Saturday, April 17, 2010

Snapshots of Adrenal Fatigue

Snapshots of Adrenal Fatigue

I have been asked, 'what does adrenal fatigue feel like'. I have a dear friend who always asks what does it look like, how does it feel. She so sweetly wants to understand.

I wanted to share "snapshots" of adrenal fatigue and how it affects me and my family. From what I have read from other people who struggle with a chronic illness, certainly some of these things overlap. Maybe the following will help you understand what somebody in your life might feel.

*I never know just how much energy I will have on any given day. One day I might actually get to do many normal household or parenting things and the next have no energy for anything. I simply cannot plan my days out.

*My heart often aches as I see others, namely my husband, bearing the burdens that I am meant to bear, or having to do all the things I used to be able to do with ease.

*Everywhere I turn, there is a constant reminder of what I am not doing or what I used to do. It can be as simple as a dirty sink or as big as teaching my children school. I will see Brian doing school with the children in the evening, and while I am so thankful he does it, it is one more reminder of what I am not doing.

*Often times I cannot pull the words from the deep recesses of my mind. It is like trying to call one of your children, but calling them the wrong name, only much worse. If you do this, you know how frustrating it can be. I do this several times a day. It takes a tremendous amount of energy just to get the word out of my mouth, only to have it be the wrong word. Thank God my children know me so well, they stop me as they see my frustration and almost always know what I am trying to say.

*All day long I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water emotionally and spiritually. As the day goes on it feels like I am hit wave after wave with emotions. It's like I barely get my feet under me and another wave rolls over me, knocking me down. I'll see my baby, knowing I can't handle training him or playing with him outside . . . or I'll see my grandson, knowing I want to see him more often, but don't have the energy to do so . . . Brian struggling to work, provide, be daddy and mommy . . . seeing the children long to talk to me, but me unable to listen . . .

*I can barely, on a good day, think more than one thing at a time. This, from the queen of multitasking. The frustration of trying to cook a meal, which I used to do without even thinking, now takes great mental focus, and then to have a child walk into the room and want to tell me something! It puts me right over the edge.

*There are days that the exhaustion is so heavy that I almost ache with tiredness. Walking to the bathroom sometimes feels like to far a trip. It feels like I am trying to walk through neck deep mud.

*Most days, it is a constant (non-stop) battle fighting discouragement. The thoughts bombard me one right after the other. This alone can wear me out. I admit, I often just give into the discouragement because I just can't fight it anymore for that moment.

*Self-pity tries to pull me down daily. It is like a vicious attack. It is like I know I am so blessed and have it so much easier or better than someone else, but you still feel miserable. Then, to add insult to injury, I feel such condemnation because I do have it so good, I am not dying of cancer or have lost a husband or . . . 'what is my problem?' I hear in my head.

*I feel so 'lost'. There seems to be no real purpose to my days. I think this one is so hard because so much of who I am is wrapped up in what I do. I am a mama, home school teacher, wife, manager of this home, yet now I can't do all those things. It really shakes me at times as I learn my identity and value is not in what I do.

*No matter how hard I try to plan something out or hope to do something, it usually doesn't happen. So, I give up trying to figure it out, go with the flow, ect., but I just feel so lost. I have no idea what I will be able to handle, or when I might 'crash'. I try to be optimistic, but then I get devastated when I crash.

*One fear I have to battle is that of something really big happening. My body can barely handle the everyday stresses. The thought of something big like, a death, an accident, a major illness, something traumatic happening to someone close to me, strikes fear in me. I see how my body responds to a child screaming, a door slamming, I cannot fathom something big happening. (nor should I, I know ;-)

These are just some of the things that come to my mind as I share little snapshots into my world of adrenal fatigue. I suspect many of you can so totally relate to many of these. For those of you who are healthy and maybe know someone struggling with a physical illness, I pray this gives you some insight that might help you.

One more thing that is so hard. When you see me looking 'normal', make up on and smiling, this does NOT mean everything is all better and I am fine now. It might just be that moment, or I am faking it pretty well, or I will most definitely 'pay' for the energy you are seeing right now, but be assured, everything is not all better.

This is not meant in anyway to come off as complaining. I know we all have sometimes huge struggles we go through. It is just life. God is still beyond good and faithful. I am so richly blessed by being His daughter and I really do have the most amazing life! Hear my heart.


  1. I can relate! You are not in any way complaining! I feel you are sharing your struggles, and for that I am glad. It helps to share, it lets others and yourself know that you are not alone, and it gives us something specific that we can pray for.
    As I said before, I can relate. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, which has caused insulin resistance, fatigue, weight gain and a whole long list of stuff. And while I can go about most days in what appears to be a fine state, I am exhausted, and struggle just to get the basics done.
    I will continue to pray for you. Thank you so much for sharing. Just wanted you to know you are not alone.

  2. Wow! I can completely relate to so much of what you have written....we have many things in common. I have blogged some of my journey, but it is hard to keep up with my blogging just with dealing with everything else in life. :) I look forward to reading your previous posts. May the Lord bless you, encourage you, and strengthen you as you seek to serve Him each day.

  3. Cindy sent me to your site as I just blogged a bit about my doctor's new discovery. I've suspected it for 3 years. He has been treating me for Adrenal fatigue but has come to the conclusion that I am in the early stages of Addisons (adrenal failure). You don't mention Addisons. Does that mean you do not have it? I have done a great deal of research on Addisons and my thryoid since it has been a 3 year nightmare to regulate the thryroid. The adrenals we are still trying to regulate. Most doctors won't touch trying to treat me. It would be nice to share information and tips that work well if your interested. Not to mention just supporting each other. My doctor has a degree in nutrition and herbs along with a doctors degree so he includes many supplements that the adrenals and thryroid gland use as their main fuel. I homeschooled for 15 years and we probably have much in common. If you're interested my email address is and my blog is

  4. Today is February 8, 2011 I have just stumbled on your blog, I truly believe God sent me here. For 4 years I have battled an overwhelming and worsening fatigue and mind fog that doctors, siblings and children did not understand. Five months ago I switched Dr's that was a good thing, 4 months ago, my beloved sister who is a nurse by profession saw for the first time a "flair" coming upon me. Her observation skills plus the internet sent me back to the doctor with more ammunition. Adrenal Fatigue a precursor to Addison's disease. God bless my Doc, he listened and admitted that he doesn't know what to do, but he is committed to learning to help me. I am now functioning, I am now living, I am blessed.
    How does anyone describe the fatigue? A fatigue so intense you cannot hold up your head, breathing takes effort. At one time I slept 20 hours a day. I am rambling but I am so happy to have found you.

    My one constant reminder during the worst of the fatigue is Through HIM all things are possible. I can learn to live with anything with Him at my side.

    God bless you and your family