Here's an interesting development: all of my tests are normal. My hemoglobin and iron store numbers are now back on the bottom rungs of the "normal" ladder. No celiac disease/gluten insensitivity. Normal liver panel, blood counts, thyroid function, and clotting factors. My B 12 levels are great. Huh.
Our operating theory at this point is that I feel like crap because:
1) I had three surgeries and four hospital stays from March 2011-January 2012. Along the way I also gave up my colon, so there's that.
2) Recovery from my surgeries meant a restricted, and often nutritionally lacking, diet. Think almost no veggies, very little fruit, low fiber, lots of soft "white" easy to digest foods. I'm just now able to eat more normally.
3) I do not get consistent sleep. This has been a problem for years. Time to fix that.
4) I need to adjust my own expectations and additude.
I really, really, really need to clean up and rethink my diet. I eat way too many "junk" carbs meaning processed stuff like cereal, crackers, and bread. I eat way too much processed stuff, period. My habits around eating fruits and vegetables are seriously deteriorated. I don't get enough quality protein. I have to change these things. I will. I know how and what to do, it's time to do it.
I need to be nicer to my body and less demanding upon it. Aside from better fuel, I need to give my body adequate rest. I need to hydrate consistently. I need to quit being disappointed and discouraged that a body that was dragged through hell last year doesn't seem quite ready to train for a marathon. Yes, I ran other races along the way...but that was mostly prior to that whole November to January window where everything pretty much sucked from a physical stand point. I somehow managed to get it together enough to drag myself down to Georgia for that race, but I shouldn't have. I knew it, too...but you would have never got me to admit it at the time. It's ok, that is in the past and I don't regret it one bit. I needed that one mentally even if it wasn't smart physically. Now though, I need to cut myself some slack.
I am not running the Columbus Marathon in October. There, I said it. First time I have acknowledged that to anyone else. I have a lot of mixed feelings but, I'll tell you one thing....I dropped my training schedule on the MIT website back to the half, looked at the new numbers, and felt relief. It is the right thing to do. It doesn't mean never, it just means not right now. The marathon isn't going anywhere and neither is my training group. There will be time and opportunities when I am ready.
So that's where we are. I will see a hematologist next Friday to see if we should do some IV or injected iron to get my levels back up more quickly. They have improved, but it is taking a very long time. We will see what they say. For now, I will be working on the stuff mentioned above and hopefully moving back into a place of normalcy. Sometimes I think I've been sick for so long that I'm not sure how to be a "well person" anymore. It is time to relearn.