Sunday, January 23, 2011

three dog night

Something different happened today, and it made me a little uncomfortable. I was out raking snow off the outbuildings, checking on the animals, and doing usual winter chores when I got incredibly tired. I mean, buckling tired. It was how I felt when I was recovering from the campylobacter, and it scared me. I wasn't cold (I was really bundled up). I wasn't feeling sick. And I wasn't dehydrated or doing too much. I made sure to stagger chores to make sure the work was in smaller chunks, but damn, I was just done and it was only 2:30. I came inside, threw some logs in the stove, and made myself get under the heated blanket on the daybed with a book and sleep for an hourw with Annie. The alarm went off at 4PM and everything hurt. My arms sore from raking, my head swirling. I had a cold glass of water and felt better and went outside to use the rest of the daylight to line the sheep shed with clean bedding for the big freeze tonight.

I never nap. I just don't. It is really unusual for me to have to shut down like that. I just feel weak today, and have since Friday. I'm not coughing. I have no fever. My appetite is the same monstrous appetite I always have....I just feel thinner, like stretched out linen. I'm either getting sick, or getting some sort of winter fatigue.

Well, at least the farm is in good shape. I have a pile of dry wood inside for the night and tomorrow. Snow raked off the barn, sheds, and coop. The sheep have clean water in their defrosted tank and fresh bedding (plus all the hay they can eat). The chickens, rabbits, and geese got extra bedding and corn too, and so did Pig. The trucks is gassed up. The driveway is plowed. I did my level best. Now the only thing left to do is sip tea, rest, and curl up for the three-dog night. (For me, this is a literal as well as figurative statement.) Oh well, the only way out, is through.

Thank you for all your tips. I used many today.
I hear there might be another big storm this week?



Blogger Earthdrummer said...

Hey Jenna girl...I think it may be the cold. I feel the same way, and I don't have as many critters...just wood and chickens, and super cold out.

It just gets to us, makes us tired and cranky. Remember to take your vitamins, soak up some nettle and drink it every day for strength. It's certainly not summertime, so take it slower.
Stay warm girlfriend! And take a moment to bless yourself, as well as all those babies you care for!

January 23, 2011 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger David Shearer said...

Getting older, maybe? I've taken a mid day nap since I was in my thirties. It makes a world of difference for me!

January 23, 2011 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger Amy McPherson Sirk said...

Late winter is always rough for me. I seem to be at the end of my energy reserves. As the days get longer I'll recover but right now all I want to do is eat and sleep. If your body wants a nap that bad, I say take one.

January 23, 2011 at 8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet the nap was the best thing you could do. You've had a lot on your plate: extra work with the cold, interviews, car stress,etc. Sometimes our bodies will talk to us and force us to listen.

January 23, 2011 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

Take care, hopefully your tiredness isn't the precursor to some virus coming on.

January 23, 2011 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger KellyV (Kelly the Fifth) said...

You could be getting sick Jenna. OR - you are underestimating how very hard you are working. And it is so easy to get dehydrated in cold weather. It dries off yourself before you feel the sweat. Just think how much skiers drink. It is not just for the buzz - it is because they are so dehydrated. Watch yourself. Embrace a nap when needed. Pace, pace, pace. Rest. Cut down on extraneous chores that really can wait as you are using up your energy staying warm outside as you tend the animals. We are all with you Missy.

January 23, 2011 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger stace41971 said...

The flu has hit out house...and I started out exhausted with a headache. Hopefully that isn't whats up with you.
Get a good nights sleep and hopefully you'll feel better tomorrow! :)

January 23, 2011 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Ok perhaps I'm hypersensitive about the issue, I had a heart attack at the age of 37, but I wouldn't brush off the possibility of this being a warning sign. MI symptoms are different for women than for men so chest/neck pain, shortness of breath, nausea may not present itself. It's also possible to get a virus in the heart that doesn't show any symptoms until it's too late. A quick easy circulation check is to pinch down on a fingernail for a second or two and then release it. The color should come right back.

Most likely it's something simple like fatigue, but it wouldn't hurt to just check in with your doctor especially if there is a family history of heart disease.

Get some rest and only do the essentials, were only half way through.

January 23, 2011 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Well Jenna, the truth of the matter is now you are like a mother and can't be sick. You have to get up tomorrow and care for your livestock because there is no one else.
If I were you, I would take 3 Aspirin, drink some Braggs vinegar and honey in water and go to bed.
I just got locked out of my house in 3 degree weather with the wind blowing. I got in through the basement and when I went to let the dogs in they looked at me as if to say, why are you spoiling our fun in the snow. Go figure. You would think they would have an appreciation for lounging in front of a wood stove.

January 23, 2011 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your house?

January 23, 2011 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

The other thing could be that you need some Vitamin D, which you won't be getting if it's been overcast for awhile.

I hope you're not getting sick- that would just suck.

I worked with a girl whose older sister came home one Friday night, went straight to bed, and didn't wake up until Sunday afternoon. She freaked out her whole family, but she didn't feel bad, just tired. She was just fine after getting a big rest. Maybe you're just exhausted.

I hope that's all it is...

January 23, 2011 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Mama said...

Jenna, you've been under a lot of emotional and physical stress lately. You're shouldering a full time job and a full time farm with little respite. It only makes sense that you need to nap. Don't feel badly about it--seize the time to rest when you can. Your body is letting you know that you need a little downtime. Since you rely on only yourself for all of this, you should listen to your body and give it its due.

Hugs and sweet dreams with your dogs.

January 23, 2011 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I think Kitchen Mama has it right. Stress.

I do have a carbon detector (2), and I don't think it's heart disease (but thank you for that advice). I hope it's not a virus (coughing started tonight). But I think it's stress. I need to learn how to slow down and let go of it.

January 23, 2011 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Ivy Mae said...

Maybe this sounds silly since I'm a Floridian, but do you think you might be having some seasonal affective disorder? I get it every year (it started when I went to college in Illinois) and it affects me in way more physical ways than just my mood. I get bone-crushingly tired and achy and weak. I agree with everyone who's telling you to take it easy, emotionally and physically. Wish we were neighbors--I'd pitch in to help out!

January 23, 2011 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Hi Jenna, thanks for asking for cold weather tips; it isn't as cold down here in SE MA but it's plenty cold enough for us. I didn't know half that stuff. Take care of yourself, and take yourself to the Dr as soon as you would if it were, say, one of the dogs.

January 23, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

From the brief time I've been reading your blog, I can honestly say it makes me tired just reading about all that you do, much less actually doing it all like you do! Plus, doing it all alone! I have two young children, a job, etc. and in the fall the stress got the best of me and I went through two months of exhaustion, nausea and other symptoms that the docs just couldn't figure out. It sucked but it did spur me to start taking better care of myself and exercising regularly again and now I am feeling so much better. All this is to say that perhaps you are under more stress than you realize (or I imagine you do realize it and just have to deal with it the best you can) and this could be causing the unusual tiredness. If you can, nap, go to bed earlier than usual, and implement some extra self-care measures. It will be worth it!

January 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM  
Blogger Mim said...

I live in California and while we have had very cold weather for us (nothing like you've had at all) it has been very foggy. And when you live in the bottom of a canyon, sun is rare in the winter on a good day...after a week of that, and the previous weeks of rain and daily hard frosts, it was all I could do to not fall asleep with the grandbaby mid morning! I had to drag myself to do chores and simply going outside to tend to our few animals was exhausting and, frankly, depressing.
Three days ago, the sun came out!
I went down the toad and stood in it!
Made all the difference in the world.
Now couple that with all of the stress you've had lately...listen to your body, rest, regroup, and I think your strength will be back soon.
I'll be praying for sun your way ASAP :)

January 23, 2011 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Carol G said...

Jenna, do you use vitamin D? It may be that your stores in your body are low (probably are) and that causes fatigue, low moods, lowered immune system among many other problems. It is a big issue here in Alaska, but I know it is also a problem in the lower 48. Get some Vitamin D3 and take about 4000 units a day for the next month or two, then get on a maintenance dose of 1-2000 units a day until you are getting at least 15-20 minutes of sun on uncovered skin a day to get it naturally.

January 23, 2011 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Reason's Whore said...

If it continues and doesn't develop into the flu or something ordinary, you should see a doctor. Sudden extreme fatigue like that could indicate a serious illness.

January 23, 2011 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger Reason's Whore said...

I had a severe vitamin D deficiency last year. For me it resulted mostly terrible mood disorder and increased vulnerability to illness. I feel better and get sick much less now that I take vitamin D regularly. Apparently it's a widespread problem in the population, so you might get yours checked.

January 23, 2011 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Sheephollow said...

Have you ever had your thyroid checked?

January 23, 2011 at 10:09 PM  
Blogger Nerissa said...

I know a few people have mentioned it but it took me a lot of tips before I tried it.

Anyways, Vit D is a huge help. HUGE. I don't realize I have the wintertime blues (and assume a lot of people don't) so its hard to identify it in yourself but just one little Vit D pill a day really helps.

January 23, 2011 at 10:58 PM  
Blogger Sylvan said...

Hi Jenna,

I agree with Paula and Reasons Whore that you might be lacking in Vitamin D. Taking a couple thousand IU per day in the winter months often times makes a huge difference in one's energy level as well as one's mood. When you need it and it is replenished it is literally like someone turns on a light - Wow!

Rooting for you!

January 23, 2011 at 11:20 PM  
Blogger Gelfling said...

Stress and cold are a wicked combination. I have been sleeping more in the past few weeks than I think I slept all summer long... being outside doing ANYTHING in the cold just wears me down terribly... and makes me more likely to catch whatever bug is coming down the road. When I feel that way, I take some extra iron, use my neti pot and add some reishi and chaga to my tea. Whether these things actually help fight oncoming illness, or if it's just the simple ritual of doing something to take extra care of myself, I don't know... but I always feel better.

January 23, 2011 at 11:53 PM  
Blogger Corey Jace said...

Alright I have read your blog for over a year know, I loved your book, Honey you don’t need a man. You need a gay best friend. That article you worth was awesome Explicative those Veg heads. You’re a beautiful, strong woman, YOU GO GIRL. Though still love pig. I live in Harlem NY. I farm the hell out of my roof top. Chickens, zucchini, you name it. If you ever want to talk I m so hear. Best of luck.

January 24, 2011 at 1:15 AM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

I just wrote the longest comment and its gone??!?!
argg!! now am out of time I will have to come back later darn!!

January 24, 2011 at 2:16 AM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

Let me try again lol!
I wrote a month or so back that I felt like Bilbo~stretched thin~not right~like butter spread too thin over bread.
Its a horrid feeling.

I know what its like to manage alone as well,I am single parent to my darling twins, I also have a cranky elderly father living here,I am housekeeper at the manor and its been shoot season since end of October..ends soon thank heck!Theres the flock of ewes plus meat lambs,geese and tons of hens,I take in washing for work and also on a self emplyed basis clean and odd job for people.

Couple of years back before my marriage ended I collapsed going up some stair,I had numbness,shakes, you name it, I ended up having scans for MS,I was terrified,turned out 'all it was' was plain old stress.

I think if you are mentally strong, then sometimes te body says hmmm I will floor this one! that will get her to stop! and ponder on things.

Last year I had flu and pneumonia, dad didnt count the flock and the ram hung himself in the hedge....
There is terrific responsability with livestock especially the out in a field kind to the 'in the handy back garden kind'!

You have a huge house Jenna, there will be someone out there PERFECT as a lodger, they will be a God Send as an extra pair of hnds and company,someone to offload too, I know how hard it is being on your own sometimes.

I go bed most nights at 8pm, in the thick of winter I was turning in at 7.30pm, why?because i knew the coming day was going to be as hard as the last one!I have zero social life lol theres barely time to do the essentials in the day as it is.What I have found helps is doing an online grcery shop,can you do that there?to get it delivered at a time that suits me(ie not hurled in the cottage becasue I have to get up the lane to the school to collect the smalls!) and no driving to town to get it, has been a huge help this month,I think I am a convert to it!

This will pass x
Its overwhelming sometimes thinking crikey its all down to me.And sometimes that fear of what will happen if we are ill or incapacitated manifests as an illness or a bug x x x

Could you add a work hour to each day mon~thurs and leave early Friday? that might help a bit? Ihave learnt as well that asking for help is sometimes the only way forward,its not a weakness its being strong.
God Bless x x
and take care.
GTM x x x

January 24, 2011 at 2:49 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

I agree vitmin d.
I agree get a lodger, or better yet an apprentice (to help with the chores) or better yet yet become a WWOOF host and meet LOADS of lovely people who help do the chores, like we have.

Oh and this is the condition that gives rise to the best advice I have ever had, which may mean that you don't take any of the above advice (except the vitamin d) in too much of a hurry.

'Never make a decision in Feburary'

January 24, 2011 at 3:09 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

Am thinking of you battling the outside cold and perhaps the inner self cold?

January 24, 2011 at 3:18 AM  
Blogger Chance said...

Jenna --

I agree with all of the above tips etc. and I want to empahasize two tips 1) Start taking Vitamin D (1,000 I.U.) right this minute. Mid-winter New England, pretty much everyone is low. BTW, a symptom of low thyroid is weirdly, thinning eyebrows. But it sounds like anemia to me, common and undiagnosed in women your age, because everyone is too busy to get a blood test and 2) there is a hellacious flu burning through Vermont right now that involves first spiking a low fever for a few days (about 100 degrees) which leads to profound fatigue (no other symptoms) and then the upper respiratory symptoms

If you get this again, randomly out of the blue, consider a check-up (said in my most momlike voice, saying consider is just being polite, you will get a blood test).

The key is *sudden* onset of fatgue -- gets my spidey sense up. If I had to pick, my dx would be anemia plus stress. Get your levels tested, please. Anemia, low thyroid, low Vitamin D are all easily treatable, but the time you lost to fatigue because you were too busy to get a blood test is not replaceable. Call yr doctor....and stay warm. -4 below in Burlington.

January 24, 2011 at 5:46 AM  
Blogger Chance said...

Oh wrong. Let me correct that temperature so you know you are not alone in the artic -- it's 14.6 below zero in Burlington. High of 1 degree today. Jeez, it is wicked cold out there.

January 24, 2011 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

I'm guessing stress got you. Just for grins, next time you're at the local drugstore, if they've got a blood-pressure monitor, check yourself out. If it's high, don't panic but keep an eye on it. High BP can make you tire out in the middle of the day. You're so young I rather think it was just stress, but what the heck---check, son.

January 24, 2011 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger Laughter said...

I had similar symptoms for awhile. It felt like I just could NOT stay awake a moment longer. Finally, I had a blood test. (I thought I had Lyme.) It turns out that I had iron deficiency anemia. Easy fix, take a multi-vitamin with iron, and iron suppliments.

January 24, 2011 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

well if it's stress, take vitamin c high dose timed release until your pee turns bright green.
I learned that from Acres magazine about cows.
Not the bright green pee part, the stress and vitamin c part.
When I am stressed I can take the most astounding amounts of vit c without starting to .. er .. recycle it!

January 24, 2011 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hope you feel better by the time you get this.

January 24, 2011 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Sarah Fain said...

My writing partner experienced something similar several years ago, and it turned out she was diabetic-- adult onset, type one. Might be worth having your blood sugar tested-- it's a simple test, and a manageable disease. Hope it's nothing, and that you feel better soon!

January 24, 2011 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger The Craigs said...

Jenna, maybe seasonal affective disorder? You are living through a very long, cold, dark, winter. You are also under a tremendous amount of stress right now. You will make it; be sure to give your body the rest it needs so that you can recover more quickly. Take this advice about rest from someone who has learned the hard way, more than once.

January 26, 2011 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger Infinite Possibilities said...


Maybe whatever hit your system and made you feel so depleted was the same thing that hit the little critters that passed? Just a thought.

January 27, 2011 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Infinite Possibilities said...


Have you ever heard of Bach's Flower Essences? There is ONE in particular that you and the farm shouldn't be without. It's called "Rescue Remedy" and it is AMAZING stuff. It doesn't cost too much either. Anyhow, check it out. I think it would really be a benefit for you (and the kids) right now.

Be well girlie,

January 27, 2011 at 1:32 PM  

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