Adrenal insufficiency 

​It seems a lot of my current symptoms turned out to be related to my Addison’s, not my CFS or depression alone. I increased my hydrocortisone from 20 mg to 40 mg and feel completely different. Normally this is the ‘stress’ dose used when the body has an infection, Injury etc., but I’m staying on it for awhile, until my adrenals recover. 

When my cortisol is too low, it means my adrenals are not producing enough. The most common symptoms are severe fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, irritability, and depression. These are the exact things I’ve been having but I just thought it was my CFS acting up, an infection, seasonal depression and a stomach flu. Now all my symptoms are gone.

I’ll be seeing my endocrinologist in March. We need to get my dose straightened out so this doesn’t happen again. What a waste I didn’t realize sooner.

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Guilt and Shame

A good, concise piece from a fellow blogger, who suffers from CFS and depression, about the feelings of guilt and shame many of us live with.

 

The Fight Against Myself

Having an invisible illness brings a lot of judgement and opinions from others and a lot of time it’s negative and hurtful.  Living with Depression and Chronic Fatigue is hard enough as it is without other people making me feel worse about something I cannot change.

Before my Fiancé met me, he had never met someone affected by depression and anxiety and I think it shocked him to see how much it affected me.  He didn’t understand Depression and it took a while for him to get used to the condition but he made the effort to learn about it and support me as much as possible.  The anxiety was hard for him to deal with because he is such an outgoing person who loves to socialise and it caused a lot of stress in the relationship but we both eventually learned how to compromise and he learned my boundaries and…

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So discouraged

I’m not having an easy time lately. My mental health is iffy with a lot of anxiety, for months now, and depression setting in pretty hard this week. I’m in constant pain because of my back and something is going on with my CFS/ME. I’m completely drained and mostly bedridden. Because of this I missed three physiotherapy sessions, plus one of my DBT coping skills classes.

I’m so very, very frustrated .  I have no answers. I just have to try to hold on, rest, get to physiotherapy and class when I’m able, and wait till January 10th to see my psychiatrist for possible solutions to lessen this gnawing anxiety and boost my mood a bit. Having my paxil poop out on me after 10 years has created a real disruption in my mood and trying all these new drugs has been a year long, not to successful trial.

My suicidal idealisation is becoming stronger each day as I feel I’m just too worn out to keep trying. If the thoughts get too strong I’ll have to go to the hospital, but I really don’t even have the motivation to deal with all that shit. Hours and hours waiting and I’m usually told there is no space, so they just increase my meds and tell me to go home. I’m just so tired of it all. I only keep going for my family. I’ll end this on a note of gratitude for them, the support they give me, the love and understanding .

Step Counting and Puppies

Chester

Chester

I have gotten a puppy recently, 12 days ago, and I decided to wear my pedometer all day to see how much more I move around with having to walk and exercise the puppy.  Too much it seems. Getting so tired, weary and worn feeling now, especially since I’m winding down now from the Abilify affects, and I’m getting dozy and lazy from the Seroquel.  Often I skip it, it’s too sedating, especially since I’m supposed to take a clonazepam at the same time. I can’t afford to be all sleepy and drugged out with a puppy.

I must say I really loved the Abilify for its stimulating effect, even if it felt like I was on uppers. I knew that month-long hypo-mania caused by the Abilify would catch up to me. Anyway, now I measure my total distance a day on my ped, moving about the house, yard, walks etc., Walking the puppy and general activity brings me just under a mile a day (wearing my pedometer religiously – 0.9 miles last week) on average. 1 mile a day doesn’t sound like much I know, but for me, who used to get in maybe 250 to 700 steps a day (on a good day), it’s absolutely fantastic. My weekly step average last week was 2367.5 steps, while this week i did 2640.9 steps (1 mile). That’s about a 10% increase (0.9 miles to 1 mile).

Judging on how i felt yesterday and today though (drained, wiped, weak), I may have to drop it back and keep it more around 2450 steps this week and see if I’m less tired. I might just be moving up to fast. You’re supposed to work up to 10,000 steps a day or 4 miles roughly. I want to do this but might have to make my way a bit slower than other people, maybe a 1 or 2% increase a week, even 5%, instead of 10% all the sudden.

Plus the puppy went swimming the other day and I went in with him, and the current was strong and I was wearing a full length cotton gown and fell may times so soaked myself through, so I found that very draining. Well, off I go to Halifax., I certainly don’t feel like it, feel like I need to sleep 12 hours, but I’m supposed to meet with the day hospital people, so it’s pretty important I’m sure to show up if I want in.  They may even give me a date to start.  Should be interesting, I’ll let you know how it goes. TTFN

My Pacing Stragety

I have a new rule that hopefully will help me in controlling my CFS symptoms and learn to pace myself better.  From now on, unless I am sick or crashed, every day I will try to do at least 10 minutes of activity in each of 4 categories:  Housework, Personal Care, Outdoor Activity/Exercise, and Social Activity. This way I will be pacing myself in a well rounded way, spending some time on each aspect of life, so as not to fall behind or over-do it in any one area.

Usually I over-do it by doing way too much for one or two days, like trying to clean the whole house at one go, or going out to visit and staying 5 hours.  Then I am flat on my butt for a week. I will probably get more done, in a less stressful and physically damaging manner, if I parcel my energy carefully, reeling it out a bit at a time. I’ve read the rule of thumb that for every minute of work you do, you need to rest three times that amount; so, if you work 5 minutes then stop and rest 15.  You can break your 10 minutes in each category up into 5 minute spurts as well.  This method is supposed to help your body from crashing.  It is important, as well, to alternate the  activities, for example: physical balanced against mental against social.  Spend 5 minutes sweeping, rest 15 minutes, then spend the next 5 minutes say, blogging, rest, then 5 min. on the phone.

Today, for example, I took a bath, so that was my personal care. Then I put in a load of wash and washed the dishes, so that was my house up-keep.  A schedule like this is hard to follow though, when I know that I still have 6 loads of wash left to do.  I just  want to get it all done and get it over with!  If I did though,  I’d be useless for the next week and in that time more things would pile up and cause more stress.  So you need a lot of self discipline to control your impulses to do too much at once, and to make sure you take everything in small increments with the rest period between.

Up to now it’s been a real two step backward, half forward thing, where I’m continuously playing catch-up and stressing over all I need to do. Hopefully, my new system will make it a two step forward, half back thing, not perfect, but better. Meanwhile, my house is a sty but I just have to try to ignore it and work away bit by bit. Yesterday I spent my time working in the kitchen and i  kind of  went over my 15 minute interval by 1 1/2 hours but……it was soooo dirty.  My window was partially open while I was away several weeks and everything was covered in a fine silt, so I just HAD to clean that.  Anyway, I still only got that job half done.  I would have finished it today, thereby disrupting my new pacing strategy, except I HAD to do a wash today, I had no underwear!!! And so it goes.   Wish me luck.


Let me know your pacing strategies or any other ways you cope with managing your energy.