An elusive illness + rocket, pear and walnut salad

It’s been a while since my last post, and I have to say it hasn’t been the most pleasant time!

I’ve been sick for about a week and a half now with… something… and I’m thoroughly sick of it! It started out ordinarily enough, with the vague symptoms that I put down to either being in the prodromal phase of a throat infection (which my mum had) or side effects of my body effectively fighting off infection.

Nearly two weeks later, the same symptoms – fever, headache, lack of appetite, nausea, sore throat, muscular tension, more shakes than normal and extreme fatigue – have well and truly outstayed their welcome! By Monday afternoon no easily defined illness had presented itself and I was finding it impossible to work a full day, so I marched myself off to my doctor. She suggested that I have a virus, possibly atypical glandular fever, and ordered blood tests and plenty of rest.

I did the first but not quite the second,  fronting up to work the next day before being sent home just after 1pm and being told to stay home yesterday. The results are in and the good news is that I don’t have epstein barr or cytomegalovirus antibodies (yay!) and my liver function, blood count and iron levels are all within the normal range… the bad news is that I still don’t know what is wrong with me! Unfortunately my doc didn’t request a test of my b-vitamin or thyroid levels and I didn’t think to check my referral until after I left the surgery.

I started writing this post while making my way to work on the bus… my boss has just called and told me to turn around and go home. I’m lucky to have an understanding boss and workplace… I tend to push myself hard (I hate having sick days!) so probably need to listen to her advice – “rest!”.

I feel intuitively that the reason I am unwell is deeper than a virus – I suspect that the conditions within my body right now are making me more susceptible and influencing the expression of this virus (which would ordinarily have resolved itself by now!). A few weeks back I had a spate of migraines, and I believe the two periods of ill-health are probably related.

To be more specific,  I suspect my nervous system (and possible my endocrine system) isn’t functioning well – this helps regulates energy, body temperature and appetite, all of which are out of whack at the moment, and my shaking and headaches might be red flags for a system in crisis. To pinpoint the underlying cause is easy – that nasty 5 letter word, stress. Although I haven’t had any panic attacks in the past few weeks, long term exposure to chronic stress (hello financial concerns!) added to periods of acute stress have worn me down and resulted in a frazzled nervous system (and compromised gut health, which in turn affects my endocrine system and ability to absorb nutrients…).

So… what am I going to do about it? I have an acupuncture appointment for this afternoon,  and just made an appointment for a massage in an hour. I hope that will help, but I do realise that I might need to so some “heavy lifting” myself instead of outsourcing it all… I suppose I could start with a proper examination of why I felt compelled to go to work today despite feeling awful. An early wake up and 2 hour commute – without actually making it to work! – seem a high price to pay for wanting to prove (to whom?) that I’m not just slacking and want to work.

My nutrition hasn’t been awesome while I’ve been sick – with hardly any appetite, and near constant exhaustion, cooking hasn’t been high on my priority list. I have forced myself to eat at least one meal per day, and tried to squeeze in garlic, chilli and mustard seeds where I can. Hubby made a delicious salad with rocket, apple, walnuts and a mustard dressing, and I’ve had steamed veggies from those frozen packs, some small handfuls of nuts and a few little tins of tuna… but apart from that it’s been mostly simple, processed carbs (toast, more toast, instant Tom Yum and last night… take away fish and chips). Figuring out how to put together regular wholesome, health-promoting  meals without too much effort will have to become a priority!

On a side note, I’ve had a ton of trouble purchasing BioMedica EnteroCare – the supplement my student-naturopath prescribed. I ordered it in months ago but the health food store I ordered it through keep saying it hasn’t arrived. I might need an alternative supplier!

On another side note, the gym has been out of the question (exhaustion + lightheadedness + my usual lack of coordination = danger on the treadmill!) and I’ve only managed two short, very gentle yoga practices. I’m listening to my body and taking it easy with the exercise at the moment.


I hope that my next post will be more positive and energetic and less lethargic and navel-gazing! Maybe I’ll be able or post some recipes that have helped promote health 🙂

3 thoughts on “An elusive illness + rocket, pear and walnut salad

    • Hi Autumn

      Thanks so much for stopping by to read my post and for sharing your link. For many years I would skip the savasana portion of my yoga practices (for non-yogis, that’s ‘corpse pose’ – the focus is on meditation). In the past year though, I’ve found myself embracing this more and more. A family member has also shared that he finds meditation to be a powerful tool in fighting anxiety.

      Thanks again, and all the best.

      • Hi A Healthy Bean! I’ve never heard of Corpse Pose. How interesting. Thanks for sharing with me. I hope you decide to try out meditating. It changed my life!

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