Thursday, April 15, 2010

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.


Cindy said...

Michelle, I can't imagine how hard this must be for you. You've been on my mind the last 2-3 days. Know that I am praying for you! Reading your post I see how much I take for granted. How much I don't do that I should. You inspire me to do better (as a wife, mom, teacher and homemaker) with the health that I have. Who knows what tomorrow brings and opportunities I don't take are gone. As I go about my daily duties I will be praying for the healing of your body and the wisdom of your doctors.

Angela said...


I really had no idea how serious the effects of adrenal fatigue are.... What causes it? Is it correctable? I just started following your blog, so maybe you've answered these questions elsewhere. I pray you have a blessed day today.

In Christ,

Farmgirl Cyn said...

I am praying for you, Michelle. There MUST be a breakthrough soon.


tw-us said...

Michelle, I am following you through a private blog -- I have not really stopped following.

Josh said...

Good Morning Mrs. G.
I have asked my momma several times what A.F. is like, and so reading this definitely helped me to understand it better.

It is hard for me to even imagine what it must be like. But I think of the verse in 2 Corinthians, "'My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

In our weakness, He can be made strong! And our weaknesses also strengthen our faith as we learn to trust the Lord more, and lean on Him completely!
When you came over to our home several weeks ago, that is exactly what I saw in you!
You are in my prayers...
May God bless you abundantly,

mosey said...

Wow, thank you SO much.. I suffer from Thyroid problems and things have been very bad recently, I could have written this post word for word.. I REALLY needed to read this!! Thank you for sharing.

Lori Imel - LAImel Designs said...

I know this is an older post.... but it is where I am now..... I am in the beginning stages of recognizing Adrenal fatigue.... We have similar lives - I have 9 children, 7 at home. No grands yet... oldest will be 25, youngest is 5..... I will continue to read.....

Anonymous said...

I completely understand how you feel! I'm taking Dr. Wilson's adrenal rebuilder, have you tried it? It worked well the first time, then we bought a house.... oh Lordy! So, I'm on it again, then found out I have a lot of allergies as well as massive dental work that keeps setting me back. It's such a difficult thing to live with!