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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Trying something different

Since diagnosis of secondary adrenal insufficiency in 2001, I have tried several dosing schedules and doses trying to find what will help me feel “normal”.   Five days ago I changed my dosing times, starting at 6am with 10 mg HC, then 10mg at 9am, 5mg at noon, and 2.5 at 3pm.  So far…. so good!  I am waking up earleir with less drowsiness during the day,and having an easier time with sleep at night.   There has been much discussion online about the generic HC manufactured by Lineage,which is what I have been taking for months now,  Some people are reporting that they feel much better with the brand name CORTEF, so I contacted my doctor, and she ordered me some.  I should get that within a week, and hoping that helps me also.  Of course, I know that you can try something different, change things up and it doesn’t always work, you don’t improve much or for long. But I am willing to try this, pay the extra money for the brand name medication and take a chance.  I have an exciting summer coming, my son is getting married in June, in Colorado, in the mountains! High altitude, happy stress, traveling, different climate……all of which are not the greatest scenarios for us sickies.  Keeping my fingers crossed that a change will be a good thing for me for now.  change-1

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!

What? Me? Bitchy????

Last night I was attempting to find something on the Internet.  I was tired and getting confused.  I was frustrated.  After a while I started to swear at the computer, and my Hubby asked me if I was getting BITCHY?  (I thought….watch out…I’ll show you bitchy Buddy).  Later he apologized. I accepted.

But I realized that my many moods sometimes are misinterpreted by others, especially the fabulous Hubby.  Before I got sick I was very even-tempered and easy-going, but I know that my mood fluctuates now depending on how I am feeling.

Chronic illness is a pain in the ass.  I never know how I will feel when I wake up in the morning.  I can’t make plans because if I do, I might have to cancel.  I can’t go out shopping alone, what if I can’t drive home?  Shit, I can’t go anywhere alone because I might get lost.  No, I am not a hermit or loner, I am just not up to par most days.

As far as reading my moods, I have learned that I need to make things easier for people around me.  A frown or a growl doesn’t mean I want to bite your head off, it might mean I am nauseous and I’m afraid I am going to puke get sick.  Laying on the couch with my eyes closed doesn’t mean I am avoiding you, it might just mean I am really dizzy. Staying in my room under the covers doesn’t mean I am anti-social, it might mean I am just too sick to come out of my cocoon.   And yelling at the computer doesn’t mean I’m being bitchy, it might mean I am frustrated that I can’t think clearly through the brain fog.

Maybe I will make flash cards to hold up that will let anyone around me know my mood at the time.  I think that will work.  I will never be called “bitchy” because I have been in the bathroom all afternoon with a diarrhea fit or because my joints have been screaming at me all day.

Thank You for understanding.