Julie Helen: Laid low... and a reminder to put myself first at times

It's taken Julie Helen months to bounce back from Covid, round two...
Julie Helen: Laid low... and a reminder to put myself first at times

"Nobody cam look after my health if I don’t take the lead," so says Julie Helen in her weekly column. Picture: Stock

I HAD to bite the bullet last week and go to the doctor. I don’t go often at all and try to keep myself on the straight and narrow as best I can. I had Covid in December and my energy refused to return, no matter how much rest I got.

Having had the dreaded virus once before, it had taken me about three months to bounce back.

Once I hit April and still felt floored, I figured it was time to get checked out.

I normally have great banter with my GP, Paul and he takes a holistic view of my health which I really like about him. He realises that my disability creates a never-ending balancing act and he is always very complimentary about what I achieve and get done day to day. He’s been my doctor for a few years now and has a good handle on Cerebral Palsy and all its interesting facets.

When it comes to my health, my default reaction is to blame the impact of my chronic condition, particularly if the symptoms don’t immediately point to something simple or obvious.

Fatigue, pain and low energy can just be elements I have to grapple with regularly, but a blood test every now and then can do no harm. 

Nobody cam look after my health if I don’t take the lead.

On the way into Paul’s room, he asked me how I was. I couldn’t answer him because I was out of breath from the short walk from the car. Concern flashed on the doctor’s face. He told me how many people were suffering the impact of coronavirus and the first thing to do was park work for a few weeks and build myself up.

I didn’t argue. I trust him and with a three-year-old at home, I need to be as healthy and able as I can be. He took routine blood tests to make sure my general health was OK.

A few days later the surgery number flashed up on my phone and Paul was telling me I was very low in both vitamin D and iron. I was immensely relieved. Both ailments are very fixable with diet and supplements. 

All I need to do now is focus on it and get myself at full strength.

I have never experienced a vitamin deficiency before that I can remember so it wasn’t something that had occurred to me. The lack of vitamin D - the sunshine vitamin - makes sense because I’ve been a bit cooped up, through nobody’s fault but my own.

Walking is not something I can do and I don’t play any outdoor sport or do any outdoorsy things really.

When Ricky is with his childminders, he is outside every day either, in a park or on the farm or in the garden. I’m always thinking about the things he might need and kind of forgot about myself in the middle of it all.

Despite having a disability, thankfully my general health has always been quite good so I feel a bit drained at the moment. I have been reminded to be mindful of my own health. I don’t take it for granted but it isn’t always possible to plough on and assume everything will stay the same forever.

I am guilty of putting other people first and assuming I can just keep going. 

This is just a bump in the road and hopefully I will be back fighting fit and full of energy in a matter of weeks.

I have a plan, a solution and the motivation to put it into action. The rest should fall into place!

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