A personal share about Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Graphic from theloverscooking.com

*Please note – the information contained in this post is not from someone of a medical background. It’s the explanation of a story to share and hopefully inform. Questions regarding this subject should be directed to a doctor or medical professional.

In 2018, after feeling utterly exhausted and ill for a long period of time, a doctor sent me for a blood test. This, being the first of many blood tests that I had done in 2018, revealed that I was/am severely deficient in Vitamin B12.

I’m sharing this story because it’s estimated that as many as 1 in 4 people are deficient in Vitamin B12 and attributing their tell-tale symptoms to something else. It seems like such a small thing, being deficient in one Vitamin, but it makes a world of difference in how your body and mind function.


The following information is from HealthLink BC (view more information here>)

What is the issue? Having vitamin B12 deficiency means that your body does not have enough of this vitamin. You need B12 to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen through your body. Not having enough B12 can lead to anemia, which means your body does not have enough red blood cells to do the job. This can make you feel weak and tired. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause damage to your nerves and can affect memory and thinking.

What causes it? Most people get more than enough B12 from eating meat, eggs, milk, and cheese. Normally, the vitamin is absorbed by your digestive system—your stomach and intestines. Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia usually happens when the digestive system is not able to absorb the vitamin. This can happen if:

  • You have pernicious anemia. In this anemia, your body destroys the cells in your stomach that help you absorb vitamin B12.
  • You have had surgery to remove part of the stomach or the last part of your small intestine, called the ileum. This includes some types of surgery used to help very overweight people lose weight.
  • You have problems with the way your body digests food, such as sprue (also called celiac disease), Crohn’s disease, bacteria growth in the small intestine, or a parasite.

This anemia can also happen if you don’t eat enough foods with B12. People who eat a vegan diet and older adults who don’t eat a variety of foods may need to take a daily vitamin pill to get enough B12. Other causes include drinking alcohol and taking some prescription and non-prescription medicines.

What are the symptoms? If your vitamin B12 deficiency is mild, you may not have symptoms or you may not notice them. Some people may think they are just the result of growing older. As the anemia gets worse, you may:

  • Feel weak, tired, and light-headed.
  • Have pale skin.
  • Have a sore, red tongue or bleeding gums.
  • Feel sick to your stomach and lose weight.
  • Have diarrhea or constipation.

If the level of vitamin B12 stays low for a long time, it can damage your nerve cells. If this happens, you may have:

  • Numbness or tingling in your fingers and toes.
  • A poor sense of balance.
  • Depression.
  • Dementia, a loss of mental abilities.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can also weaken your body’s ability to fight off infection, due to the lack of production of red blood cells. For me, the biggest symptom I suffered was a persistent infection that my body could not fight off. No amount of natural or medicinal remedies could cure the infection. Following the results of the blood test, the doctor attributed my lack of ability to fighting off the infection to my lack of B12.

The Blood test results showed that my body has less than half the recommended levels of B12 in my body. The B12 in my body was so low, The Doctor actually gave me a shot of B12 that very day before I left his office.

Symptoms I was experiencing with B12 deficiency:

  • Extreme exhaustion – I was having difficulties being awake for four hour periods at a time and sleeping, at times, up to 20 hours a day.
  • Persistent Infection – One that I could not get over, naturally or with antibiotics
  • Persistent Headaches – I had a headache every day.
  • Unbearable brain fog – I felt almost as though there was a dark cloud clogging my brain that was causing me to have issues thinking, reading and talking.
  • Joint Pain – I had frequent joint pain in weird parts of my body that I couldn’t explain. My mom said that I was arthritic like her, but when I started taking B12 supplements, the joint pain went away.

Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in the following foods:

  • Beef, liver, fish and shellfish
  • Dairy products: Milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Eggs

Honestly, if you find yourself feeling frequently exhausted, look at your diet and see how much of these foods you eat or do not eat. Could your body be lacking in B12? Increasing B12 in your body is always a benefit and if you are low in the Vitamin, it’s a natural way to boost your body’s immunity.

Unfortunately, for me, these foods are not foods that I am able to eat, due to allergy, celiac disease and lactose-intolerance (which is likely why I was so deficient).


Additional note

There is medical research comparing a lack of B12 in the body to increased rates of depression and anxiety.

What’s the relationship between vitamin B-12 and depression?

Can a B-12 deficiency cause depression?

Half-baked? B vitamins and depression

Is lack of B12 cause your depression? From what I’ve read, very likely not. Could having more B12 improve your symptoms and make your depression seem less awful? From what I’ve read, probably.


As with all things you red on the internet that contain information about health, I would HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend speaking to your doctor about it if you do have questions. I’m not a dcotor, and I’m not stating that anything in this article is anything more than personal experience and information from the internet.

So please, please, please, whether you’re experiencing similar symptoms or have questions about something you’re dealing with, talk to your doctor.

Twitter and Instagram

I would like to boost the morale of my Twitter and Instagram feeds through finding new and exciting accounts. The feeds of both have been a tad down lately, with everything that’s going on in this world, and I just want to find some new accounts to brighten up m feed.

If you have a Twitter or an Instagram account and wouldn’t mind if I checked it out, please leave a comment with your username.

I just need some more sunshine in my life. You know what I mean?

(Oh, and if you want to check mine out, I am @ohmillennials on both Twitter and Instagram. Just in case you see me creeping your instagram stories)

Letters to anyone,

I’m not sure what it is about 1:00 am that really draws me in but I seem to find myself in the same place, every night.

I was fifteen years old when I first fell in love. The feeling, unlike anything I’d ever known before in my life, took over me like a fire engulfing a home in a mere matter of seconds. Before I knew it, I was flat on the pavement wishing for the ability to be anywhere but where I was.

It’s funny how life does that to us… knocking us on our ass when we least expect it, testing us, seeing what we’re capable of and how long we can withstand the pain of heartbreak and heartache.

You know, Michelangelo believed the best way to judge the essential elements of a sculpture was to throw it down a hill and the unimportant pieces would break off. Sometimes, I think, life is like that. It tosses us down a hill. But when we reach the bottom and only the important things are left, that’s when our vision clears.

Would I go back in time and change anything? Certainly not. Could I have been smarter, done better or avoided the heartbreak? Certainly, absolutely, and not at all. When I made it through that, my vision cleared. The beauty of heartbreak is that it teaches us, not only about ourselves and who we are. but heartbreak teaches us what we want for our lives and what we don’t want. And 15 year old me, well she had a lot to learn.

I’ve heard people say that if you wait long enough, if you hold out hope and always keep trying, good things will come. And I think, slowly but surely they do. I don’t think it’s a massive change, as though you get to wake up one morning and be a completely different person. I think it’s much more subtle than that. We make small improvements every day and suddenly that heartbreak that encapsulated our entire existence seems like a distant memory.

The heartbreak I am suffering these days, it’s a different kind of heartbreak. I do think the same principles apply, though. 30 year old me, she still has a lot to learn. And this heartbreak, it may not be over a boy, but if you asked me honestly I would tell you it hurts just the same.

Well, I had this all thought out in my head and now that I’m here, I’m having a hard time drawing this to a close. I want to say something profound, something hopeful, something thoughtful, but I can’t. Small changes, I guess. One day at a time. If you’re there, if you’re struggling, if you’ve been tossed down the hill, just remember that those unimportant pieces are falling off (being left behind) for a reason.

Sincerely, Vee.

Friday’s are for…?

I don’t even know where to start.

Wilson was elated to see all of us show up at the hospital this afternoon. He’s a bit of a handy-man by nature. Even at 85 years old he is still someone who made his own repairs to his home and changed the oil in his vehicle on his own, things like that. So, instead of bringing him flowers today, the neighbourhood all went to the hardware store and each bought him a tiny tool to sit on his windowsill in his hospital room. Kind of like… a little touch of him can be there since he’s not allowed to go home.

I truly think he was shocked as heck to see so many people today. But I’m taking that as a good sign. I think in times like these, the best things you can give someone is a smile, and this neighbourhood definitely did that for him today.

If you believe in it, send some positive juju to the universe for Wilson. He’s going to need it in the coming weeks. Today his son told us the doctor’s said it could be a few days, it could be a few weeks, they’re not sure how long he’s got left. The son says once he gets permission to he’s going to take Wilson home to his house (the son) to look after him in his final days. So send some positive juju for the son, too. I can’t imagine that’s easy to deal with.

In another update, I spent two hours on hold this morning to deal with the bank and PayPal to get my credit card sorted out.

PayPal has agreed with me that the transfers appear to be fully fraudulent and they said they will be refunding me within 7-10 business days.

My credit card has been cancelled (as a safety precaution) to ensure that no more charges are made to the card now that the information could possibly be compromised. The bank has told me that I should receive a new card within 7-10 business days.

The stupid part of all of this is that I haven’t even made a purchase on PayPal since 2015. And I’ve only ever made one purchase on PayPal. I’d forgotten all about any existing account with them due to lack of using it. I didn’t need the account so I forgot all about it. The whole situation is all too frustrating. I’ve been trying so hard to be good and not purchase unnecessary things and save my money and then someone goes and steals it. Well, I’m presuming it’s someone at this point.

I have to keep my PayPal account long enough for them to refund me. After that, I’m deleting it and never dealing with PayPal again.

My lesson in this? Don’t have leave your credit card information on sites you don’t use, or sites at all, really. It’s not that hard to rewrite your credit card number each time you purchase something online.

Also, sign up for text alerts from your bank. If they hadn’t texted me this morning notifying me of ‘Suspicious Purchases’ on my card, I wouldn’t have known for a while. I maybe check my bank balances once a week, if that. I don’t know how I signed up for text alerts from my bank, I don’t remember ever doing it. Let me tell you though, I am damn sure glad I had them today.

Love thy neigbour

There’s a wise old man that lives next door to my parents that we aptly refer to as ‘Wilson’. He always seems to poke up from the other side of the fence to provide insights, wisdom or just a happy hello when we’re out in the yard. If you’ve ever seen the show Home Improvement, you’ll understand the reference to a neighbour that shares his wisdom from behind the fence.

We haven’t seen Wilson in a few days and it’s been weird. Usually if he’s going out of town he’ll tell us so that my dad can go over and mow his lawn for him and pick the papers off his step, etc…

Wilson’s truck hasn’t been in his driveway for about a week, so today when his truck was finally in the driveway again, my dad went over to see how he was doing and ask where his abrupt holiday had taken him to.

Instead of finding Wilson, like my dad had expected, he met Wilson’s son.

Wilson has been in the hospital for the past week. He fainted in the grocery store seven days ago and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. The doctors, while running tests, found a lump in his head, at the back where the skull meets the spine. Upon further testing/research/inspection, Wilson has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor.

His son said that his dad doesn’t have much time left and that he won’t be coming home. Because of that, he’d come to get some of his things to make him more comfortable at the hospital.

You know, I rag on this town a lot. I do. I’ll admit to that. I like small towns but I’ve never wanted to live in one. I’ve always considered myself a city person. But today, damn. I saw the magic of a small town today.

We, before his son had even left, decided that we wanted to go see Wilson at the hospital. When my dad went back to ask his son if he’d be okay with that his son was really taken aback by the request and said we were absolutely welcome. My mom and I then went to speak with Felicia, who lives on the other side of Wilson, to let her know about what the son had told us. Felicia, as shocked by the update as we were, said she was coming with us and that she wanted to go across the street to tell Carol and Dave. Twenty minutes later Carol, Dave and Felicia were at our door asking if Carol and Dave could come with us to the hospital as well. Carol and Dave went to Wanda’s house and told her, and the whole thing sort of… snowballed, I guess you could say.

There are ten houses on this side of the block. Within two hours of talking to Felicia this afternoon, someone had come to our door from each and every one of the houses on the street to ask if they could come with us tomorrow.

I think that in itself is a testament to what a wonderful human being Wilson is and how much impact he’s had on people in this neighbourhood. I think it’s also a testament to small-towns. This man, this neighbour, he’s important to everyone.

We’ll be going to see Wilson tomorrow at 1:00 pm. And I really hope that, despite the dire situation he finds himself in, the fact that his whole neighbourhood will basically be showing up for him, brings some smiles to his face and joy to his heart. He deserves it.

My parents have lived Wilson for 12 years. During that time he’s come outside every single day to share his wisdom and stories and happy greetings from the other side of the fence. It’s amazing what such a small thing can mean to a person when you really stop to think about it.

I’m not really sure what to expect from tomorrow. I’m just sad that such a wonderful man has to struggle in this way.


Honestly, this is a tangent but it isn’t a tangent. If there’s anything going on with you right now that you think you should get checked out or that you’re worried about or that you’re telling yourself to not go to the doctor about – go to the doctor. Seriously. Go to the doctor. Find out now. It could be absolutely nothing. And, I hope and pray for you that it is nothing. But if it’s something… it’s damn sure better to find it out early.

Sorry for inserting my opinion when it was not asked for. Just please ensure that you’re looking after yourself.

Dear Universe,

If there was ever a moment, a time in which you could send me a signal, a sign, a jolt of hope or reason – now would be amazing.

I don’t need much. Just something that let’s me know everything’s going to be okay and that it won’t be like this forever.

Just a small sign, universe. I’m here and I’m trying. And I’m ready for a sign. No matter how small. I just want to know that it’s all going to end up okay.

Never apologize for being a powerful fucking woman.

Excuse my language, please. I felt the need to include the ‘f-word’ in there as an accentuation of the statement.

There are a lot of people in this world that believe women should be subservient to the male gender. There are a lot of people in this world that believe women shouldn’t have opinions, shouldn’t speak up and shouldn’t stand up for themselves. There are a lot of people in this world believe women should be quiet, stay on the sidelines, never cause a fuss and always have a smile on their face.

DO NOT listen to those people.

Be strong. Be fierce. Be an ally for good. Be a powerful warrior for change. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel as though you’re less than everything you know you are and you know you’re capable of. Have opinions. Share your opinions. Don’t back down if someone mistreats you, stand up for yourself. Don’t take shit from anyone.

I think there’s a misconception in this world that women are too sensitive to be powerful. That we’re too compassionate to be strong. That we’re too giving and forgiving to stand up for ourselves. That’s simply not the truth. You can be kind, caring, compassionate, sensitive, giving, fierce and strong. You can be a force for change and you can force change.

Don’t ever allow anyone to let you feel as though you’re anything less than Goliath on a good day. And, most importantly, don’t ever apologize for being a powerful fucking woman.