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Some blips on my Addison’s learning curve

November 5, 2007

My last post celebrated a balanced day last Thursday. And balanced it was, as long as I stayed home. I’m really perfectly spontaneous, you know, as long as nothing perturbs my routine.

Still feeling strong after dinner, I thought I could brave the nearby megastore, thinking it more convenient to get diverse things there than to go to three stores.

LESSON: Go to three stores in three days. Do not attempt Fred Meyer.

I should have sent an OSHA spy ahead. The store’s PA system blared music at between 130-140 db. I knew this was not a Good Thing as soon as we walked in, but I felt braced with determination and the support of an unstressed day. My husband kept asking whether I was going to be all right, but I said we were vested in the errand and we might as well finish it. WRONG.

I asked two different employees to please find a way to get the music turned down. Both used communication devices and appeared to make calls. The music continued to blare at a pathogenic level. Still, I thought I could tough it out and just get the errands done. After all, I’m a 60s rock era vet.

By the time we reached the check-out, I was breathless and feeling ill. A manager was on hand and I explained that I had asked twice to have the music turned down. She was sympathetic, saying that two store employees had also complained that the music was too loud, but there was nothing they could do. The store director who has the sole power to control the music had gone home. Everyone in the store had to endure the obnoxiously loud music until the store closed at 11:00 p.m.

I had to lie down as soon as we came home. I was exhausted and ill all of Friday. Saturday morning a migraine erupted. This was actually a great boon, because I finally recognized that I was dealing with extra stress that required additional hydrocortisone. I’m still so new at this and afraid to take any extra, but it is absolutely necessary to deal with stress my body simply cannot withstand with its cortisol deficit. The migraine gave me license to take an extra dose, and Saturday I felt well and energetic.

LESSON: Be aware of stress, both good and bad. Do not scrimp on hydrocortisone when under stress. Good grief, the stuff is so cheap and it is my lifeline.

NEXT TIME: If an environment is overly stressful, I will leave immediately. Nothing in my town can be obtained in only one place at only one time. Gear up with extra hydrocortisone before entering any situation, good or bad, that will increase the demand to counter stress. Natural stress-deflecting processes are not in effect. Get used to it.

My husband thought it good that we should attend our sister church Sunday, with its lighter crowd. Anticipating the good stress, I took extra hydrocortisone, and was still a bit overwhelmed by the warm reception we received. It’s so wonderful to be among brethren whose warmth and fellowship bottoms out your cortisol supply! Yes, it’s an odd way to look at life, but necessary now. And eventually an appropriate management dose will no doubt become routine.

In the meantime, I try to gain a sense of measure and necessity and value in terms of cortisol currency for everything I do. Bad stress requires evaluation of necessity and mitigation. Good stress must go on.

Addison’s disease still seems daunting and limiting to me, but I am finding that it is actually enhancing my life, as well. It impels me to shine the scrutinizing light of value on everything I do, for the sake of my health and for the sake of my optimal representation of Christ and my local church. In that searching light, I would desire to be found upbeat, prudent, and very, very grateful.

May thy Holy Scriptures govern every part of our lives, and regulate the discharge of all our duties, so that we may adorn thy doctrine in all things. (The Valley of Vision)

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