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1/11/11 – When Normal isn’t Normal Anymore

Seems as though the Dr. had a remedy for the sleep.  Time will tell on the stomach. I ate a protein pudding before bed to see if that helps.

I woke feeling much more refreshed than I’ve felt in a few weeks.  I made the decision, probably too prematurely, to head to the gym.  I used the suggestions of an article I read with how to progress with workouts and such – one exercise per body part, apprx. 30 min workouts, no more than 3x a week.  Really?

Still sticking to listening, which is a bizarre task when listening requires adjusting what my “normal” has been set at.

Here’s what I did today:

4 sets decline DB pull-overs – 15 reps @ 15lbs

4 sets decline DB chest press – 15 reps @ 15lbs

4 sets DB walking lunges – 15 reps.  1st set @15lbs, 2nd and 3rd set @ 20lbs, and 4th set 10 reps @ 20lbs.

On that last set of lunges I felt I might be stepping into boundaries I wasn’t supposed to be with the fatigue, so I stopped at 10.

I’ve read about saunas helping, and seeing as though I’m not sweating anymore…. I sat in the sauna for 10 min.  (going to “research” this a little further.)

By the time I left, less than an hour later, I felt as if I’d done deadlifts.  My energy was zapped.  I sunk into a state of depression with many thoughts weighing me down.  The hardest part of all this is adjusting my thinking from what is “normal” to what is really a symptom of deeper issues.  I think I’ve lived with this for some time now.  My normal has become not so normal over night.  Let’s face it, I look fine from the outside.  Even my husband doesn’t know that I sneak naps in the middle of the day.  The constant guilt over needing a nap to survive the day surely wasn’t/isn’t helping.

I’m having a lot of emotional struggles with this whole process.  I think I’ve adjusted with pushing through the fatigue so long that it’s just the way it is.  I’ve had numerous people telling me I’m fine, it will pass if I take a break, it’s all in my head.  I’ve had no one say something might actually need checking out.  Only because I’m learning to listen to myself above others, did I go seek help.  Through the doctors results the message to listen & trust myself was validated.  Only I know how I feel every second of my life.  Had my leg been broken and the bone poking through, no one would have argued.  It’s harder to go easy on myself and for others to acknowledge what’s going on when you can’t see that I have a broken leg.

I feel God is talking to me.  I feel as though everything will be fine, but this is a big lesson for me in seeing what’s really important in my life and finding balance once and for all.  My black and white thinking, all or nothing approach, and perfectionist mentality will have to come to a halt at some point.  Seems as though the message becomes clearer and clearer.  But I’ve had to be open to that message as well.  I’m given what I’m ready for in pieces, in a way that isn’t overwhelming enough that I retreat.

I’m thinking about going to real school after I pass my re-certification for my NASM in March.  :)   I see too many following this same path, I just would hope one day I can provide a detour before they come to a traffic jam.

Oh, I’ll be skipping the cardio tonight.


Tara, I could identify with so much in this post! My adrenal exhaustion was brought on by working 60+ hours per week in a very stressful environment and not having the time to look after myself in terms of nutrition and exercise. I have always had a rather “interesting” hormone profile, which apparently caused my sudden weight gain 15 years ago and hindered weight loss in the intervening years. I suppose we break at our weakest point, mine being my endocrine system.

When I was diagnosed with adrenal exhaustion early in November, I went to my employer and told him that I needed help, that my health is suffering and that I couldn’t continue doing two people’s job. Nothing happened and when I was tested a month later, my adrenals had deteriorated even further, despite being on adrenal support. Round about this time my condition started affecting my ability to cope at work – physically and emotionally. Instead of supporting me, the company started persecuting and bullying me, until I broke down completely and resigned. Even then I wasn’t able to stop working immediately or even take sick days as my position in the company was so crucial. I waited for a replacement to arrive, gave him a thorough handover and left. Through all this time, I was treated with utter contempt and malice. I am now involved in a legal dispute with the company, because they still don’t get that I am in fact very ill and are withholding my salary because I didn’t work out my two months’ notice, despite the fact that I have been booked off from any work until the end of April. Needless to say, this is the last thing I need in terms of recovery!

When I finally left work, I literally crashed. I could not be up and about for more than 3-4 hours per day. The rest of the time I was flat on the couch or on my bed. Two weeks later I can feel that I’ve improved slightly, but any outing still leaves me shattered.

Fortunately, my husband saw the whole unraveling. He supported me when I could barely walk. He held me when I woke up sobbing in the middle of the night. I think he realized that this was serious stuff – that I could lose my life or my sanity.

I am so unfit at this time, and of course I have very little energy, but I am starting to take short walks and doing stretches on a daily basis. Just to get my body moving and my blood pumping again.

Adrenal exhaustion, and all the conditions associated with it, like severe depression in my case, is a terrible disease and one that is largely unknown out there, which is why we get these kind of reactions. If I’d been diagnosed with cancer, they would probably have fallen over themselves to accommodate my needs. Instead I was told, “Try to remain professional”.

Wow, it’s insane isn’t it? There needs to be some education and speaking out on this condition. I’m going to start following you, girl. I hope you get this sorted out as well. What has your treatment been thus far?

In a weird way, but in a way I’m sure you’ll understand, I take comfort in finding people that can relate to me. I think one of the hardest things when I was hit with this news was a feeling of being isolated – having no one that I could relate to, or that could relate to me.

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