I decided to start this blog to journal this journey the Lord has me on toward healing. I have no idea if I will even have time or energy to post or even how often, but here goes.
I have Adrenal Fatigue, actually Adrenal Exhaustion (stage 3). This is probably the best description that I have found of Adrenal Exhaustion.
I will try not to bore you with my health history, but I feel it is important to share the details in the hope that other women might see themselves and seek treatment. My heart is for women, especially Mamas, to be informed and healthy. There is so much misinformation out there and I wish I knew 20 years ago what I know now.
I am 43 years old, extremely happily married and a mama to nine children here on earth as well as five in heaven.
Facts I believe have contributed to or caused my Adrenal Fatigue:
*eating according to the Standard American Diet (SAD) for most of my life.
*several babies and c-sections (while not taking care of myself nutritionally) I would NEVER blame having babies for the Lord for my sickness! It was how I took care of myself, not having the babies!!
*always 'pushing through' even against medical advice.
*in the year 2000, our family experienced a horrible trauma that continued on for about five or six years, and in all reality, continues on a smaller scale to this day. The extreme stress of those years took a significant toll on my body. I continued on with life as usual, what else could I do with several children and homeschooling?
*chronic pain for the last 10 years.
*unable to sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time
My doctor has been passively treating me for Adrenal Fatigue for several years now. Nothing real serious, just sort of keeping me going.
Something changed as of July 17, 2009.
After eating out the night before ( don't know if this is relevant, had horrible chicken) the following day I was very sick to my stomach and extremely weak. To the point of not being able to exercise, which is very unusual for me.
This nausea, weakness and dizziness continued on for about two weeks off and on. We wondered if it was an ectopic pregnancy. I finally had blood work done that really showed nothing.
Severe diarrhea started out of the blue and lasted for about 4 days. When I say severe, I mean 10-15 times a day, especially after I ate.
This left me very weak and dehydrated. The nausea and dizziness continued on.
Then major unexplained anxiety attacks as well extremely emotional. Crying at everything and nothing at the same time.
Four days later I went to my doctor and he gave me some natural supplements to support the apparent hormone issues as well as my adrenals. I actually went from bad to worse as the week went on.
I woke with a severe pain in my neck on Sunday, August 9, 2009. Monday I went to my doctor, he adjusted my neck and tested me for all the supplements I was on. My body was basically screaming NO to most of the supplements I was on, including the ones just a week earlier I tested strong on. This at first seemed odd, but now makes perfect sense as I see my body was shutting down and had a "paradoxical reaction" to the new supplements I was on.
The pain in my neck would not heal, I continued to be very emotional and anxious. It felt like I was inside my body, but I was somehow removed. I am sure it is some form of depression, but it is really wierd. For the first time in my life I simply could not push through. It was not because I didn't want to, but I just could not!
I am still very tired, weak and emotional.
I went to the doctors again a couple of days later, added some different supplements, adjusted my neck again.
For the next two days my dear sweet husband took me away to a hotel to rest and be away from the stress and my wonderful mother took care of the children while we were gone. I rested and slept and cried. After the first day my anxiousness settled down some.
When I came home I was able to have an enjoyable afternoon with the children and took a 2 hour nap, which was unusual for me, as I have only been able to sleep for 20-30 minutes at a time. My neck did start to feel better, finally. I did find out later that unexplained neck or upper back pain is part of this deal.
I also have begun to notice some hair loss, not handfuls by any stretch of the imagination, but way more than I ever do. I don't even lose hair postpartum.
Two other facts that may or may not be relevent are that I have, for the first time in my life, missed my period last month. I mean the first time that I was not pregnant. ;-)
Also, two days before all of this started I finished my second round of a Modified Simeons Diet that my doctor put me on to not only help me lose weight that I absolutely could not no matter how clean my diet has been for years and no matter how much I exercised, but to also heal my pituitary gland. (please don't ask about this diet as it is something him and a collegue of his came up with, it is not available from other doctors as far as I know)
While I one thousand percent trust the Lord lead me to do this, I do wonder if the rapid weight loss and strict diet, though very organic and healthful, in some way was too much stress for my body to handle.
During this exact time frame someone extremely close to me was going through some very significant marital problems and this began to affect me physically more than ever before. Also, God basically offered to 'give' us our dream of living on a farm in Kentucky. So, I don't know if all the stress involved with these two things played a part in this acceleration of my adrenal fatigue or not. Surely it couldn't have helped.
This is just the physical aspect of this journey. There is much more spiritual applications that I hope to share. I don't know about you, but with me and God it is never as simple as one dimension.