So, I’ve joined a gym now… lol Just kidding! As if! I’ve actually been dealing with some unpleasant health issues (full deets below) ergo… Protein Haulage!
For a couple of months now (since November 2017) my health has been acting up. At first, it was only insignificant things. For example, I’d get dizzy while going down a staircase (walking). It’s not that big of a deal, but in the past, I had no problems running up or down long staircases. Also, I started getting less and less sleep, per night (2-3 hours max). I figured it was just part of being an insomniac. Shortly after, I started noticing that my heart would start racing… while I was resting (not doing anything strenuous). Naturally, I ignored it (my philosophy in life). Then, substantial amounts of my hair started falling out. Again, not that big of a deal. As far as I’m concerned, that just means, less of a hassle to deal with (less hair to blow-dry and style and whatnot). Then all my nails started doing that weird bend-y thing (warning graphic post here) and breaking off after a certain point. I know I’m really into makeup and all that (because I find it fun!) but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a vain person who is obsessed with looks. As such, I wasn’t too bothered about my hair and nails. Was this abnormal? Sure. Was I going to let it bother me? Not even a little bit.
In December, while in bed, I’d feel out of breath and start getting extreme coughing fits, every. single. night. Again, I ignored it all. In January, I’d be walking out and about, when all of a sudden I’d feel my legs go out from under me (like I was too weak to stand). The dizziness got worse and worse as well. In fact, it was now accompanied with blurry vision (that only lasted for a minute or two). In February, out of the blue, my heart would skip a beat. That kinda’ freaked me out. I’d feel a loud thump in my chest, outta’ nowhere (whether I was out and about during the day or resting in bed at night). It became a daily thing, so I kinda’ got used to it and learned to ignore it. I did give up my beloved Nescafe Vanilla (review here) though, thinking that caffeine could’ve possibly been the culprit.
In March, while reading my Kindle in bed (no force exerted, at all), my heart started racing (this was a totally different experience from the other times that my heart started racing) – increasing in speed, getting faster and faster – to the extent that I thought this was it (I was checking out), which quite frankly, felt like a stupid way to die. When I die, I wanna go out saving someone’s life (preferably, several someones). I know we don’t get to choose but still. My heart went back to normal a few seconds after, but I was sufficiently freaked out and decided to go see a doctor the next day…
The doctor at our local clinic guessed that I had an iron deficiency based on my pallor. I mean… LOL I’m like “Nuh, dude, that’s just my odd sallow skintone”. Still, I had an electrocardiography (ECG) and some blood work done. Here’s the kicker, the blood test results would come out in… a month! Regardless of the fact that he wasn’t sure what I had, he prescribed some iron pills that I was supposed to take every day. Also, I was to visit the clinic every other day, so they could pop one of those un-comfy masks on me for 20 minutes. At first, I thought I was getting legit meds. Once I could taste the salt, I asked if it was saline (which I felt was pointless) and the nurse confirmed it for me, so I stopped going back. It was supposed to stop the coughing fits and help me breath more easily, but frankly I prefer the coughing fits over the saline solution. As a bonus, I get a work-out for my abs out of it lol
During the weekend, I felt very weak and kept keeling over and my vision was blurry all morning, so I went back to the clinic and they sent me to Amiri Hospital. The doctor took one look at me and proclaimed “iron deficiency”. At this point, it’s starting to get offensive lol I’m like “It’s just my natural skin color”. (Not white, not black and not even brown, which is why nobody can tell where I’m actually from. I look ethnically ambiguous lol but I prefer the term “Olive”). Anwyhooo, the blood results come back and as it turns out, my iron was low but not dangerously low (meaning my odd sallow skintone was not a side-effect lol). Still, he declared me an Anemic.
I also got another ECG a Chest X-ray done because he wanted to rule out other stuff. Finally, I was allocated a bed in one of the wards, so they could give me 2 bags of something or other… intravenously. I hate Intravenous Infusions (IV)! I hate them! They hurt! Plus, the wait is so boring! Thankfully, I had my Kindle and my Phone with me. Once again, I thought I was getting some legit medication. Once I read what was written on the bag (Sodium Chloride), I tried to leave but the nurse forced me to finish at least 1 bag before letting me go.
I was told that the hospital would contact me so I could make an appointment to be outfitted with that belt thing (that goes across your chest) that records your heart activity for 24 hours. Few weeks later, they stuck the belt on me and told me to wear it for 48 hours (and to avoid using my phone and wifi and all that). If anyone from my friends or family asked me what was up (part of the belt thing was clearly visible), I just told them I was Iron Man lol Once the 48 hours were up, I deposited the belt back at Amiri Hospital. They never contacted me and I never contacted them back again either (we’ve decided to part ways amicably). I know I should follow up but I don’t feel like it, okay?
My blood-work from the local clinic came out and one of the female doctors actually asked me if I was a vegetarian (me? lol). I told her if she came cooked (well-done) I’d eat her (to prove that not only am I a carnivore but I’d probably have no issue turning to cannibalism). I was told that if I did not start gaining weight asap, I’d never be able to gain weight in the future (How is that a problem? I didn’t see the issue but apparently it was “serious”). So anyways, I was sent to a nutritionist (foncy, foncy). Basically, my nutritionist explained to me that although I’m constantly eating, I’m actually getting zero benefits, because my diet consists of mostly junk food. Apparently, it’s the reason why my hair, nails, vision, muscles, lungs, and heart have been acting up.
She gave me a pretty clever example (or so I thought). “Could a car run on empty? Basically, your body is running on fumes, and as a result, is starting to shut down. You need to eat food that has nutritional value. Think of it as fuel for your body.” It made sense and I got the gist of it, so just as I was about to zone out (my mind likes to wander), she declared “If you continue on this path, it can be fatal”. That snapped me out of it real quick! Basically, I was… malnourished. It sounded so absurd to me (that in this day and age, in the year 2018, in a country blessed with a surplus of food – some might say a country with extra emphasis on food even – I was… malnourished?). I couldn’t help but giggle (because it sounded so ridiculous). She assured me that according to my blood work, I was in fact malnourished. I’ve been taking a multi-vitamin twice a day (when I remember) and I’ve been seeing her once a week (KD 20 per visit) ever since.
For now, she wants me to focus on protein. I remembered spotting a Platinum Gym at Kaifan a long time ago, so I decided to check it out, figuring they surely sold protein over there. Apparently, the place had 2 stores that sold that sort of thing. The first was on the ground floor. The second was inside the actual gym and I was not allowed to enter because it was an all-male gym. I asked the dude behind the counter for some protein and he pointed at these huuuge tubs of protein powder. I’m like “Nope, that’s too much of a commitment. Don’t you have anything smaller?” Much to my delight he did! So I picked up 2 Protein Shots (just to try) for now. As I was leaving, I picked up 2 Protein Bars as well (also just to try). The store was pretty small but was fully stocked with a whole bunch of stuff (like Protein Pancakes and Protein Peanut Butter and whatnot). It was called Health House Nutrition
Maxim Protein Bars
So these things pretty much taste like cardboard and are just as chewy as you’d imagine cardboard to be. I know the flavors say Brownie and Raspberry, but nuh, it’s pretty much cardboard. I got bored less than half-way through munching on one of ’em (it’s like, I’m chewing with all my strength… but nothing was happening). Also, these things stink. As in, they literally smell gnarly, which is another fun bonus. Honestly, I just went with Maxim because I’m positive it’s one of those guy magazines (like Sports Illustrated etc…) meaning it was a well-known brand, so I knew for a fact I wasn’t getting something shady that was “Made in China” (no offense). For all I know, all Protein Bars taste like this (pretty much… cardboard). As it stands, I’m not a fan.
Gold Protein Shots
These things are tiny and cute but pack a wallop! Initially, they’re quite yummy, but the after-taste kills me. The consistency is a mutha– as well. Still, I’d rather pop one of these out of the fridge and drink it right away, as opposed to one of those large tubs of Protein Powder that you need to prepare (I say “prepare”, but you just mix it with water lawl) before drinking. Surprisingly, the Pineapple was my favorite of the 2 but the Raspberry was pretty good as well!
Health House Nutrition
These things were surprisingly price-y. In any case, I purchased them from Health House Nutrition. Prior to visiting a nutritionist, I could literally count all my ribs (which was disconcerting, honestly). Now, I can only see their outline, which is something, I guess. Unfortunately, the uber-scary heart-racing thing happened again (a day before Eid) so if I ever disappear for good, now y’all know why lol