I think probably my favourite thing about television, or fiction in general really, is that for the most part there is a very high emphasis on closure and they always manage to figure out what went wrong. Someone sets out to pursue a dream, they get there eventually. Someone is murdered, they figure out who did it. Someone is mysteriously ill, the doctors figure out why.
Real life doesn’t really work that way too often.
At the height of my failing health last year I couldn’t bring myself to see a doctor. I should have. But if you understand a smidge about depression and anxiety you can understand that sometimes the executive functioning needed to do such a thing is just not there. You’ll laugh, but when I’m feeling better I’ll be able to go and see the doctor… I’m not even kidding.
Anyway, at the height of my bad health last year I could almost not handle being spoken to. The sound of people’s voices would startle me. I was basically walking around getting frights all day. I couldn’t handle the sound of the dog. I couldn’t handle bright lights. I couldn’t handle being touched without warning.
It may have been a little worse than I let on at the time. Because it kind of felt pathetic to be getting a fright every time my kid threw his arms around me and told me that he loved me. So I swallowed it down. And I did that over and over until I crumbled.
I did spend a lot of time trying to figure it out though. And eventually I came across something that suggested that this heightened state of anxiety, these extreme (for me) sensory processing struggles, might be the result of a potassium and magnesium deficiency at a cellular level.
Well, that made sense to me. I’ve lived a Herbalife life long enough to know that feeding your cells properly is pretty much everything. So, I got myself some potassium/calcium/magnesium supplements, and then I got some Cell Activator (a Herbalife product) because that stuff just makes the other stuff you’re taking work better (if you’ll excuse my gross paraphrasing) and it was a matter of days before I started feeling better. Who would have thought that a little bottle of pink pills bought from Clicks would make such a difference?
I digress though. The point of this post was to tell you what happened. Because I did finally figure it out recently. And perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here.
Last year Ty and I went to Turkey. It was kind of a 35th birthday present to myself. When we finally got off the plane in Istanbul my ankles were a swollen disaster. They were so bad. Because the thing is: In my real life I almost never sit on chairs. I’m always here on my bed, writing with my legs lying flat. So, poor legs were like “what the hell is happening to me!” and hello water retention. This would have been ok, except for the fact that our entire trip in Turkey was spent riding from town to town on a bus. The water retention was SO bad. And painful. And then one of my fellow passengers rescued me. She offered to share her water tablets with me.
Of course I thought nothing of it. It was relief that I needed so badly and I took the tablets from her with gratitude. And I continued to take those tablets for about ten days. All the while not paying any particular care to my hydration levels, because I have such a fear of needing to pee and not having a bathroom at my disposal. Yes, when I “roadtrip” I barely drink a thing. Even when I’m trying, I struggle.
Well, I recently discovered that water tablets are known to deplete your potassium levels. And I am convinced that I was a prime candidate for something like that to happen to. Not the healthiest or most active person to begin with, but also in a heightened state of anxiety that I was very much “holding off” at the time, it’s no wonder my body so readily gave up.
And I had no idea. This little mineral was was all I needed to get my foothold back.
But I know now. And if my damn ankles swell enough for me to have to grab some water tablets on our next trip, I will definitely double up on my supplements. Because I’m buggered if I’m going through that again.