On the mend... but it’s a slow journey.
(Salem, Oregon USA)
I wanted to contribute to these stories since they have helped me so much in not feeling alone in this journey.
I am a 53 year old female that has pretty much had to stop most of my life to heal from adrenal fatigue. I am a highly sensitive person so any interaction I tend to use my adrenals to survive because of shyness. I’ve done this my whole life and eventually it caught up with me. I’ve been reading ‘’The highly sensitive person’ by Elaine Aaron which has helped me so much to know that I’m not alone in this and am working to learn the skills to cope with this personality characteristic.
Through the years I’ve also had to deal with a divorce, a nasty custody battle, and challenges finding a job that doesn’t stress me out. I’ve always had a low grade fatigue that sugar and caffeine usually solved. Then I started a job as a care giver for a woman that had an anxiety disorder; because of my sensitivity (I have recently learned), I absorb other people’s emotions. Anyway, that last job pushed me over the edge and I started having severe heart palpitations. They were so bad that I’d feel faint and almost collapse during walks. After a couple of trips to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack, they told me it was just anxiety attacks. Finally, my doctor was able to hear the heart irregularities so she sent me to a cardiologist. This felt wrong to me because I could feel my adrenals ‘reving’ Inside of me, but my doctor was super focused on my heart. I learned later that heart palpations are a ‘symptom’ of adrenal fatigue. To get a pacemaker for a symptom seems wrong. Eventually, I bit the bullet financially and went to a natural doc. She told me right away that I had adrenal fatigue and started me on a plan. What a relief to have someone acknowledge this and help me! She told me that a lot of the supplements I was taking was actually making me worse because they were stimulating my adrenals which was not good for me since they were already overstimulated. She also put me on St. John’s wort which helped my depression so much!
One symptom I have that I haven’t heard anyone with was a sensitivity to noise. This is actually the hardest symptom to deal with for me. Restaurants are out of the question even with ear plugs. Dishes clattering send me to the moon with almost physical pain. Groups of people talking are my second worst. This puts me in a lonely place. Too tired to have a job, go anywhere that is crowded, or anywhere that has more than two people talking. The background music in stores makes me a crazy person. My husband has to keep his phone on vibrate because I lose it when it rings.
I’ve had this crash for about 6 months and I am SLOWLY getting better. At first I could barely move without getting dizzy with vertigo and now I can go on slow walks. I had severe depression at first and now am looking forward to the future. I had no interest in much of anything including tv but now I can enjoy a good movie. I’m learning to knit to give me something to do to keep from going mad with boredom while I am planted in my recliner. I have accepted that this is God’s way of making me slow down and learn how to take care of myself. This helps my frame of mind to keep me from getting bitter and hopeless. I have to constantly remind myself to be patient because it takes so long to heal from adrenal fatigue!
I hope that this helps others and know that you're not alone.😀