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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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!

Another day

My hubby Joe has been home since Friday doing some DIY work.  Because he has been spending so much time in the house he has been re-aquainted with the unpredictability of my day to day activities.  He has dealt with my illnesses along with me since 2001, and has been there through everything.  He understands that my energy level can change quickly.  He understands that I cannot leave the house if my Crohn’s monsters are visiting.  He understand that I might spend the morning sleeping, and then still need to rest in the afternoon.  He understands that my pain levels can be minimal for days and then be doubled over with cramping and spasms with no warning.  He knows that planning something doesn’t mean it will really happen.

Today I am totally exhausted.  I changed the sheets on the bed and it knocked me out.  I am pissed at my body today.

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.

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