Happy Sunday my friends. I’ve had a very busy week….with ups and downs. It’s hard to believe that just over a month ago, I was housebound and had been for a very long time! If I drove my son to school or drove to the pharmacy, I considered that a huge win for me.
This week, I have left the house everyday. It felt amazing!! I felt like my normal self again, before I got sick. I ran a ton of errands, I went to a doctor appointment, I drove into Portland and picked up my brother and took him to an appointment he had downtown, I drove to Clackamas to pick up my daughter from her Dad’s house, I drove to Tigard to take my daughter to get pampered, I cooked dinner and did some housecleaning, I just kept pushing myself to do more and more.
I also had quite a bit of stress come up, which I proactively handled. I was really proud of myself. I’ve been battling a really dangerous infection, which normally would have landed me straight into the hospital. The stress I’ve been under would likely have landed me in the hospital as well. Pushing myself with as much as I did would have landed me in the hospital.
Being on the adrenal pump has been an incredibly huge blessing in my life. It has literally given me my life back. Has it been all roses? Unfortunately not. It has come with a whole new set of rules and responsibilities for me. It’s been even more of a learning curve in the past month than in the 2 years of being diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency. I literally learn something new about my body every single day.
Here’s where it gets tricky. My body still has AI. My adrenal glands still don’t work like a healthy person’s adrenal glands. In a healthy body, the adrenal glands know when to produce more cortisol automatically. I don’t have that luxury and I never will. I have to constantly monitor how I’m feeling and what symptoms I’m having to know when I need extra cortisol. And sometimes, when my cortisol is too low, my brain goes into such a deep fog that I have to rely on other people to tell me that there’s something not right with me and that I’m probably low.
As great as I felt this week, I also kept sinking into low cortisol episodes. My brain said go go go, but my body was clearly not on the same page. One morning, I was having an adrenal crisis and I had to wake up my husband to give me an emergency injection. Last night, I was so low in cortisol that I blacked out and all I can remember is that my husband told me that I needed more cortisol and lots of it. I had been on a phone call with a friend who was trying to teach me something about my medications and the pump, and I couldn’t think clearly enough to actually do as she was suggesting. I sent out a couple of text messages that made absolutely no sense, as if I was completely drunk texting, which was not the case. This morning, I had really bad nausea and lower back pain. Those are both symptoms for me of low cortisol, but I didn’t recognize it until my husband pointed it out to me and told me to take extra cortisol. Within minutes, my nausea and pain were gone.
We decided that today is going to be a total day of rest for me. We also came up with a plan to help me recognize when I’m low in cortisol and exactly what I need to do about it, just in case no one is around, and also because this is my body and I am 100% responsible for taking the best care of myself.
I’ve heard a lot of people with AI say they just want to give up. That saddens me. I’ve made it my mission to focus on my health to be the best wife, mother, and friend. When my health is good, I can and do help many other people who are having struggles. It feels as though God is working through me. God has sent angels into my life to help me get to where I am today and I’m here to tell you that giving up is not an option!