All I Want For Christmas Are My Blood Results

The more eagle eyed of you may have noticed I haven’t posted a running blog in some time. Well, that’s because I haven’t been running. It’s been two weeks now due to an illness which has made climbing the stairs, let alone marathon training, an ordeal for me. I’ve been lethargic, listless, exhausted and no matter how much I sleep, have been unable to shift the symptoms. To use a medical term, I feel rubbish.

I struggled during the summer of 2017 with a similar ailment. Doctors poked and prodded me, but seemed none the wiser as to what was the cause. Two courses of antibiotics failed to clear matters up, and I routinely informed enquirers that I’d picked up some mystery bug. I resigned myself to feeling lousy and soldiering on as retiring to my bed for the remainder of the year was simply not an option.

I continued to run, but my times were a minute a mile slower than normal. In the end, my doctor took a blood sample which revealed a folic acid deficiency. This impacts upon the production of red blood cells, which we rely on to carry oxygen around our bodies. Without the sufficient levels of folic acid, the body lapses into a state of fatigue. Which was exactly how I was feeling.

I was prescribed a folic acid supplement and, within weeks, was feeling much better. It took another few months to regain my running form but by the end of 2017 it was all systems go again. Until this month, when I have been struck down with exactly the same lethargy. I told the doctor as much when I returned to the surgery on Christmas Eve but they cannot prescribe anything until fresh tests are run.

I phoned the other day to get the results. The receptionist rather cryptically informed me that they had come back clear, bar my folic acid levels, which they wanted to test again. The earliest they can see me, though, is 7th January. Until then, I remain in limbo, unsure as to what the problem is, and unable to access the medication I need to resolve the issue. To say I’m frustrated is an understatement.

My energy levels have slightly improved since Christmas but I have been taking it very easy and haven’t taxed myself. The furthest I’ve walked is to the freezer to get another bowl of honeycomb ice cream; which has bolstered my morale but also, unfortunately, my waistline. I miss the physical benefits of running, and wallowing at the bottom of a biscuit tin is not where I want to be.

The mental benefits are even more important to me. Running purges me of the negativity and ‘stinking thinking’ which used to hold court in my head. In order to maintain reasonable levels of self-belief, I need to be running. The physical exertion is painful but nothing compared to the mental anguish which distance running helps prevent within me. There’s also the small matter of my scheduled 10th marathon in May.

I received a lot of lovely gifts this Christmas, but I’m going to be greedy and ask for one more. Santa has returned to the North Pole and it’s a bit early for the Easter Bunny, so I’d appreciate your thoughts and prayers to get me through the next week so these new tests can hopefully get to the bottom of my present malaise. All I want for Christmas are my blood results. It’s not much to ask, is it?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

81 thoughts on “All I Want For Christmas Are My Blood Results

  1. Do you have any vitamin stores or health stores in Ireland? If you can find one you could get a naturally occurring folic acid supplement and try it before the next appointment and test results. Or just a B-complex supplement… However that could affect the next test =/ I just hate that you are feeling bad.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m sorry to hear of this. Can’t they just take your blood? Sheesh. Some front desk people make it so difficult to get to the doctor. Be well. Take care. Sorry you can’t run.


  3. fatigue and low-level feeling icky are awful. they drag you down and you feel like you’ll never be up again. i’m sorry about that. fingers crossed that results are sooner rather than later.


  4. Sorry for your frustrating situation! Of course, I’m sure you’ve read up on foods that are high in folic acid, right? Maybe eating more of those would help a bit, at least temporarily?


  5. Having had what I feel is a surplus of medical adversity, I can relate to what you are feeling. The waiting for a diagnosis is the worse in my estimation. Because once you are diagnosed with an ailment you can begin to fight the enemy. But the not knowing allows ones mind to go where no man should go – to the worse possible diagnosis, the ultimate in pain, and then the “Could I be dying?” thought. It usually is not any of those thoughts but something that they can cure. Praying that your test will be run on the 7th and that a simple solution can be found. In the meantime, play with the Christmas gifts, the kids, spend time with your lovely bride and use whatever healthy distraction you can to get through the week. Food is usually my “go to” but my clothes always seem to shrink when I do. And that my friend is really scary!


  6. Ohhh you poor thing! 7th January?? That’s outrageous! I’m assuming therefore that you didn’t resort to crying/begging to get an appointment?? I’m afraid that I have historically resorted to both, particularly in Glasgow where you have to be half dead before getting to see a doctor. Perhaps you’re feeling a little better because you’ve had some time to rest, in which case, keep resting. I hope you don’t have to go back to work for a little while which will give you more time to recover from whatever it is that’s upsetting your body. Be strict with yourself, loads of fluids etc etc. Keep us posted. Sending hugs …. huge ones 🤗


  7. It sunk my heart to hear about your present situation. I am very sorry to hear about your condition and I know it seems like waiting for doctors and tests takes for ever as I myself have been having a situation and been through the similar test after test and no clear answers, I am lifting many prayers to you and your family. Hang in there I know you have the strength and will power to make it past this point. I am keeping you in my prayers.


  8. Firstly I can empathise with the physical and emotional loss of not running having been ten weeks since I tore my calf muscle. I had a fatigue thing a while back which was caused by vitamin D deficiency it could be worth taking vit D as well as folic acid supplements. Wishing you a speedy resolution and a return to running, and while I’m here… May 2019 bring you health and happiness. Karen x


  9. I know it’s impossible to read every blog every day, but you haven’t read mine in a while, and the latest one might actually be helpful. Granted, it takes a look at things from another perspective, but that may be what you need at the moment without realizing it. (“Cramming Everything In, Perspective on Priorities”)


  10. I’ll be praying! Our family was hit with a terrible flu. On top of already suffering Celiac, I have been sick since Christmas. Our daughter has had it for 11 days now. I was wondering, do you ever have gut pain with the severe fatigue? I ask because before I was diagnosed with Celiac I became so chronically fatigued that I could barely move. It was due to my body having an autoimmune reaction to the wheat I was eating at that time. This goes for anybody, if you feel sick, tired, severely fatigued, or have any gut pain after eating wheat, then stop eating it and see how you feel. I think its awesome that so many people in Ireland know about Celiac. It’s not like that here in America. Many doctors still mock it and don’t even consider it a real disease, which is just plain ignorant. The ridiculous people in Hollywood are always mocking and making fun of people with Celiac too. Hollywood is disgusting and full of sin and evil by the way. I pray everything is healed in your body and you are restored to full strength. God bless you and your family.


  11. Sorry to read this Stephen!I had noticed your running posts were lacking and was wondering where they were. I really hope you get some answers and some improvement soon! Sending lots of positive thoughts your way.


  12. I shall pray for you now. I can emphathize – and it sounds like several other of your readers can as well – in the meantime, try to rest if you can during this (often difficult) time of waiting.


  13. man, sorry that sucks. but that doesn’t even begin to describe or cut it. frustration, anger, fear on Groundhog’s Day style repeat…. that’s how i imagine i would feel in your shoes. with a smattering of other emotions thrown in for good measure. i hope the days until your lab test and results fly by, i hope you keep your head on relatively straight and i hope that you recover fully and quickly. prayers, vibes, energy all that positivity for you!


  14. I get extremely fatigued every day. I have always put it down to my Parkinson’s, but now I wonder if I might benefit from having my folic acid levels checked.


  15. Hey, you don’t have ticks over there in Ireland, do you? Both my sister & brother suffer from Lyme disease from getting bitten from ticks. Your fatigue sounds a LOT like that. It’s manageable but you need to know if you have it for sure. It’s a real & growing problem here in the States, because of climate change. I haven’t hunted in years but the last time I skinned a deer, there were so many ticks jumping off the deer as I pulled the skin, I thought I was in some kind of science-fiction movie. I mean, there were HUNDREDS of them. It was really creepy. & I’m not one to get freaked out by bugs.


  16. Not knowing only adds to the frustration of not feeling well. I pray you will get your results and once you know what is wrong, that a treatment plan will be put in place.


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