Thursday, April 25, 2013

About that River...

Denial is a powerful thing. It allowed me to ignore:

-loss of appetite to the point of missing multiple meals a day
-increased scent and taste sensitivity
-muscle aches and spasms
-loopiness at a level equivalent to being drunk
-cold sores
-some vague flank pain

These are all clear signs of adrenal whatsit and I ignored them all! Hell, I even went running. What special breed of idiot does that? Me! That's who.

Tapering inhaled steroids, which is what I did last week, can be a problem and it can also be just fine. Since summer is good for my lungs and my most stable time of year, I figured I would try to cut down on the steroids in my system. Basically, I got cocky and convinced myself that abruptly cutting the inhaler dose in half would go well.

Obviously it did not.

So here I am feeling not so hot and impatiently waiting for normal to resume. I'm trying an alternate day taper now to hopefully ease the strain of the adjustment. So far, it's not doing much. Next week, I start progesterone again and I'm crossing fingers that provides some support.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I Thought Spring Was for Hibernating

I had planned to write a post excusing myself from this blog, but my body had other ideas. I don't plan to abandon this blog because, let's face it, the asthma is going to come roaring back at some point and I'll suppress again. I'll need someplace to rant and rave about the misery. However, I had thought I would step back a bit and enjoy the lull.

There's a lot going on. I need to focus on my writing and develop other business ideas. We want to do a light remodel of the kitchen (new counter and floor) which means I need to produce the funds with writing. One house guest has left, another has arrived. The school board approved our exchange student. So, you know, I have a life and now that I'm able to get up off the couch, I want to go live it.

However...something is UP. I don't know what or how much of a problem it is going to be, but things ain't right.

First, my cortisol was not low. Or rather, it's only low for alternative medicine. No one else would find it low. I was not too concerned about it until last night. (And really the issue isn't what my baseline cortisol level is, it's the lack of the upper reaches of my stress response....something there's no real ability to test anyway, not until it completely fails.)

Second, I've had some loss of appetite. I've forgotten to eat several meals in a row more than once now. I haven't been able to finish what is on my plate fairly regularly. This is not good. It's an old school sign of adrenal insufficiency. (Don't worry, I'm still fat. F*ck you insulin resistance.)

Third, we went for a family walk, which, when you have young children, can be code for 'outdoor scream-a-thon'. My kiddo tires out easily, freaks about bugs and walks with her generally test the limits of our patience. They also progress at the speed of a crippled snail.

We could probably handle twenty minutes of the balking, but she manages to stretch it out to 45 or 60 minutes. If we didn't want to emphasize exercise as a family value, we would give up. We still might. Love my kid to the moon and back, but I could do without the behavior on walks.

To get my heart rate up on these excursions, I do some interval training. Light jogging. Some galloping, Chasses interspersed with walking. Nothing too major. Right now I'm out of shape because our vacation ended up being a bigger fitness detour than I anticipated. Mostly I've been walking 2 to 3 miles a day and am just now adding in these light cardio intervals (which only cover a mile).

Everything seemed fine. I'm careful not to push myself too hard. I don't want an injury, don't want to trigger the asthma and don't want to use up too much of my precious energy. So I hold back as a general rule and work my way up very slowly. Since I felt okay immediately after the walk, I figured I'd managed all my weird parameters okay.

When I went to bed later that night, I started to feel very ill. Post exercise adrenal ill. Severe nausea, burning stomach pain and lots of GI distress. I managed not to vomit, but was up quite late afraid to move or breathe too deeply lest I lose it.

Today I am loopy as hell, tired and weak, all the energy just wrung out of me.

Ah ha! I just ad an insight. I've been tapering the inhaled steroids. That might be the trigger here. AND I just realized I've been having some unusual muscle pain which would be consistent with steroid withdrawal. Oh wow. Phew. Look how much writing I did before I figured that out. That's how slow the synapses are today.

So I might actually feel better by next week.  Boy this post just did a 360 didn't it?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Alternative Slime

Saw doctor cortisol level came back low. I didn't get a copy of the labs (but will ask for one) so I don't know the number, but that was not what I wanted to hear.

However, what alternative medicine considers to be low cortisol and what traditional mainstream medicine deems low are two very different things. You've got to be pretty low for a endocrinologist, not so much for integrative medicine. Based on how I feel, I can't be super low. I can't be.

So today I am allopathic by-the-book medicine all the way. In that paradigm, I'm fine (usually) and I prefer it that way, thank you.

And no, I will not be starting steroids. Day-to-day seems to be pretty stable with progesterone, but I still have issues with illness and apparently big trips. I'll deal.

My other hormones are all wonky still, but the new theory is...ummm still to be named, but a component of it is that menopause is ruled out.  (We'll see about that.)

I left the appointment with a butt load of vitamins...all of which taste terrible. (Tip: Never trust alternative medicine to give you anything that tastes good.) I've got four that come in slime gel packets. Total yuck on both texture and taste. Gag. Like eating frog diarrhea.

If the vitamins don't do anything (which they won't) we move on to some really fringe experimental bio-idential hormone stuff. I'm willing to try it only because it's relatively cheap and fairly safe, but I don't expect it to do much of anything.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shhh! I should be working.

Don't tell anyone.

I'm slacking off.

I really need to go to the bank, but it's the beginning of the month and I don't feel like being neck deep in octogenarians. Seriously, the lines are ridiculous when it comes round to social security check time. I'm always surprised that thieves don't follow some of these folks home and rob them blind. I would think it would be easy pickings. Everyone seems to roll out of the bank (I say roll because they all have walkers) with a serious wad of cash in their pockets.

But I'm not a thief so WTF do I know?

I should be writing, but that's not flowing either. (The bank thief thing above doesn't count.)

I did make a book cover.

Something kind of cool happened the other day. I got a phone call from a stranger. They tracked me down from a fundraiser we participated in for our church wanting my pumpkin cake recipe. The one I make with almond flour and ground flax seeds. Apparently they loved it and so did their friends.

I was, of course, pleased to hear that someone loved the cake so much they hounded people for my phone number. For the last two months. That's some serious pumpkin cake love.

I promised to mail them the recipe, however, I warned them they probably won't get much out of it since they don't already bake with almond flour.

What a nice compliment though. Made my day. I worked very hard on perfecting that recipe, it's good to see that effort paying off.

I'm feeling somewhat more okay. I finally have adjusted to the home turf time zone. That took forever.  And I'm back on progesterone so things should continue to improve, right?