Where I am right now

If my head wasn’t in a weird place I could make this funny, but right now I’m sort of messed up and it feels like lying not to write about it.

A few weeks ago I decided to get a head-start on the litany of exams that come around when you’re 40, so I had a thousand (12) x-rays, and eleventy billion (6) blood draws, and one (1) weird boob exam.  The mammogram thing wasn’t that bad and was way less uncomfortable than when you swallow a Dorito wrong.  (That’s my baseline for pain.)  It’s just weird to have another woman curiously man-handling your boobs, but I suggest just realizing that this is what she’s chosen to do for a living, or maybe just pretend you’re in college again.

I spent more time in hospital gowns this week than I did in actual clothes and I didn't even get any good drugs out of it.

The nice thing about the mammogram though was that I got to fill out a form with boobies drawn all over it and I had to mark any scars I had, and I have one right under my right boob from when I was stabbed and when the mammographer looked at the form she was like “YOU WERE STABBED IN THE BOOB?”  And I was like “No, I was stabbed under the boob.  By a doctor.  During emergency surgery.”  And then she just looked at me like that didn’t count, but it totally does because either way, someone stuck a knife into me on purpose.

Long story short, I don’t have breast cancer.  Yay!  But they found some other growth in my neck that’s causing abnormal labs and probably needs to get biopsied.  Not quite as yay.  But I had the same growth 10 years ago and got it biopsied and it wasn’t cancer then and eventually it just went away, so I suspect it’s a silent twin that’s just swimming around in my body and fucking shit up.

The good news is that my rheumatoid-arthritis-miracle-drug has not only kept me out of a wheelchair for the last year, but the damaged bone deformation is healing and my bone-density is now crazy high.  That’s a good sign, but I suspect it also means that my bones are enormous and are making me fat.  Thanks a lot, bones.  You’re a bunch of assholes.  But the upside is that when my doctor points out that I’m still a bit overweight I can blame the fact that I LITERALLY just became big-boned and that she’s giving me mixed messages.  (I know people with RA are going to ask what I’m on and it’s monthly Simponi injections.  There are lots of side-effects and they’re expensive and don’t work for everyone, but they work for me.)

There were also the expected number of blood diseases and clotting disorders and auto-immune diseases that popped up, but at this point I’m sort of collecting those sorts of things, so nothing majorly upsetting.  The thing that did bother me though was something that technically shouldn’t have messed me up as much as it did.  Turns out I have a severe b12 deficiency.  They don’t think it’s pernicious anemia (which is a terrible problem with a very fun name) but it’s enough that they immediately started me on injections and pills and a warning that this level of b12 deficiency often causes delirium, which explains a lot.  Technically it’s a good diagnosis, because it would explain my chronic fatigue, and it can cause depression and symptoms of ADD, and multiple miscarriages, and of lots of other things I’ve struggled with, but it’s also strangely upsetting to find that one damn vitamin might have been what’s been making me miserable for years.  And more upsetting is the fact that I still feel exactly as exhausted as I did before we started the treatment, so God knows if this will even work or if it’ll just be another bullet-point in my list-of-shit-that’s-wrong-with-me.

I should be happy that things weren’t worse, and relieved that I have the resources to diagnose and maybe fix the problems, but today I’m just sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I can’t find a way to end this paragraph.

I blame the delirium.

460 thoughts on “Where I am right now

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Oh Jenny how frustrating and exhausting. I just went through an experience where I was told / believed one thing for years only to have that pretty much reversed (by a new specialist) and discover that something we thought was fine is broken as shit. So tired. Have been meaning to get my B12 tested, thanks for the reminder and fingers crossed that more good news comes your way and the evil twin goes back into hibernation. 🙂

  2. It doesn’t sound fun to be stabbed in the boob. No wonder you’re always feeling stabby! On a more serious note, I hope they can fix everything for you and that you start feeling more like the amazing woman that we all know you are!

  3. Yay for the shit that’s been figured out, boo for the shit that hasn’t.

    I had a lump in my neck a couple of years ago and it was a swollen lymph node that never went down. They’re crazy numerous all up in there, apparently. They took it out and it wasn’t anything to worry about. So I get ya there. It’s probably just a lymph node, but still freaks you out.

  4. Jenny , just wanted to say, you brighten up my day all the time. I am a mental health specialist pharmacist and if I can ever be of any assistance, I’d love to be able to offer to ease your day.

  5. So sorry you’re running on the proverbial health care hamster wheel. It took them 7 years to diagnose my RA and I’m finally feeling semi-human. I had a severe B12 deficiency (and Vitamin D, too, but everyone in the country has that, basically) and the vitamins definitely helped. I was also feeling like, “Holy crap, I am going to be pissed off if all of my problems could be solved by vitamins,” but I also decided there were worse problems to have. Turns out, vitamins can’t fix everything, but they sure do help. I hope they help you feel a LOT better and that the thing in your neck is nothing to worry about. Thanks for being awesome and for sharing your life with us. Love you!

  6. 1) I HATE swallowing Doritos the wrong way. Ugh, that is terrible pain.

    2) You look marvelous, despite having to be in a hospital gown.

    3) While more diagnoses are NOT what you need right now, I’m going to look at the positive side of this and say YAY that they may have found what’s been causing you troubles. Your blogging community (me included) love you. We love your work. And you are excellent. I hope this is just one more golden brick on your yellow brick road to wellness.

  7. I once had a woman rip out one of my toenails with a pair of pliers. Sure, it was under anesthesia, and sure she was a podiatrist, and sure I had an infection and needed to get it out for the infection to heal. And sure, I was looking on interested the entire time.

    But I’ve always wanted to relate the story this way 🙂

    P.S. Fun fact: almost half of your nails is under the skin. They’re almost twice as long as they look!

  8. The older I get, the larger the handful of pills I swallow every morning. I try to think of it as working on my gag reflex, rather than aging. If you haven’t watched Louis C.K. on going to the doctor after you are 40, I heartily recommend it. And I don’t know how to link to it. Because I’m working on my gag reflex.

  9. B-12 shots YES – pills – yuck. I find the shots work better, the pills do nothing for me. AND – I have low potassium, so leg cramps galore. not fun.

    I feel better day 3 after the shot. Most people feel better day 1. Then by the end of the month – I’m dragging worse than a wagon with a missing wheel. (great image there…. I may use that again later)

    Proud that you got all the required tests! Many just say no and go on down the road.

    (I have the low potassium thing too. Turns out that’s what’s been causing my heart to race irregularly every once in awhile. I though for sure it was a heart problem and turns out it’s lack-of-bananas. How anti-climactic. ~Jenny)

  10. …just realized my last comment sounded vaguely creepy. I can’t give you free drugs or anything just can offer up my knowledge and hopefully ease some concerns. I swear I’m not creepy; though I guess that’s what a creepy person would say too. Vicious. Circle.

  11. Jenny, I had delayed diagnosis on 2 disorders that, had they been caught earlier, would have spared me a lot of time, trouble, and self-doubt. One took 15 years (endometriosis) and another took 6 years (hypothyroid) for a doctor to discover. And while I am relieved and feeling vindicated that I am not just lazy, crazy, or intolerant to physical pain as I (and friends, and family) had suspected, I am also very bitter and angry that I lived for years convincing myself I was lazy, crazy, and weak. I lived for years trying to justify and come to terms that I just wasn’t a high energy person, or that I just had a low pain tolerance, and these were all things I just had to accept as a bunk set of genetics or personality traits. And the hardest part now that I know my “normal” wasn’t, in fact, “normal” all those years, is to shake the auto-pilot thoughts that I am lazy and a wimp. I am not those things, I am actually sick. And if a doctor had caught any of this years ago, I wouldn’t ever have had to implant and accept the idea that I just wasn’t the “normal” person I wanted to be. I remind myself daily to be grateful for my diagnosis and treatments, finally, and am happy every day that I am getting a taste of the new-normal life I am leading. But kicking the self-doubt and the bitterness about the wasted years will be a longer struggle. I wish you way more than luck with yours. *hugs*

  12. Weird about the B12. Definitely a great thing if pumping that up will fix many issues. No boobs, so can’t relate there, but I need to have the Prostate thing done soon just to check and that doesn’t sound fun at all. Have to wonder about the guys who volunteer to go into that branch of medicine. Lots weirder than the lady who does the boob -check ! I think it’s the guys who flunked out of Spy-torture school and this is their punishment 😉

    Hope the B12 tosses lots of stuff off of your issue list !!!

  13. {{{Jenny}}}
    That’s a cyber-hug, just in case you didn’t know…

    Life is so weird but then, what wouldn’t be?

  14. One- we have the same phone case!
    Two- I believe B-12 is one of those fun vitamins that helps boost your metabolism. So there is that.
    I could be wrong though, it’s far too early for me to try and look it up and I haven’t even finished my coffee yet.

  15. I know how you feel. I’ve been set up for chemo two different times in my life because I’ve had things happen that doctors only see when you have cancer . Turns out, my body just thinks it’s funny to fuck with me. That or I really need a new doctor.

    My mom has a severe b12 deficiency and we thought she was having strokes because it messed with her speech, memory and movement that badly, but she’s been doing monthly injections for a few years and she’s back to normal! Hang in there.

  16. I had a lump in my neck for years. The doctor had originally said it might be connected to my consumption of caffeine and darn it if the thing didn’t get bigger when I was drinking caffeine and smaller when I stopped. So my gross growth was filled with caffeine? What? No worries, it went away suddenly one day.

    I have anemia and have to take prescription iron like three times a day so I go through awful times of fatigue and bone-weariness. It ebbs and flows so I hope your B12 solution eventually works.

    Also, mammograms ARE weird and my boobs never felt more like glands than during that exam. But glad you are geting the full tune up!

  17. My sister had been in stabbing pain for months, and underwent tons of testing only to find out she was vitamin D deficient. You’d think they’d test for these things earlier!

  18. …but… in unrelated news… you look totally hot in a hospital gown so there’s that. Here is my attempt to make you feel better or at least have a chuckle at my expense. I am 41 and need a mammogram… but need to visit the OB/GYN to get the note… and I can’t go there because… he’s adorable and I need a wax. It’s my b-day month. What did I get for my birthday from Hubs?… a Groupon for a brazillian. Not the hot abs kind either… but a groom job. Although I think getting a Groupon for a hot brazillian would be all kinds of awesome. Instead… I have an invitation for pain. I think my husband and my mother are conspiring. I am calling the doc today. harumph.

  19. So one of Neil Gaiman’s creations resides within you?
    Maybe the B12 will make her B-have?

  20. So glad to hear almost everything is okay. Regarding the B12, give the treatment time. It takes months or years to become B12 deficient, and it takes at least weeks or months to begin to reverse that deficiency. One shot won’t make a difference, it’s the continued effects of many shots that will change things.

    Hang in there. <3

  21. Hope all your tests come back with good results. I was going to say positive results, but I don’t think that’s what you want, right? I mean positive results in medicine are almost always not positive. Right? Right. Anywho, you look better in a hospital gown then most people look in a ball gown 🙂 Best of luck to you and I adore your phone case. Hugssssss…sssss

  22. My baseline for pain is if it hurts more than stepping on a Lego with your bare foot. Or listening to bad Karaoke.

  23. I felt similarly when doctors discovered I had a thyroid problem which would ‘explain away’ all the things I had been suffering from for year. A basic blood test would have given you this answer?!

    Turns out fixing the thyroid didn’t solve the other problems at all, but still. ANGER.

    Glad to hear you’re okay, relatively.

  24. I’m so glad that, while some things aren’t good, other things are. That’s how I live my life with bipolar, an autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid called Hashimoto’s (Fun name, NOT fun thing, because God screwed up one thing in his plan for the human body by making the thyroid control damn near EVERYTHING in the body. One problem in your thyroid hormone level, or a pituitary issue that over/understimulates the thyroid and BOOM! Your entire body and mind are totally fucked. Seriously, I went from 137 micrograms of thyroid pills to 150 and went from decent to totally swinging between mania and severe depression, and I was so completely irritable it was horrible, but DAMN I had energy. I’ve gone back down to the 137 and now I’ve been fully depressed for the last week–like, full-on apathy, sleeping all day, overeating depression. I fucking hate this gland.), and fibromyalgia, which, depending on who you talk to, either exists or is all in my brain because I’m lazy and fat.

    So, what I was trying to say with that long paragraph is that you’re not alone in the weirdness and feeling like it’s all in your head every now and then. And that I’m glad most of your body is doing better.

  25. I am going to use that excuse for the giant scar on my boob (from mastitis surgery). From now on, a doctor stabbed me in the boob. And to add drama, he didn’t even stitch me up (for reals).

  26. Feel better; at least your humor hasn’t gotten ill. I have relatives with pernicious and regular anemia and B12 really helped them, so I hope the same for you!

  27. focus on the fact that you HAVE an answer. and Dr House didn’t have to come in and nearly kill you to get it. not that he’s not pretty to look at, but I would prefer to gaze at him while NOT a patient. Honestly, these are GOOD things.

    and the B12 will take time. your body has to build it back up before it can find normalcy. but it’s an answer and it’s one that’s pretty easily fixed. focus on that.

  28. I also have that phone case :). I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well though. Sick and tired of being sick and tired sucks. On the upside, you are rocking the hospital gown and don’t let anyone tell you different.

  29. I’m pretty sure you need all the hugs in the universe. For me it always seems like everything fucks up at EXACTLY the same time. So it’s overwhelming for a bit, then all the messed up stuff stops and you get a little bit of calm. Then the crazy starts again. It’s not fun.

  30. My mom has pernicious anemia. She was almost dead when they discovered it. The B12 shots have made all the difference in the world. It seems like such a silly thing, but man, B12 is responsible for so much in the body. Glad they’re getting you all straightened out.

  31. Have you tried an auto-immune protocal diet? I know people with RA that are off meds or reduced meds because certain foods were causing flare ups and inflammation. Just a suggestion! You can tell me to STFU. 😉

  32. B12 deficiency suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. Did you know it can cause low-grade seizures? I didn’t, until I found my wife face-down and nonresponsive on the bed. That was delightful.

  33. Never feel bad for leaning on those who love you. Sometimes just having somebody hear you helps. I finally figured out/admitted I was depressed when the right doctor asked how I was and I burst into tears for the first time in a decade. We love you.

  34. Okay: so, I can tell you this… many people that have fibromyalgia pain and the diagnosis later learn that it’s a b12 deficiency. So any sort of misc pain that you feel COULD be a result of the b12. Once you get treated for that, there is a chance that your overall pain level could go down. So while it’s scary and shitty, there is a potentially awesome upside to it.

    You are one of the strongest people EVER. You’ll own this shit.

  35. As someone who turned 40 a few weeks ago… and hasnt been to a doctor outside of instacare in a decade… you made me think its probably that time for me too… plus… hello… Boobs rock!

  36. So many times my comments here are basically a “me, too” thing, and this is another example of that. I had a diagnosis of hpv and an abnormal pap recently, as well as something on my mammo that made people get that funny look they get when they don’t want you to freak out but know you will. These happened within days of each other. I’m sharing this to say “I feel those feels.” They both turned out to be nothing, but the stress of it almost killed me for a bit. But I kept reminding myself “depression lies” and my own twist on it, “anxiety lies, too,” and it helped me be strong.

    You are one of the strongest people I’ve ever encountered, so I know you can do this.

    Hugs and loves and taxidermied animals to you.


  37. I never thought about the mind-frame of the lady who does the boob check, but now I will, of course. I mostly just wonder why she says “Are you okay?” after squishing my boob into the machine and actually waits for an answer before running out of the room to take the x-ray. It’s as if she honestly expects me to say “Yep, this is pretty awesome!”

    Here’s hoping the B12 works out!

  38. Yay for going to the doctor and getting some good results- boo to getting other bad results.

    I had to go back three times for my first mammogram. Apparently I have dense boobs (is that why they are so small?) By the third appointment, I looked at the technician and told her “Really, by this point, you should have at least bought me dinner. Or a drink? I feel like I am coming across as easy for always letting you fondle me without something in return.” Side eyes followed. Eh whatev?

    Hang in there- may you be on the road to feeling better!

  39. Hope it all works out for you, in the meantime I’d use the B12 thing as an excuse “Why did you lave the lights on all day?” “Don’t blame me, blame the lack of B12.”

  40. Here’s to hoping the B12 gives you some much needed energy! That boob in a vice thing isn’t a lot of fun, but is definitely worth it/needed. Everyone get your boobs squeezed – by the machine thingy – not your hubs or significant other. Wow, this took a weird turn.

    Feel better lady!!

  41. I was really shocked about the weight issue. You look super skinny in the picture. Apparently hospital gowns should be your “little black dress”!

    (I’ve lost 45 pounds in the last year or so, but I’m still technically overweight and every pound makes a difference when you have RA so my doctor is more likely to push for a “normal” BMI. This feels fairly normal though. I’m okay with being a “size large” forever. ~ Jenny)

  42. I had that. And I didn’t notice any damn difference in symptoms after I started shots. However I passed my b12 blood exam, so that was a plus.
    I think of them as pass-fail blood tests.
    I often fail in one arena or another.

  43. Maybe it will take some time for the b12 to kick in and work where you see a difference, since it was so low. I hope so. I wish you well.


  44. I have pernicious anemia, my body doesn’t absorb B12 at all. Woo for a young person with an old person disease…. *eyeroll* I was diagnosed when I was 17, I’m 28 now. It will take a bit for the shots to start making you feel like they’re doing something, at least a month or two for full effect, and for the first shot it may not seem like it did something today but in a few days you may begin to feel loads better. I get a shot once a month along with vitamins daily, have for 11 years and will for the rest of my life according to my doctor.

    Hope you feel better now <3

  45. My wife has RA and takes the same shot but gets one shot every week. You are not kidding it’s expensive. Is that little bit of medicine in that shot made of diamonds or magic unicorn eyelashes which can only be harvested in the full moon by FDA trained and licensed fairies? Whatever it’s made of I am thankful for it. Anything that helps relieve my princesse’s pain I appreciate.

  46. Wow, I can’t believe they hadn’t looked for the B12 before. You’d be amazed how often people are low in that who present with mental health problems, and how few doctors know to actually look for it. While it’s rarely the only cause, there are some people who get just that addressed and it makes a huge difference. But B12 (and iron, and Vitamin D, and folate) deficiencies can definitely cause problems in terms of energy, concentration and memory.

    If they suggest oral B12 supplements, keep in mind that a lot of people have absorption problems, and with all your medical problems, odds are you will too. Better and faster to go with the IM injections. Also, studies lately have shown that for women ages 18-50ish who are suffering from some mental health issues, a higher level of both B12 and ferritin are beneficial compared with the baseline “normals” they recommend on labs.

  47. I had Pernicious Anemia! (I probably shouldn’t be so excited about that.) I’m in a long term relationship with B12 shots and feel like a different (better) person. It’s kind of miraculous. Though people don’t get quite as excited about it as they would if I told them I had Rickets or Scurvy. Best wishes to you… feel better, woman!!

  48. Love how you pop that hip for a sexy pose & really make that hospital gown work for you! You are precious…I’m sorry being poked and prodded has you down. Hopefully getting the b12 problem fixed will trickle down into making many things right again.

  49. Fun, Fancy-As-Fuck Fact: Caviar has tons of B-12 so tell your robot-butler to prepare some, post haste! Eat it pinkies up.. that makes the B-12 absorb faster, I’ve heard..

  50. At least it wasn’t vermicious knids! Those are heck to get rid of, not to mention they attract oompa-loompas.

    Feel better soon!

  51. Sorry you’re not feeling well, but hoping your medical team finds a good treatment soon. Maybe a b12 deficiency means you should act even more immature: “b 12,” get it?

    When I feel down, I re-read your blog post about the big bear head. Would reading that cheer you up too?

  52. OMG……I’m reading your book! It’s awesome!! I grew up in Texas so I totally understand only the weird stuff didn’t happen with animals & crap.
    Glad you got your first boob-mashing as I call it…this year I was diagnosed w/breast cancer and I’m still pissed about it. I have no hair and could not get any funnier looking than I already am. The process sucks; chemo sucks but one of the Dr. dudes doing a biopsy was TOTALLY HOT!!
    I hope all else goes well with your unique conditions…..I miss Texas but it’s always fun to go visit & pig out on Mexican food, Whataburger and anything else indigenous to the Great State of Texas!

  53. Glad they are finding some answers to things. But sheesh woman, talk about not the best thing to collect (health problems) 😉 Sending you lots of healthy thoughts.

  54. Magnesium is one of those “how the hell can it juar be low magnesium” kind of supplememnts too. Migraines that put me in the ER several times a month despite all we tried and it was just Magnesium. Glad your boobies are ok. Good luck with the biopsy. Is it fine needle aspiration where it literally feels like they are punching you in the neck? Yeah. Those are lovely. Stupid biopsies.

    (YES. I started taking magnesium at night several months ago and it helped my sleep disorder more than any prescription sleeping pill ever did. ~ Jenny)

  55. Hi Jenny!
    I’m echoing the Yays and Boos on your health! And, you DO look great in your hospital gown, too!

    Thank you, thank you for sharing all this! I suffer from a lot of the same issues (fatigue, depression, ADD) and now you’ve put B12 on my radar as something to ask my Dr. to check out.

  56. Don’t you sometimes feel like wtf? I’m barely 40 and it’s too soon to deal with all this shit? I am having an MRI guided needle biopsy on a lesion they found in my breast tomorrow. I don’t take Xanax often but I took one today and I’ve decided that Xanax is my new god. It comforts me so much better than the old one;). (((Hugs)))

  57. I know how you feel. I have a long list of “non-normative” ailments, too. I remember going for the boob squash years ago, and everyone got all in a doodah because these cysts under my arms showed up in the mammogram. Despite my repeated and increasingly aggravated protests, I had to go to the mammography center for very sick women and have the BBs taped to my boobs. By then, the cysts had healed and the tests came up negative. Good outcome, really, but someone should have pointed out that infections and inflammation are pre-cursors to diabetes. That would have been useful to know.

  58. Urgh… getting things sorted is horrible. I’m currently on medication 10 to try and stop me from having so many migraines ( 2 – 4 a week ) and it’s a whole wheel of fun. Take the med, work out the side effect, see if it’s worth it – it isn’t and start again. Meanwhile the headaches are not helping the depression much!! Blogs keep me going – especially this one!!! Hope it’s all OK


  59. I’m right there with a lot of you on this. I’ve been running the gamut of tests, trying to figure out why I’m exhausted and achy and depressed and sluglike. And why my uterus might be trying to kill me. Doctor visits are tedious at best, and blood draws… bleh.

    And I totally wish I looked half as hot and skinny as you do in a hospital gown.

  60. In college I had a lump on my neck and terrible fatigue. Turned out to be a swollen lymph node from cat scratch disease. Read up on it at the time and learned how often it is overlooked. Looked like a golf ball was under my skin. Good luck with everything.

  61. vit B 12, you bastard. i suspect you aren’t absorbing it like you should? now you can add “small bowel” to the list of your organs trying to kill you.

  62. I am in the SAME boat!! I’ve been in a funk about numerous health issues for over week now and realized that I just need to snap the fuck out of it. I’ve been feeling bad for myself and throwing pity parties….I just want to be healthy and normal. But NOOOOO my body isn’t cooperating. All I can do is roll with the punches and go on enjoying the good things in life.

    Feel better and YAY for no breast cancer!

  63. I recently was diagnosed with iron deficient anemia, so I have to take nasty iron pills every morning, in addition to my high blood pressure medicine and anti-anxiety meds. So far no boost to my energy levels, but it’s early days yet.

    I always feel like I’m posing for some weird art project when I get a mammogram. Like some post-industrial statement on how machinery is crushing our life-giving natures or something, I dunno. It is a strange thing to do.

  64. As someone with fibromyalgia, I understand your being sick and tired of being sick and tired. But just remember, if what doesn’t kill you truly makes you stronger, we should both be Wonder Woman in no time!!

  65. While I was in severe kidney failure and feeling like crap on toast, I was diagnosed with a severe B12 deficiency (the lab report said “no detectable levels” which was… oddly amusing) and the mega-doses they put me on actually helped me feel better, even with kidney function at 15%. So — I am very hopeful it will do the same for you.

  66. Good to get things taken care of sooner than later. My parents are a perfect example of why people should NOT put off routine medical care. Almost 40 and I’ve been going through similar work-ups, although some have been forced by conditions. Don’t have my blood test results yet. Trying to not let my imagination get the best of me (I have a number of cancers in the family, although there aren’t any specific cancers that have consistently affected generations, so I guess its just a gamble). Going under the knife tomorrow to be rid of my gallbladder, which tried to kill me about a month ago (a broken bone didn’t hurt as much!).

    (Gallbladder surgery isn’t fun, but it’s a million times better than the pain. I had two attacks and one of them was equal to labor pain. I honestly thought I was dying. ~ Jenny)

  67. Vitamin deficiency sucks!

    I have severe osteopenia (I’m not 30 yet!) because my body doesn’t absorbs calcium and don’t produces vitD (I have to take a vaccine every month). I had a really bad reaction to the only oral drug that can improve my bone density (burned my stomach and esophagus) and within a month I’m going to recieve that same drug, but IV. That’s one hour hooked up to a medicine that can pulverice my veins and give me terrible bone pain, every three months. And it scares the crap out of me.

  68. “Not quite as yay” is much better than “very not yay”.

    Hugs to you Jenny, big big hugs. And if it makes you feel any better, I’ve been getting uber dizzy this year and the Doctor told me it was because I have low blood pressure, so they told me to “eat more salt and meat”, so I was all “nom nom salt and meat” then I went back two weeks later and a different Doctor told me I don’t have low blood pressure at all. At least I got to eat more chorizo and blame it on the medical profession.

  69. Oh fun! On the B12 thing, it’s not something that’s on a lot of doc’s radar screens but now that you know it’s a simple matter of injections and somewhat regular blood tests. Which is no big deal unless needles make you scream and run from the room, in which case I suppose it’s a really big effing deal. I’ve been doing B12 shots for a year. Recently went from once a month to every 3 weeks because even with monthly shots my number is still in the “sub-clinically low” range that even the lab that prints the blood test results flags as “um, scuse me, but you should probably pay attention to this.” I do my shots myself so if ever you want to trade needle stories or tips for not wimping out at the last minute before plunging a needle into your body just let me know.

    And, for the record, it doesn’t really change how I feel but I do believe it’ll keep me from being dead. So, there’s that. (It doesn’t dent the reason we tested my blood in the first place – chronic super frequent want-to-kill-someone migraines.) If you haven’t read the wikipedia page for B12 deficiency, go now and read it! It’s full of all sorts of giggles and grins around how pernicious anemia used to just kill people, until they figured out how to like…dessicate a pig’s liver or something and feed it to people. Yum, pig liver. I’m a vegetarian. FML. Best wishes, girl.

  70. See! I knew you looked skinny! I finally told my 5’9″ 145 lb mom that I had come to terms with being a bigger girl (5’7″ 185 lb) and that she was just gonna have to be happy with “me” too. I thought my momma was gonna faint. Her jaw dropped for a second and she finally closed her mouth and hasn’t said a word about it for 3 years now. 🙂

  71. Jenny, I have the low B-12 thing, as well as low Vitamin D and low potassium. The shots really help, but if your levels are super-low (mine were at the level of “about to cause neurological damage,” always a fun thing to hear), it takes about 4 weeks of the shots before your energy starts to come back. By the end of the course of shots, you will feel like SuperGirl, with so much energy you won’t know what to do with yourself. The potassium thing I recently solved by stopping drinking Diet Coke (or ingesting anything with aspartame) — turns out aspartame sucks all of the potassium out of your system. Since I had been essentially one step away from having a Diet Coke I.V. in my arm for 30 years, the process of giving it up sucked ass, but I will (grudgingly) admit I feel a lot better without it in my system. At least, since I gave it up I don’t get foot cramps so severe they wake me up anymore, so I guess it’s worth it. Sort of.

    (I have all three of those too. I gave up diet coke 3 months ago and it almost killed me the first week but now I’m good with water and green tea. And booze. I’m not quitting the booze. ~ Jenny)

  72. You look MAHvelous in hospital blue. I am hoping the b12 diagnosis will help in lots of good way, and we look forward to more of your wonderful delirium.

  73. there’s a book you need to read by Kerri Rivera on treating the symptoms known as autism… all the symptoms you have match parasites (low b12 – tapeworms LOVE b12, autoimmune disease… weird moving thing in your throat, depression…). We’re having a lot of adults using Kerri’s protocol to treat chronic illness very successfully.

  74. Hey lady, thanks for being real. Here’s hoping everything levels out (the B12, not the boobs) and you get feeling better fast!

  75. sorry you have to go through all this. if it helps, i must say you make that hideous blue gown look kinda sexy.

    hope everything turns out ok.


  76. I have a serious dislike of all things medical. I know some doctors personally and they seem very nice but I really don’t like being poked and prodded, even if it’s for my own good.

    So kudos to you for being preemptive and all.

    I don’t know what to say about the B12 thing, are they saying you’ve had this a long time? As in why didn’t the doctors from ten or twenty years ago notice anything? Or is this a new thing that they check for now and not a standard test? In any case I hope you find answers.

    (Apparently it’s not something they normally test for, but you have to have been super low for years for it to show up on the tests. If you’re having a lot of symptoms of a b12 deficiency DEMAND TO BE TESTED. I just assumed that it was a normal part of the blood-screen, but it’s not. ~ Jenny)

  77. Glad the boobies are fine! At least that is something. 😉

    I hope the treatments for your B12 start to kick in. It’s so stupid to think that you could have been diagnosed years and years ago and not had to go through so much! Why didn’t they check that before? Is it not a normal thing to check?

    My middle child is 22 now and has had chronic ear infections her whole life. She was having some ear pain a few weeks ago and went to a new doctor who took one look in her ear and said, “You have eczema in your ear.” Now she has always had eczema and no one ever looked for it in her ear. Turns out it’s been the cause of all her ear infections! Poor thing. I remember holding her at night while she was in so much pain until the ear drum would burst and relieve the pain so she could sleep. Breaks my heart that this could have been diagnosed and treated years and years ago!

  78. yeah, the doc put me on b12 and vitamin d because of my “pretty low” levels in those areas, which, along with my thyroid issues, just made the depression, anxiety, fatigue, and muscle weakness worse. the good news is it seems to help (along with the iron for the anemia, though i don’t know how pernicious it is), but it did take a few weeks to get there. hang in there, is my roundabout point. it gets better. be kind to you, and take care.

  79. I’m sorry you have to go through all this and hope you feel more yourself soon, but I just have to say I have that same TARDIS iPhone case!!

  80. I know so many women who are collecting the exact same list of …issues…illnesses…deficiencies? If men suffered like this there would have been a cure last millenium godsdamnit.

  81. I sympathize with you on so many levels right now. Earlier this year during a RA (I was literally the JRA poster child in the early 80’s) flare up something felt off and I started getting these crazy rashes. Went to my Doc and boom, Lupus. The auto-immune collection is a collection I could easily do without. However, it makes me think, if you’re collecting and Lupus popped up for you it could explain your tiredness and delirium too. They like to call it brain fog. It’s currently the bane of my existence.

  82. OK. Overweight? Are you kidding me? As if you need to worry about your awesome curves with all that other shit. No. Just no. You’re perfect.

  83. Plus, I saw a quote recently that said something about subtracting 10 lbs from you weight because a woman’s boobs and brain should never count against you. 😉

  84. Did you ever post the story of getting stabbed under your boob, ’cause that’s one that I, for one, would like to hear about. Just sayin’. Glad everything’s basically okay with you.

    (I wrote a titch about it but then it got too long and I decided maybe to save it for book #2. ~ Jenny)

  85. Having lived the delayed diagnosis of Graves disease, I know what you are going through. Good for you that you are getting all of these tests out of the way. Glad you are getting some answers and relief. The b12 should help, soon. BTW, you are rocking that mammogram/hospital gown.

  86. I love your phone case. I’m glad your RA treatment is working out. You are Not fat. Do everything the nice doctors say and keep us posted cuz we , your people , your loyal readers and subject Love you ! Sounds like you have great doctors in Texas.-be well.

  87. My mom has pernicious anemia from when she had chemotherapy. It does very weird things, and they get weirder the longer you go without B12. Generally if she calls me weepy or spacey or hyper or from the backyard in winter trying to mow the lawn in shorts, I ask if she forgot her shot. Bonus: she has a prescription for syringes, because that doesn’t get you funny looks at the pharmacy.

    I’m glad everything else was relatively normal!

  88. You manage to make health issues still quite funny. Reading about your B-12 deficiency, I am assuming the also checked your Vitamin D levels? Many women have very low levels due to being told for years to stay out of the damn sun, just to find out that we NEED some damn sun to stay healthy. As if the perimenopause wasn’t enough to make me absolutely exhausted, the lack of good old Vitamin D was tanking my energy levels. Vicious cycle…too tired to do anything, butt on the couch, getting fatter due to sitting on the couch, depressed from lack of energy/looking in the mirror, so eating to feel temporarily less depressed by stuffing a cupcake in my face…you get the picture. Hope you get a clean bill of health. Thanks for your blog…you are so funny!!!

  89. I love that it in the photo it looks like you’re in a dressing room in a clothing store and you’re taking a picture so that your friends can tell you if this hospital gown fits well. And, since you’re honesty makes you feel like a friend, even in a hospital gown you look terrific.

    I’m sorry that you’re having to go through all of this. It’s not fair. Like most of life. And this may not make you feel any better but you are such an encouragement to so many people. We’re pulling for you, Jenny!

  90. Well, that just sucks.

    Not that this is supposed to make you better but I’ve been put through the ringer with tests, pokes, and prods. The B-12 and the Vitamin D came up as hugely deficient. Did the B-12 shots weekly. I recommend you do them daily if they’ll let you. Once a week didn’t budge me at all. And like you, I’ve been battling depression for years only to learn from the doctor that maybe the Vitamin B-12 deficiency has quite possibly been totally to blame for my sloth-like nocturnal existence. Ugh.

    Then I took tons of Vitamin D in an effort to raise that. Asked Dr. about that after next blood draw and was informed that they’re not too concerned about Vitamin D levels any longer as there is too many conflicting opinions in the AMA world. Go figure. And here I was diligently taking those damn pills daily when all I wanted to do was sleep, hide, and maroon myself in my bedroom due to my depression. Ugh.

    Next blood work revealed that I’m HYPERthyroid-itis (I think that’s the term. Sort of.), which essentially means my body feels as though I’m in car, with my foot on the brake, the car is in Drive, but the car is in fourth gear. There’s a whole lot of shaking and trembling and sweating going on with that. So, more meds to slow that mo-fo down, which also prompted the Dr. to tell me that I am also peri-menopausal since I’m sweating like a whore in church, which then just added to my depression that I’m getting older and even more depressed due to hormones.

    On the bright side? Yes, I found one. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of buying overpriced tampons for the past 30 years (total rip-off industry as the tampons are smaller, and shorter, and less are in the box, but the price has gone up).

    So what’s my point? I feel ya. I feel your stress, worry, frustration.
    Do I have any suggestions? Just keep pushing forward. That’s all any of us can do. Oh, and have a cocktail, or wine, or beer to chill (or in my case, just raise my body temperature even more).

  91. I also went with undiagnosed B12 deficiency for awhile; although I do have the pernicious anemia to go along with it. When I was finally diagnosed, they did weekly shots for about 8 weeks to get it back up to normal. The crazy thing though was that every time I got one of those shots, it turned me into a zombie for a day. No one could really explain it to me why that happened; my doctor thought I was nuts, but they gave me the shot at the start of the appointment one time and by the end of it I was falling asleep in the chair.

    Basically, it took almost the full 8 weeks for me to start feeling like I was getting any of my energy back.

    I was taking Nascobal for the last few years, it was a once a week nasal spray but I never quite felt like it did what it was supposed to do adequately. If you had a cold, even a little bit, it could block the absorption. So now I’m back on monthly shots but I’m not convinced that I’m at the right level still. I can tell if I run late on doing an injection, because my brain starts going scattered again. I get clumsier and klutzier and in general its just not fun.

    But anyway. I tell you all this to say; have hope. It is a little bit of an uphill climb at the start, but give it until the end of the weekly shots. And if it isn’t 100% better at that point, it may just mean that you need a few more shots to continue boosting your levels.

    And you might need more than a once a month booster. I do. :/

    Good luck, lady. I hope that solving that little mystery ends up helping you further in the long term.

  92. I went to the doc last year because I was twitching uncontrollably and going numb and they found a B12 deficiency. Turns out all the other things I thought were normal weren’t; they were symptoms of the deficiency – fuzzy “mom brain,” fatigue, irritability, anxiety. Saw a couple different specialists and there’s nothing else apparently wrong other than I can’t absorb the stuff. We’re still trying to get me straightened out. It’s a process, but at least you can get treated. The shots do take awhile to work and you have to keep up with them. Glad you have an answer! Things will get better after this.

    (I have a nervous tic that they think might be caused by b12 as well. Who knew vitamins could cause such havoc? ~ Jenny)

  93. Wow, you guys start routine mammograms at 40? We start them at 50 here (in the UK), with some people called for early screening at 47, I think to see if lowering the age limit is ‘valid’ or something (an acquaintance recently got diagnosed through early screening at 47, she hadn’t felt anything. The doc said “you would have felt it eventually” which is great, but that would probably have been either too late or meant more invasive treatment).

    The exception to this is if you have a high occurrence of breast cancer in the family. Guess who won the lottery on that one?! So for the last 6 years I’ve had to travel to a specialist center (because our regular one aren’t specially trained in reading them for under 40s and don’t get funding for it) for yearly mammos. I have fibromyalgia too, so I’m already in pain, and have permanently painful breasts, so those suckers *hurt*, but at least the nice nurse gives me a nice boob massage beforehand, last time I didn’t get one though as it was a different nurse *pouts* . So here I am at 39, thinking how one upside to turning 40 will be not having a 5 hour round trip by train for a 15minute appointment every year…oh, no, turns out now that I’m in their (family history clinic) system I have to keep going to them *sob*.

    I’ve also had the neck surgery thing when they removed half my thyroid at 27 because of nodules that kept popping up.

    Um. so yeah, I guess the TL;DR:
    I feel your pain, kinda.

  94. I hope the B12 works for you!

    The swallowing a dorito wrong made me inhale a mouthful of water because I totally use that example when I teach about peristalsis… how you’re not aware your esophagus has anything to do when you swallow UNTIL YOU SWALLOW A DORITO WRONG and then you’re suddenly very aware that your freaking esophagus contracts and pushes that crap down your throat.

    I also may or may not mention that the shape of a dorito should be outlawed because sooner or later someone’s entire throat is going to get cut open from one of those things.

  95. I hope that very soon you are no longer feeling Sick and Tired! 🙂 Lots of LOVE your way!

  96. I’m due for my annual physical, and I’m dreading it. The good news is that I got my mammogram out of the way over the summer. My mother had breast cancer, so I have been getting them since I was 30. Joy! I love how they put your boob in a vice grip and then tell you not to move, as though you could. Yeah, I’m just going to rip my left boob off and run down the street for coffee. BRB. 🙂

    I hope all is well.

  97. I agree with you about the mammogram versus the Dorito. Everyone told me my mammogram would hurt SO BAD, but either they lied or mammogrammers have gotten better at their jobs or my friends and family members are a bunch of wimps. Did you keep your x-rays? I kept mine (because I actually DID have a lump and it turned out fine but made for a scary few days of ultrasounds and biopsies, and biopsies DO hurt, a lot) but I only have one place in my house to store x-rays so I keep the x-rays of my boobs in the same big envelope as the x-rays of my dog’s stomach and the x-rays of my cat’s intestines, so I know that someday I am going to end up really embarrassed at the vet.
    Glad you’re still alive, Jenny. Keep writing. xo

  98. I had to scroll down a long long time just to leave you a comment. I hope that tells you how incredibly loved you are because you are. I have nothing smart or funny to say either, I just wanted to let you know I care and give you a big big hug.

  99. You have a doctor that says you’re overweight? Because good god, I would kill for a body like yours.
    Note that I said “kill for” not “stop eating shit and exercise more often for”- because I’m realistic.

    (I hold weight it weird ways. I’m more than 50 pounds heavier than I was when I met Victor, but it’s not terribly noticeable if you didn’t know me before. I think I look normal, but according to the BMI charts I’m overweight. I probably always will be. ~ Jenny)

  100. For all of you saying you feel tired, crappy, have brain fog and vitamin deficiencies… try a gluten free diet for a week. Wheat isn’t what it used to be. It’s basically just a weed now, and it’s in everything.
    If it works, you feel all better. If it doesn’t, you know it’s not that.

  101. Oh Sweetie, I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you everything’s going to be OK, but that would probably freak you out since we only met once, while you were on a book tour in San Diego, so, virtual hug it is.

  102. Welcome to BBGC ( kind of like BCBG only NOT) Having been a big boned gal my whole life, I can tell you there are some true advantages…
    1. Arm wrestling – nobody even tries
    2. We “OWN” a room ( Oprah, Adele, KD Lang, Zena warrior princess)
    3. Short, frail women have less sex. ( not sute if this is true, but I tell myself this whilst squeezing into my Spanx)

    Big Boned Gals Club – president

  103. You’re rocking the gown, ladybug. And I don’t think you look overweight at all. (I could cut off a toe to have legs like yours.)

  104. YAY for no boob cancer!!! That shit’s a mofo to get rid of. I always think the same about the tech too. ‘You CHOSE this as a profession?’
    Best to you on getting thru all the rest of your new medical adventures.
    PS ~ You do look incredibly skinny. Any secrets to share? Because I’d love to drop 45 too.

    (When I’m depressed I don’t eat so when I had a serious bout a year ago I lost 10 pounds and then decided to run with it. I just do it mathematically. Less calories taken in than I burn. Meal replacement bars and fruit and oatmeal and usually one big meal a day. And no eating after 7pm. And swimming when I’m not sick. It’s a slow process. Victor did that medifast diet and lost like 40 pounds in a few months. I couldn’t do it though. Way too strict for me. ~ Jenny)

  105. The whole b12 thing is awful. I found out I was b12 deficient at the start of last year, and spent most of the next six months having it injected into my arm because apparently I can’t just take some pills like a normal person. Thankfully I had my last one in February and I shouldn’t need more for 5-6 years…

  106. Jenny~ I recently read your book and I am a HUGE fan. I can relate to you on so many levels it is scary…not like stalker scary, but wow! scary…that another person actually can make sense of what I’m feeling most days! I too spent time in the dreaded hospital gown this week, and let’s just say, I feel a little less crazy after reading your blog! Keep putting your thoughts down for those of us who feel like they “get” you…I know for me, it helps me deal with the madness that is life! 🙂

  107. Your doctor is an asshole. You’ve got all this shit going on and he feels the needs to bring up how you’re a little overweight still? Fail.

    On the other hand, you look better in a hospital gown than I do when I’m actually working at looking good in regular clothes. So I’d say that is a win.

  108. I think you’re doing amazingly well, finding humor in the medical grind, when it’s not always so funny. There have been so many amazing advances in western medicine, but they still know less that what they don’t know. Life is full of mystery and surprise. As they wish in French, merde.

  109. Hey – me too. My b-12 was 135… I had daily injections for a week then every week, every other week then monthly which I still do. I haven’t noticed much of a difference in over a year, but my numbers are better, so yay. I guess. Good luck, I think most people see a difference, here is hoping you’re like most people 🙂 If nothing else, now you know what it’s like to be an addict stabbing yourself like a junky with absolutely no high. High five!

  110. Hang in there, we Texas gals gotta stick together and keep our state from completely losing its collective mind. That awkwardness with the boob gal will get better as you keep doing it. By the time you hit fifty you’ll just flop those puppies out there.

    Staying healthy is so freaking hard sometimes. Like a Rubik’s cube for doctors.

  111. The B-12 deficiency sucks! I’m vegan and knew I was at risk for it and for YEARS I begged every doctor I saw to check it and they all told me it wasn’t a problem. It wasn’t until I was literally in the hospital with teh cancer that a nurse took pity on me and had a doctor order the test. At which point they realized I was like, out of B-12 (or close) and prescribed a double dose shot every day for a week, and then weekly, and then biweekly for the rest of forever.

    Sometimes I’m pissed, because I wonder what annoying physical and mental health problems I have that could have been prevented if they found it sooner; other days I get to feel like a badass because I’ve totally learned how to jab a 2″ needle into my body without flinching and that totally has to be a superpower, on top of the superpowers you get once your levels normal off, like feeling mentally stable more of the time, and rested after 8 hours of sleep, and not feeling like your brain’s been swapped out for a useless jar of peanut butter when you need it for important things.

  112. omg, Jenny, I empathize so hard. When I was only like 23 or so, I had already heard repeatedly from doctors about how I was “less than 1% of the population” because I had health issue A, B, or C. (Or X, Y, or Z!) I think it’s really awesome that you just did the proactive thing and got everything looked at – I’m so sick of finding out I have another unusual and terrible health thing that will require regular visits to some new specialist and it leads me to avoid medical care sometimes.

    But I have an appointment with a for real PCP next month and I’m making a list on my phone of all the things I should talk to her about that I’ve been ignoring for 5 years. A super thorough blood panel is definitely on the list to look for vitamin deficiencies (since I seem to always have at least one of those every time I get bloodwork done).

    Anyway, the main point of this is GO YOU. Taking care of one’s health is hard and you get props for doing it. (Also, you do look awfully good in that hospital gown.)

  113. So, your hospital gown selfie is a thousand times better than Kim Kardashian’s trunk explosion (too much junk). And B12 deficiency is way better than being forever tied to Kanye. And people like you. You’re 3 for 3!

  114. Doctor’s offices suck mostly because the staff that works in doctor’s offices have decided to be bitches about, well, everything. I’m not sure why this is exactly but it seems to apply across the board in my experiences.

    Hope the vitamin stuff gets normal and the unfigured out stuff gets figured out ASAP.

  115. I’m pretty sure everyone is vitamin d deficient but if you didn’t test low for it can’t hurt to add it in. I imagine that some of your meds must require staying out of the sun, like my skin requires of me. I’m no “vitamin lady” but it is pretty remarkable and as far as my Johns Hopkins internist said, you can easily take 2,000 to 5,000 IUs a day and be safe because it’s not dangerous even at 10,000 IUs on a regular basis.
    Stay well, Jenny.

  116. Love the doctor’s office selfie! Hope you tucked your undies and bra under your clothes! 😉 Glad to know that you are A-OK, except for the damn B-12.

  117. I have a terribly deficient B12 too – the pills do nothing, but the shots help. The symptoms of low B12 mimic MS, so I had to have all the tests for that before it was ruled out. Good times. I hope you feel dandy soon. We love you!

  118. After going to my GP last month for what I thought were some really serious symptoms (like delerium, vertigo, stumbling, garbled speech, increased anxiety and severe depression) we found the same thing – a severe vitamin B deficiency. Seriously, y’all, I thought I’d had a stroke or a brain tumor or something. It’s been SO awful. And I am still in shock that one little vitamin (or rather the lack thereof) can eff you up like that! It takes a long time to feel the effects of having the proper levels in your system, Jenny, so don’t get discouraged. I’ve been in the suppleness for about 6 weeks and can see some minor improvement. I’ve read in some cases it can take a year. Hugs, girl!

  119. I once went into my gastro interologist and said I have diagnosed myself with the following diseases: and name 5 different problems. after my endoscopy, he said “you are impressive! you had 4 of the 5 diseases correct. no patient has ever done that so accurately”. is it sad that I impressed my doctor because I know exactly how messed up my insides are? unfortunately I don’t have a “I was stabbed in the boob” story. that’s like a little braggable jem you’ve got going on there jenny! anyway, here’s to having messed up insides but still being healthy! cheers!

  120. So much of this makes sense that it’s reassuring and yet terrifying.

    Terrifyingly reassuring? I’m going to name a sock puppet that and I’m going to carry it around and say things like, “Oh, it’s OK Terrifyingly Reassuring, other people in the world have crazy shit in their bodies and they are just fine. No, Terrifyingly Reassuring, it’s not OK to ask me how I define “fine”. Who in the fuck do you think you are? I got news for you Terrifyingly Reassuring, you’re a fucking sock. A SOCK. I can’t even tell you to shut your whore mouth because you don’t even have one.”

    Yeah, it’ll be great.


  121. I have to take a pill every day for B12 deficiency too. I am not even sure if the vitamin helps or not. LOL

    (Is it the sublingual one? I’m doing two a day – in addition to the shots – and they just taste like sugar. Not comforting. ~ Jenny)

  122. Hey lady of the blog,

    See if you can get the B12 pills that go under your tongue. They tend to taste like cherry and are more fun than more needles. Also, eat some red meat, and if you want to get crazy weird with your food, buy some nutritional yeast from Whole Foods or whatever new-agey nutrition-food-coop-hippy-store is located nearest you. It tastes pretty good (I used it to replace cheese and butter on popcorn), and it’s like a giant B-complex pill, only it’s food (technically, seasoning, but I eat it with a spoon sometimes because… I have issues). Those are some good sources for B12 that are less medical and more fun. Trust me, I’m a dietitian, so this advice isn’t totally terrible. Good luck!

  123. I think you look great, Jenny. Personally, I think the whole BMI thing is overrated and unrealistic. I hope this latest round of testing sorts out some of the health issues. I have to get my first mammogram next year. Not looking forward to it either.

  124. Hi there! I’ve never posted here before, but I started reading your blog a few months back…and then went back to the beginning and read the whole thing…because you’re awesome.

    I too, have a severe B12 deficiency and within 3 weeks of sorting it out, I felt like a different person. Less fatigue, less anxiety, less depression. Fingers crossed that it works out that way for you too!

    But what I really wanted to comment on is the rheumatoid arthritis thing. At 31, I was just diagnosed after many months of pain. My mother has it….and she also has a B12 deficiency. My coworker also has the B12 AND arthritis thing. Reading your post just made me book an appointment with my naturopath (do you see one of those? Mine’s changed my life) to ask her countless hard questions about rheumatoid arthritis, B12 deficiencies and why all of us who have this stupid arthritis always seem so medically broken in so many ways. There’s got to be some sort of correlation.

  125. Three thoughts:
    1. You look stunning in a hospital gown.
    2. Good for you for getting thoroughly checked out, and yay for finding out some stuff that may ultimately make you feel better.
    3. In my experience, doctors and tests just beget more doctors and tests, which ultimately beget test results you wish you didn’t know. My (most recent) example: last year, I developed stabbing pain in my stomach. Seriously — I have never been stabbed (by a surgeon or otherwise), but I have to assume it could only feel like this, or perhaps less awful than this. I ignored it and/or pretended it would go away soon. Three days later, I was still doubled over in miserable agony, so I went to urgent care. They freaked out, said it was appendicitis, and made me go to the ER. I spent 16 hours in the ER, being poked, prodded, and scanned. No one ever figured out what the hell it was, and two days later, it went away. In the meantime, however, one of the scans picked up GIANT FREAKIN’ TUMORS IN MY LIVER. Benign tumors, apparently, that don’t require treatment and (almost never) kill you and a bunch of people have and never know about. I would have liked to not know, too. Thanks, stabbing stomach pain and doctors.

  126. I had a severe b12 deficiency, too! I got started on injections and at first it was kinda like “meh, this isn’t really helping,” but then after maybe 6 weeks, it wasn’t so much that I suddenly one day felt great, but that it suddenly occurred to me that I’d gone four straight days without needing a nap just to get through the day.

    My deficiency was originally found when we were looking at my epstein barr levels, and my doctor wanted to fan out the tests to cover all the bases.

    On a personal note, I know what a nightmare it can be to battle something and not know why there is a problem. Before they found my issues with B12 and epstein barr, I was in a relationship with a guy who couldn’t understand why I was tired all the time and rather than be concerned for my health, simply got angry at me for not having the energy to go do the things that normal 20-something year old couples do. It made dealing with my exhaustion that much worse, because I couldn’t explain where it was coming from and in my somewhat broken state I thought everything would be better if I could just provide a *reason*. (Happy note – when I got my health fixed I also got my pride back and got out of that relationship and am now with someone who worries maybe a little too much but it feels super nice to be truly cared about)

    I hope the injections help you as much as they helped me!

  127. I have gastro issues that cause low b12, and yeah, it can really mess you up! If you have any sort of difficulty with digestion (IBS, gluten intolerence, etc..) it can happen. I’m on a really messed up diet (I can eat all the rice, potatoes, and meat that I want! Just watch those scaarrryyy vegetables) but it’s helped me immensely (now that it’s been 18 months, I can relax it a bit, as I seem to have healed a lot). The gastroenterologists in the US are only just starting to hear about it n the past couple of years because it was really only “invented” in austrailia by one little college like 10 years ago. Anyway, if you’re interested, it’s called low-FODMAPs and some info is available online, but it’s so wacky I wouldn’t do it without a good gastro to check up on, say, vitamin levels.

    It’s the only thing that’s ever helped my IBS in almost 20 years… (In the small trials they’ve done, it has a 75% success rate.)

  128. Nurse Gherkin here! B12 shots will make you feel much better but you have to get it built up in your system first. It might take a bit of time…not an immediate magic bullet, although you are in Texas. And especially as you were so deficient. In B12. Keep breathing!

  129. My sympathy for the medical treadmill. I’m on it myself – now recovering from boob surgery. Having your thyroid levels off can seriously mess with things and I’ve got a friend with the B12 issue so I sort of know what you feel.

    That said – you make a hospital gown look good!

  130. I just had a mammogram the other day. I asked the technician if she got sick of boobs. “I don’t even think of them as boobs anymore!” she said. Such an odd experience. Wonder what she does think of them as!

    I’m sorry you’re going through such a lot of Big Fun right now. Maybe this will either cheer or freak you: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/377880224955370231/ (Or maybe it will cheer or freak you that I thought of you when I saw it.)

  131. You are awesome! I draw up B12 shots for my blind spouse who is a male cross between you and Seth MacFarlane. I hope the B12 does the trick…Keep on making me laugh and smile each day…I am sick and tired of being sick and tired too. Depression and disease sucks! And I wish I looked as good in a hospital gown as you do!

  132. 1. “Pernicious Anemia” Would Be A GREAT Name For A Rock Band.
    2. So would “B-12 Delirium”.
    3. We’re looking forward to you back-at-full-strength, too.

  133. Here’s my fun story. Wanna trade?

    A good friend of mine gave me a hug. He’s a big guy – an MMA fighter. He doesn’t know his own strength. So when he hugged me, I heard a crack. My ribs on the left side of my body screamed in pain. Off to the doctor for an X-Ray I went.

    The X-Ray showed my ribs were bruised but fine. However, they did show a large mass in my left lung. Off to get a CT scan I went. The CT scan showed several nodules but one was quite large – over an inch in size. The Dr. was more scared than I was. (Mostly because all I could do was worry about telling my parents about this new development in my life. ) I was then referred to a specialist.

    The pulmonary specialist was concerned about this huge thing and all of its smaller friends hanging out in my lung with it so he sent me for a full PET scan. The PET scan revealed I have hot spots in my left lung, Sigmoid colon and throat. Good times, eh?

    So first on the agenda was to biopsy the lung. Scary thing a lung biopsy. They tell you about how your lung might deflate (medical term is Pneumothorax or Collapsed Lung) and worse, my nodule was in a really bad area. Anyone that knows me, knows my luck so this should come as no surprise. Well, the biopsy came back clean. YAY ME!

    Yesterday I went in for the Sigmoidoscopy. Yes, it is as glamorous as it sounds. (read: not even a little bit). I was told by the P.A. that 99% of the time things look fabulous and it’s nothing. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am the 1%. Things did not go well for me. They found a 18 cm growth/tumor/lesion/thingie that is not even a little bit good.

    I started a rush of tests, procedures, meet with surgeons and have surgery. I have been scheduled for surgery on 31 October and won’t be able to return to work until 9 December.

    I just heard the news that I’m positive for cancer. That means chemo at 43.

    And I still have my throat biopsy to look forward too! Awesome!

    (I’m sending you love. Damn, damn, damn. ~ Jenny)

  134. Ok a B12 deficiency sucks but silver lining? Any time you don’t feel like cooking dinner you can just pour your family bowls of cereal (many are fortified with B12) and if they question you say you’re protecting them from B12 deficiency and they’re welcome damb it.
    Plus every time you go out for dinner you can order steak (red meat is high in B12) and if anyone gets all judgy about heart health you can be all “I suffer from a condition. This sh*$ is prescribed”.
    I hope you feel better soon. Being sick sucks.

  135. I had a lump in my neck. A doctor stabbed me with a hollow knitting needle so he could suck a piece out of it. Then they told me not to worry about it.

    Do they check those guys who have jobs stabbing and slicing people to see if they’re really psychopaths?

  136. I’ve been using that line — sick and tired of being sick and tired for 6 months. I have a kidney stone with its own zipcode. And just discovered I have $5000 in upcoming dental bills. I’m buying a freaking lottery ticket. Goddamn it — the universe owes me something rather than a hard time.

  137. Having just returned from the pharmacy to get a prescription of extra f**king strength Vitamin D, I feel your pain. Not only that but last week I had an ultrasound where, despite my telling the tech I’d had a hysterectomy two years ago, she found a uterus! I blogged about it when I stopped laughing from the look on Husband’s face at the thought of me possibly being pregnant after all this time.
    Look at it this way, your life is not boring. Ever.

  138. Give yourself time to feel sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. You are entitled and everyone deserves there moment of that. Know that thousands of people think you are the cats pajamas and send you love and moral support every day. You, dear lady, rock like a Fraggle.

  139. I hope you are on your way to feeling better. I relate so much to your feelings of exhaustion+, and I am rooting for you all the way.

    I recently went through a scare myself with a breast lump I found. Life doesn’t have to be this interesting, really. I’ll take boring. I don’t know where I’ll take it, but I’ll take it.

  140. Hi Jenny. That’s just reminded me of a comment that someone made on Allie’s Brosh’s depression part 2 comic, hang on and I’ll copy pasta:

    “I went through years of feeling like you described. Finally even my therapist was like, maybe you have some kind of underlying disease. Turns out I had low Vitamin D, low B12 and gluten intolerance. I went from bipolar medication to no medication and just supplements. I have to get shots of B12 because I guess my stomach can’t process it. I never thought I’d feel better again and I haven’t felt this good in years. I just mention it because it’s worth a try.”

  141. Not sure if you’re going to read this, but thought that I would share anyway…

    I was diagnosed with b12 deficiency 6 years after being treated for depression and anxiety. It wasn’t until I lost feeling in my fingers and toes (one of the symptoms) and started to pass out at work that they realized that the crazies I was experiencing were more than just.. well.. the ‘norm’ for me. (Usual levels are above 400 – mine had dropped to 120. The delusions are pretty graphic too, once you get to that point!)

    What’s sucky is that – 6 years after being properly diagnosed – my body is still ‘addicted’ to Prozac, and even though I’m on the smallest dose possible, when I miss more than a day, my whole nervous system goes berzerk.

    So, needless to say, know that I hear where you’re coming from!

  142. I am sorry you are going through all of this. I hope that it is the b12 and it can fix or make better most of your symptoms. I personally hate doctors and going to them. From the time I was a kid, about 7 or so, I have hated going to them. I never felt good and was always tired but could not sleep and always hurt or felt sick. I have been told I was lazy, fat (not good to tell a teen), faking it and even had one tell me I was crazy. 11 yrs ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Costochondritis. I also have a rainbow of mental issues. I still hate doctors to this day and going to them. But now instead of telling me I am lazy or fat they tell me it is the fibro and then dismiss me. It still makes me feel like shit that no one takes me serious. For instance, I had been having pain for years around my gallbladder and I kept saying that is what was wrong and was ignored. After yrs of this I got so sick that I lost a lot of weight in a short time because I could not eat, had severe pain and ran a fever for a month straight. My gallbladder was removed within a week of going to the doctor again because it was in the process of killing me. I was so sick of doctors that I even went so far as to quit all my meds except my sleeping pill just to avoid them. Sorry for rambling, I get worked up over the whole thing.

    Anyway, I hope that everything works for you and you are feeling better soon. Also, you are far from overweight.

  143. I had been thinking lately how thin and beautiful you look in your recent photographs… I always kick myself for not giving compliments when I think them because later I think, “hmm, maybe that person really needed to hear that.” Well, it’s late, but you look amazing in your photos lately! Overweight, schmoverweight!

  144. Big bones mean that you have a larger area for muscles to attach, so it probably means that you are going to develop super strength and then you can be a superhero. Silver lining.

  145. Well…my twin sister just informed me that you’re actually my biological twin instead of her and shared this with me. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in the “list of shit that’s wrong with me” and the lab work track marks on my arms. Arthritis (AS) sucks, (being told it was firbo for 3 yrs didn’t help) tests suck, boob stabbing has to be at the top of suckage and when you find out how to cure the exhaustion and the “crazy’s” that come with this write me. My husband is about to have me forced into a padded room.

    Thanks for the reminder that I need my yearly boob check as well.

    Oh…and I’m in HR-pretty sure that seals the deal of fate for me.
    Take care, keep your sense of humor and this too shall pass.

  146. “It’s also strangely upsetting to find that one damn vitamin might have been what’s been making me miserable for years.”

    This is exactly why I’m afraid of finding an antidepressant that really, truly works. If the solution is that simple, I should have been able to figure it out years ago.

    Anyway. Cheers. Great job going to a million doctors.

  147. I’m sorry that things are looking so bleak right now for you, Jenny. I’m sending a big hug your way as well as happy thoughts and prayers. Things will get better!!

  148. I don’t usually take the time to read your blog (nothing personal because I think you are hilarious, it’s just that I have a lot of “stuff” to do) but today I did. It was meant to be? I have suffered from reactive arthritis, (cousin to your r.a.) most of this year and walk around like an old woman. Okay, I’m old at 50 but you know what I mean. Everything you wrote about is in my world now. The b12 thing and all. Ugh. Sounds as if you have the intrinsic factor antibody like I do. I had stopped going to the doctors for the past few months because I was tired of it and all the blood work. Reading your post has motivated to go back again. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  149. Your phone case os the TARDIS! My phone case is the TARDIS! They might even be the same case! I hope the reason you’re not feeling better yet is that it just takes time for the b12 treatment to start working. Hang in there. We’re all here to support you!

  150. I hope you are feeling better… and yes, that counts as a stabbing in my book (if I ever write one)

    My friend was rx’d as Bipolar I when it seems she was lacking in B vitamins. It took her a few weeks to really start feeling the effects (but she had been off of meds for a few years at that point). I think I most likely have a B vitamin deficiency as well.

  151. It is interesting to read the symptom/causes of B12 deficiency. I was vegetarian for 15 years and am now vegan, plus I’ve gone through a 6 year bout of Graves’ disease in my late 20s through early 30s and have been flirting with hypothyroidism for the last few years. I’m always so close to the border of “ok” they won’t give me anything for it. I even had an endocrinologist who was very condescending, making it very obvious she thought I was lying about the amount I exercise and what I eat. Because OBVIOUSLY there is no other explanation for the persistent, slow weight gain, fatigue and depression than me being a lazy liar. My doctor just moved out of town so I have to find a new one. Maybe this is a good thing for me.

  152. Damn, now I hope I have a b12 deficiency. Is it too much to hope for that I can take a vitamin and make my life better? Wait, that’s what the entire pharma industry is based upon.

  153. I have the growing list of diagnoses. Now, my 6 year old daughter is starting her own. I don’t have time to be sick – I have to be strong for her, but sometimes my body just collapses with my dumb auto-immune disease. I hope your B12 shots work for you. Good luck!

  154. I had a weird neck lump once, on my thyroid. It turned out to be nothing, but they removed it and half my thyroid, anyway, resulting in a rad scar across my collarbone which people occasionally enjoy pointing at and asking, “What did you do to yourself?!” A dead stare and, “This isn’t my original head” is my answer of choice.

    You look fabulous, gown and all, and I hope all this shit gets figured out and straightened out soon. Sending you lots of love in the meantime.

  155. Unfortunately growing older doesn’t make the testing better. I warn you now. When you hit 50 they want to scope places that should never be seen in such details (and I had it on both ends of the big tube that runs through the body processing food and waste), and then at 60 they tell you they have to do it all over again.

    Honestly, I’m sure the pictures won’t be all that different.

  156. >but it’s enough that they immediately started me on injections and pills and a warning that this level of b12

    And I can hear you saying, no! no! I can’t have B12. Delirium is a job skill!!!!

    The John Nash Beautiful Mind concept.

  157. You should run back to the doc and be tested for celiac! One autoimmune disease plus anemia and I red flag, even if you don’t have GI symptoms. I suffered through 3 years of getting sicker and being told I was crazy until I found out I had a gluten intolerance. Cut out gluten and bam, started feeling better within the week. I’ve been gluten free for over a year now.

  158. Oh, my. 🙁 I know this is probably something you’ve heard a million times, but have you been tested for Celiac Disease? Autoimmune disorders tend to flock together like angry, asshole-birds.

  159. I am just starting b-12, turns out that I have a mutation on one of my genes that doesn’t process folic acid. Side effects of this genetic mutation can be RA, thyroid, miscarry, etc. It is called MTHRF. I know it looks like a shortcut for saying “mother fucker” in a text, but is a real gene mutation and I mention it because it could be important for your daughter and I had never heard about it before. http://mthfr.net/ Good luck and good health!

  160. I did a lot of reading around this for myself. My doc is convinced that no-one can fix a B12 deficiency with tablets, but if you don’t have pernicious anaemia (which is caused by a missing enzyme) it’s perfectly possible.. I take three drugs which block or strip B12 from the body; Metformin, Omeprazole, and Prednisolone. I take B12, lots of D3, and magnesium every day and fell much more human for this.. I also have a RA (PMR) and osteoporosis.. Dumb, stupid body..

    The symptoms of uncontrolled diabetes and B12 deficiency are similar except that B12 neuropathies are not usually reversible.. Well done for getting diagnosed and treatment..

    Helen Howes

  161. Anemia (pernicious or not) is a pain in the a$$, and can really be the root of a bunch of problems physically. Just let the meds do what they can (it seems to take forever to really feel better, but it happens eventually) and try to eat foods that help boost the b12. Get out in the sun more. ?

  162. I usually judge pain on whether or not it’s as bad as eating Cap’n Crunch. That shit hurts. Doritos is a good one too, though. Sorry about your B12.

  163. ::consolations:: first — it’s no fun what you’re working through.

    I have to say that due to an odd accident with a stale nacho, I’d love it if Rhonda 109 gets triangular chips banished. (TMI time: Touch your tongue to the top of your mouth above your “vampire fang” teeth, you’ll feel little raised ridges. I only have them on one side — I got the savings-club sized bag of corn chips in college and they got really stale. They were okay if I nuked ’em with toppings — but one escaped the softening and shattered and gouged off a strip of my….what is it, skin? roof-gum? Eh it was a body-part so it shouldn’t have come off. And it didn’t grow back. And ever since then I can’t eat salsa as hot as I could before — that area gets inflamed, which adds insult to injury!)

  164. Yep, I got diagnosed with B12 deficiency years ago by a previous doctor who was incompetent and told me to take some vitamins daily. Then I got with my current doctor who recognized that I needed shots. Much less pain in legs and feet than used to have, and less forgetful. Until the parathyroid tumor showed up. Also get your Vitamin D checked–it can cause some similar issues to B12 deficiency. I have that, too. And osteoporosis and arthritis, although not RA thank goodness. Just the parathyroid thing, gallbladder came out about 8 months before parathyroid tumor, then was diagnosed with hiatal hernia last week. Wait until you turn 50–that’s when they want to stick tubes up your butt and down your throat just for the hell of it.

  165. Boo for all the medical stuff. I’m five years older than you with pretty much the same medical history. They will probably check you for hashimoto’s thyroiditis which could be causing the throat lump and the low B12. They are doing the same for me right now. I have RA too. Fibro, heart issues and probably Hashimotos. Oh and depression, soul crushing fatigue and recurrent miscarriages (five to date). Anyway, I hope they get it all figured out for you and you finally get to feeling better.

  166. Most people don’t have enough vitamin D3, so you might want to talk to your doctor about whether D3 supplements would be good for you. It can help with arthritis, boost your immune system, reduce depression, and lots of other good stuff.

    Lack of vitamin D may have been what weakened and killed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

  167. I’m glad you don’t have cancer! I’m sorry about your B12 deficiency, but hopefully the supplements help. I have a great b12 supplement that I take if you’re interested, being a vegan I don’t get any b12.

  168. First off, you look fabulous in a hospital gown, which I didn’t know was even possible. And I love the Tardis phone case. You win all the style points today.
    Second, ugh. I am so with you on the sick and tired of being sick and tired. Trying to sort out what is helping and what is making things worse is flipping exhausting, and a vicious hamster wheel circle.
    Thanks for making life better for all of us. Hang in there.

  169. I guess Dory’s “Just keep swimming” song would probably only piss you off, huh?

    I won’t sing it then.

    But I know it’s already in your head…

    Hang in there, baby. What doesn’t kill you makes you all “Holy shit, that was close!”

  170. Oh, Jenny! Have you been tested for the MTHFR gene mutation? That’s what I’ve got and it’s a real motherfucker indeed. It fucks with the B vitamins including folate and can cause many of those symptoms, including the miscarriages, autoimmune and emotional disorders. I supplement with methylfolate and methyl B12 which is basically halfway broken down already so my body doesn’t have to do that step. I’ve only been at it for a few weeks but I have hope that this will actually do something to fix me.

    In the meantime, know that we love you and YANA.

  171. Now that they’ve got you started on the B12 injection, you need to be getting it weekly for awhile, then taper to every 2 weeks after a couple of months, every 3 weeks, then to once per month. It took almost a year before I felt well enough to get it down to once/month! And it can make a HUGE difference! I was B12 and iron anemic simultaneously…both in the single digits. Have a VERY un-empathetic boss…she still doesn’t get what kind of shape I was really in.

  172. Those damn bones, always screwing things, up making us look fat. I swear, I’m just big boned!

  173. Deficiency or absortion problem? That’s something to think about… From my little corner in Europe, I’ve learned to find midly amusing and somewhat disturbing the way US doctors every once in a while “discover” a vitamin issue. Like, O.M.G. people are not getting enough vit D! Quick, supplements! And then it’s crickets regarding the “and the doctor told me to get x mins of solar exposition per day so the vit D is synthetised”. You know, the kind of thing we get told here, and that you can find by searching online.

    My point? Don’t worry too much.

  174. Jenny, you look fabulous! Congrats on the new RA drug that actually works. Try not to worry about the diagnoses. Every time I have a lupus flare I come out of it with a new condition. I keep telling the doctor to just stop diagnosing me with stuff but he likes to categorize things. 2006 was fibromyalgia and costochondritis, 2010 was Raynaud’s, 2012 was Sjogren’s (which I reject as a diagnosis since I drool in my sleep). As best I can tell, autoimmune diseases like to make friends and all their friends are assholes, which makes sense since autoimmune diseases are assholes.

  175. My mom has RA and a whole bunch of other autoimmune diseases. She’s been on a shit-ton of different meds to help her sleep, and finally they decided to check for sleep apnea. Now she looks like Darth Vader while she sleeps, but she says she feels so much better. It’s amazing what a little oxygen, or B12, or whatever can do. And I wish doctors listened to their damn patients. I’ve got fibromyalgia and a pretty rare meat allergy and I am so tired of doctors just looking at me like I’m crazy. (I mean, I am crazy, but I’m also sick, dammit.)

  176. This isn’t self pitying particularly, to me. I am glad most stuff seems to be looking up, especially the bone density.
    As to the B-12, give it time for your levels to build and the rest of your strange (I have oddities too, but they are SO minor compared to yours that we can ignore them) metabolism to get re-balanced. It could prove to be a huge improvement for your emotional roller coaster when the various chemicals have duked it out and come to some kind of truce.
    But it will take time.

    P.S. How is your iron? That can be another factor on assorted ‘feeling crappy and sick all the time’ issues.

  177. Yes, avec the whole Vitamin B deficiency. Because I suffer from severe hypochondria, OCD, bipolar disorder, and a rival anxiety disorder yielding me batshitcrazy on some days…I stumbled across this Vitamin B Complex obsession last week. I have to say the lethargy is leaving…everything else…no changes yet…admission, I did contemplate for a few minutes…what if I am just Vitamin B deficient and not a mental illness junkie? Bah!

  178. Chica, Diagoses can suck but then they can also help to explain stuff. I always like explanations for why things do what they do. For instance, I’ve had a chronic gastro thing recently. Doctor told me to cut out dairy for a week. As a pizza, ravioli and fondue lover, a lactose intolerance would have caused my brain to explode. I was really happy when my symptoms persisted even with dairy out of my diet. I was more happy when a lab result came back and showed that I have an overabundance of things that can cause my issues. I actually message my husband with an excited “I have COOTIES” message. They’re not really, but it’s far easier and much more fun to say.

    Yay for diagnoses, sexy hospital gowns and boob handling. Boo to silent twins and other things of a sucktastic nature.

  179. Do what I did and get a fat GP. You’ll NEVER get another reproachful weight lecture at a physical! #kettle-meet-pot

    Speaking of weight, I also had B12 and iron deficiency and was put on supplements; that was 40 lbs ago. It took a while (okay, 5 years), but I had so much more energy to fuel my anxiety, which burns so many more calories than depression! So chin[s] up, girl. Make up a cool story about the bump. Better soon x

  180. Kudos for getting a head start on your medical tests. I know how easy it is to just push those things down the road or ignore them all together. I hope everything goes well and your doctors can get you feeling even better.

  181. Been there so I know how you feel, hang in there. On the plus side, you have a kick ass Tardis phone cover!

  182. So I think this just might be my favorite thing you’ve ever written: “Let’s pretend that it makes perfect sense and that for just a moment we understand life, and things are good and clear and we are so much less stupid than we feared we were.”
    (I know it’s from the last post, but your two most recent posts seem like they go hand-in-hand. They make sense together.) What you wrote up there made me cry. Because that is an absolutely beautiful dream. There is so much pain that so many people go through. So many people deserve so much more from life. And if I could ever make sense of that, of why life works that way and where fairness and goodness factor in, I think I might actually feel a moment of peace.
    I’m really sorry about everything at the doctor’s. I hate going there because there always seems to be something new wrong with me. But I also think it’s pretty cool that you have the biggest support network I’ve ever seen, and I’m so glad I’m part of your tribe, because I get part of that support too.
    Thanks for sharing your sense of humor and your pain. Connecting with your writing makes my life a little lighter.

  183. In December I almost died from anemia. I have endometriosis and had an 18 day period, very hard and heavy. Our CBC (Complete Blood Count) should be 12 units, I went into the ER with 1.7. and had several transfusions. Part of the issue was the Drugs they gave me for depression, it turns out my liver was destroying my blood quicker than I could make it. My clotting factors are screwed up and I also have an un-diagnosed auto immune issues. Besides the B12, they also have told me to take Niacin and Folic Acid as well as 3 times a week Ferrous Sulfate Iron supplements. Every period drains me. I still remain under the CBC level. It drains you.

  184. My 11-year-old was diagnosed earlier this year with a weird form of Epstein-Barr that literally attacked the nerves in her lower spine and caused her muscles in her lower back and legs to constantly spasm, along with giving her shingles sensitivity pain all throughout her legs. All she did was scream. It was like watching a woman go through labor as the spasms were the same duration/length. The doctors hadn’t ever seen anything like it before. They tried every drug they could to get her to stop spasming – demerol, morphine, valium, all in adult doses. After two hours of listening and watching her scream, they finally knocked her out with Ativan and Benadryl (ah, the wonder drug!). Five days, 8 MRIs, 4 CT scans, and 27 vials of blood sent all over the country to various labs, NO ONE has been able figure out definitively what’s wrong, other than she had a Vitamin D3 deficiency. She’s now taking adult doses of Neurontin, carbamazepine, clonidine, vitamin D3, valium, tramadol, and is on a 75mg Fentanyl patch for pain. She’s in a wheelchair or a walker still (this all happened 3/23/13, the last semester of her 5th grade year) and goes to PT 2x a week. Her spirits are awesome and she loves reading your blog (which was the point of this word vomit). She also says that you’re not fat and you have awesome hair. (She told me I had to put in that verbatim, but I agree)

  185. SO glad your Simponi is working!! I’m currently off my TNF-alpha inhibitors (insurance) but will start a new one soon (Medicare). Cheers abound for your honest post about how you feel, but I didn’t read them all, so let me add mine to the chorus. Fucking sucks to have multiple autoimmune illnesses, but that’s what happens. And I think I have an evil twin, too. Only explanation.

    Take care.

  186. I laughed at loud at work at “Thank a lot bones. You’re a bunch of assholes”.

    Thank you for being you.

  187. At least in all of your medical adventures of late, you’re getting some answers. I’ve dealt with the B12 thing before and getting it back to normal does indeed make a huge difference.

    There are two forms of B12 supplements you can buy… Seek out one that contains methylcobalamin as the source of B12. Some of us just don’t process B12 well… and supplements containing cyclocobalamin don’t help as much because our bodies aren’t very good at converting it to what we need. the methylcobalamin form has already done some of that work for you. If you can get it as a liquid or a dissolvable tablet, even better.

    (note: this is why lawyers should never explain science, but trust me… I got your back on this one)

  188. Yeah, I discovered the mammograms weren’t as bad as I’d feared…until the woman feeling you up puts your boob in the grip, and proceeds to talk to you for 10 minutes, until you want to scream “JUST TAKE THE FUCKING PICTURE AND LET ME GO! *THEN* we can talk!”

  189. Come here and let me rub your back. The thing that I think is best about you is that you are real. I occasionally want to stick a fork in some bloggers eyes because of all the sunshine, lollipops, and cute kitten stuff. Thank you for being real, for being honest, and knowing how to make this whole country and practically the rest of the world your friend. Which will probably put you under the bed for a week, but there you go.

  190. I love you. Who else could make the mundane 40-year-old doctor visit humorous?? (I know I wasn’t laughing for sh!t during that visit!!) I’ve been taking B12 for years … it’s better than any “happy-pill” I’ve found. (Granted I’m a dull Mommy in the ‘burbs and don’t have access to the GOOD kind of pills!!) But the pick-me-up in 5-Hour-Energy drinks is B12, and it’s not easy to absorb. Good luck. (BTW – Pomegranate flavored 5-Hour-Energy makes a great cocktail mixer … your doctor may not agree.)

  191. I went to the doctor this morning for a simple physical………. walked out with a diagnosis of pleurisy…….. sounds so medieval…….why can’t they just call it jacked-up lung? Anyway, they told to come back Friday for more testing because my EKG was inverted (normal EKGs beep up – mine beeped down)………. my blood pressure was 100 over 50. I’m pretty sure this all means I’m in the stages of pre-zombie-ism. I definitely understand your mental state right now!

  192. In the last couple years of his life, my dad added two anemia blood disorders (which can only be treated with transfusions) and several melanomas to his RA and heart problems. I should have told him that he was just collecting those types of things; he loved collecting. What I’m trying to say is that I love that term; and shall remember it as I get older and shit starts to go wrong.

  193. UGH. that is the way i feel. and also like why am i the person in the room with all the ideas about my health solutions? oh i was passing out all over and no one checked my iron levels. well dr’s maybe its time to do the job you went to school for seven years for. ta da! too bad they didnt find a second head or something. wait a minute, maybe that is what that weird lump on your neck is……..latent second head!

  194. Sorry to hear your list of maladies is entirely too long. Mine is, too, but my doctors keep changing the name of what I may or may not have. I’ve had Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Raynaud’s Syndrome, Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, etc. One doctor even said I had SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (sp?). I don’t know what I have other than to say I hurt all over, every day, no matter what I eat or do. I, too, am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

    Thanks for mentioning your ta ta inspection again. I read your blog about the appointment you had, and I said to myself, “Self, call and make an appointment for the girls” but I immediately forgot. As I read your post, the local news station was doing a piece on ta ta exploration and that the local hospital was offering $69 mammograms for the remainder of October! I grabbed my phone and gave them a call, begging for one of the cheap appointments if they had any time left. I GOT ONE!!! WOO HOO for forgetfulness. I don’t have health insurance so ta ta inspections have been off the list of essential work to be done, but it’ll be done next Monday on the cheap! Thanks for looking after the girls for me. Somebody has to.

    Here’s a link you might like to see…some stuff you can buy for yourself or your Christmas tree if you do so indulge….not sure if you have this stuff already or not, but I immediately thought of you when I saw this stuff…


  195. Jenny, I love you for spelling “anti-climactic” correctly. And you are awesome. Hope the b12 works out for you. My NP put me on b12 in addition to my anti-depressants and I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference. She also told me that I should walk for a half hour a day, which cuts into my world of warcraft time, so she might be insane.

  196. My mother died of breast cancer, of all times, in October, which makes me incredibly sad and cranky for the majority of the month. I promised to get my yearly mammograms and I do. I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. It’s not any fun, but you are only uncomfortable for a few minutes and then you get back on with your life. I go, I get squashed and then a couple days later, I get the letter I’ve been waiting for. Dear JoanneMarie, Your boobs are awesome! See you next year. Love, South Jersey Radiology. While, not a verbatim quote of the letter, that’s what I see when I read it. P.S. – if the B12 thing is the cause of a lot of your problems and they’ve found and can correct it, that would be amazing.

  197. THANK YOU JENNY for posting this (and to all the comments, people!!) because: Heart palpitations/racing, fatigue and dizziness are all issues with which I have been (somewhat successfully) suffering for many months now. Since I take diuretics (which are known to be potassium-leaching) on a daily basis, I now wonder if they are the root of the issue. I try to eat postassium rich foods, but maybe not enough?? Unfortunately, dropping the diuretics isn’t an option as they help control Menieres Disease which, ironically, causes vertigo. But I’m calling my doctor and plan to have B12 and Potassium levels tested!
    Jenny – I hope the latest diagnosis and treatment will put you on the road to feeling much better!!!

  198. Hang in with the B12 – it takes a while. In two months, I went from sleeping for 18 hours a day to sleeping three hours a night (yes, I was a little overamped on the B12 shots toward the end). You may also notice that your dreams get more vivid (not sure that is even possible in your case). I have a thyroid growth that has resulted in my being stabbed in the neck three times now, one time it just hurt, the second time I thought I had met with Jack the Ripper and the third time the Dr was so skilled that I think he could have removed my liver through my nose and I wouldn’t have felt a thing.

    Balance is a tricky thing, finding it is a life’s work. You are doing a great job.

  199. I’m also on symponi for my RA. It’s done wonders for me too! I started showing symptoms at 16 and was diagnosed at 18. I took enbrel for two and a half years but had to stop because I was having such bad injection site reactions (bruises, major swelling and red areas for weeks). So after one summer of trying three different meds, I got on simponi and haven’t looked back! (I’m 24 now.) My younger brother was diagnosed with RA right after I got on simponi and because I had already tried every drug under the sun, they just put him right on simponi. I might’ve been a little bitter that he avoided all the trial and error… But anyway, I’m glad to hear you’ve got big bones! *giggity* 🙂

  200. Hi, Jenny,

    Boy, just start talking about your health, and everybody has to chime in! I’ve recently been told I have a B12 deficiency (though they didn’t go so far as to say that I have pernicious anemia,) so I’m getting monthly shots and daily pills as well. My doctor told me that my B12 deficiency was related to a genetic mutation called MTHFR which causes your body to not properly process the B12 you get in your diet. I don’t know how you and your doctor feel about genetic testing, but you might ask about it.

    I really enjoy reading your blog.


  201. It’s knackering to go through all those test on top of already feeling tired. Rest up and pop the vitmains or whatever they gave you. I hope you feel some good results soon. Good luck with the neck thing. I hope it sorts itself out and goes away soon.

  202. B12 is good stuff. It’s better than coffee. I still think you might have adrenal fatigue. I will never “fatigue” from saying that. But I must confess that since I was finally diagnosed with it, I think EVERYONE with remotely similar complaints MUST have it, too. Funny how that works.

    I hope you’re in fine health and feeling awesome soon! I got stabbed by a doctor just ABOVE the boob. Yeah, under or over, it TOTALLY counts.

  203. I had b12 deficiency in college. It took the dr’s months and thousands in tests before they figured things out. By the time they did figure out what was going on I was having issues walking because my legs would randomly give out on me, couldn’t use my right arm or hand at all, had all sorts of spasms and tremors and was starting to have issues controlling my speech. It was 2 or 3 injections before it was like nothing had ever been wrong at all. Hang in there, they really do help. I hope you start to feel better very soon.

    PS I absolutely love your writing.

  204. Please enlighten on the rheumatoid-arthtritis-miracle-drug! I’ve tried several, including methotrexate and they all make me crazy stupid, unable to focus or think in complete sentences and haven’t really addressed the joint swelling/pain. I’d love to find one that actually works!

  205. I’m sorry that you’re going through all this Jenny. And yeah, you’d think that a b12 shot would be like crack and you’d feel immediately better, but when you’re deficient your body is pretty much like “meh.” (b12 deficiency is on my shit that’s wrong with me bullet point list.) My bones are also assholes that alternate trying to kill me with making me fat. I like to think that having a shit that’s wrong with me bullet point list makes us more interesting at parties, but that’s probably just my delirium talking.

  206. Oh my god! My friends and family are all sick of me asking if they’ve had their B12 levels checked and talking ad nauseam about all the things that lacking this one vitamin can mess up in the human body. And then there’s the fact that you can have symptoms of a deficiency but not actually be anemic or even have your b12 level be considered officially low (the lab range for serum b12 tests is frequently between 200 to 900 and symptoms of deficiency can occur with levels of 400 or less). If someone hasn’t already pointed you to this site, I recommend it: http://www.pernicious-anaemia-society.org/
    Despite the name, it isn’t just for people who have pernicious anemia, it’s for anyone with low B12 and for anyone who just wants to know more about the subject.
    I felt the same way as you mention when I realized that it was probably this one deficiency that had been causing me to feel like crap for years. I’ve been on B12 injections since 2008 and they’ve helped tremendously. My main complaint is that it takes a prescription to get injectable B12 and there are not very many knowledgeable doctors who are willing to prescribe based on symptoms. It seems insane that a water-soluble, not-addictive, non-hazardous, vital-for-life vitamin requires special permission to get, but all you need is photo ID to by vodka (and alcohol lowers B12 by the way). Anyway, I’m done rambling. Just know you’re not alone. 🙂

  207. A million other people already got to this before me, but…

    On the plus side, you look beautiful in a hospital gown.

  208. I so sympathize with you. Being sick and tired sucks! But you were still funny, and I admire you for wrestling humor out of frustration.

    I give you seventy thousand hugs! And a few more hugs so you will know I mean it.

  209. I just read a book called “It Starts with Food” by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig that explains how the foods we eat are causing many if not most of the illnesses/issues we have. On their website, http://www.whole9life.com, you can read testimonials from people who no longer suffer from a zillion illnesses from A-Z and rheumatoid arthritis is one of them! Just wanted to pass that on to you.

  210. Jenny,
    First and foremost, you’re not fat…not even big boned. Geesh! You’re the only person I know who can make those darn hospital gowns look good. Glad to hear you’re getting things sorted on the health front. It sounds like you tolerated the mammogram ordeal better than most. I’ve had several mammograms over the last few years, and I love how the technician always says “Let me know when this hurts.” So I gut it out until it really hurts, and then tell her and she proceeds to give the torque knob another two twists. As I’m hissing with pain she will give me this sort of baffled look and say “gee…you’re really tender.” I always have to bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that although I may be tender, she’s a sadist.
    I hope your growth resolves quickly–do you know if it’s thyroid related?

  211. I know what you mean about being sick and tired of being sick and tired. I have felt like that for the past seven years nonstop. Sometimes it makes you cry and want to smash things (I always took a baseball bat to really ugly dishes from Goodwill) and other times you can just slog through it. I don’t have RA but I have arthritis and horrible inflammation in my back which I had two discs removed from 5 years ago. I struggle with that pain every day. But I always remember that other people are coping with the same stuff and doing well. I look at you and you inspire me. Even when you feel shitty, you inspire me. I also have a list of conditions. My friend and I just figure we are falling apart bone by bone. So Yay for your bones being better, yay for the vitamin helping you (insert serenity prayer here. Seriously, I think it helps even if you leave God out of it because of religious preferences) because looking backwards only hurts us more. I remember a time when I wasn’t physically and mentally scarred. I get a little bitter that it stopped. But I learned a hell of a lot from it all and I don’t hate the person I am. I did hard stuff because it was right. Last thing I want to say, which is back to being about you and I am sorry for wondering off like that, is that I am damn proud of you for going in and getting all of that medical shit done. I probably would have tried to avoid it. It wont be too long before I need to do it and I will try to take you as inspiration on that too.

  212. My mother and aunt used to be completely vegetarian for religious reasons, and both of their B12 levels dropped low enough to need shots. They were both exhausted all the time too. It’s good to know that they caught it now so that they can start to fix the problem. I hope you start feeling better soon!

  213. Dearest Bloggess. *IMPORTANT* I had a diagnosis of Pernicious Anaemia when I was your age (I am now 49). I felt like death for 8 months and the Doc thought I was “depressed”. Well that showed him didn’t it! Just one thing – after the first course of jabs, they only give you one every three months in the UK. I still felt like death so now after a lot of fighting with the money men that run the NHS I have monthly jabs. I don’t know what the protocol is in the States but you should be having them Monthly MINIMUM if you are going to function at all. My Practice Nurse also has PA and is currently fighting for her jabs to be monthly. On the upside all the Celebs have these and have been since the 1960’s. When you get the dose right you will remain younger than your peers and your hair will be glossy! Get Well Soon My Lovely xxx

  214. “That’s a good sign, but I suspect it also means that my bones are enormous and are making me fat. Thanks a lot, bones. You’re a bunch of assholes.”

    Jenny. You are too funny. I swear I lol every post of yours I read. well, almost every one.

    Good for you on the mostly clean bill. How wonderful for you if the vitamin deficiancy is the root of your misery! I told you before I use my mom’s rule of denial. Kinda like Monty Python’s dead parrot skit. “He’s not dead. He’s sleeping.” Hense I can’t remember the last time I went to a Dr. Of any sort. I feel ok. I will seek help when death is knocking at my door. After all a doctors job is to fix what’s wrong. I am convinced there is nothing wrong = no need to see a doctor right? If I go just to be checked they might feel obliged to find something wrong so they can fix it. Ack. I am probably incorrect and suggest no one but me take my advice.

    Ps. also too many comments for me to read while I am “working”…

  215. Wow, lot’s of stuff all at once! I hope the B12 works.

    I apparently have fibrous/lumpy boobs, so I’ve had two needle biopsies on a couple of lumps I have in my right breast. Not as bad as actual breast surgery, but not fun, either. And I have small boobs, so mammograms are hideously painful for me (well, and I have transient pain in my right boob, so the squishing always affects that).

    And I’m past 50. I haven’t had my colonoscopy yet (okay, I’m almost 53) and it’s been a couple of years since I had my last mammogram, so I’m kind of not up on my unpleasant healthcare things. Good for you for getting all that stuff done!

    And you totally don’t look 40! I’d have said early 30s, easy.

  216. I had pernicious anemia (as did my grandmother – maybe it skips a generation?) and it was causing tons of issues. Who knew? I’m all better now for the most part (other unrelated health issues aside), so hopefully you feel better with all the extra b12 in your system. Best wishes on the biopsy!

  217. Ok, there are a lot of comments here and you probably don’t need any more but I guess I’ll share anyhow. My son was diagnosed with lupus nephritis when he was 13 and along with that comes a host of RA like symptoms (he also has other lovely symptoms and has been on chemo for years now). Around the time he was diagnosed, I found this wonderful story attempting to describe what it felt like to be so tired all the time, called The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandio who has a website called ButYouDontLookSick.com. Not sure if you’ll find it as helpful as we did but now we routinely refer to our energy levels by how many spoons we have left (sometimes none). Maybe you’ll find it useful/helpful/enlightening.

  218. Have you watched the House episode where the girl couldn’t feel anything and was feeling guilty and not-guilty all of a sudden? She had B12 deficiency and it was caused by worms. Have a nice day/week/month/life!

  219. Oh geeeeeeeeez—been up this trek before. Can totally relate. Okay. I’m from Texas. Now in WA state where the land of the living is reduced to zombies. When I first moved up here, I spent a lot of time traveling back to Texas to visit family during the winter-time. About my 4-5th year here, I started having severe insomnia, anxiety, and depression. After a mental break-down and about a decade on and off of Zoloft, Lorazepam, and Seroquel, my back “going out” unexpectedly, and a few more “visits” to the ER *during the winter when the sun is hardly present, doctors discover I have a Vitamin D deficiency…Beyond normal range. I get pumped full of “D” and slowly go off all medications and make every effort to maintain a steady stream of “sunlight” or “artificial sunlight”, exercise (anxiety), and no caffeine whatsoever! Feel 100% more me than ever before. Its been a whole year and three months since I’ve had to rely on an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety pill. ?

  220. hmph. do they regularly check your vitamin levels and shit? prior to my RA dx, i was told i have low vitamin d, so i started taking more of that. but no one said anything about b12 or potassium or whatever. now i’m wondering if any other levels are out of whack enough to be contributing to health shit. shouldn’t multivitamins take care of this crap?

    also, you look hot. just saying.

    (I’m constantly at the doctor but no one has ever tested my b12 levels. Apparently it’s something you just get tested when you ask for it or when you’re having a total work-up done. Seems like it should be a usual sort of screen since so many people seem to have issues. Also, apparently b12 isn’t taken well as a multivitamin. No idea why. I was given separate tabs to put under my tongue a few times a day, plus injections. ~ Jenny)

  221. If your potassium tends to be on the low side, you might want to keep an extra close eye on it for the first while on the B12. My B12 was low as well (I just take the sublingual pills now, and I don’t feel any different but my blood levels have gone up just fine), and when I first started supplementing B12, my potassium level dropped. Looking into it further, apparently lots of other people have noticed this happening to them as well. So you might want to have an extra banana or three just in case (especially if you notice any cramps – I had some really bad body pains but didn’t realize for a long time that they were potassium-related).

    I’m crossing my fingers for you that the B12 helps. I was so hopeful when I found out I was low, but it turned out I have other issues that were responsible for the fatigue, muscle twitches, mental fog, etc. that don’t currently come with any good treatment options. I hope it works wonders for you.

    Congrats on the wheelchair-free time. I know what a difference that must be.

  222. Mammograms are so much fun. I loved how Ellen Degeneres tried to make a man understand how a mammogram feels (at least I think it was Ellen but I may have made it all up in my mind)…..having a mammogram is like having to place your penis on an ice-cold giant dictionary and then placing another ice-cold giant dictionary on top and then squishing your penis down to about an half an inch.

  223. First off: you are funny and honest and I appreciate your ability to write, actually write well, in this blogged out world. I never comment on anything (yup, I’m one of “those”) but as a fellow auto-immune sufferer on those weird life-saving biologics I had to give you a shout out. I describe myself as a reformed type A, the reform happening due to Crohn’s disease. It sure puts everything in perspective fast. I’m sure your docs have cross-checked all of this with effects of Simponi. (I hear great things, although it’s not approved yet for Crohn’s) One thing I’ve learned is that nobody knows exactly how the biologics work and what they do to our other systems. I’m sure your drs have cross-checked blood results with potential side effects of Simponi, but I had all kinds of other auto immune triggers show up in blood work and ultimately we figured if you’ve got one it gets the others to poke their heads up on blood tests but not actually manifest. Good luck with everything and thanks for being you!

  224. I am so not looking forward to the whole smoosh-yer-boob exam. I turn 40 in a two weeks. Blargh. I’m also in constant pain from my arthritis, although I don’t have RA… just your garden variety osteo from old athletic injuries and old frikkin’ age.

    *shakes angry first at nature*

  225. Mammograms are awful! I had to get one a few years back because I discovered a golf ball sized lump on one breast and one the size of a marble in the other just before Christmas. This was also the same Christmas that I got a carpet cleaner for Christmas so I got to have a Christmas where I thought I might be at death’s door and my mother-in-law thinking I really need to work on my housekeeping skills. Good News my breasts are only Fibrocystic bad news my mother-in-law still thinks I need to work on my housekeeping skills.

    Please feel better. We all love you.

  226. It took a couple of weeks of daily B12 shot before I felt hey, I’m still tired but I feel like I have better energy. It takes a while, but it helps. You also figure out how to give yourself shots without leaving a bruise, it’s an art.

  227. ANY injury to the boob counts!

    Little dog nipped my nipple, really hard, and the pain was unbelievable. I didn’t want to scare him or scold him (he didn’t do it on purpose), but I couldn’t stop howling to save my life, at least for a good 30 to 60 seconds. Had to ice it and wrap my damn boobs up tight ’cause any movement was excruciating.

    A word to the wise: the standard mammogram is uncomfortable, but not terribly painful. No big deal. BEWARE, however, of a second pass that requires a modification to the machinery — if the tech feels she isn’t getting a good enough image and adds a different set of brackets to the contraption, beg, plead, cry and offer her a lifetime supply of Starbucks cards to NOT make you go through that torture. I didn’t know, and I let her do it, and I swear it was months and months before my boobs got over it. I haven’t had a followup in more than a couple years because of that torture device — not sure what else they can do, but I know when I finally have to go in for another mammogram I’m going to let them know that there’s no way in hell they’re doing that to me again.

  228. Anemia sucks. It makes you foggy and your heart races and ugh. So tired and cold. Mine (iron deficiency) got so bad once I had to have emergency blood transfusions and I could FEEL the fresh blood of a stranger making me feel better. After the first unit, I started to wonder if that was what vampires must feel like, because I wanted MORE. Actually, if a doctor ordered a transfusion for me today just for the shits and giggles, I would probably take it.

    I hope you feel better soon and that this gives you some relief. Being chronically mysteriously ill sucks.

  229. Oh Jenny, I’m sorry to hear that the doctors are torturning you so. On the plus side, the hospital gown is very slimming and you look amazing (for someone in a hospital gown) 🙂

    Keep your chin up!

  230. Jenny, dear, you look wonderful and, better yet, you’re on your way to feeling better. That is the best.

    Health and the wanting of it has been haunting me for months. My father had a big-ass stroke in July. He had fallen (on his 84th birthday, no less!) and hit his head, which led to surgery for a subdural hematoma, which triggered the stroke. Since then, it’s been a wild, horrible ride as he suffered through seizures and coma, and seemed to start to get better, then went backsliding. He has been getting stronger physically, but ever since a UTI a few weeks ago (they say there’s no trace of it now), he has been hallucinating terrible things and they’ve put him on Risperdal, an antipsychotic. He’s still in and out of reality, and says it’s like he’s having a nightmare all the time, waking and sleeping.

    Reading all of these comments, my head is swimming! Can it be low B12? Low magnesium, thyroid, some other weird deficient mineral? I’m going to bug his doctors about all of it.

    And, Jenny, this post of yours made me realize that you are not just some fun writer that I follow online; you’re someone I care deeply about — a friend that I keep in touch with rather one-sidedly but am thinking about nonetheless. PS: Your Dalek Oswin rocks!

  231. A B12 deficiency would definitely cause all of those problems. I’m glad they discovered it. It might take a while before you notice a difference though. I hope the lump in your neck turns out to be nothing.

  232. Three years ago my mother realized that she was losing feeling in her feet, she was having serious memory issues, and the kind of lethargy that makes getting out of bed sound like climbing Mt. Everest. She ended up being sent to a scarybigdeal hospital to get an MRI with contrast because basically everyone assumed we were dealing with some kind of cancer.

    Turns out that she has pernicious anemia, and it was getting very close to the point where it would have been fatal. The B12 shots have changed her life. She still has issues with the nerve damage in her feet, but her day to day life is 100 percent improved. It’s unbelievable just how much one vitamin deficiency can mess with everything. It will take some time to get back to a normal level, but I know you will be amazed at just how much better you will feel.

  233. I had dangerously low B-12 too. It took awhile – about a month of weekly shots – before I could tell any difference. My naturopath and I have changed the frequency until it now works for me to have my shot every three weeks, but I did weekly for months and then every 2 weeks for many months after that. I have to have shots. My body won’t absorb/process it any other way. Now I feel so much better. I have more energy though I suspect that is because I sleep so much better when I have good B-12 levels. I hope you are feeling better soon.

  234. First, did you try dancing with Victor while wearing any of the hospital gowns becuase I found out quite by accident that slow dancing while wearing a hospital gown is a LOT of fun, both for you and your partner. So steal one from your next exam (they fit handily in your purse) and be sure to wear it to whatever fancy gown dance you go to next. You and Victor will both thank me.

    Second, can you just tell them to give you a B-60 shot and get five times as much B-12 so you’ll feel better faster? Sounds logical to me.

  235. Okay, butting my nose in here. With the b12 thing, and all the autoimmune stuff, have you been tested for celiac disease? Because RA and b12 and lots of other things you’ve talked about often go with full blown celiac, or even non-celiac gluten intolerance (which is where you don’t test positive for celiac, but eat gluten free and a whole shitload of stuff in your life gets better).

    Thought I’d mention it, in the very off chance that you’ve not explored it and/or no one has ever brought it up.

  236. Best wishes on the B12 eventually clearing up a lot of the fatigue.

    As usual, we love you – because of your writing and honesty – yeah blah, blah, blah – you’ve heard it all before.

    P.S. We love you.

  237. Don’t feel like you have to opt for relief rather than frustration. Your experience certainly IS frustrating and you’re allowed to feel that way. Sometimes people who preach that you should always “look on the bright side” just need to be suckerpunched. Here’s hoping for good outcomes and positive feedback from the docs.

  238. Don’t feel like you have to opt for relief rather than frustration. Your experience certainly IS frustrating and you’re allowed to feel that way. Sometimes people who preach that you should always “look on the bright side” just need to be suckerpunched. Here’s hoping for good outcomes and positive feedback from the docs.

  239. So I have been through the whole B12 thing and let me tell you- B12 saved my life! It is the best vitamin in the world and everyone should get a shot of it. I was constantly run down and feeling like crap. After a few years of trying things, I got a doctor who tested my b12. Finally, I found something that made me feel like a human again. Wait til it startes to kick in, you will LOVE b12.

  240. Welcome to the 40s, sister. I’ve had medical problems for years. I had a shady doc who kept trying to talk me into unneccesary out-of-pocket things. So I switched docs. Now the new one’s got me on a treatment that isn’t working at all. So now I’m looking at surgery, which was what I was trying to avoid all along. But like you said, there’s a point where you get sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’ve reached that point.

    Hang in there. Know that you’re not alone. Celebrate the wins and tell the losses to piss off.

  241. Jenny,

    This all sounds sort of generally sucky as I read it so, being completely healthy, I wish to share some of my health with you. I already sealed up a priority-mail envelope with a book in it that I’m sending, so I’m just smearing some of my health on the outside of the package and hoping it remains there when it arrives for you to catch.

    In truth, that sounded way less gross in my head before I typed it, but it can’t possibly be untyped now, can it?

  242. I assume that you have already been there and done that, but based on the B12 and autoimmune issues, I hope that you are also talking to some kind of nutritionist in addition to the doctors. What you put into your body food-wise is super important, and I find that not enough doctors address that part of it, instead just throwing drugs at problems.

  243. Way to go being proactive and taking care of yourself. Sorry you got some discouraging news but hoping that know you can have a plan of attack to attack back! I have one of those 365 day calendars at work, this one has book write-ups. I tear off the dates that have books that I want to read someday when I’m no longer being terrorized by a toddler. I tore this one off for you in the event you haven’t read it, if you haven’t, hoping this may brighten your day looking forward to reading it!
    The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure

    If I remember correctly, your a LHOTP fan (I’m not but always happy to pass on a book)!

  244. Labs, tests and needles are NOT fun…and you have my sympathy/empathy/commiseration and you are in my prayers. (Can I really say that on national TV…internet….whatever…?? Will the Atheists come and get me?) B12…I’m seriously going to have to look into that…but may not be the cause of my fatigue. That’s gotta be caused by the fact that I’m seven times a night PEEING. And pain and stuff. I swear that in the middle of the night last night someone was methodically driving a splintery chop stick up an orifice it had NOT BUSINESS GOING. After numerous pills and gallons of cranberry juice I decided I was one bladder spasm away from a hospital visit…and oh my HELL, if I ended up in the hospital someone (an outside someone: neighbor, friend, cousin) would have to deal with my sinkful of dirty dishes. So at 2:00 a.m. I was standing in my nightgown and slippers and apron doing dishes. And a miracle occurred. The pain STOPPED. (Dawn Dish Soap: The New Pain Med – who knew??). Maybe you should try household chemicals, Jenny…or wait…maybe that’s what’s causing stuff…..nevermind, use vinegar and orange peels instead. (For cleaning…not internally.)

  245. Hi Jenny,
    I was diagnosed with pernicious anemia about 4 years ago, after having all the symptoms you listed. The severe fatigue and major depression, check. Inability to concentrate and all the rest? Check. Mine was triggered both by a bit of family history and by a particular brand of birth control pills. I had the shots and the pills for 1.5 years, now just the over the counter pills. I can tell you which ones, if you want. The shots took about 3-4 months before I really started to feel better, because your levels are so low. Side note – I lost a lot of hair when I first started them, not bald or anything, just thinner than before. BUT the hair that grows as its replacement is way healthier! I hope you feel better, I know for me the treatment made this so much better!

  246. Woo hoo on the RA meds helping. That is awesome and totally a reason that you are, according to BMI, overweight. Although BMI is a crock.

    I have been avoiding the mammogram thing for various reasons one being that there is only a male tech here and I have known him since I was 6….eek! The next nearest one is 2.5 hours away and even then I have known him since I was 15. I mean seriously, couldn’t he have moved further away….

  247. I’m sorry you’re going through this pell mell of medical blech. I am amazed that you look so awesome in your blues and irritated for you that your doc comments on your weight. On the bright side? At least it’s not worms or something equally cringe worthy.

  248. yeah for no breast cancer! because seriously, that one is mine. it’s my thing. you have Beyonce and the cats and all the dead stuffed thing, let ME have breast cancer! also, big-boned, but not actually. just fat.

  249. just had a mri aka brain scan bc of weird hand tremor…. spent all day thinking I had god knows what….. turned out negative. “but, um…. the hand still shakin’ doc…” …. now he can say, “oh, it’s just stress.”
    Um. ok.

  250. you could consider the fact that one (admittedly uncommon) way to GET B12 deficiency is if you have a parasitic fish living in your insides stealing all your B12. that might be fun. or maybe not…hm… hope you feel better soon.

  251. oh how i love you. whenever someone asks me or better yet TELLS me ” i just can’t really believe your this sick all the time”, i just refer them to this blog and punch them in the face.

  252. I’m feeling you on this. I am dealing with some things, too, though not as scary as what you are. But I have to say. You are crazy hot in that hospital gown. Had to say it.

  253. I was diagnosed, at 41, with B-12 deficiency in the form of “combined system disease” where you have neurologic signs without hematologic (blood/pernicious anemia) signs AFTER being misdiagnosed with MS. So it was a big relief to learn how to give myself B-12 shots every couple weeks. To all those thinking of having your B-12 levels checked, the serum B-12 test is notoriously unreliable – when I needed a walker due to lower limb parasthesias and loss of proprioception (I couldn’t tell you what my feet and legs were up to unless I looked) my serum B-12 was in the “normal” range – low normal but still considered normal. But my “hyper-segmented neutrophil” count was close to 50%, when normal is less than 10%. So if you have symptoms but the serum B-12 is “normal” ask for more tests – hyper-seg. neutrophils or get your homocysteine levels checked – it will be high with B-12 deficiency. Good luck Jenny!

  254. You crack me up when I remember to read your posts. I suppose I should get a physical, but doctors annoy me more than burnt pancakes. BMI be damned.

    xo, Caramel

  255. Feel better soon! I have been putting off the mammogram b/c I was living in South Florida. Based on just the chaos of a routine office visit I wasn’t going to trust them on a test for cancer, especially once the PA told me I have “dense breasts” or something. As others have said give the B12 some time. The growth you mentioned reminds me of a David Sedaris essay where he has a fatty tumor, just like dogs get, and he was quite perturbed by their lack of concern about it. I hope for positive (negative) test results for you.

  256. Guuurl, you got this! Just tell tell yourself that your not sick and that your the picture of health and then you will be healthy!:) It may not happen when you want it to but hey! ITS GONNA FUCKIN HAPPEN! So don’t stress, put a smile on that pretty face of yours and everything will work itself out with time. Just make sure that you dont have any stocked up Karma because this could be because of Karma…. Got Karma?

  257. I’ve had b12 deficiency. Had scopes and biopsies and they didn’t think pernicious anemia in my case either. You do feel better once your levels get back up though. And once you’re there you can usually have tasty chewable b12 instead of injections, so yay. I have cherry flavoured. It’s about the least shitty vitamin I’ve ever taken.

  258. The B12 thing sucks. I was diagnosed with pernicious anemia a few years ago. It took looking like someone in late stages of Parkinson’s for a doctor to check my levels. They were 173. It takes a 1 mL injection every other week and a daily sublingual (3000 mcg) to function.

    On the plus side, it stopped my palpitations, fixed my depression and knocked out my generalized anxiety (now it’s only situation specific like crowds and flying). I’m also almost over my fear of needles after 3 years.

  259. I blame your silent twin. If you could somehow distract your silent twin. (Silent movies? Really loud movies? Online gamboling?) and then have a crab/lobster feast. Because they have B12 in them. Crabs and lobsters have nothing to do with silent twins….

    Not that I’ve heard. anyway.

  260. Well geez. I had a Vitamin D deficiency diagnosed a few years ago when my hair started falling out and they figured out it wasn’t my thyroid. I thought that was bad. But reading through some of the comments here, I have learned two things.

    1. I have to kick my DIet Coke habit, and
    2. I need to buy some vitamin B12.

    I got to the point of feeling depressed enough to talk to a doctor about it and start Prozac a year or so ago, but so many of the symptoms people have described here make me think I should up my vitamins and see if that helps.

    On a brighter note, I love you and your blog (and your book, I borrowed it from the library and it’s been on my Amazon wish list ever since), Ms. Jenny, and I am always hoping for the best for you!! Sending warm fuzzies from the Mitten.

  261. Just totally with you. And I hope that everything is perfect and you don’t have to go through this again until whenever it is you have to go through this again. (Awhile away.)

  262. All appendages are crossed that the lump is just your evil, undeveloped twin fucking with you.
    I take a sublingual B12 every day as a preventative because I had a gastric bypass, which screws up absorbtion and I wanted to avoid needing regular injections. Once your B12 is back up you might find something like that helps to maintain it, rather than regular injections. (Sublingual = under the tongue ’cause apparently we can absorb stuff directly there. Weird.)

  263. WOW,
    I just went in for my blood work up and physical with the new Doc…. I moved to a new state.
    Anyway, I guess I better have them check b12 next time I’m in as I’m now on Metformin and Some nice person in your comments said that pulls b12 from you. I also got a finger sticker to check my blood sugar – darn it. And I was scolded again for my Vit D levels. I get my mammogram in November.
    You certainly made that Hospital gown look 500x’s better than the one I sported this morning.

    I also wanted to mention to @Kiramac about the migraines – try cutting out foods one at a time. My hubby is allergic to Peanuts- they give him terrible migraines. The next step was blood pressure – it was up and he still has the open PFO in his heart…. Do a google search, new stuff about migraines coming out everyday….

    Glad the Girls are good and the pain is minimal…. Hope it all gets better even.

  264. Hope you find your answers. B12 is also linked to MTHFR deficiency and celiac. Make sure those docs of yours cross their t’s and dot their i’s…

  265. Me too on the B12! And me too on the feeling that the shots did sod-all for me – didn’t leave me feeling different/better at all. And now it turns out I’m also Vitamin D deficient, so there’s all kinds of pills now going down my neck. I figure at this rate, I can start renting myself out as a self-shaking maraca to mariachi bands, and just watch the dollars roll in. Sweeeet.

  266. Hm, interesting about the B12, and the number of people in the comments who are commiserating on that. It’s one that I try to keep an eye on because I’m vegetarian and therefore don’t get it from meat, but since you eat meat (I assume), it might be an absorption thing. Good luck with the shots! They don’t sound fun, but I hope they make you feel better quickly.

    And the leg cramps thing sucks a LOT. Maybe I should eat more bananas too. But I’m super picky about the bananas I eat – they’re basically only tasty for 1.6667 days after they move from green to yellow, before they’re overripe according to my tastebuds and blechy.

    {hugs} That’s a whole lot of creepy medical tests to have to go through at once. 😛

  267. For reals. Seriously. I’m so sorry you have to endure all of these test and wondering, pondering, worrying, etc. Same boat. Glad to hear you’re figuring some shit out.

  268. Someone on here asked about multivitamins taking care of this, the answer is no. The RDA levels were set in the 1950`s , and were only to prevent severe deficiencies. It is always a good idea to have a thorough blood work done to check your levels before supplementing, because sometimes too much is NOT a good thing.

  269. I.. you.. we have nearly the same phone cases.
    I have to give myself monthly B12 injections due to being 4.5 years post-op gastric bypass (the sublingual stuff doesn’t do anything for me). The shots are easy enough to give and I can tell I become a little “stupider” when I’m due for it.

  270. Oh Jenny I feel for you.
    I know it’s not the same thing, but I went from a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia in my teens (complete with sectioning to a psych ward for a few weeks, which added PTSD and abandonment issues to the mix and to the list of problems), to a serious bout of depression that destroyed my first marriage and nearly ended my life, to wondering if I was Bipolar, to suspecting OCD, to just generally feeling I must be totally fucked up.

    That and the fact that the stint in hospital was for a time suspected of being drug related – I have no memory of the events prior to my hospitalisation, – and little memory of the events at all, having been drugged to the eyeballs by the hospital. It resulted in my family blaming me for causing an inconvenience, and basically only worsened the sense I had of being the black sheep of the family.

    Long story short, after worrying myself to death, blood tests, concern over an irregular heart beat, and just generally being an anxious stress head, I am now accepting my more recent diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).
    My physical health goes up and down along with my mental state, but at present a reasonably strict diet and exercise regimen is holding me steady, if not helping me improve.

    It doesn’t solve everything, it doesn’t cure me, but it helps me move the baseline of what I can expect to be my “normal” to a more realistic place.
    It explains why I’m different to my younger brothers, but doesn’t excuse the treatment my family gave me, which always made me feel inadequate, undeserving, and unwanted; and still does.
    I’m still an anxious person, prone to checking the mailbox 3 – 4 times a day (even though I know the mail comes at 11am – 12pm), checking emails (I hardly get any other than when I’m emailing my wife), or watching the driveway of our block of units like a hawk (it’s usually only neighbours, contractors, or visitors coming and going, but when you’ve been burgled in the past it’s hard not to be hyper vigilant).

    It sucks to have something wrong or different with you, but at least when you can get it identified, understood, and known, you can then learn what you’re dealing with and get closer to acceptance.
    I think after that things get better, but I’m not fully there yet myself.

  271. Fuck chronic problems and weird metabolic abnormalities. Just fuck em right in the ear.

    I hope at least you have good doctors. My husband has spent the last week educating specialists *WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THIS SHIT* on his condition and meds.

  272. I was exhausted for many, many months (years) and told myself I was crazy, until I got so tired I would cry. I thought it was just my depression/ anxiety throwing a new symptom into the mix. Turns out My vitamin B was low and my vitamin D was also low. If your doctor hasn’t checked your vitamin D as well, maybe it would be a good idea if he/she ordered labs for that, too. Apparently all of these deficiencies are common among women. And apparently many of us try to push through it, telling ourselves we’re crazy or lazy, or we let others tell us we’re crazy or lazy and in reality we need to listen to what our bodies are telling us and not let our feelings and symptoms be invalidated by anyone, not even ourselves.

  273. I have to take b12 supplements (500 units) daily. Mine was ridiculously low. I also had almost no vitamin D in my body & for 2 mos had to take 50,000 units a week. My poor doctor. She was freaking out when she called me. It was actually funny.

    Make sure any supplements you take dont interfere with your meds. I cant take mine at the same time as some of my meds.

  274. Oh and I also have lipomas in several places and what appears to be a ganglion on my finger. What the fuck, those things are supposed to be more common in women, and I have fathered a child and certainly can grow a beard and have a penis. Our biology is weird, and clearly normal and usual are relative terms created by psychologists studying stats too closely and trying to read sense into random anomalies.
    That or my penis may yet contract and I’ll start growing boobs; I mean I’m hetro and I like tits, but not on me!
    I guess it’s just those unknown unknowns that were talked about along with the non existent WMD’s!

  275. P.S. Aren’t mammograms weird? Last time I had one, it was just so surreal how the tech was moving my boob around, almost like I wasn’t even there, and she was just trying to get an uncooperative lump of pizza dough to lay right in the pan and I started to giggle which caused me to snort which caused me to laugh and then the tech looked at me with such alarm. I think that she thought I was getting my jollies off a little bit and suddenly I was SO embarrassed I’m at least two years overdue for my next one.

  276. P.P.S. Re: the vitamin deficiency. BE PATIENT with yourself. It takes a while to start feeling better again, even if your levels improve on paper. It really is depleting, and it may take months to feel recovered.

  277. I’m glad I read you blog regularly becuz it reminds me of things I need to do. I know I have a B-12 deficiency and haven’t had a shot in too long. I know becuz I crave red meat when I don’t really like red meat. But it was your description of numb/tingly hands and feet that reminded me that I suffered that before I was diagnosed so maybe it’s time to get back to the doctor as it is back in spades. Taking a Super-B complex helps with the energy thing–at least for me– but I don’t absorb B-12 from tablets. I can usually tell when I’m B deficient becuz I lose my appetite completely. I was fortunate to find a N/P who should be an example for all doctors and nurses and I never had better care. Unfortunately she moved to Colorado, but I will always be thankful for the help she gave in managing my health care. Because she listened, she ordered the right tests. Remember doctors don’t order tests they have no reason for giving you since insurance companies don’t like to pay for ‘unnecessary’ tests. You are your best advocate so speak up.

  278. Glad to hear that it’s not rabies, although that would be a clear and definite diagnosis vs. B12 deficiency, which I can relate to, but it’s about you, not me. Anyway, when I eventually make my farewell tour across the country, I’m going to have to stop and make you my not-entirely-famous-but-everyone-I-make-it-for-enjoys-it-very-much linguine and clam sauce. Because clams are hoarding the B12. Also? Wine.

  279. I went through 2 years of issues before I got tested for Vitamin D and found out that I was the loweslt category they show on test results. It was so frustrating that I went through several years of chronic fatigue before my current amazingly smart DO landed on this factor.

    Give the B12 a few weeks–while it may not be the silver bullet that kills the werewolf (or is it Vampires that can be killed by silver bullets?), it may offer some relief.

  280. I was recently diagnosed with both anemia and low progesterone levels. I had been to so many doctors regarding migraines, fatigue, depression, moodiness, you name it. And all of them were vague and said “it is hormonal”. No doctor would do more tests to see how to help until the nurse practitioner at my ob/gyn. I am still trying to get everything under control, but feel that I am on my way. It is incredibly frustrating when you know there is something wrong, the doctor knows there is something wrong and after years of searching the answer is something that seems like it should have been found earlier. Glad to hear that you are on the path to some relief, as well.

  281. Man, I SO get this post. I’m 50, and just found out I have “moderate anemia.” Uh, yeah. I had “severe exhaustion”, shortness of breath, and irregular heartbeasts. I’ve been on iron tabs (ferrous sulfate) 3 times a day and I’m starting to feel myself, this was…ten days ago. Every day is a little better, today was a step back. Hopefully tomorrow is better. My new doctor wants me to get tested for B12 deficiency. *note to self: Take self to lab for a blood draw.

    I hope it helps. Feeling tired all the time suuuuuuuuuuuuucks!!!!!f


  282. My brain stopped working two years ago. I am either premenopausal or alcoholic. Either way I know of the symptoms of which you speak, and I’m sorry for what you’re going through. Perhaps I will try some B12 instead of a box of red wine.

  283. Dearest Bloggessest,
    Please, please. PLEASE! Post more funny pictures.Everyone needs to laugh. And boobs and …..sometimes I wanna escape and not know someone has it twice as bad. And not cry.

  284. first off, 40 is not old. just look at you; you are definitely not old. secondly, i know and understand the litany of maladies that can build up and just try to strike you down. just try. well, maybe i give in to a little pity party now and then when the pain is extreme, but most of the time i just try to kick the ass of every damn thing that tries to mess with my bliss…. in other words, i ignore it and move on until i end up in bed, unable to move. or until a dr. tells me something really scary that can happen if i keep ignoring these poly-problems. (like, ‘you know, if you don’t do something about your lack of platelets, you won’t have to worry about back and shoulder surgeries because you are a prime candidate for a spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage and there’s no coming back from that.’ holy shit…) anyway… your humor helps me to look beyond the physical shift in my life.

  285. I work in a law office and my co-worker had started making all sorts of weird mistakes that are REALLY bad for a law office, like transposing numbers and addressing envelopes wrong. (When you serve people important papers in the mail and you only have 15 days to do it and it takes the post office 16 to return the envelope to you and you have Court on day 17, it’s a bad thing.) When the Office Manager brought it up to her, she’d try to blame me and say she couldn’t POSSIBLY be making that many mistakes and it had to be me throwing her under the bus. Of course, I wasn’t. I was actually trying to find ways to make things she had done my fault to relieve the tension! Finally, the Office Manager had to tell her to get checked out. Since she had some blood clotting issues in the past, we thought these were signs of a possible stroke. Turns out she had a B12 deficiency, too! They told her it could take up to 3 months for the vitamins to really penetrate her system and improve things. I guess B12 is WAY more important than any of us ever gave it credit–they’re saying this might even help her diabetes. So, this might be just another bullet point on your list of medical issues, but it could ALSO be the ONLY bullet point and all your other problems are connected to this one. Maybe? I’ll be crossing my fingers for you!

  286. Jenny, you are such a precious person–thank you for sharing your life and bringing brightness into other people’s lives. I hope and pray that brightness comes back to you…blessings, I am praying for your health! *hug*

  287. That’s a fetching gown you’re wearing 🙂 Wishing the B12 shots bring you to a better state of being, even if you still have other messed up stuffs. Yeah multiple things wrong complicates things … I swear there wasn’t enough bleach in my gene pool & my doctor laughingly agreed. I’m now on VitD for life at twice the usual recommended supplement, and not having enough not only increases osteoporosis risk but immunity/autoimmune problems on Inflammatory Girl (as I think of myself).

    It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only mutant walking around 😉

  288. I’ve had B12 shots and think they hurt like heck. My bum hurt for literal weeks after. Now I get an IV of vit c and b every other week during flu season because sitting there with a tiny needle in me for 45 mins is much preferred of a B12 shot pain.

  289. My B12 level was super low as well (the doc also immediately started me on injections and daily pills), and as soon as they told me I researched this mysterious B12 and couldn’t believe my memory lapses, fatigue, and all the other crap you’ve also experienced could be explained from one little deficiency. Unfortunately the side effect was a bit of acne but it went away (okay, so maybe I quit taking the B12 to stop my face from looking 12, but when I started noticing the other symptoms coming back I got right back on. The acne eventually went away though). But my favorite thing in all of this? The hangovers (bad — including the shakes) that I would get from just a few drinks aren’t nearly as bad as before. And that made me happier than I thought I could be happy. Because wine. Enough said.

  290. You look mahvelous! I’m glad your RA meds are working, and you didn’t get stabbed in the boob with a Dorito. B12 rawks. It may be time for the traveling possibly-vaguely-bluish dress.

  291. Please forgive me if I’m repeating what others have said. But yes, Vitamin B deficiencies cause all kinds of troubles. Make sure you are getting ALL the B vitamins, not just B12. ALSO….make sure you are getting Magnesium too. If you have a difficult time taking Magnesium pills, there are over-the-counter creams/body lotions with easily absorbed magnesium.

    Now, don’t get discouraged if you don’t feel better right away, it took me a few months to finally really feel like things were turning around. But, it is amazing how much better you feel once it kicks in. Just make sure you get a “well rounded” diet of vitamins. Check the labels on your multi-vitamins, compare milligrams to see how much you are getting of each supplement.

    Hopefully your doctor can guide you through what you need. But if it took them this long to find you’re deficient, especially given your symptoms…maybe you need a new doctor (or, hopefully this is a new doctor!)

    Wishing you great success towards feeling better and healing.

    (I went from being essentially crippled, having to use a walker, and basically giving up on life….to finally being able to get out of bed, walk up and down stairs…then walking with a walker…and now walking a mile at a time, using only a cane. I’m still improving as time goes on. My depression and anxiety have mellowed almost completely. I’m finding a life I didn’t think possible. And I think the major part of my problem was the vitamin deficiency.

    Next, though, you need to try to track down the cause of your deficiency. I’m guessing some sort of malabsorbtion issue or something related to your gallbladder/removal.)

    Sorry for the long comment, but if you want more info you can email me.

    XO…lots of love…

  292. And the big BOO part is no more white peach margaritas for me, ever again. No wine slushies. No dirty martinis. No Dark and Stormy. I miss my buzz.

  293. for Ben at 303, multiple lipomas are more common in men but women typically only have one. Ask me how I know :/ and yes I have lady parts but too many androgens.

  294. I wonder if going paleo would be helpful for you? It is basically a change in diet that eliminates grain, sugar, alcohol, and dairy, and it makes a big difference for immune and inflammatory issues. I’ve also found that it helps a lot for the nerves, because you eat a lot of healthy fats. If you trade in sugar for healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, etc.), it can help reduce anxiety significantly.

    If you want to look up Whole30, you will find the information for how to start. You could also have a look at the book “It Starts with Food”.

    I enjoy your work a lot and I would be so happy to see you feeling better.

    I had B12 deficiency post-partum, and it was horrible.

  295. I love you because you’re the only person I (internet) know who finds a growth and just immediately thinks, “parasitic twin.”

  296. Just so you know, I laughed until tears rolled down my face when I read your book. I couldn’t read it on the train to work ’cause I’d laugh/cry off my makeup. And there’s another book that had me laughing hard at stuff that most people wouldn’t think was funny…like barf and poop. It’s “The Tent, the Bucket, and Me” by Emma Kennedy. You’ve got to read it! Puts family vacations in a whole new light…or maybe, dark.

  297. I have been following you for about a month.You make me laugh and that’s how I roll with my life.Ii read this today over my morning cup of Joe and I just feel like hell for you…I am 43,mama of 3,,,hard rocker, manager of PRODUCE, living on 80acres with my fam…the cat…the chickens…the peacocks ….the feckless…the pythons…..the awesomeness of being secluded ….and I was introduced to your blog by my sons girlfriend…I don’t blog…I never followed a blog lol…then there was you….and you are my kind of peep. You are unique …brilliant….and flawed as are we all.You make me laugh daily…and I thank you ….really thank you. HOWEVER today I cried for you because damn it man…this blows….and I just have seen this kind of medical crap sneak up on all my friends..family…me…now you…I just felt for you. I don’t expect a response ….I just wanted you to really know that you aren’t alone…you have a whole tribe on here that you have made smile…thanks! And you will be fine my dear…your a hell of a fighter:)

  298. Jenny,
    My wife is fast approaching her next six-month breast exam, which has become an event woven into the tapestry of our lives. Sadly, it doesn’t get any easier. The good news is this: when the walls begin to close in and the world gets dark you can always find solace in the wonders of your deliciously twisted/beautiful mind.

    Post away when you feel weak and you’ll find strength in the simple act of release. (Admit it, you giggled a little when I said “release”, right?) Let your devoted following lift your spirits, my friend.

    By the way, cool TARDIS phone. I don’t have one.
    You suck.
    And you got fondled by a girl.

  299. Oh it’s frustrating to find the cause of so much angst is potentially something so minor & easily addressed :/
    And boobie scars – I had mine cut right open & bits cut out of them then stitched back up smaller & firmer. Yay for boob scars 😉

  300. I felt sick all the time and went for blood tests, my insulin levels were sky high and I was on the verge of becoming a diabetic. I am on medication and a strict sugar-free diet and it is wonderful to feel healthy and energetic again. I used to think that I had flu all the time. I wish I had gone to the doctor sooner. I was ill most of the time for 5 years.

  301. Your followers – including me – are here for you regardless of being funny or getting “real” like this. Here’s hoping that all of your providers are paying attention to the big picture while each is addressing their specialty area, and you can feel truly WELL sometime soon! Keep blogging, because your posts really get me through a lot! Raining positive karma on you right now, big time. 🙂

  302. Phone case!!!! I want one!!!!!
    PS – you look really good in a hospital gown. I wish I looked that good when I’m wearing one, but usually I just look like a blob.

  303. I give myself B-12 injections about every other week. They have been seriously life changing !!It does take a while for you to level out, but i am healthier now than at any other time of my life. Good luck Jenny !

  304. I don’t suppose sending you one of those posters with that kitten on the clothesline saying “Hang in there baby” would be helpful, but that’s totally the image that came to mind. Although in your case it should really be a taxidermied cat on a clothesline. I get it. I get that finding out that something innocuous could have been totally fucking you up all this time and that if they’d only figured that earlier your life might have been better sooner… is bananas. So happy that they did though, ’cause now maybe those ridiculous B12 shots will make your life better from now on. Cling to your inner Scarlett O’Hara here.

  305. @Brattus Rattus,

    Healing thoughts, prayers, rain dances, and other things for the coming surgery and recovery and chemo and whatnot. I know, this is a sad and painful reason to smoke pot, and I wish you as easy a time of it as it can be. Thank the Divine for Giant MMA Guy’s sending you to the doctor, rather than having your butt suddenly fall off a few years down the road when it’s too late.


    I’m overweight, too, and will be for a while (recent RealAge link favorite: “10 foods Diabetics should never eat,” AKA Here’s Every Staple Of My Diet). My lovely and wonderful wife is heavier than I. We’re working on it, but it’s slow for us. New job keeps me active all day, but a better diet will cost more money. Guess that’s where my raise will be going.

    And thanks for the headsup to check my wife’s B12 levels. At least, that’s what I’mma tell her I’m doing next time she asks, “Hey, what are you up to?” in the middle of the night. 🙂

  306. Hi Jenny– I am so glad you have a diagnosis that makes sense and is treatable! I have the MTHFR gene mutation (mother fucker gene) that makes it difficult for me to absorb B vitamins properly and it has totally ruined my life (yeast, adrenal exhaustion, leaky gut– you name it) until I was finally diagnosed. My husband now gives me B12 and B-Complex shots two-three times per week as part of my recovery process and it has helped tremendously. The other most significant improvement in my health came from my new Dairy free, Gluten free, Soy free and Sugar free diet– I never knew what a difference that could make to my body’s inflammation and once I got through the first few days of die-off, detox and withdrawal symptoms (which totally sucked), I started feeling like a whole new person. Your blog kept me positive through much of my recovery and I sure hope you will be feeling better soon. BEST WISHES, Jenny!!! I adore you and wish you great health in your near future!!

  307. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue this year and put on a B-Complex treatment plan. It has absolutely changed my life. I still get super stressed out and exhausted but I feel like it’s pushed back the edge and given me some control again. Here’s hoping it does the same for you. <3

  308. I saw “blood draw”, “auto-immune” and I started saying to myself, WOW, sounds like me! I was diagnosed with MTHFR gene mutation this past year . . . and then you said “B-12 deficiency” and I went WHOA, I KNOW THIS STORY!

    If you haven’t already, get a blood test for MTHFR. There are two gene mutations (that they can easily test for) and having two of either one, or having one of each can cause severe B-12 and B-9 deficiencies because your body literally cannot convert the two from your food to the form your body can use. Taking activated B-9 and B-12 changed my whole life (Seriously. Mental health, better. Vision, better. Fatigue, gone. Healing ability, better. Hair and nails growing for the first time ever, yes. Skin and hair, brighter. EVERYTHING.) and its a VITAMIN, so there are no side effects.

    Hope you don’t have it, but if you do (and your slew of similar problems/symptoms suggests you might), those activated vitamins are so fucking amazing and make life so much BETTER! *hug*

  309. Let me join in the chorus that says you look wonderful. I’m glad they found the b-12 deficiency. And thanks for posting. I think I need to ask to have mine checked as well.

    My big hindrance has been quantity. I tried feverfew for migraines years ago. But the recommended amount wasn’t enough. I read an article that suggested double that and it has made a world of difference.

  310. My ass was dragging far longer than last year’s flu should have caused it to, and when they finally took blood, they got a seriously low reading on my Vit D. Because I live in New York state where we have no fucking sun. Thanks, Great Lakes. I know the Vit D took a while to ramp up, so I’m hoping for you that’s the case with your B12. I hope that vitamin’s the magical fix for all that ails you!

    PS Swallowing a Dorito shard feels like it takes 100 years to scrape its way down to your stomach. Best pain reference ever.

  311. Hmmm maybe I should mention that to my doc! Glad there was nothing major and thanks for writing this! A lot of people don’t go to check-ups like these. They are important and can save your life.

  312. My mom has been diagnosed with Vit B12 and D deficiency, and chronically low potassium levels. She is 78 and has been depressed for a long, long time and is on zoloft now which helps a bit but it could be helped with a more consistent B12 level. She takes the B12 shots about once a month and i am constantly after her to take them biweekly because it helps her energy levels and her emotional state A LOT. She is also on a multi for seniors and a D supplement daily but am not sure that is enough. Reading your comments i found that Omeprazole/Priolosec (which she is on OTC) strips Potassium, i have to get her to ask her doctor about that. Hope you get to feeling better soon, you help a lot of people a great deal.

  313. Sorry about the error, Omeprazole/Priolosec (which she is on OTC) strips B12.

  314. Your positive attitude is inspiring! And in response to the B12 thing – vitamins can be lifesavers. I have been struggling with a chronic UTI for over 6 years. A urologist recently prescribed me a very high potency cranberry pill (way higher than the ones you can buy in stores) and it has completely fixed me. Yay vitamins!

  315. 1) You look FAR from overweight!
    2) Doesn’t getting older kinda suck?

  316. I have exactly the same thing on my neck screwing things up. It’s my head. I’d like to get it removed, but turns out that doesn’t work out as well as you’d expect. I keep telling my doctors just put it in a jar with some Jack Daniels and it will be happy, but noooooooo. They don’t listen. I don’t have the boob problems (I’m a guy, but hey). As for the gown, I’ll tell you this much – you look a LOT better in it than I do. So I’d tell the doctor to keep her criticisms to herself. I do rock the little booties though.

    I spend way too much time in hospitals. I’m a kidney transplant patient (24 years post op! But the meds are starting to take their toll) so yeah, I can talk the talk.

    Not sure what else to tell you. I hope the B12 works out for you. And I am always like this, sorry 🙂

  317. That was really smart to have the whole work up done! You look so thin! I think you may have lost weight since you posted the Halloween costume photo! I hope the B12 does make a difference. Sending you well wishes!

  318. I have to get B12 shots every month because of an autoimmune thing I have. The most annoying part is driving to the doctor’s office, actually. And BONUS, LOLLIPOPS after.

  319. Bloggess – you rawk. Thanks for being so open about what you’re going through. Just this week, I also had a surprise low B12, plus a couple of other fixable things. I am having a lot of the same feelings – such as relief that it might be as easy a fix as increasing B12 and such, and starting to have hope that the nagging issues might not be such a big thing as I had in my head. There’s something comforting about seeing other people say almost exactly the same words. It makes me feel like a part of a bigger whole.

  320. Must be something in the air… My body seems to be breaking down (even more than normal) within this last week. I’m currently sitting in my cubicle with one shoe off and one shoe on, randomly attempting to “ice” a bitchy vericose vein, on my ankle… I’m only 35 but I think my right leg was, at some point, was switched out with an 80 year old woman’s leg…. and it’s bullshit! It’s like, when people pass away and they give their good organs and stuff to science…. well, I think some old lady donated her shitty leg and I somehow ended up with it! I didn’t sign up for this shit!!!! AGH!

  321. Big hugs. You are awesome, and so is your phone cover. Rocking the hospital gown – I’m thinking a wide belt, killer heels and sparkly earrings, and you’re good to go.

  322. Hugs and love. I’ve been doing another round of tests of the let’s see where things are up to and what might have stopped working since the last tests that you just haven’t noticed yet. It’s no fun. You’re in good company though, and as far as symptoms go, you wear delirium well. xxx

  323. I’m sorry ): I’m glad things weren’t worse, though. Vitamin deficiencies are a bitch. I was getting dizzy and sore on a regular basis from a mild potassium deficiency. I’m so sick of bananas now.
    I hope the vitamin treatment starts kicking in soon!

  324. Be careful, too much b-12 can cause palpitations and anxiety. It happened to me when I was taking daily sublingual methyl (b-12). I didn’t know what was going on then after a few months I mentioned it to my friend and when he told me that I thought he was mistaken until I googled it.

    Keep it in mind. 🙂

  325. Hi! My mom also has RA. She sufferred from severe fatigue for years before she was finally diagnosed with Sjogrens Syndrome on top of RA. One big tip off was her severe B-12 deficiency like you described. I am sure you know most auto-immune diseases go hand and hand and share symptoms, but I thought I would throw that one out to you if a doctor hadn’t mentioned that possibility. She gets a monthly shot of B-12 now. I hope things settle down! *internet hugs*

  326. I read the sentence “litany of exams when you’re 40” and for a second I was like THERE ARE EXAMS?!?! What do they test you on?? I haven’t even started studying!!

  327. What can I say that hasn’t already been said. Aging sucks, the human body is way too complex of a machine, and technology is not nearly as far a long as we would like it to be. All we can do is hang on by our fingernails and hope that things get better. Ditto the hugs!

  328. Thank you for this Jenny! I’m going for blood work on Monday and I will now insist they test me for B12 too, also thanks to so many on the Potassium causing muscle pain, added that test too. I love this place, I love this tribe.

    I’m going for testing cos I have hand pain and the two specialists I saw have no idea what is wrong. I have googled my very specific pain (first two fingers painful at knuckle and first joint) and it is possible I have hemachromatosis, so I’ve insisted they test me for it. I have had active porphyria for 30 years so you’d think someone would have tested me for this long ago, but noooooo. I am hoping I am wrong cos apparently if you do have hemachromatosis, once symptoms start there is no fixing them….shit.

  329. If your doctor tells you that you are still a bit overweight, tell him or her to go fuck themselves. You look fantastic. On another note, I’m happy the Simponi is working for you. I haven’t found my magic biologic yet, but I remain hopeful.

  330. Jenny,
    apart from the anxious look on your face you look great, and as others have said, the hospital gown looks fetching on you, most people can’t pull that look off!

    Like so many of us (me included) you clearly have body image issues, and of course having low B12 etc doesn’t help. Just remember, about half the population in the western world is quite overweight, and looking at your photo I can’t see that being the case.
    I suspect that like me, when you look in the mirror, you remember the skinny child you once were, and are disappointed that in comparison these days you look/feel fat.
    In my case I suspect my childhood was touched by undiagnosed eating disorders (I certainly remember not eating much often feeling hungry, and occasionally throwing up, and photos of me from childhood look like photos of Auschwitz survivors!); so perhaps the body image thing goes back to that?

    Anyway, the main thing is you’re in good care, you’re getting yourself checked out, taking advice, reviewing your conditions and meds, and doing the right thing when it comes to taking care of your health.
    Maybe you and I and others are a bit overwhelmed from time to time, and alternate between being hypochondriacs and being somewhat apathetic, but at least getting yourself thoroughly checked means you know what you’re dealing with, and will have the advice and assistance you need to keep your health in check.
    Just try to remember the worst case scenario is not the usual outcome!

    I love your work, and think you’re great, and I expect pretty much everyone who leaves a comment feels the same.
    Now if there were only more of you!!

  331. Kristina B, I’m right with you; I’m 41 and other than occasionally remembering to get a blood test (my Dad had Prostate Cancer so I should get checked at least annually), I am a bit slack on the testing thing.
    Are there other things I should be getting checked (oh my God my Dad also has Leukemia, maybe I need a bone marrow test)? I mean really I’m already a hypochondriac, an anxiety sufferer, an Aspie, and just a generally worried person – I don’t know if I should be worried and check, not worried and blissfully ignorant, or do like Jenny did and get to a hospital for a thorough whole body check.

    In reality though, I’ll just keep plodding along, get to the doctor if I feel ill, or need a new script (I have a nasty recurring virus that pops up now and again when I’m tired or stressed), and just try to keep healthy.
    If I’m meant to die I will, and if I’m meant to be healthy and live into my 90s that will happen.
    We’re all really just vessels for our biological information and until they find a way for you to choose your own biology, we just have to play the hand we’re dealt.

    Oh and of course I did do a bunch of tests after 40, because that’s how I got diagnosed with ASD this year!
    Thankfully no studying was required.

  332. Honey, I’m so sorry. That’s shit. Can I say shit on your blog? If not, sorry. Hugs to you. Make sure they check your thyroid levels and VitD. The standards are different than they were a few years ago and low levels can cause absolute mayhem for the bod. Also, I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on tv. But I’m one ferocious advocate for people I like, like you. xoxo

  333. Wait, aren’t you worried if they cure the delirium you won’t be as funny? I’m slightly concerned by this.

    In all seriousness, I hope you get some energy back soon!

  334. B12 deficiency is a MO.FO. I had roux en Y about a million years ago and struggled with getting enough B12 and iron (ferrite, not sulfate, apparently there’s a difference. With calcium too. I bet when you have to go 50-50, you go the wrong 50, right?). With all of your docs and such, I’m surprised no one found it before, but over time, it may change some things and all of a sudden you will wonder why things are starting to get color around the edges. Ohh, B12!

  335. Yay! for your honesty.
    Ummm… Solgar do a really good multivitamin if you need one. Some vits need others to be absorbed synergistically.
    Hope the B12 is like a super awesome cure all tho.
    That would be cool bananas.
    I will pray to Satan for you.

  336. Wait, not ferrite, I think those are iron shavings; not even the big arteries can handle those. I think it’s ferrous. A giant, instant repository of information at my fingertips would be so helpful right now…

    Three types of ferrous iron are typically prescribed: ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate, and ferrous gluconate.
    Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/70183-types-iron-supplements/#ixzz2igDOR7II

    So yeah, fumarate is what they told me was more helpful to combat the accompanying B12 deficiency.

  337. What I want to know is “What kind of doctor do you go to get a full-fledged ‘What all the h*ll is wrong with me?’ exam.” Because my GP would (possibly ‘could’?) never order up something that extensive or useful. I get “Oh, you’re fine” and a virtual pat on the head. I need a new GP.

  338. So I have never commented on a blog, website, or anything online before, so bear with me everyone. I just felt this was too important to not to share my, uh, insight. I apologize that it won’t be funny either, so there’s your fair warning 🙂
    I too was diagnosed with a severe B12 deficiency about 4 years ago (my level was a measly 157). There are about a cazillion symptoms and they’re different for everyone, but there are some doozies, so you don’t want to mess around. There are 2 things you should do, like, immediately. 1. Read the book “Could it be B12?” 2. Take sublingual lozenges every day (make sure they are either hydrocobalamin or methylcobalamin and not cyanocobalamin. I won’t bore you with the details, but it’s worth it). The good news is that most symptoms are totally reversible and all you really have to do is take a vitamin! Good luck and know that it will get better!

    p.s. you are seriously funny. like laugh-at-my-desk-at-work funny. like kinda-pee-my-pants funny (okay, maybe not “kinda” – maybe “full on” pee-my-pants… you got me)

  339. Hope you feel better and wanted to let you know if you don’t, your body may have issues absorbing vitamin B. I know, more good news, but it’s fixable with some supplements usually. My sister has that issue, and they can give her B vitamins all day and she won’t absorb them. They had to fix her body so they could be absorbed, then she felt like a whole new person. Good luck!

  340. Oh, isn’t it great to be someone else’s science project — at YOUR expense?

    Be well and may nothing be exotic or expensive.

    But — mainly, I wanted to say — I finally bought your book and what made me take that step?


    That posting made me giggle so much that I thought — maybe her book is this much fun. And it is. I giggled through that as well.

    Love the taxidermified critter stories — a pity you haven’t been with me on some of my antiquing forays. In the past, I have seen:

    1) A squirrel wedding. Three squirrels dressed as preacher, bride, groom. The bride squirrel wore a veil and carried a teeny bouquet. The groom squirrel wore a morning suit with that diagonally striped gray&black tie and carried a teeny ring. Rev. Squirrel wore a backwards collar and held one paw up to bless them. The other paw held a weensy Bible.

    2) Half a Rocky mountain goat, mounted on what looked like a walnut door. I assumed that whoever shot this beast really tore up the back end so they decided to just trim Mister Goat at the waist and stuff him that way. It did look as if the RMgoat had just come through the door. “I’m just so glad to see you and who the hell needs a door anyway?”

    3) Same place had three zebra legs combined as a lamp base. Three? I assume the same unmighty hunter boogered up one of the legs so they used the three that were left…

    4) This one still makes me kind of sad — a bear cub, standing on back legs, front legs outstretched with his paws holding a giant acorn — it was an ash tray for cripes sake… as Cartman would say, “that’s just wrong… it’s WRONG.”

  341. This is by far the most useful information I have read today. I have struggled with depression for years and have been taking vitamin D for a year. It has helped but the link between B12 and miscarriages caught my attention. I miscarried last week for the 4th time and despite a number of tests, we have no idea why. The potassium info will be passed on to my dad with rapid heartbeat issues. You may have just improved two lives.

    Now I need to go buy a bunch of pills. Good luck with the new treatments – hopefully they provide relief soon.

  342. My doc found my B-12 deficiency waaaaay before (like, 10 years before) finding my autoimmunity talents (blush). I did shots once a week and I’m totally fine; I don’t even have to do shots anymore, and my B-12 was under 100 when they found the problem. I still get it tested annually. Breathe deep, curse the shot, and then do something fun.

    Also – I haven’t eaten red meat for 20+ years and when the B-12 thing came up someone was all “OH, it’s because you’re WEIRD about beef and it’s CATCHING UP WITH YOU.” Really? I was 12 years in at that point and “suddenly” it was wreaking havoc on my body? Whatever. I still don’t eat beef. I’m still fine.

  343. I think blue’s your color. ;o) glad for the “no cancer” and one pill miracle. sad that your bones are making you fat. maybe my bones are too? damn bones. can’t live with ’em……………….

  344. Thanks for all the laughs. I look forward to your posts everyday.

    As a person in the medical field I’d hate to the bearer of bad news but some aspects of b12 deficiency are non reversible. Of course it depends on how long you’ve been deficient. If your anemic from the deficiency that will take some time to reverse as rbc turnover is about 90 days. I would wonder what the cause of the deficiency. Is it a medication? Underlying gi disorder? Definitely nag your doctor to dig a little deeper.

  345. i always like to shove a handful of those “refreshing towelettes” into my purse when I get dressed. it’s the LEAST they can do after dry mounting my skittles into a glass vice. when i had my last one done, i asked the radiologist if she ever sneezed when she had her foot on that petal. i think she quit the next day.

    it can always be worse… at least you can still rock the blue gown (even if the woman who wore it before had a rare skin disease). keep on, keepin’ on… this too, shall pass. 😉

  346. I had a severe B12 deficiency, and it took several months of monthly shots before I started to feel normal again. According to my doctor, your body can only absorb so much B12 at one time, so having shots more frequently, or at higher doses, doesn’t help. I know the feeling of wanting to speed up the process, but unfortunately, you can’t. You just have to ride it out. It’s brutal, though, isn’t it? And no wonder – our bodies need B12 to make red blood cells, so when your levels are severely depleted, your major organs are crying out for oxygen. When I first heard that, I thought, “yep. That sounds about right.” 🙂

  347. Ohhhh if you do have a B12 deficiency, you are going to feel so much better. I always wish I could have hypothyroidism or B12 deficiency, but no……. not that easy. Happy all your tests are normalish. Your authenticity, humor, and radical honestly bring light to my life. Thanks.

  348. Jenny – I don’t know if you are even going to read this far down, but I’ve read that a lot of people on here are talking about having Vitamin D deficiencies, and I’ve found that you have to take magnesium AND fat with the Vitamin D in order for it to be absorbed into the body. So, I take 10,000 units of D3, a magnesium tablet with something in the morning that has some fat in it in order for it all to work. Later in the day, I take a multi-vitamin at lunch. It really helps. I have a lot more energy now.

    Good luck with all your results!

  349. Oh, and for all of you out there on acid-blocking drugs (i.e., nexium), it interferes with your body’s ability to absorb magnesium (the stomach acid breaks it down in food and releases it into your body). This leads to a Vitamin D deficiency, which in turn leads to osteoporosis. So, anyone that is on these drugs for long period of time needs to get checked for osteoporosis. Long story short – try to get off the acid-blocking drugs.

  350. I keep reading your blog for entertainment but today’s different. Between the depression, second guessing myself, feeling like bitch slapping co-workers and wanting to just stop altogether, I never stop long enough to think about vitamins, nutrition and what works well for me. I always forget. Thank you for the reminder and information about your situation. I don’t feel so all alone anymore.

  351. I think I understand some of how you feel. When I was diagnosed hypothyroid, it was very upsetting. I was worried about the prospect of having to take a pill every day for the rest of my life. I was pissed at my family for not talking about illness–several members of my family also have this problem and had I known, I might have been diagnosed sooner. Now it’s just part of life and it’s good to have something to point to when I think about problems with my weight or depression.

    All I can say is the you’re allowed to feel this way and you won’t always feel this way…and I hope you feel better soon.

  352. You actually do look really good in the hospital gown. Maybe blue is your colour? I don’t know these things. I’m sorry about how long your list-of-shit-that’s-wrong-with-you is but hopefully you can be cheesy and instead see it as a list of things-that-tried-to-kill-me-that-I’m-currently-beating?

  353. Some days I feel like we’re separated at birth. (Poor you, lucky me!) I’ve been suffering through all my annual torments and am dealing with having a clotting thingy called MTHFR – and after all the trouble it’s caused me, I’ll bet you can deduce what I actually *call* it. And….I have pernicious anemia, which sounds like something I caught from doing naughty things with a vermicious knid. I’ve been neglecting my B12 shots because I can’t stand having someone else inject me but I put it off until so much of me hurts in weird ways that I go to WebMD and decide I’m dying of death. Shit is all kinds of wrong with me but it could be worse. You’ve inspired me to quit whining and do what I oughta do because you do it (and *stylishly* in that hospital gown) *plus* you write a blog – and manage to be hilarious – all while keeping your taxidermied menagerie beautifully fluffed and coifed, among other herculean tasks. All I’ve got is a preschool paleontologist and a neurotic hippie-goth in high school…and apparently no more excuses!

  354. “my bone-density is now crazy high.”

    Clearly, you’re becoming Wolverine.

    Hope you feel better ASAP.

  355. Marmite is a friend here. It’s made of yeast (so suitable for vegetarians even though it tastes a bit like gravy) and is a rich source of all the B vitamins (although if one has B12 deficiency as an actual thing, doctors are a better friend there.)

    Foreigners don’t understand Marmite, but that’s okay because they’re foreign and cannot be expected to behave any better. At first you’ll be all “What in God’s name is that?! Make it stop. Please, for the love of everything, MAKE IT STOP!” But that will be because you’ve attempted to eat more a very thin scraping. Eventually you will feel the Marmite love and the delicious yeasty B vitamins flowing through you. Or you’ll have something to show people who come to the house (“Look what the internet made me buy. I know, it *does* look just like that ooze which killed Lt Yar in Star Trek TNG. Wait ’till you taste it.”)

    It’s a British institution, so find a Brit and ask them to hook you up.

  356. Oh no, what a crappy time! It doesn’t matter if you do get good results sometimes, because then you just feel mad that you’ve been through all of the crap already, and want something to show for it. I also take B supplements and a whole load of others sometimes, and am never sure whether they make things better or not. You do look very lovely in that gown though! J x

  357. I turned 40 last year and my body has decided to remind me that it is 40 despite my brain feeling about 20. Swollen ankles turned out to be a DVT and the GP insisted on checking me for angina. My brain is refusing to catch up with my body.

  358. Pernicious Anemia is a great name for a punk band.

    Hope you start feeling better and the evil twin growth is just that and nothing more!

  359. I remember being told that b12 injections take a while before feeling better so hang in there!
    Glad you’re okay =)

  360. As someone who DOES have pernicious anemia, it totally sucks. I never really realized how important B12 was until I didn’t have any.

    And now I get monthly B12 shots. I don’t have the delirium. I poop on the regular. It’s awesome. I highly recommend it, if you can get it.

  361. Dear lord, Jenny, it’s an epidemic. Hope very much that this is but your evil twin, and everything is much better soon. You are tough!

    This B12 thing is a real bitch cropping up right now. And it can swing either way–someone points out I am always exhausted and the ADD and stuff could be low B12, so I get the B12/folate test. And WHOA–HIGH B12, crazy B12, like gonna kill me. CYANIDE. Like, if not caught, the end result is rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s. WTH? This is correctable. But damn, I have lost years of good life to this, and I Am Not Amused.

    I can tell you that I am about two months out of this discovery, and am starting to feel better. Methylcobalamin (the only B12 I am supposed to have) and methylfolate (folic acid is a no-no) are now my best friends. This of course messes with anything “enriched” I might eat, or the protein drink I need for another reason–finding one without cyanocobalamin and folic acid was a PITA.

    I hope that today is much better for you, and that this is the beginning of improved health. Heck, I am already sleeping better. Hang in there.

    I thought you needed something fun, so if you are planning road trips (even when we don’t get to go, sometimes planning one is good)–In case you get to Seattle any time soon, I just found out that the local bar scene will make you feel right at home:


    In the meantime, Texas will always come through for you. http://www.buckhornmuseum.com/

    Thanks for making my life a lot more fun!

  362. Hang in there, Jenny.

    My “celebrate 40!” tests came early thanks to an intense history of cancer. So, 16 years after cancer killed my mom I get to run around and do all these fun things. I’m trying to be grateful I’m still cancer free. Some days it’s easier to embrace that than other days.

    I found out this week for noncancer reasons I need a hysterectomy. I’ll be 36 in a week. Happy birthday to me! Again, some days embracing the positives are easier than others.

    Thanks for all you do and for all your honesty.

  363. I have a what-the-fuck-is-that lump in my arm, and no doctor gives a damn about it. It, however, makes me look like I have one terrific bicep, so that’s one good thing. Let’s hope that your evil twin lump is similar!!!

  364. My mom did the B12 injections and she SWEARS by them. She said the difference is night and day. So, just a happy thought! Finding out what it is could make you feel a whole lot better!

  365. My b12 deficiency (and anemia, and mild joint pain, and Reynaud’s) all went away after I was diagnosed with celiac. Sorry to be part of the chorus, but lots of doctors just never think of testing for this! I had to ask for the test myself. Also, it seems that mega-doses of b12 pills have been shown to work just as well as the shots, and you don’t have to deal with getting shots, which is nice.

  366. I’m glad you found your miracle drug. RA Sucks Donkey Butt so when something works its AWESOME!! I like to think that the Snickers bar is the start to RA remission for me. So far the trials haven’t gone well so I’m still taking the Meth but feel a breakthrough any day now 😉

  367. Jenny,
    I also have a B12 deficiency and it’s caused several of the problems you listed. Just thought I would throw out that I’m working with a great doc in Austin that practices functional medicine. She’s an MD that went into functional medicine because she wants to treat the source of illness, not just the symptoms. One of the things she focuses on is gut health and how it relates to sooooo many other diseases. Anyway, feel free to email if you want more info. I know she treated her own thyroid condition and doesn’t need meds now. She’s also treated numerous other patients with auto-immune disease and helped them recover completely. Again the focus is on gut health, which means I’m juicing regularly (I eat too, just not the fun stuff like Doritos) . It’s really not too bad. I just tell myself…so what if it tastes like I just licked the grass…I’m gettin’ healthy. 🙂

  368. I stabbed myself in the hand, but I think I would have gotten WAY more sympathy if it was my boob! But it would be so much harder to light my numb boob on fire than my numb pinkie for party tricks! I am definitely going to get my vitamin levels checked at my next physical exam as I am sure SOMETHING BESIDES MY OWN HEAD has to be responsible for my craziness!!!
    And I am sooooooo glad you got your mammies grammed as I am doing the five-mile “Save The Boobies!” walk for the American Cancer Society next week, and HEALTHY BOOBIES ARE HAPPY BOOBIES. I made a sign for the Walk to prove it but I can’t paste it here… 🙁

  369. The B12 thing is gnarly. I ended up in the hospital earlier this year. Long story short, I was diagnosed with MS, and had a sever B12 deficiency. Mine wasn’t pernicious anemia, so I have been taking a regular old B12 vitamin daily. I have definitely seen a decrease in panic attacks, night terrors, and desire to self-harm. My Neurologist also immediately put me on vitamin D supplement. I didn’t realize HOW important and necessary it is to our mental and physical health. Bonus is that I’ve also lost 17 lbs, which i’m attributing to the B12.

  370. I know you probably won’t read this but you totally should because I had chronic fatigue and b12 deficiency and took b12 injections. The did not help at all, time passed (like years) and they did MORE blood work and found out I have some genetic thing where my body can’t process b vitamins. I have to take a supplement of b vitamins that are partially broken down already.

    I know it’s weird, but it is totally true. If you do read this and want all the scientific-y stuff, email me or post to my blog and I’ll look it up.

  371. I just had an endoscopy and colonoscopy today and an ultrasound form the inside as well as getting the boobies smashed last week. I feel like I need a silkwood shower. On the upside they gave me Michael Jackson sedation and inis I totally get why He loved it.

  372. I am glad to know I am not the only one with this kind of crazy shit. I have MS and had a PE last year almost died; ended up with HIT and then they say “hey there is something in your boob” After many tests its only a lymph node in the wrong place Yay! but that scar on my leg could be squamous (sp) cell skin cancer. Poop. So I get it. I am glad you are sharing, because I like to know I am not the only one.

  373. I just read this post and I ran over here to post EXACTLY THE SAME THING that Shawn right above me posted, which is clearly a sign that WE ARE GENETIC TWINSIES or else I’m just a copycat, one or the other.

    Anyway, I’m guessing she’s talking about the MTHFR gene mutation which can cause the body to not process B vitamins properly and in fact synthetic vitamins (which most of them are and which are in most all processed, “fortified” foods) actually make it WORSE. It’s not a rare mutation at all, either. Having the mutation is totally correlated with depression, cancer, autoimmune disorders, etc. and no amount of drugs, vitamins, or woo will fix that shit. Go talk to your docs about it, because insurance might cover testing, and if they poo-poo you, get your genome done by 23andMe for $99 and some of your spit in a tube. Worth it, I’m telling you.

  374. Hot damn! I can’t believe I forgot the other thing you mentioned that made me thing MTHFR — miscarriage, especially multiple miscarriages.

    Gotta go now, my kids seem to think I’m making them dinner.

  375. My Doctor always tells me whenever you start a new med allow 2-4 weeks for the effect of the med to take hold. I never actually take the stuff she gives me, but she tells me that sort of stuff when she prescribes meds. So give the B12 some time. Feel better (saying that is much like saying, pass the butter, but it’s a social convention and so is passing the butter).

  376. Once I visited the doctor two or three times in the same month, which was weird for me but not that bad in the grand scheme of things, because I kept passing out and having severe nausea, low fever etc. I was told I had to poop and drink water. It was very disappointing.

  377. Once I had to visit a doctor three times in the same month (which was weird for me but not that bad in the grand scheme of things) because I had a constant low fever and I kept passing out and having random severe nausea. I was told to poop and drink water. It was very disappointing.

  378. I also have pernicious anemia, and a 42 year background in healthcare. If you were under 150 and they gave you a shot and told you to come back in a month you’re probably under medicated. When they found mine my level was 59 ( normal in US is 200+ , everywhere else normal us 450+) I had to fight with Kaiser to get the standard loading dose of 5-6 1000mcg injections over 1-2 weeks… Took me 4 months to get them proactive, by then I had suffered nerve damage in my left foot causing a loss of feeling except for this annoying feeling like my sock is stuck between my toes all the time. If you don’t feel better within a week or two start making noise. When mine drops below 120 it’s like having dementia… I have to self inject every 10 days to stay above 200. Good luck to you.

  379. omg vitamins can totally make you crazy. I was B5 deficient once and I was crying all the time and just generally going crazy, the same kind of crazy I went when my doc put me on pure progesterone birth control. Several times I broke down crying after spilling water on the floor. One other time I was iron deficient, not anemic but something else related to iron deficiency. I was SOOOO angry all the time, I wanted to punch ever f*ng old person that shuffled in front of me slowly on the sidewalk, like really truley honestly smash them upside the head…and I had terrible terrible sleeps. Within a week of my doc putting me on iron my mood went back to normal. (I’m gluten and soy intollerant so before we found that out and changed my diet my body was very malnurished). I really hope you feel better soon. <3

  380. I’m glad they’ve figured some things out and hope they get to the bottom of the rest of it very soon!!

    I take Orencia for RA and it works great – except I have to use a “specialty pharmacy” which my insurance designates and they SUCK so I went four weeks without the medication. I hate them more than a little right now.

    Sending good vibes your way for improved health and relief of symptoms.

  381. I’ve had brain scans, eeg, stress tests, ekg’s and the list goes on. Trying to find out why my body does crazy ass shit lately on certain anti depressants. It’s getting depressing when you realize that either you can feel depressed or your body can have insomnia and high blood pressure. Take a pick.

  382. I also had a litany of tests done last week when I completely froze up at work and couldn’t move my right arm and was convinced I was having some sort of stroke or alien body invasion or polio. Nothing is wrong except for cervical radiculopathy which actually has to do with your spine, not your lady parts, as the very embarrassed male resident explained to me when I accused him of not paying attention to the fact that the problem was in my upper body, not my nether regions. Its basically a fancy name for a pinched nerve except that mine is a big nerve at the top of my neck that controls the entire right half of my upper body. Yay!

    It is disappointing when you keep getting diagnosis after diagnosis and you feel like you’re a walking medical journal. Its especially disappointing when you find out that something has been going on for years and you probably would have had very different results if someone had just freaking figured it out before (like when I got diagnosed with bipolar 2 this past year and apparently I’ve had it since I was a teenager, but everyone thought it was just ‘teenage rebellion’ with a touch of promiscuity and alcoholism). All I can say is that we get through it as best we can, and I fully believe that we are that much stronger for it. Feel better soon!

  383. Wow, jenny, I just made a (flist) blog post about nearly the same subject: normally I’m totally okay with knowing all the medical stuff that’s wonky with me, but I dunno, sometimes you just get tired of it. Or sick of it. Or both