My Blood Pressure

My blood pressure has been high for several years now.  I have taken many different medications, but none has solved the problem long term.  I saw my doctor on October 19, and my blood pressure in his office was 153/100! Yikes.  He changed my medications around, added a new one, and yesterday when I took my blood pressure it was 107/75.  Much better.

Let’s hope this medication keeps this problem under control for now and keeps it controlled long term.

My older sister went to the eye doctor today and she has cataracts.  She will have surgery sometime in early 2016.  I fear this is something else I will develop because of my daily steroids I take for my adrenal insufficiency.

Thank you steroids.  You keep me alive, but you’re killing me!

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What the Heck is STRESS??

  1. Stress:  A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
  2. Stress: Your bodies way of responding to any kind of demand or threat.  When you feel threatened your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which in turn rouse the body for emergency action.

But, if you have adrenal insufficiency, your body doesn’t produce the hormones needed to handle stress.  I have adrenal insufficiency and it is a life-threatening illness.

I could go on and on about stress, but most people only think of the normal stress that everyone experiences on a day to day basis.  The stress that aggravates you, puts you in a bad mood, makes you cross with your family or co-workers can land me in the emergency room. An injury or illness can stress out my body so quickly that I don’t see it coming.

Several years ago, my Father-In-Law was suffering from cancer and was moved to a nursing home.  We had out of town family staying at our house, and when he passed away we had all the planning and arrangements to take care of.  A very stressful time.  My family kept a close eye on me, made sure I “stress dosed” and got enough rest.  I made it through the whole thing perfectly.  Two weeks later, my cat died.  I ended up in the hospital with my worst adrenal crisis to date. Dangerously low potassium, sodium and blood pressure.

Another incident that lead to an adrenal crisis was food poisoning.  A UTI threw me in the emergency room with no warning also.

If you have adrenal insufficiency, you must always be prepared! Let people around you understand the importance of your emergency injections, and getting you to the hospital quickly for IV steroids and treatment.

You never know what can start an adrenal crisis, be aware of what your body is telling you.  Don’t ever think you can “ride it out” and get better on your own.  Go to the hospital!

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Note in a Christmas Card

Dear Friend,

I was so surprised to see you at the store the other day!  When I said you looked so good, you starting crying.  I didn’t know. I’m sorry. I remember when you got sick so many years ago, after all this time I just assumed you were better.  I didn’t know.  I remember that we used to talk on the phone a lot and when we would bump into each other at the grocery store we would stop and gab for a few minutes, and I remember those baseball games when the kids were little, it was always so hot!  I thought our lives had just changed because the kids grew up, I didn’t know what you were still going through.  Like the old saying…”out of sight, out of mind”, I guess.  Hadn’t seen you at church for a long time, but you told me it is hard to get ready and get there.  I didn’t know.  You told me you seldom drive or go anywhere.  You told me that both boys moved all the way to Denver, I didn’t know that.  I didn’t know you had to quit your job and you haven’t worked since 2001.  I didn’t realize you have been ill since 2001, how could that be?  After siting with you for a while I learned about your illness.  I didn’t know there was no cure.  I didn’t know how your illness has totally changed your life.  I didn’t know your husband works three jobs, I guess that’s why I never see him!  I didn’t know that most of your friends have stopped calling you, just like I did.  I admit that I stopped inviting you to things at my house because you often declined or cancelled last minute. I didn’t know you were that sick.  You look so good, like nothing in the world could be wrong.  I will never say that again to you.  Instead I will ask you if there is anything I can do for you. A ride to the doctor?  Pick up your prescription? Take the dog to the groomer or for a walk? Come over and watch TV and help you with your laundry? I am so so sorry, I just didn’t know.

Love, Carla

The Name Game – A Contest

I’m asking all my creative Friends to help me find a new name for my blog.  I’ve been writing about my adrenal disease for years, but have really avoided discussions about my digestive issues. It can be embarrassing to talk about “poop”, but let’s face it…everybody poops!   Crohn’s Disease can be debilitating and often harder to deal with than my other illness.  My adrenals have been behaving, more or less, so I have nothing to complain about….except my poop problems. I want my blog’s name to reflect my challenge with both Crohn’s and Addison’s Disease.

So here goes.  Whoever comes up with a great name……wins! The winner will receive a box of cheesy Chicago memorabilia straight from Walgreen’s and the Dollar Store…..we have good junk here in the Windy City.

Submit your idea in a comment…..asap….and I will pick a worthy name and send out your prize!

R.I.P. Fridge

Our refrigerator up and died a few days ago.  It was a slow death.  One day it got confused and poured water into the broken ice maker and it ended all over the kitchen floor.  All the drawers and shelves were wobbly. If you took the chance to open the door you needed to be prepared that your feet were going to get hit by a flying yogurt or worse….the entire veggie drawer and the contents. Then the ice cream started to melt.  That was the last straw.

So, we took a trip to our local Menard’s store, the wanna-be Home Depot of the midwest.  Mr. “I can’t make a decision” actually agreed on my favorite (!!!) and we happily went to the front to arrange delivery.  Then it hit me.  Weakness, dizziness, dry mouth.  The “I am going to faint if I don’t sit down now” feeling.  Thankfully Joe found a chair for me or I was going to lay down on the floor.  People look at you funny when you do that.

You would imagine that after twelve years of this disease I would be prepared for this to happen every so often. Nope. Getting pissed off upset doesn’t help at all.  But of course I did.  Really really pissed me off upset.   Then I was good for shit nothing the next day.  

The refridgerator will be here Wednesday.  I hope I’m awake so I can open the door for the delivery men.

AHHHHHHHHH  Mr. Addison, I love you!

I JUST WANT TO BE OKAY

“Someone asked me what are my “Favorite/most useful coping skills – for pain, depression, and all the silly side effects that come with having chronic illness?””

Hmmmm?  Do I have any coping skills, or do I just roll with the flow?  My first thought is that I am only able to cope with my illnesses with the help from my medications.  Other than that, I don’t handle this “chronic illness stuff” well at all. But, I have made it  through many a bad day by remembering some basic things:

  • Accept what you have and don’t argue with God anymore…I don’t mean give up…just accept it

  • Accept help from the people who love you

  • Accept that your HUSBAND and kids are as frightened as you are about this new thing called “chronic illness”

  • Help your family understand what you need…I don’t mean a glass of cold pop or a sandwich…You need to tell them you need rest, understanding , companionship, and sometimes you need to be alone just to be mad at this rude intrusion of illness

  • Help yourself by keeping a journal or blog to express your feelings that you don’t want to share with anyone

I had to accept that I couldn’t drive.

I had to accept that I had to leave my job.

I had to accept that my social life was extinct.

I had to accept that many people just would never understand my illnesses.

i had to accept that my family would not become malnourished because I CAN’T cook every night.

i had to accept that my house would never be clean again.

So, I adapted and tried to do what I could to make my life a little more comfortable without feeling guilty.

My bedroom is beautiful and an oasis for me.  Fleece sheets when it’s cold, crisp cotton sheets when it’s not.  Ridiculously expensive down pillows that are worth every penny I spent on them.

 At times, when I feel bad days a’coming,  I will keep healthy snacks and drinks in my room so I won’t have to go downstairs.

I let my dog and cat sleep with me when I am feeling especially sorry for myself.

I am not embarrassed to ride in those cute little scooters they have at some stores.                                                  

 I am not embarrassed to sit on whatever I can find if I get tired when I am out…and that includes the floor.

 I am not embarrassed to go out without makeup…something I would never have done before I got sick.  I will stay in my jammies all day if I need to.

Sometimes I won’t take a shower until someone comes home because I am afraid I will fall.

 I finally admitted I needed a handicapped tag for my car.

 I let myself cry if I want to.

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ALL I WANT IS TO BE OKAY