I met with a doctor today who is going to try to help me get back to being a normal person. For those of you who haven’t heard my adrenal story, here is the condensed version:
When I was 25 I started having extremely high blood pressure, leg pains and heart palpitations. I started seeing a specialist at Vanderbilt and went every day for two months so they could take my blood pressure and run tests. Another month later they figured out I had a hyper-aldosterone secreting tumor on my adrenal gland. I had surgery the next week. Problem fixed. Life saved. Live long and prosper. Oh, and be tired every day for the rest of your life.
Don’t get me wrong – the doctors at Vanderbilt literally saved my life. Had I been in any other city, I may not have been correctly diagnosed and well, let’s not go there.
The adrenal glands regulate energy, the fight or flight response, as well as a ton of other things crucial to a healthy body. Most people have two. I have one. I have one that is overtired, overstressed, and begging for mercy. They run similarly to rechargeable batteries. They charge during certain stages of sleep. Of course, getting to the stage of sleep you need is harder when they are running low. Of course.
So I have had two successful pregnancies and nursed each child for 22 months. I have run my remaining adrenal so far into the ground it’s looking up at the gutter. But now I can focus on my body and getting what I need, because I know my children have had what they needed. Hence the meeting with the doctor. We are waiting on some lab reports to decide what supplements and medications I will start. (She said I will feel like I’m taking a pill every time I turn around. Yeah.) But the major aspect that needs modification is my diet.
Are you ready? No dairy, no gluten, no wheat. NO CHOCOLATE. No sweets, sugars. OMG. NO CHOCOLATE? I could seriously go for most of the rest. Not happily, but in the effort to feel human again and be able to stay awake all day I will try anything. But the chocolate is going to be TOUGH. My husband even groaned at the idea of me not having chocolate and he hasn’t had any in 4 months.
The morsel of good news is that I am not to exercise yet. I can walk. That’s it. Doctor’s orders. So yesterday’s post was premature and I don’t have to start. I actually don’t have enough energy in reserve to expend extra working out. The sad part is I would gladly work out for however long every day in order to sit down to eat whatever I want. She also wrote me a prescription to nap whenever and as often as I can. I actually teared up at this. I feel so darn guilty taking naps.
The diet. Holy crap. I have never even heard of half of the foods are that I am to include in a sample diet. I know they sound stinky and green and icky. And they won’t taste like chocolate.
In case you are wondering, I’m not starting today. It’s two days before Thanksgiving and I am road-tripping with my kids back to my in-laws. My in-laws cook a southern Thanksgiving dinner with all the comfort foods you could ever want. And I have chocolate stashed at home to finish. So my goal is to not BUY anymore badness, but to eat through what we have at home in a weaning type process.
If you run into me on the street in a few weeks and I am unrecognizably cranky and foul, you will know why. At least, hopefully, I will be awake.