very angrily/unhappily, chose to try eating meat again. I had to start off very slowly, as my system was by that point not used to having to digest meat, and if I overdid it I became VERY sick and pretty much ended up losing anything I ate… from both ends… (TMI, yes I know – but I’m trying to be honest here) but after a mere month or so of eating meat (mostly chicken, but some beef when I could handle it) I was back to perfect health and had all my energy and strength back. It both disappointed and astounded me. And hurt my heart a little bit. I really tried so hard.
So, almost a year ago now (I can’t believe it’s been that long, but I counted back to the post I made) I made the choice again, to try the vegetarian diet. I thought, since I was more in control of my diet, of what we could eat, that I was making food for me AND my husband (who has remained a meat eater – and that was never a problem for me) that I could keep up my diet to keep me strong and healthy.
It worked… at first. Then about 2 or 3 months ago, during “that time” (not going to go into that any more than I have to – if you don’t understand, it doesn’t matter) I started with the vertigo again. And the nausea. And each time it’s gotten worse. Today, and yesterday, it has been the worst. I feel like my brain is surrounded by cotton wool. My ear is blocked, they are both ringing and my hands keep going numb when I’m lying on my side in bed. I’m feeling incredibly weak. Slow. Tired. My head hurts almost constantly – not a headache, per say, but more a thumping of my pulse through my temples. My heart POUNDS just climbing some stairs, or going up a hill, when it never did before. I can barely run a few meters before I have to stop to catch my breath. This is not good. This is deja vu. My hands shake when I carry anything heavy and my heart thumps all the time. I have to force myself to eat, too. And that is so not normal for me. I love food.
So, I am thinking I need to make that choice again. I don’t want to, but my body is clearly trying to tell me something is wrong. I need to listen.
I’ll talk to my husband about it. He usually has something useful to say.