Monday, October 14, 2013

Living Within Reasonable Limits

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 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.


  1. Hi,
    In 2011 my doctor did some tests over several months and concluded that I have 'adrenal insufficiency'. The problem is is that he didn't explain how serious a condition it is. He gave me prednisone and said once I know the right amount my life would get better. So I accepted this and went forward. I wasn't advised on how to live with it in any way. I did feel a little better and could function enough to go to work, I'm a dog groomer, but crash when I get home and only have enough energy to play with my dog. She is my companion through all of this and I dedicate the little energy and motivation that I have left after work to take care of her.

    Consistently every day I am very tired and achy when I wake up and fall asleep on the cough after taking meds and breakfast (I take Lunesta at night other wise I literally can't fall asleep). I get more tired all day but force my self to keep going, im always nervous and anxious (everything makes me have panic attacks either big or small). I'm depressed and want to cry all the time ( something as simple as mom asking me what I want to eat makes me want to cry and get angry for no reason). I can't hold still, I always seem to have this constant headache that gets worse all day and most days light makes it 10x worse. I always feel sick to my stomach when I eat anything, I have no appetite and struggle to get the food down, I keep losing weight and I'm concerned but my doctor hasn't done anything, I went from 105 to 91 in 6 months. My body is always sore and I feel slow, I get random back pains so I can't even move for a few seconds, abdominal pains a lot too. I always get dizzy when I stand up and even if I'm just sitting or laying down. I shake always sometimes I I can't write. I stumble and drop things all the time, my memory is getting horrible. I write a ton of lists for simple everyday life things to do that seem like common sense to remember.

    My doctor is a dead end and I can't live like this anymore. I've lost all my friends, hobbies, and just everything. My life is a blur that I don't know where to go with it. I was finally able to make an app with another doctor but it's not till november still, waiting since august. I'm counting down the days but I don't know what to do until then. I'm afraid to take a little more prednisone without a doctor for now but I'm at a point where I might have another crisis( I've had two I think, but my doctor said don't worry about, I went to ER both times). Until I see this new doctor I am at a loss for what to do to keep going. I think about this all day everyday and the more research I do the more confused I get. Even writing this I've probably left out a lot of symptoms I know I have but can't remember to add them. it'll make me feel stupid later for not remember something important

    Would you have any suggestions to where I should go with this?

  2. Sorry you are feeling so bad. Your symptoms are from poorly managed AI: Please go to National Adrenal Diseases Foundation Support Community
    National Adrenal Diseases Foundation for further support. Hope you feel better soon.

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  4. Can anyone help, I was diagnosed with addisons in summer but if I have queiry or problems my doctors tells me look it up on internet !!! At moment my whole body is aching like flue ive head ache chills pins and needles lower back pain and numbness at end of fingers what does this mean and should I be doing something im so confused!!!!

  5. The feeling like you have the flu, achy, chills, fatigue, nauseous, headache are all symptoms of low adrenal function. It means that you do not have enough cortisone in your body. Did your doctor give you medication? Hydrocortisone is usually prescribed which is what I take. If you do not have the cortisone your body needs, you may have an adrenal crisis (go into shock) which can be serious. Nerve problems can be caused by poor electrolyte levels. These are kept in balance by hormones from the adrenal glands. Most people with little adrenal functions also take medication for water/mineral balance (fludrocort). Your doctor can help you with this. Most doctors have little idea how to treat Addison's Disease. I will put some sites and books on my blog which may help you. Hope you are doing better now. It takes a little while but you can feel pretty good.