Thursday, April 30, 2009

on karen who is always tired

Well the purpose of this blog is that it keep me accountable. An unintended thing that has happened is that I've caused my mom and my daughter to worry about me.

Oops. Sorry, guys.

So Mom called me to express her concerns last night, and I was crabby and unreceptive (sorry, Mom). She is worried that my tiredness means maybe I'm following her and Grandma down the diabetic trail.

This is actually not a new thought to me; it's something I've been investigating, studying, and considering since around 2005. I have learned A LOT about diabetes over the years.

I've had a couple of the pricey, exhaustive blood studies in that time. So far, no red flags at all. So though I have expressed to my kids more than once the possibility that maybe I am pre-diabetic...thus far I haven't been enough to so register in a measurable way.

So what I'm going to do here is think through all the reasons that might be making me so tired...cuz Mom pointed out that one thing that does come through on the blog is my persistent tiredness. I generally learn a lot when I write; usually I know a lot more than I think I do. Let's see.

On Karen and Tiredness

Okay first of all, I think I have had a life long relationship with tiredness. My memories of our family vacations when I was a child include: loving to swim in the campground pool, being terrified of heights among a family who are all not, seeing completely cool and amazing things, and feeling like my legs were jelly and I Just Wanted To Sit Down almost everywhere we went. I have no idea whether I whined or not; can't remember.

And then there was when my aunt did a handwriting analysis on some of us when I was a teenager; she looked at mine and said that I was "a low energy person who conserved my energy to focus it on the things I most wanted to do." I remember everybody laughing and saying oh boy was THAT true.

I remember falling asleep while driving, all the time, when I worked at the Tastee Freez in high school. I developed some skills for recovering from nodding and pulling into/out of ditches. Somehow I never hurt myself, nor the truck.

I remember falling asleep in class in high school.

I remember falling asleep in class in college, so tired that I dreamed about sleeping.

When I was married, we watched a whole lot of TV and movies. I slept through almost all of it; this was a source of irritation for my husband, that I couldn't seem to get past the credits on most movies without nodding off.

During my depressive years, I responded to my tiredness by sleeping too more than half of the 24 hours given to me in a day...sometimes WAY more than half. It didn't make me less tired. It just made me more depressed.

I am anemic - enough so that when I was pregnant, I had to take a prenatal vitamin AND a huge iron pill, and I still measured low sometimes. When I used to donate blood regularly (before I had cancer), I failed more often than not because of my iron count.

I don't take vitamins. Oh, I MEAN to. I have them. I have a little daily container so I can remember. But I don't remember.

So I am almost certainly anemic, and almost certainly depleted in B vitamins.

My day: I wake up and write this and my grats. I drive 40 minutes. I work at a computer 8 hours. I drive 40 minutes. I have supper and then I do other seated things, whether it's working on the City computer, attending meetings/studies...the point is, I am not moving. This means I get zero exercise. Exercise = energy.

I wake up at 5 a.m....and I go to bed around 11 or midnight a whole lot of nights. I remember that when I was married, I got more like 8 or 9 hours of sleep; I think that's probably what my body wants. I haven't been able to manage more than 5 or 6 hours a night since the is just too full to sleep more than that.

~~~~end of those thoughts~~~~

I dunno if I am more tired now or just more vocal about it now. God has been taking me on a "getting real" journey for a number of years and I am learning to face emotions that I used to bury and truths that I used to dodge. I am learning to say who I am, even when I am sure people won't like it.

My hope has been that when I am done being City Clerk next week, I will start getting some down time and it will help with the tiredness. Looking back across my life like that, I'm not sure it will. Hmmm.

Okay this doesn't feel like it has been productive. But sometimes when I keep pondering, I find what I didn't see.

Off I go to ponder for my 40 minute drive.

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