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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Adrenal Fatigue/Thyroid Walk Part 1

Oh where to start.  I'll start with the birth of my last son.  The birth of my son Joshua was the biggest disappointment in my life to date - at least that I can think of at the moment.  I had worked so hard to prepare for my 2nd Bradley Birth for my 3rd living child.  All to end up letting the hospital put me on pitocin.  My husband said that I did better with this labor than the one with our son Jon.  The thing is...I was doing much worse.  I was in way too much pain the last few hours to even utter a word.  All I knew was I HAD to stay on the birthing ball so this baby could keep progressing down and I could get the labor over with.  I've read all the studies and knew how using an epideral could potentially cause me to have a c-section which is what I did not want.  So...I went on this birthing experience with pitocin and without pain meds.  Hindsight...I would never again not do pain meds with pitocin.  I think it was one of the key factors in my adrenal fatigue from the severe pain to the emotional issues.  Even to this day (almost 2 years later), I still have frustrations for the way the whole birth experience went.  I just recently sent a letter to my midwife explaining my emotional pain/trauma over her using the pitocin and making me feel like I had no way out.  For the record, neither my baby or myself was in any kind of distress.

Fast forward to that fall - it was the time of the H1N1 - the time when everyone said that people would die by the thousands and possibly millions because of this flu.  I had picked up what I thought was a cold that had invaded my lungs/chest area.  I let it go for 2 months because it very slowly got worse and after all, I was tough!  Come to find out, it was a nasty virus that took me months to get rid of.  

My son was born on the 5th of August and we started our homeschool the 2nd week of September.  Again, thinking I was so tough and could handle anything.  With no family around to help me after the birth of my son, and then jumping into chores, school and later a nasty virus, my body had enough.  If only I had listened to the advice of a friend that was already suffering from adrenal problems.  

I remember the first time I had a very bad adrenal crash.  At the time I called them "drop outs" because I wasn't sure if it was my blood sugar, blood pressure or something else.  During this time I was getting ready for my daughter's birthday in June (9 months after my son's birth).  We were all packed up and ready to head to a hotel/indoor waterpark only 45 minutes or so away.  On the way there I was feeling absolutely horrible.  My symptoms were as follows:

shakiness/internal tremors
brain fog and inability on concentrating
impaired vision
feelings of being scared
feelings that i would die any moment and if i feel asleep i would not wake
huge salt cravings!
frequent urination - very frequent
insane fatigue where i could not hardly lift my head off the chair or bed
very irritable
poor memory
heart palpitations
unable to cope with any kind of stress no matter how minor

I remember pulling up to the hotel and waiting in line trying to seem/act normal.  I sat down in the room and a lot I don't remember.  I do remember trying to figure out what was going on. I called my herbalist and asked her what to do.  She wasn't sure what was going on and had me take licorice root extract thinking at first it was my blood sugar (although this is also helpful for adrenal problems).  I missed out on the swimming and all the fun with my 3 children.  I'm not sure to this day what my husband thought about this.  I had one of the older two children stay with me at all times and taught the younger one how to dial 911 if mama went unconscious.  Very scary times!  Thankfully, I lived past that day and slowly over time regained my energy and more normalcy.  Nothing was every the way it used to be before Joshua but it was a bit better.  

I don't remember the date, but a couple months after this it happened again.  I remember going to a friends house to drop something off and started to go into another adrenal crash.   I asked my husband if I could drive down to see my herbalist and he said yes.  It was 2 1/2 hours away and I was scared.  What was wrong with me?  I called a few prayer warriors and asked them to pray protection over my journey and wisdom for my herbalist.  When I arrived she said my adrenals were "very tired" and put me on things for my adrenals as well as other things for other problem areas.  I do remember that she put me on Adrenals Support, Licorice Root Extract and Pantothenic Acid for my adrenals.  Again, back in bed for an extended period of time...I was slowly able to do more.  

My next crash happened 5 months later.  At this time my diet was pretty good for the most part. I still used unbleached flour and honey and other natural sweeteners.  I had already given up caffeine and almost all junk food with the occasional splurge.  

Fast forward to Jan/Feb. 2011 where my family got strep throat - all of us with the exception of Matt.  I took the longest time to recover and ended up having to have a second round of anti-biotics to get rid of the infection.  After that infection, I felt like I never really fully recovered from the fatigue.  In my haste, I chose to go see a D.O. that had been very helpful in helping a friend of mine.  He lived about 4 hours away but anything was worth it to feel somewhat normal again.  When I arrived, he put me on Nature-Throid (just like Armour but with different fillers) and put me on a higher dose of compounded progesterone cream.  Feeling like I was finally going to get somewhere, I felt excited!  After the first dost of Nature-Throid, I had some heart palpitations.  Something I had not experienced in awhile.  I figured it was just my body getting used to it.  My Nature-Throid slowly got upped to 1 1/2 grains.  Something inside of me felt like I should not be taking this but I wasn't sure what to do.  I went back down to 1 grain per day.  After feeling especially low at one point, I upped it again to 1 1/2 grains.  It was at this point I had severe heart palpitations and could not sleep at night.  I thought it was my adrenals but now have a feeling it was the Nature-Throid.  

Out of desperation once again to find some help and find someone local, I settled on The Preventative Medical Center where I am currently seeing Dr. Seth Bernard.  I had been there before in 2005 but not since. Thankfully, a friend prodded me to try them out again.  At first he thought  I had vitamin deficiency which was a very hard pill to swallow because at this point I have been eating a very balanced diet with the exception of cutting out gluten up until my first visit with him.  All the food I eat is real food, using pink himalayan sea salt, fresh herbs, etc... How could I be deficient?  I was told to have Meyer Injections twice per week for 3 weeks.  After my first injection, I did not feel any better and honestly, felt a bit more tired.  Not at all what I was expecting.  I also had several vials of blood drawn to see what was going on.  Sure enough, my vitamin levels were great and a couple were too high (because of my own extra supplementation via the D.O.).  I was also told I was now into a hyperthyroid state made that way from the Nature-Throid I had been put on.  I was asked to get off my b-vitamins (i'm assuming since my B6 was the one that was high - the one i was supplementing extra with) and that I had to get off the Nature-Throid or risk the chance of a stroke which he had just witnessed someone else go through because of someone putting them on too high a dose of thyroid medication.  Scary stuff!  

Right now I'm now finished taking my nature-throid and am having a very low point today.  I suspect it's more adrenal than anything because of not taking vitamin B5 for almost a week which is one of the key things needed in adrenal fatigue.  Oddly enough, I feel very safe and ok with this doctor which I have not felt in years!  I've been told by someone that he is the guy to see and he'll seek out anything in order to make me well.  Here's to hoping and trusting he will. 

In the meantime, I'm still taking my adrenal support, buffered vitamin c and drinking an electrolyte drink mix for this crash moment praying to God it won't get worse and that my doctor will let me get back on b5 asap.  As I write this, I'm in bed with my head laid back.  Today all I've been able to do other than sitting/laying down is go to the restroom and help make a quick lunch.  I'm also reading through the book ADrenal Fatigue - The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James Wilson and possibly getting ready to purchase a vitamin C supplement from him specifically for adrenals. However this time, I'll wait to see what my doctor says.  

Lord willing, my next update won't be as lengthy and instead will have some great news on healing.  What you read above was a couple of my hard crash moments (but not all of them).  During this entire time, I've had to really be careful with how much energy I exert and cutting out as much stress/stuff as possible.  Normal things like going to a Broadway Production, visiting family over a weekend, etc... are things I have to rest up for.  I'm always tired.  I'm posting this in the hopes that soon I will be much better/healed from this and I will be able to help others along the way.

Oh and one last thing, I'm so grateful to my herbalist for all her help and support through this.  I don't know if I'd be here without her.  She is the only one so far that has brought me closer to a place of normalcy.  I love her dearly and am praying God's blessings on her family!  And for the record, I even told my M.D. about her and he said "she will not do you any harm by what she is doing".  


Skaake said...

Sorry you are having so many medical issues; I know how extremely frustrating that can be. I remember when I was going through some stuff– I remember thinking, if I KNEW what was going on, that at least would be something.
It sounds like you have some great people helping you out and hopefully you'll be getting back to your old (healthy) self soon.

Diana said...

Wow! That sounds tough! Praying for you, Mandi!

Jamie said...

You have a lot going on! May God give you peace!

CheshireLizzy said...

Thank you for sharing, Mandi. It sounds like you have been through a whole lot but that God has provided you with plenty of help. I hope these issues get finally sorted and that you'll be able to not have to take anything at all, soon. I do always remember your health in my prayers for your family.

I remember being very discouraged about birth after Isaac was born -- also because they gave me petocin because the midwife thought I could not handle the pain anymore. The meds did not kick-in until after the birth and made me completely disconnected from my newborn and I fell asleep quite quickly thereafter. It was a huge difference with my second and third births where my midwives saw me in pain and called it "productive pain" and that I should just keep going. It also made a difference that I had them at home, where I was more relaxed, knowing that I had all that I need at-hand. Once I began to see the pain as useful and normal, I actually relaxed. I also love having a TENS machine and Entenox though the early contractions.
I hope that, Lord-willing, you have another birth that will be great and will be completely different experience!

CheshireLizzy said...

Just realised that I meant Pethadine and not petocin (asa pitocin)! I did not get induced!
Thanks for the reminder.

CheshireLizzy said...

Just realised that I meant Pethadine and not petocin (asa pitocin)! I did not get induced!
Thanks for the reminder.

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