Tuesday, January 1, 2013

God's Faithfulness in 2012

        This past year has been, to say the least, a roller coaster ride. In April, after an extremely stressful episode with a friend who we lost to an illness she wouldn't get treatment for (biggest mistake of my life because of all the pain it caused my husband, but I loved this girl like a sister), I had the worst adrenal crash of my life. I was so tired and weak I would pray each morning I would wake up the next day. It took all my strength to walk to the restroom or to the refrigerator to get food. I even tried to make Pete promise to get remarried if anything happened (which he, incidentally, would not promise). Then there were trips to the emerency room where I was tremoring, even stuttering, where the doctors stared at me and said it was all my head, but did I want some Xanax? I remember making a choice - I had to decide to get well on my own as conventional doctors would just watch me die if I relied on them. My osteopath figured out some good pointers for overcoming the intestinal issues which were causing a lot of the crazy symptoms I was having. But I also did a lot of my own research about what to do to overcome them - it was do or die, and I really had no choice. I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and so did my doctor (because we didn't know my full diagnosis then) , but by God's grace with a really good anti-candida diet, some good supplements, daily graded exercise, and lots of acupuncture, I went from praying to wake up the next morning to being able to walk 30 minutes a day and even had plans of starting up a home business painting calligraphy on furniture. I was so grateful and felt like I had a new lease on life that I really didn't deserve. I was the happiest woman alive.
       Then in August we both got sick with a bad flu virus. I fought it off, but my energy levels plummeted back down to where I could only walk 6 minutes a day. I got back up to about 20. Then another virus came, I would fight it off, and I would start again. This has happened at least 6 times during this terrible cold and season, even though I've worn a mask to church, take tons of vitamin C, and tried to stay away from sick people. Each time I would get back up, and keep going, but while trying to just be thankful I was alive and could walk around without a cane,  it was discouraging to say the least. Mostly because I want to help my ever loving husband more, and not have to rely on him for so much (but that is another post about accepting God's grace in my life...). Add to that some judgmental comments from Christians (NOT from Grace Fellowship) that I maybe wasn't getting well because of doing yoga or acupuncture and wasn't treating my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. Satan was really after me there for a while, and I really did get pretty discouraged. But in retrospect, his wiles are pretty ridiculous - all false guilt is from Satan himself, never God. And I don't ever have to listen to his lies.
       About three weeks ago after a bad reaction to an herb my acupuncturist had me try (which a lot of people do not react to, in fairness), I was at my wit's end.  I was crying out to God, "Please Lord, You know everything - show someone, somewhere, what is wrong with me! I need help, and I need it now! Don't leave me here like this, help me!" I demanded. I don't usually pray that way, and I don't recommend it, but like I said, I was at my wit's end. The next day I had an appointment with my DO, who decided that the intestinal stuff couldn't be explaining all my symptoms and maybe I had a genetic mutation which was causing me problems with methylating. I had never heard of such a thing, but sure enough, I have a double MTHFR mutation which explains so many of my symptoms. I will write more on this later as I want to raise awareness and see if I can help others with chronic illnesses get diagnosed and treated. Long story short, with the right vitamins and detox lifestyle and therapies (this mutation causes your body to not process B vitamins and to not be able to get rid of toxins - which can lead to fatigue, immunity problems, and even, as in my case, neurological problems), I can get better over time. It won't be a "quick fix", it will be a marathon, not a sprint. But God is so faithful to hear my prayers, even when they are disrespectful.  And He is faithful to let me have relapse after relapse this fall, which led my DO to look deeper than he had already. He is so faithful to give me such a loving husband who insists on taking care of me, even when I don't want to let him. He is in control, and He is so good.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to Overcome Fatigue - More Ways to Cope with Detox

I know, I know, another blog about my health, but I have been getting a lot of hits from google, which makes me think that God is using all stuff I've been going through to help others. So here goes:

Update- Back up to walking 25-27 minutes and able to keep my house clean again, and see some friends. The Lord is gracious and kind!

(I realized that my last post may have scared some of my family and friends, especially if you didn't know what was going on with me for the past few months! I mentioned that I was having tremors because of detox - what I did not mention is that I have had much worse tremors in the past, and this whole detox process, which I have been going through since early May, has made them MUCH better in general. In April, I was having them so bad that on some days, I could barely walk to the refrigerator without my whole body shaking - I would have to use a walker or cane just to get around in my own house! My neurological problems were getting so bad that I would even stutter from time to time. We tried three different traditional doctors, and Cat-scans and blood tests all came back negative. They just acted like I was crazy because they couldn't figure out what was wrong, and offered me valium. So needless to say, I got sick of that sort of treatment and just stuck with my osteopath, who said they were caused by neurotoxins from, ahem, intestinal critters from a mission trip, and candida.
     So I am sorry if I scared any of you - Pete posted about it recently on facebook asking for prayer in a particularly hard moment, and didn't mention why I was having them (because he didn't want to embarrass me). So I think it may have scared some of you needlessly! I still have tremors/ shakes occasionally, but nothing like I used to, and doing this detox stuff, which really only involves taking probiotics, probiotic rich food like kefir and sauerkraut , avoiding most carbs, eating organic, and taking garlic and coconut oil - nothing crazy! - is why I am not still bedridden and am slowly but surely getting my life back.)

        Since lately I have been going through some pretty heavy detox symptoms, as I talked about in my last post, I have been trying to be more proactive about getting rid of the toxins from my body before they build up in my brain and give me crazy symptoms! I've gotten some help with this through a new acupuncturist I just found, along with a lot of my own research. As other people may be doing the same kind of research I was doing last week, I thought I would share some of what I have been doing that is helping. I think this would apply not just to candida or instestinal critter die-off, but also Lyme or other types of die-off:

1) Drink half your body weight in water, everyday. So if you weigh 100 pounds, drink 50 ozs, or 6  eight oz glasses of water, a day. I used to do this quite regularly, but got a little lazy about it lately, which is maybe part of why my detox symptoms were getting worse?!  My acupuncturist told me last week that I need to treat water as a prescription - it is extremely important to remove toxins from your body!

2) Eat lots of fiber - need I say more? ......

3) Take Epsom salt baths daily - use at least 2 cups of Epsom salt in your bath, and stay in for at least 20 minutes. I would do this sometimes - but not everyday, and not two cups of salt! My acupuncturist gave me these specific directions last week, and it seems to really be helping! I add different essential oils I buy online - like lavendar (calming), peppermint (helps with mood), cinnamon (which is anti-fungal), If you don't have a bath tub in your home, you can always use a big plastic laundry tub like this (where there is a will, there is a way!):

4) Try Oil Pulling/ Sauna/ Skin Brushing - Here is a link explaining what these are and how to do them:  http://www.thecandidadiet.com/alternative-detox.htm

5) Exercise! Sweat out those toxins! Of course only exercise within your current abilities.

6) Keep your sanity by reminding yourself it is NOT a spiritual/ emotional problem - just a temporary physiological problem - and distract yourself with something fun!

7) Drink lots of veggie juice, but limit the sweet veggies if you have candida! Read - green veggies - not the tastiest, but beats die-off! I have found parsley to work, and can stomach cucumber and celery better than bok-choy!
8) If you are doing all of these things, and your die-off symptoms are unbearable, ease off your probiotics or antifungals (example: garlic oil) for a dose or two - you don't have to be a rock star!

9) Pray and ask for prayer! The battle belongs to the Lord!

What are your tips for dealing with detox/ die-off?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How to Overcome Fatigue – Coping with, and Persevering Through, Detox

Update - Back to walking 15-20 minutes a day. Looking forward to trying acupuncture more regularly, at my husband's insistance and selfless sacrifice of his own wants, to help deal with some detox symptoms I've been struggling with lately. Determined to not give up, and to keep clinging to God.
Often people with adrenal fatigue discover that at the root of their fatigue problems is a “body burden” such as systemic candida (when candida turns into a fungal form and takes root in your intestinal tract and spreads to other parts of your body*), parasites, or maybe even Lyme disease. This is good news to discover what is going wrong in your body. But then as you go through detoxing your body of this body burden, you may feel like you are in a war. Despite the fact that people may (and quite frankly already have) misjudge me, I am going to open up about what this war is like, because I am sure that there are other people out there who must be suffering  the same way. And for this experience to be worth something, I want to comfort others with the comfort God has given me.
Die-off, or detox, from candida, releases seventy-nine different toxins into your body, two of which are acetaldyhyde and ethanol. Here are is an article which talks about some of these die-off symptoms: http://www.thecandidadiet.com/candida-die-off.htm, and another blog which talks about some one’s personal experience with die-off symptoms:  http://myjourneywithcandida.blogspot.com/2010/02/toxins-or-candida-die-offno-one-told-me.html.  Some of the die-off symptoms I deal with are fatigue, flu-like symptoms, unexplained sadness and anxiety, and off and on, tremors. (I know that may shock some of my family and friends, but this has been going on for months - just decided not to hide it anymore. Especially as they snuck up on me Sunday and my whole church family knows anyways!)
Just realize it is NOT a spiritual problem when you are going through detox symptoms like depression or anxiety. Because some people will misjudge you if they see you crying because of detox.  Don’t let people’s well-meaning, but hurtful, comments about “just trust the Lord” or “just be thankful and have a good attitude”  be used by Satan. Don't let it give you false guilt on the one hand - it is not your fault, and feeling guilty will keep you from leaning on God who you desparately need during detox! Or on the other hand, don't let it make you bitter – people probably aren’t intentionally being hurtful, and may just need to be educated on this as candida detox is not a well-known topic! These will only deepen any temporary detox depression into real depression! Remember-  you can persevere, be thankful and trust the Lord in the midst of detox symptoms, but still feel temporarily sad or anxious because of the toxins being released in your system.
That is not to say that there is no spiritual element to this. Certainly Satan attacks with even more discouragement when we are physically weak, especially temptations to not keep taking your probiotics or anti-fungal drugs ;) (or whatever you need to take to get rid of your particular body burden).  Remember –the alternative of just staying sick is not worth the temporary avoidance of detox symptoms, no matter how bad they may be (but realize it is OK to temporarily slow down if things get too rough!). I ask myself when I am tempted to give up, "Would I rather be bed-ridden or walk around with a cane?"  Or just other general temptations you deal with at other times can get stronger, whatever those may be (losing your temper, impatience, lack of trust, etc.).  And you stand strong in the Lord by clinging to Him through this whole process, resting in His love and grace, resisting these temptations through His strength, and accept His forgiveness when you fail (because as a sinner, you will fail sometimes!)
You can also stand strong through die-off by accepting help when people offer it (hard for me to do with my pride!).  Or by getting the rest you need and not pushing yourself too hard- your body needs more rest when you are going through die-off. You can stand strong by listening to music – I listen to either Christian or classical depending on the mood I am in. Or doing something for someone else who is sick or struggling – I like to write encouraging notes, or paint mugs for people. It helps me not be isolated from others, and helps me keep my mind off my own problems. Or watching or reading something which brings you joy – I am currently watching episodes of “The Waltons” - that may be the last thing you would choose to watch, but you get the idea.  Or doing practical things to ease the die-off symptoms, like drink tons of water or take Epsom salt baths (draws the toxins out of the body) or easing off your dose of anti-fungals temporarily.  Or take a supplement such as Milk Thistle which helps your liver process toxins faster. (Researching for this article I just read about an essential trace mineral called Molybdenum which may really help with candida detox- will post more about it later if it helps me!)
And remember you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength – not your own strength, so let Him carry you.
* Some conventional doctors deny the existence of systemic candida probably because one of the root causes can be over-use of antibiotics, but thankfully my doctor does not. Nor does M.D. Joseph Brasco, co-author of “Restoring Your Digestive Health”, whose protocol I am following. Also, here is an article by Dr. Oz which validates the connection between candida and chronic fatigue: http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/jacob-teitelbaum-md/candida-eliminating-yeastfungal-overgrowth.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

How to Overcome Fatigue - NEVER. GIVE. UP.

        Everything was going so well with my recovery. I was walking 25-30 minutes a day, able to do most of my own housework, and had some energy left over to see friends and do crafty stuff.  But then came a crazy heatwave, with over 100 degree temperatures. That knocked me down some, despite our best efforts to overcome it. Pete had bought another wall unit for the bedroom and got the car AC fixed, knowing that last summer the heat had knocked me down a lot. And I came up with all kinds of creative ways to "beat the heat", involving hanging sheets over our windows and putting ice in front of fans! I was determined to not let the heat impede my progress. But the heat was still too much for me, and it weakened my immune system so that I caught a summer flu bug earlier this week. Actually, we both did, and spent a couple of days staring at each other through our nauseau. I was too nauseaus to take all of my supplements, but did stick to my candida diet.
       Ok, so everyone catches the flu once in a while - no big deal! By Thursday we were over the bug, but my energy did not come back to where it was the previous week.   I think this is because the candida has come back with full vengeance because I was too sick to take my supplements! I tried to get back to walking Friday, and was only able to walk 6 minutes! And I feel about the energy level of only being able to walk six minutes in day. That is down from 30 just one week ago! I got very frustrated and I hate to admit, even in a bit of a self-pitying funk for a few days. I was doing so well, why did you let this happen God, that kind of stuff.
        God is helping me pull out of this funk, and just accept that this is all part of the journey that He has me on. It is just the nature of adrenal/ chronic fatigue to have setbacks - again and again and again. In "Hope and Help for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", Dr. Bested writes, "If you become ill or cannot exercise for a while, you will lose some of your muscle mass and strength within a few days. So reduce the time you walk or reduce the amount of wieghts and repetitions and begin again. Expect that you will begin again and again and again on your road to recovery. Do not get discouraged by this, but look back at your progress over time."   She is right - at least I can walk 6 minutes, and am not walking with a cane! At least I have the mental energy to complete a sentence, or write this blog!  And at least I know that if I get sick again, I need to be more creative about how to take my supplements, even if that means crushing them up in yogurt so I can take them. And at least I know that I am on the right track, and why my body gets so set back after an illness, rather than shooting in the dark like I used to!  So yes, I refuse to give up. I refuse to sink into self-pity and stop persevering because of a little setback. I am determined to get well.
        Pete pointed out to me that of late I have been falling into a Pelagian mindset about getting myself well (Pelagius, for all of you non-church history buffs, was a heretic back in the day who taught works salvation).  And he is right - I am not Pelagian in my theological beliefs, but I have been a practical Pelagian in my approach to getting well - I have been depending too much on my own efforts, instead of trusting and relying on God. I think that is one reason God has allowed this setback - in His grace and mercy, He would rather me be well spiritually than walking thirty minutes a day.
            I think part of my struggle with practical Pelagianism is because I come from a family of pioneers. I do not mean they wear bonnets and live off the land, I mean they have a can-do, persistant, and creative attitude to life and obstacles.  My sister Melissa constantly comes up with creative ways to teach the autistic children she works with. My sister Monica started a successful real estate home business from scratch - a few years ago she was an administrative assistent. My sister Erica helped, and is helping, her son overcome a neurological problem which used to give him ticks - all through creative therapies and natural means - that is not supposed to be possible. My Mom fed a family of nine on a budget of a 100 dollars a week, using very creative means - and she never complained.
        In many ways I am grateful for the legacy of this pioneer spirit. If I didn't have this example, I would still be bed-ridden. But with it comes some pitfalls and temptations. On the one hand, if I succeed in overcoming obstacles, I am tempted to become self-sufficient and forget to give God the glory. On the other hand, if I am not successful or there is a temporary set-back, I am tempted to get hard on myself and get discouraged. Both temptations really come down to pride - pride in my abilities, and lack of a practical daily reliance on God for everything.
     So this time around I will try, by God's grace, to recover ....by His grace! I am by no means giving up on getting well - I have to keep trying. I have to keep trying for the sake of my husband, who has been so loving and supportive. I have to keep trying for the sake of my family members who struggle with adrenal fatigue and feel like there is no way out. I have to keep trying for the sake of my own sanity - there is so much I want to do! But I am giving up doing it in my own strength - the battle belongs to the Lord.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

How to Overcome Fatigue - Get Rid of Body Burdens

 Update -Currently, on a good day, I am able to walk 25-30 minutes. I have overall much more energy for doing stuff around the house, am able on a good day to grocery shop, with Pete's help with the loading and unloading. And I have a little energy left over to be social and do small projects around the house or making homemade gifts for people. As I write this, I am reminded of God's goodness!

      Adrenal fatigue doesn't usually just happen overnight - usually a lot of different stressful events and   health problems build up until finally there is a final straw which breaks the camels back, and your adrenal glands stop producing enough hormones to give you the energy you need. But restoring your health after this occurs is not a hopeless.
         Overcoming adrenal fatigue involves simple problem solving 101. You figure out what is putting a drain on your adrenal glands, what your individual "body burdens" are, and you figure out a plan, with your doctor, how to overcome those body burdens, either through traditional Western medicine or through more natural means. Body burdens could include a too-stressful lifestyle, over- or under- exercise, allergies, chronic bronchitus, or chronic worry (too convicting...moving on...). They could include thyroid problems, blood sugar issues, insomnia, hormone imbalances, instestinal problems such as candida or parasites, or addictions like smoking or too much alcohal. (Summarized from "Adrenal Fatigue - the 21st Century Stress Syndrome" by Dr. James Wilson.)
       I will give two examples of "body burdens" and how I have/ am problem solving to overcome them to illustrate how you can apply this process to whatever your particular "body burdens" are. Two body burdens I am overcoming right now are candida and seasonal allergies. My doctor diagnosed me with candida this April - I had barely heard of it before. (It is a yeast which can become fungal under the right circumstances in your body - my body had the right circumstances!) He told me to double up on probiotics, and prescribed Diflucan. I doubled up on probiotics, and researched Diflucan - it had so many possible nasty side effects, including seizures, that I decided it was not a final solution. So I did lots of research, and found a natural anti-candida protocal by a guy named Jordan Rubin (he had one of the worst cases of candida possible, and overcome it and Crohn's disease completely naturally). His protocal is outlined in his book, "Restoring Your Digestive Health", and includes 1) avoiding for six months any foods which feed candida, including grains, bread, fruit, sugar, honey, or non-fermented dairy products, 2) a high dose of a probiotic called "Primal Defense", 3) a high enzyme (enzymes eat the candida) diet which includes goat milk kefir, freshly made veggie juice, and bone broth, and 4) lots of water and fiber for detoxifying purposes.  I talked to my doctor about using this approach, and he said I earned an A plus for research (always check with your doctor!). And it was significantly helped my health - it is one of the things that have helped me graduate from being house bound to being able to walk 30 minutes on a good day.
       Allergies are a body burden which recently have been knocking me down some, this being a summer with the one of the highest levels of allergens in a long time in San Diego's history.  Last night I took some Benadryl to see if that would help, and today I had tremors. I think that somehow the Benadryl overstimulated my adrenal glands, and my body had more energy than it knew what to do with  (I've had a similiar reactions to other medicines before, and that is the answer my doctor gave me). So I am researching natural ways to overcome seasonal allergies. I am going to try 1) limiting my exposure to the allergens by using an air filter and exercising indoors as much as possible, especially on high allergy days, 2) using natural anti-inflammatory's such as vitamin C, astragulus, and a substance called quercetin which is derived from onions, and 3) ridding my body of as many allergens as possible through drinking plenty of water and using a netti pot.  I am hoping and praying that this will work, and will keep persevering until I figure out something which does.
        While this is a simple concept, living it out is definately not easy. For me, living it out takes daily dependence on God.  It takes perseverence, sometimes, to figure out what your "body burdens" are - it took me over a year to figure out some of mine, and there may be more that I am unaware of! It is simple to realize that I have to get rid of candida to get my energy back. It is not easy to go day after day not eating sweets or bread or rice or even fruit or honey.  Nor it is easy to deal with the "die-off" symptoms of candida which include intense sugar cravings, brain fog, and even depression. It is simple to realize I need to figure out how to deal with allergies. It is not easy to get up the motivation to "problem solve" again, just when I thought I had my recovery plan down to a science. And when conventional medicine's answers are giving me tremors - it takes a lot more persistance to figure out safe, natural methods of dealing with things then just taking over the counter medicine. Nor is it easy (for me) to choose walking in a mall instead of in God's beautiful creation, until allergy season is over. I don't say this to complain - I just don't want to mislead anyone that it is easy!
           But of course the pay-off is completely worth it - it already has been! And when I am well living the full life I dream of, looking back, these little "trials" will seem so insignificant. When I am able to go on trips with my husband, have people over for dinner, volunteer to help homeless kids, work in my garden to my heart's content, and paint as much as I want for my etsy shop, or whatever other adventure's God has in store for us, I will be glad for God's help in persevering and not giving up!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

How to Overcome Fatigue - Exercise!

Update - God is continuing to heal me, and I am so thankful! I am up to walking 23 minutes a day now, and have added some very, very gentle strength training (no weights) which is more than I can believe is possible!  Part of the reason is we cashed out some stocks to add acupuncture - so grateful that my husband is insisting we keep doing it even though I think it is too much to spend.... Have I mentioned how much I love my husband! Still keeping on with the "Guts and Glory" anti-candida program, and will persevere with it until I conquer this beast.

      The last thing a person wants to do when they are fatigued is exercise. And too much exercise is very bad for conditions involving chronic fatigue/ adrenal fatigue -it can put you in bed for days, weeks, or even months! But graded exercise is essential to overcoming fatigue.
       When I was at my worst a few months ago, spending most of my day in bed, the last thing on my mind was exercise. But God works in mysterious ways - I read a book I got from the library called "Hope and Help for Chronic Fatigue" (I mentioned it in my last post), and it gave me the best advice I have ever read on exercise. It said that even if you are bedridden, do a little bit of exercise, even if that means raising your hands above your head three times! So I started there, doing gentle stretches in bed. This helped me graduate to walking around my house with a cane, then without a cane.
     Then I decided to tackle my stairs. We live on top of a garage with a very steep set of stairs. Every time I had to go out to a doctor's appointment, I would end up back in bed for a few days. If I wasn't going to be permanently housebound, I would have to tackle those stairs, and I thank God everyday for them! So I did - I started with two stairs, then three, until I did all of the stairs each day.
      Then I started tackling my driveway. It is really steep, but I figured if I ever wanted to get the mail (and not drive the car to go get it), I would need to tackle driveway. It took me a few weeks, but I eventually made it. From there, I just kept adding on minutes to how far I walked, paying close attention to how my energy was the next day. If it was worse, I would subtract a minute. If it was better, I would add a minute. In the book, the author recommends no more than adding 10 percent a week. Because of other things I've been doing, I am able to do add much more than 10 percent (at that rate, I'd be just now at the top of my driveway!).
           Now I am up to twenty-three minutes, which makes me soooo happy!  And how much I exercise is really helping me expand what else I am able to do - I am able to do more and more around the house. I was able to be social (for limited amounts of time - 45 minutes to an hour) twice this week. And I was able to put together a very simple fundraiser involving bath salts and essential oils for one of our missionaries. I just started last week to do strength training so that I can do the lifting and pushing required with grocery shopping, and eventually vaccuuming, without crashing back in bed. This is very, very easy strength training - I am not doing any weights, just 10-15 arm or leg lifts, alternating days, using my body's own natural resistance. Eventually I will add slightly more and more weight as my body regains strength.
          And how much I exercise is really helping me expand what else I am able to do - I am able to do more and more around the house. I was able to be social (for limited amounts of time - 45 minutes to an hour) twice this week. And I was able to put together a very simple fundraiser involving bath salts and essential oils for one of our missionaries. A month, or even two weeks ago, that would have been unthinkable! Probably the biggest challenge with exercising everyday is that since I have limited energy, I would rather spend it in other ways, like being social for longer periods or doing more around the house. But I see that it is paying off in those areas, so I am going to keep being patient and keep on keeping on until I am completely well and don't have to make those hard choices!
     Exercise has not been the only thing that has helped me recover as much as I have. Jordan Rubin's "Gut's and Glory" program has been essential (another post), as well some different supplements, and lately, acupuncture. But it has been key to my recovery thus far, and will continue to be!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to Overcome Fatigue- Pace Yourself

Update - God is so good! I continue to improve - I am up to walking 10-12 minutes a day, and yesterday was able to walk 13! (This is up from 8 only three weeks ago, and bedridden two and half months ago)! I feel like my endurance is getting stronger - I don't "crash" as easily, and am able to do progressively more and more in a day. I'm continuing to follow the "Guts and Glory" program in "Restoring Your Digestive Health" by Jordan Rubin, and am thrilled to have added in wild-caught fish into my diet and am handling it just fine. I am also working on some hormone issues (a post in itself) which, if I can correct, will hopefully help my energy levels rise even further.

To recover from any chronic illness, especially one in which your adrenals are fatigued, requires very careful, deliberate pacing. Since finding out I had adrenal fatigue over a year ago (before knowing all the reasons why), I have been trying to learn to pace myself, after reading that if you spend more energy than you make, you will continue to stay fatigued, or get worse. But obviously I did not do a great job with this as I ended up bedridden! But then this April I found this chart in a book called "Hope and Help for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia" by Alison Bested, M.D., (one of the top chronic fatigue doctors out there) , and it has helped me enormously:
         What has especially helped me is the "Functional Capacity Scale" which rates which activities you are safe to do at different energy levels (which you can rate very precisely by how many number of minutes you can walk - currently I am a level 5 as I can walk 13 minutes a day). It has also helped me think through things like, "I can walk 12-13 minutes - that means I will crash if I try to walk 20 or 30 minutes in Costco. Better go to a smaller store, and get Pete's help with the lifting." In the past, I would have just thought "I feel better - I can go grocery shopping!", and then spent the next few days in bed. It has helped me look for ways of coping, like driving one of those mobility carts in Walmart so I can go to a bigger store and get more done at once. (I did that for this first time this week - at first I was a little embarrassed, but it felt so good zipping along being able to actually do a decent amount of shopping, that I stopped caring about being embarrassed and started really enjoying myself!)
       I am still not great at pacing because 1) I have a type A personality trapped in a type Z body, and 2) I don't like saying "no" and either hurting people's feelings or risking them thinking I am "lazy". But I am learning to be more logical about  where my abilities are at instead of indulging in wishful thinking and hurting myself in the process (Pete is really good for me for this). And I am becoming more assertive out of necessity. This process is really teaching me a lot about patience - I am NOT naturally a patient person, so I think that may be one reason God is allowing me to go through this trial. If I am not patient, I will NOT get better - so I have to rely on God for this every day!
     Two things I make sure to prioritize in pacing myself is Bible/ prayer time, and exercise. God deserves my best energy, and I can not overcome a chronic illness without His constant help (for example, "Please help me resist this temptation to eat cheese!" or "Please help me resist the temptation to carry this laundry basket down the stairs by myself!") Since I am making it first priority, prayer and Bible reading has become more of a habit that I don't have to remind myself to do like I used to. I just do it automatically first thing in the morning (well, first thing being 10 am for me haha, but you get the idea). I am determined to keep this habit the rest of my life.
        Exercise is my next highest priority, as this will over time increase the amount of energy I have to spend. Many days I would rather spend my limited energy doing stuff around the house or being social or painting, than exercising. But I keep reminding myself that in the long run, if I can build my endurance through exercise, I won't have to make a choice between doing the laundry or hanging out with friends or exercising - I will be able to do it all! And already it is paying off - I have more endurance to do more housework, and socially it is helping as I can concentrate on what people are saying better :). I could not do this without my husband's support (and I should add insistance!). If he didn't insist on helping with the housework and that I rest like I should, I would not have the energy to exercise and progress in my endurance levels. I am very humbled and realize I am especially blessed with a very supportive husband, which gives me even more motivation to be faithful in exercising each day. (More on exercise in my next post).
       Filling out the activity logs faithfully each day (it can be painful as it makes me come to terms with reality if I overdo it and "crash") has been one of the most important tools in my recovery. I plan on filling them out until I am a level 9 or even 10!
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