I find it sort of ironic that I am posting about being very sick in the middle of a rant on nutritious eating, but who am I to question God's timing in all of this. Also, the only reason I have had time to blog on nutritious eating is because I am so sick. Sort of funny, huh?
I have been sick with various symptoms for over six weeks now. We have only found out in the last couple of weeks what is actually going on. It was a relief to finally be diagnosed, but the recovery time is not short, and that brings a sense of anxiety to me.
I have what is called Adrenal Exhaustion, stage 3. You can read about it at the link provided if you like, just page down to stage 3.
I have had 'adrenal fatigue' for several years and have been treated by my doctor for it. It has been mild and somewhat easy to manage. Actually, compared to this, it was a cake walk.
Symptoms that I have been dealing with are:
*Extreme fatigue (unable to do normal everyday activities)
*Dizziness at all times, but especially when standing
*Very 'foggy' headed
*Anxiety attacks and shortness of breath
*Inability to handle ANY stress
*Hair falling out (not tons)
*Uncontrollable feeling of freezing at times
*Nausea, general upset tummy
There are more, this is the majority of the symptoms. We are unsure if those weeks of feeling sick were actually my decent into stage 3 or if I had food poisoning or a virus that was just too much for my adrenals to handle.
As you can imagine life has come to a screeching halt here. Brian is incredibly understanding and supportive, for which I am so thankful. I feel like I might be going crazy at times, and totally unable to handle the symptoms, and he is always there pulling me through it. He has even had to get a little stern with me at times, as I can be so irrational. He helps calm me through the anxiety attacks. These things really frustrate me because more often than not, I am not even thinking anything and my body just responds to stress with these attacks. I cannot control the breathing and the heaviness in my chest and it makes me crazy!! (Control issues: one of the things God is dealing with me during this time;-)
The children have been incredible, which has been a comfort. My 19 year old son has set a timer on his watch and brings me my supplements every hour. He even called me from Costco to tell me to take them! He has really taken over with meals and the children. My 17 year old son makes sure I am drinking my water and has made me the softest of scrambled eggs everyday this week! All of them have really stepped up to help. We still have issues to deal with and this has brought out some areas that we have really fallen down on the job with training them, but it has been very good. I have a dear friend who just wants to help in any practical way possible, and to be honest, I cannot think of anything that these children and Brian don't have covered.
Apparently, the recovery time for this is about a year!!! You heard that right. Imagine, a passionate, driven homeschooling Mama of nine being told she is going to have to take it incredibly easy for a year! Good one, I thought, but the doctor assured me he was not joking!
These first 2-6 weeks are supposed to be the worst, and I can attest that they seem to be, so far.
Part of the reason I post about this is that I believe adrenal fatigue is more prevalent than most think, especially with mamas. I also believe that the diet that I grew up eating and continued eating into my married life has played a significant role in my health, as I have stated before. Poor diet is a huge stressor to the body.
One thing I have learned is that our adrenal glands do not differentiate where the stress is coming from. It could be poor diet, emotional stress, physical stress, loss of a loved one or even a smashed toe. They just do their job no matter what the stress and they can only be 'driven' for so long!
I'll end with a few of the things that we feel contributed to 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!! tell me you understand this!)
*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
There is a whole HUGE spiritual side to this that is so overwhelmingly cool, but it is so difficult to put into words. I pray that the Lord allow me to share it somehow, sometime! He is so amazingly faithful and good.
If you have hung in here to the end of this monumental post, I thank you and ask you to lift our family in prayer as the Lord leads.