I’m all too familiar with Iron Deficiency and so are many other people with Colitis.
I’ve had it 6 times since I was diagnosed.
The longest lasted for about a year and a half. The shortest, for a few months.
When you have it, it’s very important to manage and develop systems so you can continue working on your goals without completely ruining yourself.
Having had it 6 times, one of which was this year (the year I decided to chase my goals), I learnt how to do this.
Iron Deficiency doesn’t mean shit when it comes to your goals. In fact, a huge percentage of women put up with it everyday.
To me, it’s just another excuse people use to take the easy way out. It’s another way for people to justify not making any progress.
I’ve been there, I’ve used it as an excuse and surprisingly, I was getting no where….
After becoming deficient again at the start of this year, I’ve learnt to manage it so that nothing needs to stop.
The date that I decided enough was enough. I quite drinking, partying, made huge sacrifices and began running after my goals. Momentum was kicking in and I was loving that for the first time in a while everything was changing for the better.
I was finally saving some money. I had gotten rid of toxic people. I was writing and I was building a business.
Everything was going well.
So really, I was due for a challenge.
So a challenge came. I had another flare and sure enough, Iron Deficiency followed.
The energy was lost and I began feeling tired, almost constantly. Especially between the hours of 2:00pm and 6:00pm. To the point that I was struggling to stay awake at my desk. I mean really struggling. Micro-sleeping, watering eyes, head spins, all that fun stuff.
So I had to learn how to manage it, while the tablets were taking three months to kick in.
I wasn’t going to let it win again and ruin everything.
Before you can manage something, you need to identify the problem.
For Iron Deficiency, it’s pretty easy:
- Lack Of Energy
- Sore Muscles
These are all symptoms I get.
If you’re getting these and you have Colitis, it’s a good bet that you’ve got Iron Deficiency.
But before you rush to buy pills, see your doctor first to make sure.
Once you’ve identified the issue, it’s time to develop a system that helps you stay productive but doesn’t push you too hard.
On a side note – I pushed myself just as hard as when I didn’t have Iron Deficiency and if you think you can do it, go for it. I believe that it shouldn’t be used as an excuse or a reason to quit.
But it effects people differently.
1. Know When You Work Best
For staying productive with Iron Deficiency, this is the most important thing you need to do.
Throughout the day, you’ll have times where you feel fine and times where you feel like shit. Pay attention to this, as working with these time frames instead of against will be your best bet in staying productive.
When I had it, I was at my lowest during the hours of 2:00pm and 6:00pm. During these hours I would do my least important stuff or, if needed, have a nap (I’m a HUGE supporter of naps).
Then find what hours you’re most alert and do the important stuff during these hours.
For me, it was between 6:00am – 12:00pm, after that the tiredness would start to creep in.
Then again between about 8:00pm – 1:00am.
These where my times to make huge damage because during them, I wasn’t just awake, I was REALLY awake. Possible due to the Prednisolone….
2. Fight It If You Can
Majority won’t agree with this but a small percentage will.
Why do I say this?
Because of the quote I have lived by for the past 5 years.
If you don’t take control of your life, something or someone else will
This has been my guider.
After my Colitis defeated me twice, I promised myself I would never let it win again and that means working hard even when I feel like quitting.
Which also means, pushing through everything my Colitis throws at me and I advise you to do the same.
So during the hours of 2:00pm and 6:00pm, I may have felt like shit but I still worked, I just didn’t do anything super important.
Yes, I had naps and yes, I had extended breaks, but I always came back and I always finished what I started.
This is what I want you to think about.
Are you going to let it win? Or are you going to step up and push a little harder?
Before you answer consider this as well:
The world couldn’t care less that you’re sick or tired or have no energy. It’s going to keep spinning and leave you behind.
Whether you think that’s fair for not, it’s truth.
Momentum Is Everything
For those who follow and read my posts, you’ll know I love momentum and even when it comes to sickness, momentum is everything.
What do you mean? You say.
Medication works off momentum. You get better gradually, while taking your medication.
I went through the typical stage of a teenager, thinking I didn’t have to take my meds because I didn’t have any visible symptoms and well like any other teenager, I wanted to be normal. Normal kids don’t take a shit load of medication everyday. So I didn’t want to.
Obviously, my Colitis came right back.
The final note I want to make is: TAKE YOUR F*CKING MEDS.
When you’re running out, don’t put it off. Go and buy more.
There’s a couple of other things people could do in order to help but I found that they really didn’t help for me when it came to Iron Deficiency.
- Eating Iron Rich Foods – This is probably something you should be doing anyway. In fact, a healthy diet is something that’s essential to everyone. But while it’s good to do, I really didn’t see a difference when it came to overcoming Iron Deficiency.
- Sleeping More – This is one I hear tossed around a fair bit and was also given to me as advice. I want to make this clear, the amount of sleep you have doesn’t fix anything. This is where people get mixed up in excuses. 7 hours. 8 hours, absolute MAX. I’ve spent weeks sleeping for most of the day, while I was Iron Deficient and to my surprise, it didn’t go away.
I understand that Iron Deficiency effects people in different ways and I would love to hear your stories. Leave me a comment of your experiences.