I was determined to find someone to help me find out what was wrong with me. After reading “Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Stress Syndrome” by James Wilson, I finally felt hopeful that there was a possibility in making sense of all this madness. I went from website to website, reading through naturopaths, functional medicine doctors, alternative medicine, holistic health, trying to educate myself on the different options I had over Western medicine. I started to learn that insurance didn’t really cover these types of doctors. If they did, they hardly covered anything. So that was discouraging but I kept pushing forward. I had to find something and not quit because I felt close. I narrowed things down to two people. There was a doctor that was about 30 minutes away from me but I had to be ready to shell out $1500 and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do that quite yet. It was overwhelming for me and I wanted to take things slow. Then there was a woman who was specialized in alternative medicine and energy balancing. She wasn’t a doctor but based on her reviews on Yelp she looked like she was doing something right and because her fees were very affordable and she could do her work over the phone, I went with her.
We did a consultation over the phone and it was weird because she could “read” me over the phone based on my energy. I actually started to think, “What did I get myself into? This woman sounds like a quack.” But who was I to judge when all these other doctors from Kaiser couldn’t help me, why not give her a chance and open my mind a little bit. We ended up scheduling a regular appointment over the phone that took about an hour and a half. She went through this list of things that she read out loud, things like b vitamins, reproductive system, liver, kidney, heart, vitamin deficiencies and as she went through each category, I can tell that she was really trying to read my energy over the phone. When she was done doing her reading on me, we went back through everything she discovered. She went on by asking me specific questions that were very detailed to the symptoms I was experiencing and I hadn’t even went into all my symptoms with her. She asked if I had experienced edema of any limbs or if I was having dizzy spells, breaking out like I was a teenager or if I experienced severely chapped lips. I was immediately spooked because she was pointing out a chunk of all my symptoms based on her reading my energy over the phone. I became a believer, of course because I truly did believe her, but also because I felt I had to, I needed to. I needed something to push me out of this slump that I was in, something that gave me hope and a glimmer of a symptom free future. So I ended up having to order a number of different supplements which included things like: potassium for proper muscle contraction and to decrease heart palpitations, water retention, weakness in legs and fatigue, Stress-J Formula to support the adrenal glands, B-Complex to support adrenal glands, Red Clover to increase Estrogen and Capsicum to move my sluggish lymph system. I anticipated the arrival of all my supplements because I was expecting a huge miracle.
My supplements finally came and I started my new regimen. I felt like I was starting this new journey as a brand new woman and looked forward to all these changes I was going to experience. It was a slow process but I must say, it was changing something. Enough for me to notice a slight difference anyway. But I took it and I ran with it. Feeling a slight change was better than feeling nothing at all! My “brain jolts” decreased a little but they were still there and I was still very irritable and felt like I had low blood pressure. So she added Gingko and Hawthorne to my regimen. Now all of these things that she was having me order I researched online and made sure I looked up people’s reviews on them so that I knew I wasn’t taking some random herb or supplement. I lost all trust in anyone trying to tell me what to do with my health so I had to double check everything. So now it was just a matter of me allowing these supplements to fully take affect.
Meanwhile, while being at a friends house with my husband and kids, my girlfriend and I were chit chatting about losing weight. I brought up how I came across a Groupon for laser fat reduction and she mentioned how she saw something similar to that too. Secretly I thought this would be a great way to lose weight before we try to do IVF the next year. Yes! The IVF was back on the table again! Anyway, later on that night, I managed to get my husband to agree with me to try out the laser fat reduction and so I went on to schedule an appointment. I left work early to go to this appointment and I had to fill out a detailed questionnaire about my symptoms and things of that sort. I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t have to worry about any of these symptoms because I’m taking supplements and I’m going to be better soon!” The doctor called me in to do the consultation and he mentioned that based on my questionnaire, it looked like I had some adrenal issues and some other issues that he could go into if I wanted him to, but I told him that I was currently seeing a doctor for all those issues and that was the last that I heard of that from him. The laser fat reduction was interesting. After each session I was supposed to workout so that the lymph system could move the fat out of my body, but I ended up getting bronchitis. I was so frustrated because surely all the supplements I was taking should’ve strengthened my immune system but it didn’t. I kept telling myself that I had to be patient and give these supplements time to do its work.
My husband tried to be supportive with what was going on with me . We had even agreed to try and get a housecleaner for the house maybe once a month to help me with things around the house. I was excited because I really thought that maybe alleviating this responsibility would help me rest and concentrate on other things. I talked with friends and fished around for other things that could maybe help me not be so stressed out and tired. But it all seemed hopeless since we had no close friends that lived near us, my parents were retired and lived in Hawaii and although I have a younger brother that lived at home with us, he was single, worked full time and had his own life. My husband’s family lived an hour and a half away from us so I was pretty much stuck with everything. My husband’s work schedule was erratic so since I had the consistent work schedule, it was always me and the kids. The housekeeper thing only happened once because lucky us, we got hit with a huge IRS bill.
Time went on and there came an opportunity for me to change positions at my job which meant that I could move to an office that was closer to home. I thought for sure this would be yet another thing that could make my life better. But it also meant that I lost carpool and my daughter would join my son at his school. I thought my new position would be better, less stressful, but it wasn’t. I was at my job for almost 12 years and the County was going through major changes with the Obama Care coming and I had to break old habits and learn new ones. It was hard because I had worked with the same people for a very long time so I felt like I was losing a family. I had a few old co-workers follow me to the new office so it wasn’t too lonely. The commute was horrible. I thought driving 45 miles north of where we lived, taking an hour to get there and almost 2 hours to get home was bad, but with no carpool, my 25 mile commute took over an hour by myself. It was sheer torture.
I felt like I was doing better but I was still very tired all the time. I still had a hard time focusing at work and remembering even the basic procedures of how to process cases. I felt like I lost all interest in my job because I was being consumed with my depression. On my breaks, I would walk up and down these stairs that were near my cubicle area, hoping I’d shed some weight but it didn’t help, it only made me more tired. I would sit at my cubicle by myself most of the time because I didn’t really wanna talk to anyone. I couldn’t handle stress at all. Everything was like the end of the world to me and I cried over everything! Don’t get me wrong, I had my good moments….not days but moments and when I did have them, I enjoyed having small talk with co-workers and taking moments with my children to enjoy them growing right before my eyes.
The end of the year was coming around and once again I got sick. I felt an overwhelming darkness in my life taking over my soul slowly and felt helpless. My Supervisor even called me in to a meeting one day to pretty much put me in my place with how my work production wasn’t satisfactory. This Supervisor was the one who interviewed me when I was a vibrant 24 years old and there I was, at 35 years old, losing my mind. She recommended that I look into taking a leave of absence, talk to a therapist, do something because she knew that it wasn’t in my nature to be the way that I was. I broke down in tears and sobbed because she was right. It wasn’t me. So I really considered her advice. I even thought about leaving my job because our tax guy pretty much told me I was crazy for working because all I was working for was daycare and the taxes that we owed every year. But how could I leave my job? I worked there for almost 12 years. I grew up there and in a sense, my job, my co-workers, they were like my family. It was my home away from home and it was a huge part of my identity. I thought about it on and off for two years but never dared to really consider it, but this time, I really needed to. Things weren’t getting better for me. My husband noticed it, it affected my children and it now trickled into my job and that was bad, because I no longer had a sanctuary of my own to run to, to be away from all my issues. My issues now surrounded me everywhere. So what was it going to be? My job or my health?