Health Update

I wanted to give a quick update about my health because I have been asking for more prayers again. I’m not sure what I even posted before about my health (kind of sad when I don’t even read my own blog!), but I’ve been diagnosed with adrenal failure, which pretty much just means that my adrenal glands are not functioning. The adrenal glands are responsible for the production of a whole bunch of hormones, and I was critically low on several hormones when I was first tested. (Haven’t been retested yet so I don’t know how my levels are looking now.)

The diagnosis was hard to come by because many doctors wanted to write off my symptoms to stress. I saw sooooo many doctors in September and October, and each one wrote me a new prescription and sent me on my way. And still I suffered with extreme fatigue (can’t get out of bed fatigue), muscle pain, and worst of all, shortness of breath, chest pain and tightness.

I finally went to see a holistic doctor who took a LOT of blood, and he found my adrenal issues. He prescribed steroids (your adrenal glands are responsible for producing cortisol (adrenaline) – a steroid which combats fatigue), a whole bunch of supplements, and a weekly IV infusion. This sounded great, until it hit our pocketbook. I was able to find a holistic provider on our insurance plan, but still supplements (I take about 35 pills a DAY) and infusions are not covered.

I have carried on with my treatments, but I had reduced the amount of steroids I was taking and after 6 or 7 infusions, had stopped getting them for a few weeks (because of finances). Well, then last week the shortness of breath and chest tightness and chest pain came back with a vengeance. I don’t know if any of you have ever experienced the sensation of not being able to breathe, but it is scary. And knowing that, “It’s okay. You’re body is getting the oxygen you need. Your heart is beating. You are going to be okay” somehow doesn’t quite get me over the scare of “Oh, my gosh, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.”

So I went to the urgent care, but my EKG came back normal (as expected) and they couldn’t help (as expected). So my quandary was, “Now I feel awful again and I am already on hormone replacement, what do I do now?” And I didn’t know, but I knew I couldn’t go on feeling like I wasn’t breathing.

So I went back to the original doctor (not on my insurance plan) and he chided me for lowering my steroid amount. He told me to triple my steroids and my hormones, and gave me 2 new supplements. One of my supplements was 5-HTP, which is supposed to lower my anxiety about my breathing issues, because he understands that when I get these breathing attacks, my anxiety level is crazy high. He also gave me my results from a heavy metal toxicity test I had taken, and it showed that I have very high levels of lead and thallium in my body. So he suggested chelation therapy to rid myself of the metals.

So what do I do now? All of these supplements, IV infusions, and the chelation therapy are not covered by insurance. And we’re not talking a paltry sum here. But I also know that I can’t continue to be unhealthy. It really is very difficult to know what the next step should be. On top of everything else, chelation therapy would mean an end to nursing LB. I know some of you think, “I can’t believe you’re still nursing her anyway!” And it’s not that age-wise I think she still needs it, but if you’ve ever had a baby that is attached to nursing, you understand how hard it is to just stop cold turkey. Let’s just say, there would be a lot of crying and screaming and frustration, and LB would be upset, too.

I honestly can say that MM and I just don’t know what to do. You know, it might seem like it’s all about money, and some of you who are not in similar financial situations would reply, “You have to have your health. Who cares how much it costs? You have to do it.” But the other feeling in the back of our minds is, “What if these therapies don’t work? There’s no guarantee that after doing these IVs and chelations and supplements I’ll feel any better. And no one really knows why my adrenal glands failed in the first place.”

And there is the spiritual side. When I really think about Jesus, and all He did for us, and all He went through, part of me knows that this trial is nothing… nothing compared to Him. He really is all I need – not my health, not my family’s health, not my family. But writing that and understanding that and actually living that are very different things. Because I do get scared and worried and frustrated and feel like I am failing my husband and my family because I can’t do the things I’m supposed to do. I can’t be the mom and wife and teacher that I should because I don’t feel well. And I know it’s only been a few months, and I know that there are women that go through a LOT more, and I don’t live in despair, but I do feel it now and again. Which just means that this is spiritual as well as physical.

Anyway, thank you, my friends, who have been faithful to pray for me. I just wanted to update you to where we stood and how we are praying. I know that the Lord will lead us through this, and that is really all that matters.

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