Well, it has been another year and I really am doing a lot better. I am still volunteering, but only eight hours a week instead of thirty. Learning to set reasonable limits has helped me a lot in managing my low adrenal function.
Another big change in my life is
MOLD! We found mold behind the paneling in our 67 year old basement. We have had to strip out all the paneling and drywall. The old cinder block walls are a bit scary (we'll eventually cover them), but it was worth it. My energy has really increased and I am more alert and can think better. In fact, I am able to function as a partner in my husband's handyman business. I have seen that he did ok with the mold in the house, but without adrenal function, I became very ill. I am realizing that a person with strong health can handle a lot more than I can. Having a "safe" environment is important to someone who has an impaired immune system, which I have since my adrenal gland don't produce cortisone. Every little thing does add up. I have removed most plastics, cleaning products (just use hydrogen peroxide), and perfumes from my home. We have used no VOC paint and do not use any pesticides. I wear cotton clothes, and eat organic foods. It really has made a difference in my health.
It seems that even with taking hydrocortisone there is only so much stress my body can handle. It's like having so much in a bank account. If I don't have to spend my medication on coping with my environment, then I can have more energy and putter around the house, go for a walk, or go out somewhere which is much more fun!
After we got out a lot of the mold, I even had enough energy to help remove the drywall. As I swung the heavy demolition hammer, I wondered if my immune system had healed! In my excitement, I kept doing more and more. After a few days, I was back to my old fatigued self. Nothing had healed. I had just built up a little adrenal reserves and then over did it and depleted these reserves.
I learned -- NEVER, NEVER PUSH BEYOND MY LIMITS!
I knew I was getting more and more tired each day. That is a sign I should have paid attention to. When I do something and am more tired the next day, then it is too much. It is time to cut back and rest. If I don't choose to stop and rest, then soon I will just stop. I will be unable to move and the only option will be to rest until I recover-- not fun!
Now that I have a "safer" and less stressful environment, I was able to recover from my drywall over do within a couple weeks instead of several months. I can also now do something bigger, such as a short trip, and only be tired for a day or two afterward.
I am trying to remember that since my adrenal glands no longer work that I will not be "healed" any more than a severe diabetic will be "healed". I can live a good life and do the things I most want to do, I just have to stay within my limits and not become over tired.