Low Batteries: Why I Have No Energy

If you haven’t done so already, please check out part 2 of my “Dan as my Husband and Caretaker” series and leave any questions in the comments! I want to interview him, to get a different perspective on our relationship, but I can’t do that without your questions! (He won’t just write something, I’ve asked him to before.) I want the questions primarily geared towards Dan, but please feel free to ask anything at all! We will do our best to answer all of your questions! (If the post won’t let you comment, please head to my Contact page and send me an email. Subject: Questions for Caretaker Interview.)

I haven’t done a lot of blogging lately, and it’s due to how low my energy levels have been.

Since January 1, 2017 (the last six months), I have had 74 medical related appointments. These appointments include doctor visits, testing (not counting some unscheduled blood draws), therapy visits, and medical related classes. I also had two urgent care visits and an emergency room visit, all of which are outlined in The Case of the Missing Lizz. I have also done two different, intense, diets for my chronic health problems (including my GI problems): the low FODMAP diet, which was not successful, and now I’m doing the LEAP diet. All of the medical stuff has, understandably, drained significant portions of my energy.

The LEAP diet has played a major role in my energy problems, sadly.

I am so chronically fatigued, that I rely on caffeine to function. Coffee hurts my stomach, to the point that I will be doubled over in pain after half of a small coffee, so that hasn’t been an option at all (I used to drink it in high school, the stomach stuff didn’t start until the end of my senior year of high school). Tea came back as sensitive on my MRT write up, which has me devastated because I love tea! Sadly, soda is completely gone too because I can’t have high fructose corn syrup, and I cannot have untested ingredients; on the low FODMAP diet I could have a soda brand called Zevia because it has very few ingredients and no corn syrup at all, but stevia is untested. I had to go off caffeine cold turkey. I never had withdrawls, probably because I didn’t drink all that much each day, but my energy levels are completely shot. I’ve also been getting more headaches, and I think it’s because I don’t have any caffeine to help ease them. Even now that I have been without caffeine for two months, I am still absolutely exhausted and struggling with headaches.

All of my food has to be made from scratch, all of it. Even many of my ingredients, like chicken broth, need to be made from scratch. This requires copious amounts of planning, shopping, prep work, and energy. For lunch, I usually have a sliced apple that I dip into sunflower seed butter. Of course, I have to slice the apples myself, which requires energy. My hands and arms have been having a lot of problems lately, so cutting the apple can cause me a lot of pain, which takes more energy. There are days where I can barely make myself get food. I don’t feel as though I have any extra energy that I can spend on food prep (the diet was supposed to help increase my energy), and I’m using the little energy I do have to make food. It’s been exhausting.

I am also required to write down everything I consume and all my symptoms each day. Lately, I have been doing a horrible job with my log… because it’s tedious and time consuming!

This fatigue has really made me into a couch potato. I’m supposed to exercise for my back/pelvis at home, but I haven’t had any energy! Yes, my back is suffering, but I’m too exhausted to get up off the couch unless it’s an actual “this absolutely has to get done” thing (like food or appointments).

Really, I just want some energy back. My life has been all doctors and diet, but I want to live! I may have to abandon this diet, because my quality of life has definitely been suffering. My plan is not to fully abandon the diet, so much as allow myself to have untested ingredients (like the soda). The stress has been really hard on my body, and the fatigue just isn’t worth it. I see the dietitian the day before my wedding anniversary, so hopefully I can actually go out (finally) to celebrate!

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