Friday, March 21, 2014

I Heart Adrenals

It is now 9 days since I left the Twilight Zone. Everyday I find I am further away than the day before. And it is all because of the adrenal support supplements my physician started me on. It is like someone flipped the switch to reestablish main power and turned off the inconsistent noisy stream of dim light produced by a generator. I am hoping to put the generator back into storage and not have to use it again to get through any more of my life. Main line power versus the power of a generator- big difference. On the second or third day of adrenal support I was talking to my husband on the phone and I asked- I'm I talking faster? Because I feel like I am talking faster. I know I am thinking faster. I was amazed at how easy it was to form words and spit them out in rapid fire. Also of major note-I have stopped leaning heavily into the bannister anytime I walk up and down the stairs. I am not overwhelmed by a task that is across the room. I have now had 3 days (not in a row) that I have not had to lie down in the middle for pure survival sake. Dinner has been cooked and ready for my husband when he got home from work 2 whole times. When I wake up in the morning I wonder, what new discovery I will have about how I feel today? I do not yet posses the energy to take out my running shoes but I am planning an easy flow yoga class tomorrow.

Also contained in this excitement is an element of fear. I suppose it is the natural reaction to change- even when it is good change. I am afraid it won't last. I am afraid I don't know where the line is between enough energy and doing too much. There are moments I am afraid to feel good. Perhaps a little like the caged animal arriving at the wild life preservation. Sometimes it takes some coaching for the animal to leave the cage and explore freely the landscape in front of them. 

 On Tuesday I had my weekly visit with my physician. Yes- weekly. In this visit I was excited to share the improvements over the week. And he confirmed the fact that yes, I am talking much faster. He cautioned me that in order to stay feeling better I have to treat my adrenals with love. Those might not be his exact words- but that was the take home message. And he said, if I don't, then I can wind up right back in the Twilight Zone on generator power (again, not his exact words). Not that he wanted to put fear into my heart, but it was an effective heavy handed dose of caution.

Adrenals are taxed when stress is placed upon them.  Stress can some from external sources. We know all about those- life change, difficult job, family crisis. But- however there is a large part of the stress that is internal. How well the body functions on the inside can be the biggest source of stress of all. It is the internal stress an individual has the greatest amount of control over. Helping the body work together in harmony and addressing any breakdowns immediately is key. This takes listening to your body. Interestingly enough, the biggest control I can have over my disease involves food. I am discovering how seriously reactive my hypoglycemia is and how I need to be forever vigilant in maintaining my blood glucose. This means a snack every 2 hours in between meals. Practically a full time job. And of of course what you put in your mouth is the most important of all.

It was in the last appointment that the full gravity of my future full time life of change hit me. There were a couple of key elements of food I was sure I was going to be able to reincorporate into my diet giving me a small degree of flexibility. Unfortunately, I was informed to not hold my breath on those foods. The odds are against it. All I have to say is vegans, gluten freeans, vegetarians, all of you got nothing on this. I am one upping you all and taking all the glory possible. I need some form of strength. Most likely I will have a gluten free, cow and goat dairy free, egg free, soy free, iodized salt free, almond free, tomato free, pineapple free, and only occasional sugar. This is the preliminary list. I am in the long process of testing each individual food. I still don't know about corn, potato, coca, coconut, honey, etc, etc, etc. Perhaps you say this list is so very short. But these are the building blocks to most everything. Nothing like a little motivation to do your own cooking and keep it all real foods. Tasting the beginning of health and life this week is reinforcing to stay true to the path but it is going to take some work before it doesn't smart any more. 

It is so amazing how attached to food we humans are. Sure I could go on trying live an "easier life" and eat what ever I want. But I know too well from experience that is NOT in fact the easier life. I can either sacrifice my health or sacrifice my food. Yet the pull and temptations of the food is surprising strong. Especially as I sit and watch everyone eat cake and ice cream at birthday parties. Or sit at the round table in the church gym watching everyone eat the croissant chicken salad sandwiches for the Relief Society Meeting. 

In this way I think it is like the gospel of Jesus Christ. Becoming a disciple and living the life of Christ as a Latter-Day Saint requires sacrifice. Many people see these things such as living a chaste life, not drinking coffee or alcohol to be too hard. But the beautiful full life that comes from this path of righteousness and commitment to God is full of peace, joy, love and greater health. It may not be "easy" but to me it is more of the life I want to live. 

If I could be a 34 year old virgin before I married and still not ever had a cup of coffee, alcohol, tried illicit drugs or any thing else-  Then I've got this in the bag, right?

In summary- Love your Adrenals. They may be small little organs but the best things come in small packages. I choose to live a healthy happy life. May I lose the desire for all things that do not serve me and may all my approved food become sweet to me. I love finally feeling like I am on the road to recovery rather than hoping.

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