Help! Stressed out pet advice

Hey! Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans and Happy Thursday to the rest of y’all. I have animal related questions if you are done with your pie.

My animals (two dogs and two cats) were very used to roaming pretty wild and free out in the country — especially the cats who were rescued from feral barncat mothers specifically to be mousers and live out in our shop. This whole suburban neighborhood / tiny backyard scene is stressing everyone out.

dog-stress

The dogs:

We knew going from six acres with endless pastures and minimal cars / vehicles to a postage-stamp sized backyard was going to be a big adjustment, but we figured we’d just keep them inside more. Being inside with us was typically a treat for them, so we figured no big deal. Ha. Ha. Ha. HA. They basically went bananas. They couldn’t understand why they weren’t going outside to their nice heated doghouse (it stayed in ID because it was basically bigger than our entire backyard) and were instead supposed to lay down on the carpet and sleep.

They started obsessively licking the carpet and sofa all over, like every INCH. You could distract them for a little while and then they’d go right back to it. Later, they’d barf up a ball of carpet fibers, dog hair, and partially digested dog food. It was disgusting.

The vet said it was stress and since they’ve always been outside dogs they probably ought to stay outside dogs even in a smaller yard. So we tried to make them as comfortable out there as possible – we got them Igloo doghouses with heating pads inside and constructed new shelter from the wind and snow, and still have them come inside multiple times a day, take them for walks, and play with them, but they are so confused and have started displaying other behavior problems… like barking, crying, and getting kind of growly / snappy.

Azzo especially is barking more. He’s driving the neighbors batty and ruining naptime for our neighbor’s kids. Being so close to our neighbors is a new experience so I’m especially anxious not to mess it up. Some folks in the neighborhood suggested bark collars, but we hated the idea of shocking our already stressed out pups. And it only took a little research to scare me off the method for good.

We are trying training, but he is so bewildered, we’re not getting very far yet… and I don’t see how teaching him “speak” and “quiet” will help if he’s just hanging out back there without us — especially during the night (though we will keep trying, of course). I ordered a supposedly kinder bark collar that sprays Citronella instead of delivering an electric shock, but the reviews are very mixed. Anyone have some experience with any of this? I’m afraid even Citronella is going to be confusing and cause more stress for Azzo.

catstress

The cats:

The cats were pretty freaked out, too. They had diarrhea for the entire first week we were in the new place. So. Horrible. Between the dogs barfing and the cats pooing and the whole move in general, I cried A LOT. We very intentionally rescued Dusty specifically because she was a barn cat with awesome mousing skills. She tolerates us but is far from a cuddly house cat. She wants to be outside working and is losing her crapballs cooped up in here all the time. She is tearing up the carpets and furniture and has taken to chewing holes in blankets (as I type she is methodically shredding an envelope — it is mildly creepy). We have gotten loads of toys but it’s just not the same as having the freedom to prowl and hunt. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that she got out soon after we moved in and was missing for 36 hours in 10 degrees below 0 temperatures with horizontal wind-snow going. I sobbed my eyes out (crying has been a recurring theme lately) and spent hours searching for her, certain we were going to find a body on the side of the road. I was stunned when she came trotting back to the house like it was no big deal. Maybe I should have a little more faith in her and let her wander?

Kevin was a barn cat with wild parents too, but we got him a little too young. He cried for his first few weeks with us and the only course of action was to mother him. He is now a complete baby and is useless in mousing. I’m pretty sure he thinks his sole purpose in life is to be a very plush, very beautiful decoration. As such, he has adjusted much quicker to in-the-house-life, but is still meowing at the door to go out all the time. When we’ve let them out with supervision they roll in the snow. I didn’t think about it, but going from living outside to inside a heated house is probably stressful just temperature-wise. They are drinking loads more water than they used to.

I got them new ID tags, but still feel terrified to let them wander around a new city with so many cars racing about. I think they probably need it, though.

cat-allergy

My other problem with the cats mostly indoors is that my allergies are now INSANE. When they lived outside and only visited for some snuggles, my eyes itched but it wasn’t too bad. But now it’s like I have a perpetual, never ending, horrific man-cold. The Benadryl I take for the Urticaria helps a lot, but them living in here 100% of the time isn’t ideal for either of us. I do intend to get them set up in the garage with access to outside soon, but I’ve got to finish going through boxes in there first… I’m also terrified a the thought of running them over. I am fretting that I should have found homes for them in Idaho where their surroundings would have stayed the same. I would have cried like a baby, but maybe they would have been happier? My husband would never have considered that for the dogs (they are practically like children to him), but honestly, did we just do the world’s stupidest thing by moving these country creatures to the city?

I’ve got the dogs in here for the night and Azzo will NOT stop whining and crying at the door. He punctuates the crying with those sharp, stressed out / worried barks and it’s making Lucy start licking. But if I let him outside he whines in the corner of the yard and licks the fence like it’s made of beef. OH MY WORD. And to think I was so worried about the KIDS adjusting!

** Apologies to Randy Glasbergen for the cartoon edits in red.

We are moving to the moon

moving-to-the-moon

I wasn’t trying to be coy, I’m just a dork and got all the way to the end of that post and realized I hadn’t said a thing about where we were going. And then it felt like I needed to do a whole big explanation thing that I didn’t have time for.

So, I try not to be too specific online about my city / address, because weirdos. But this is kind of hilarious because we’re moving to Wyoming, and since there are only like three inhabitable places in the entire state, it’s harder to be elusive about it. (I exaggerate.) Hint: it’s not the pretty northern / Jackson Hole part I’m already well acquainted with.

the-moon

On my first (and only) trip down to the south-western area I was at first sort of encouraged. We drove down along my beloved Snake River, through gorgeous Afton and Hoback Junction by Jackson. I knew that we’d eventually reach the big empty part, but had sort of convinced myself that it would be similar to south-east Idaho. I mean, I’d already adjusted to the flat farmland of Idaho after moving from the splendor of Salt Lake City’s Wasatch Mountains, so how bad could it be, really?

I WAS NOT PREPARED.

nada-wyoming

The first two photos in this post are not mine (and I am horrible because I do not have the credits, so sorry. Photographer, if you find me, please feel free to yell, I will understand). But don’t they seem like it’s going to be okay? Charming bluffs with sort of a deserty, arty feel, right? And hey! Snaking trains in lieu of a river! I can deal!

wyoming

These two photos, however, are mine — well, they are J’s. We were in shock. It was such a jolt! Of nothingness! I mean, looking at them now that sounds very dramatic and like all the Wyomingites will want to punch me in the face. I can see some of that deserty charm — and I think ID really did help prepare me to do so, because would you not just basically sit down and cry if you were moving there straight from the shadows of these?

Wasatch Mountains

I mean, right?? That was my view out my front room window in the house I grew up in. I completely took those mountains for granted.

Anyway, it was all good though. Because driving through hours and hours of what felt like a completely empty, alien planet — or you know, the MOON — by the time we reached a town, it felt like a breathtaking oasis in the middle of nowhere. We poked around the cities that were near enough to my husband’s place of work to not make a commute utterly miserable, and I found that I rather liked the place. It was a relief, to drive around for a few days and feel like I could more than deal. Even in the lovely little cities, you do feel very isolated knowing all that nothingness is on all sides, though. It feels a little bit like you really super better have your food storage and your back up heat source and, I don’t know, basic knowledge of deer hunting (there are MANY, all over the place), because when the zombies come, I don’t think ANYONE is going to remember that there are these little outposts of humanity in Wyoming and send help.

My friend Tracy grew up in the area and she says that Wyomingites like it that way. I can totally see that. This area is having a boom, but there isn’t anyone (or at least not many) building houses. They have a housing shortage. It’s so bizarre. All these people are flooding to the area for work but there aren’t enough places for them to live, yet the state has more empty, open, and available SPACE than anyone else in the union. House hunting down there has been insane.

Here, I’ll show you what we’re dealing with. It’s called sticker shock.

se-idaho-house

This house above is available near me here in Idaho for $230,000. It is 3100 square feet and has 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. It was built in 2008 and sits on a beautifully landscaped acre. It’s not my dream house or anything, but should give you an indicator for comparison.

Here’s a comparable listing (price-wise and sizeish-wise) from one of the areas in which we are looking:

wy-listing

Asking price is $224,000. It has 2200 square feet, 6 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms. It was built in the late 70s and sits on a 0.14 acre lot. Now, I’m not going to house bash, I realize these are very different housing markets, and know I could compare a listing in ID to something in the bay area in California and we’d all die of sticker shock. It’s just an adjustment.

Plus we’re coming from years of dreaming of a lot more land; taking steps to try and make that happen, but instead we’re shopping around in a place where it’s going to be a major score if we have enough yard for a couple of dogs to not go completely mad.

So, you know, different! Shelving the dream! It’s probably going to be hard. But we’re not giving up on the dream either. Hopefully this will just be a means to an end… another stepping stone on the path of life. I dunno, insert your own cliche.

My youngest is next to me in bed. He just rolled over and mumbled something about Jabba the Hut. I will leave you with that & schedule this for 5am (rest assured I will not be awake). I’ve got lovely friends descending at sun up (hopefully not right at sun up) wielding packing tape and Sharpies. They are the best.

Sagebrushily yours,
Jessica

p.s. Daylight savings is the WORST. This was the longest day ever with the crabbiest children on the planet ever in all history of ever. We were stuck in the house with various degrees of colds (thank you, Halloween! I totally blame you, just so you know.) (Halloween totally doesn’t give a crap.) So if this post sounds ever so slightly doom and gloom, never fear; I will cheer up when the sun comes up, I am sure.

Moving. To a new state. Not Utah. Like, next week.

Well. That’s one way to motivate me to blog a bit more – brain-dump churchy stuff, get a bit itchy & decide it’s a super great time to write more stuff as to push the post off the front page.

Plus, I’ve got something to tell y’all. We’re moving.

moving-boxes

Sadly, not to our dream homestead — just to another rental (for now) — so we can be closer to E’s work. The long distance relationship* thing has been a drag (and really hard on the kids), plus E was wasting his limited home time with a 10 hour round-trip commute. It has been a decision we’ve really labored over. There are lots of tears over moving far away from amazing friends we have here in an area that we’ve really come to love.

* I realize I have blogged little to nothing about this. But E’s new job took him out of state and he was only able to be home for a day and a half or so each week. We were really wanting to keep the kids in this area and thought the travel/long-distance thing might work, but no, it hasn’t been ideal.

It will be a brand new experience for my kids, we’ll be living in a bigger city in a regular neighborhood without the cushion of lots of country space around. I think they’ll come to like novel things like sidewalks and having friends really close by rather than acres and acres away. It’ll be kind of fun, I think, to live near amenities like a rec center (with lovely lap lanes!) and be within bike riding distance to ice cream shops and parks. But it’s still very hard on everybody** — we have put down some very deep roots here, and we hope in time, we’ll be able to come back.

** Miss K is not sad at all actually, as she’ll be getting her own room. Finally. Gosh. (They’ve really done surprisingly well sharing even though we have been here about 4 months longer than we originally planned, but girlfriend needs her own space, I totally agree.)

empty-bookcases

My super-hero friends have been helping since I am not supposed to do much and brought over boxes and supplies yesterday. E. is the only one who has seen the new place, so we don’t have any good photos, but we should be moved in by next weekend & I’ll show you around after the dust settles. Here’s one picture from the listing (the rest are of the outside, which I don’t want to post online).

kitchen

I’m a broken record, but we have really found this 1968 trailer rental more than fine, but I will admit that it’ll be nice to have a kitchen in a more user-friendly layout, and LOOK MA, no peel & stick tiles on the floor. Woo.

p.s. I’ll be back tomorrow-ish with the obligatory costume photos from tonight, and, with how today is going so far, a picture of four kids passed out in a sugar coma.

p.p.s. I realize I have not told you which state. More on that later.

A rambling faith manifesto of sorts & the curiosities of Mormon garments

Hey guys! I clearly don’t know what I’m doing with this space, but it has been nice to be on a different, cheaper hosting system so I don’t get so antsy (riddled with money wasting guilt) when I’m not feeling the blogging bug.

I just wanted to pop in & share this video that explains the Mormon temple garments (commonly referred to as magic underwear online). I’m typically not a really open person about my faith, but I’ve had lots of (tentative, nervous, and curious) questions about my underwear over the years (and I was always happy to answer questions), so I thought if you hadn’t seen this, it might be interesting. I think they did a really great job with the topic and the explanations, and love that they showed pictures of the temple garments and clothing alongside sacred or special religious vestments from other religions.

I am a ‘card carrying’ member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) — which means I have a temple recommend and keep it current even though I can’t attend temple services often these days due to my health. My faith is very important to me, though I am very quiet about it — it feels very, very personal, and isn’t something I want to fight or argue about. The Mormon culture in which I was raised and my pioneer heritage make up huge aspects of my identity — I would have a very hard time separating those things if I were to experience a faith crisis and wanted to leave the church (I don’t see myself ever leaving, but I just wanted to point out that my religion is more than just faith, it’s a way of life.*) I am not a perfect member (no one is!), and though I take comfort in my faith, I have a lot of unanswered questions too; especially concerning controversial issues that make headlines these days.

Fall colors

I, personally, am extremely accepting of people from all walks of faith or non-faith. I have a great deal of respect for people on the whole; good people who are doing their best in life to live according to their hearts – following the faith that is just as deep and meaningful to them as mine is to me. This respect encompasses those who struggle with or eschew a faith in a higher power altogether. *I have respect too, for those who honor their faith crises and leave — it cannot be easy. I don’t think those people are necessarily ‘wicked sinners'; they are people who are trying to follow their hearts.

God, as I understand him, along with his son, Jesus Christ embody love and understanding for all of their children here on earth. I view God as a perfect father to us all and I cannot see someone’s daddy tossing them out of their heavenly home just because they worshiped differently than I do. (Or hey, were raised in the Australian bush, or some remote tribe in South America and walked their own path of happiness — if we are all his children, how could he possibly damn someone to hell just because they grew up without ever meeting a missionary or wore loin cloth in an uncontacted tribe?) I do believe in right and wrong, but I also believe in a loving, understanding, all-knowing God who gives us our free agency and sent his children to earth in a huge array of cultures, lifestyles, and backgrounds. He allows us to make our own choices and to be affected by people making their own choices as well. As a result, we experience pain, sickness, death, frustration, grief, anger, and hurt, but also personal growth, love, joy, and happiness.

Fall colors

I am not a theologian. I am not even a scriptorian. I’m not going to knock on your door and ask you to read the Book of Mormon. I’m not going to fight with you over various interpretations of the Bible. While I question things and think for myself and don’t think I am a blind-follower, I also don’t feel driven to strip organized religion to its core and examine the pieces. I’m okay with not having all the answers. I have had an Evangelical Christian yell at me and offer to pray for my rescue from my horrible, misguided cult. It wasn’t my favorite experience, but I respect her boldness of faith and doing what she felt was the right thing to do. I know that missionaries of my faith can be obnoxious and pushy, and understand completely why someone might slam a door in their face, too (and I really hope I can train my children up to be respectful of others on their missions, should they choose to go). I honestly think for the most part (excluding the legitimately deranged, truly sick, evil people, of whom I’m sure there are many… the world is gross sometimes, y’all) we’re all bumbling about down here, trying to be happy.

I believe that Christians, at our core, all believe in the same Jesus (the one who suffered for our sins and died to save us all). I believe that fighting over the definitions of Jesus or God won’t get us anywhere. I like it when Christians from different churches can hold hands and be friends — or better yet, work together to do good in the world. I like it even more when Christians can respect an agnostic or atheist point of view, and vice a versa. While I am not outgoing enough to be a missionary, my faith brings me hope, peace, comfort, and joy. I am happy to share that with anyone who is interested, but I completely respect those who feel comfortable and happy in where they are at … or you know, just too fond of beer to join up with a bunch of nutty teetotalers.

Fall colors

I understand why people who leave their faiths might feel angry and hurt and then lash out at their former religion — it’d be nice if they didn’t feel like they must trash my way of life, but I totally get where they are coming from, too. I can smile at a lot of LDS humor and mockery, and unlike it says in the video above, I’m not horrifically offended if you call my panties magic — I’ve done so myself, though I see their (the video makers’) point. Mean-spirited mockery of religion & religious artifacts/vestments can make me sad to see (whether it’s toward my religion or someone else’s) and I don’t enjoy stumbling across it, but I also understand it, and realize that it is a pie-in-the-sky dream for everyone the world over to just hold hands and sing kumbaya.

I fully realize this is a jumbled mess of a post, but if I try to edit it and make it eloquent I’ll probably never post it. I might delete it at some point if getting public with my random and meandering statement of Belief makes me feel uncomfortable at some point. Be nice in the comments, k? Or just say hi even if you don’t care about any of this, because that’s okay too. xx

p.s. Pictures apropos of nothing. It was just a lot of text.

p.p.s. Still struggling along over here. Sometimes rashy, sometimes swollen, sometimes super dizzy, but very little actual passing out (knock on wood). I feel like I’m making progress, but it’s slow.

p.p.p.s. I signed up for a writing class and it has been really, really fun.

p.p.p.p.s. I’m totally doing NANOWRIMO next month, are you? I’m verymom over there, let’s be friends.

Constant vigilance and my hyperactive adrenals (finally)

Welcome to another super simplified biology lesson, brought to you by the letter A and your adrenal glands.

(Hey, it should go without saying, but I am not a doctor, and none of my blatherings here have been evaluated by the FDA or any reputable medical establishment. This stuff is cobbled together from my long-ago and rusty background as a nurse, and various tubes on the internet. Please join me in the frustrating journey of finding medical help, and don’t take my word for… well, basically anything, ever.)

hey-adrenal-glands

I got a little happy with the type-tool in Photoshop. Ahem.

adrenal-function

Your adrenal glands actually have different parts that do different things. The adrenal cortex makes hormones that are vital to life: cortisol and aldosterone; your body won’t be able to function without them. The adrenal medulla produces nonessential hormones like adrenaline (epinephrine & norepinephrine). These aren’t considered necessary for life, though they do important things and you are very lucky to have them.

mainstream-adrenal-disease

When your adrenal glands get sick and diseased, it wreaks havoc in your body. That list isn’t comprehensive, by the way.

affect-correct

During a period of extreme stress, your adrenal glands will over-compensate for the extra demand placed on your body. Illness, late nights, a high-stress job, a death in the family, major relationship problems, etc. can wear you out. Your little Dorito-shaped soldiers (or party animals), the adrenals, will rise to the occasion, producing extra cortisol and adrenaline to keep you going.

cortisol-too-high

(Symptom list not comprehensive, yo.)

While they do a good job of keeping us together during periods of duress, over-working your adrenal glands definitely isn’t meant to be a long term solution. After so long (and the exact time frame will vary from person to person) they too will run out of steam; they can’t sustain those high levels of production forever, and as a result your cortisol levels dip.

low-cortisol

Okay so that brings us back to this comic:

Feel like crap? Well I have great news, your labs are 100% normal. You are the picture of health!

You present with a host of troubling symptoms, the doctor runs a blood test — maybe even checking your blood cortisol levels — and blamo, your results come back within the normal range. Sorry you feel like the bottom of a garbage can! Here’s my office bill, have a nice day.

As I’ve come to understand it, the only effective way to test for high or low levels of cortisol is with a 24-hour saliva test. Depending on the test provider, you collect saliva samples either with swabs or by spitting copious amounts of saliva into test tubes *gag*. You then mail the samples to the lab and they get back to you with the results. Then you get to fight with your doctor and make him take into account the results.

barf

Last time I went through this I ordered this saliva test through the Optimal Health Network. I had a good experience with them. For a reasonable fee, they’ll go over your test results with you and work out a treatment plan. I responded very well to the host of (expensive) Standard Process supplements designed for adrenal support. That test will also look at your DHEA (another adrenal hormone), Secretory IGAs, Insulin levels, and Gluten antibodies. This time I used the saliva test recommended by Stop the Thyroid Madness which is good, but not quite as robust.

Mid-novel check-in

Okay, are you with me? Does that make sense? Your adrenals are little machines that take the wheel when life gets NUTS, but they can get tired and crash.

Give that wheel to Jesus, adrenals.

Last time I went through this I had broken my arm, suffered through my fourth hyper-emetic pregnancy, lost a twin baby, went through a brutal D&C for the twin’s retained placenta, hemorrhaged horribly during said D&C, and (not to sound too dramatic) nearly died.

If that isn’t stress in a pressurized can about to be punctured, I don’t know what is. After a year of breastfeeding and increasing difficulty with my weight and health, my skin exploded in a 10 month bout with giant urticara and angioedema. Basically, my body was waving a white flag: WE SURRENDER. HALP. After doing the (frustrating and dead-end) rounds with countless medical professionals, I finally got a tip from blog reader, Liz A. (Holla, Liz.) At her urging, I started researching all this adrenal fatigue stuff. Working with an MD who only sometimes raised her eyebrows so high they fell off her face, a nutty chiropractor, and a very understanding, crunchy DO doctor, I finally took the aforelinked saliva test from the Optimal Health Network, got my insane results, and started healing.

This time isn’t as bad as last time. It’s miserable, but it’s better. Part of that is because I’d already done all the frustrating run around five years ago, and knew what tests I needed straight off the bat. I was able to more quickly get to the point with my family doctor up here and line up the various assortment of medical help I knew I needed. Plus, the stress leading up to this time wasn’t nearly as catastrophic. I didn’t nearly die or anything Lifetime movie-esque. I just pushed myself too hard, so here we are.

My cortisol levels

So my problem (then and now) is too much cortisol. Last time my cortisol levels were OFF THE CHARTS morning, noon, and night. They are screwy this time: low normal in the morning (when they should be higher and ready to give me energy for a new day) and too high at night (when they should be calming the crap down so I can sleep… I currently can’t sleep.)

cortisol-sleep-energy

Cortisol levels can mess up your circadian rhythm. That super magical thing that happens in your body to regulate your energy throughout the day. It helps you wind down at night, gives you the ability to fall asleep, and affects how rested and ready you feel for a new day of work and life in the morning.

spastic-adrenals

Here’s what’s helping

The first thing on this list is a great team of medical people:

I have two family doctors (MDs) who are relatively willing to listen to my own non-medical-doctor research. If one won’t listen to me, the other one will (not that I’m always right, but you know, it’s nice to be heard). The same DO medical doctor who is much more willing to take me seriously. I like her a lot. An energy worker who, I often feel like is doing crazy voodoo, but seems to hit the nail on the head when I’m confused about tweaking a supplement or why I’m having a problem in a certain area. If nothing else he helps me meditate and focus and take RESTING seriously. An ND (natropath physician) with expertise in thyroid / adrenal function which I have so far only corresponded with on the phone, but who I may be visiting soon (he’s in another state). It’s kind of depressing that you can’t just walk into a family practice and get all the help you need, but with sort of weird problems like this, you have to do a lot of your own research and be willing to fight for the right kind of help.

These supplements and medications:

  • Dessicated thyroid. My dose / type is currently getting tweaked. Read more here.
  • Floradix (the gluten free variety) liquid iron supplement. 20ml per day.
  • Dessicated adrenal. By Standard Process. It’s expensive, but very effective. I take 7 per day for 6 weeks (I have 2 more weeks left — you don’t want to be on it longer than that, your adrenal glands will get lazy)
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons of Real Salt in water daily
  • 3 Dermatrophin PMG (this also stops after 6 weeks, more on that below)
  • 8 Standard Process Calcium Lactate tablets
  • 2 Potassium tablets
  • 3 Nature’s Way B-100 complex capsules
  • 1 Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle capsules
  • 6 Twinlab C-Plus Citrus Bioflavonoid capsules
  • 3 Standard Process Zymex
  • 1 Standard Process Prolamine Iodine
  • 14 Standard Process Cataplex B
  • 5 Standard Process Cataplex D
  • 6 (3 in am, 3 at night) Standard Process Congaplex
  • Trace Mineral drops
  • 6 (3 in am, 3 at night) Standard Process Chlorophyll Complex
  • 2 Himalaya brand Holy Basil
  • I took one bottle of Medi-Herb Nevaton
  • 1 teaspoon in water of Medi-Herb Ashwaganda
  • 1 teaspoon in water of Medi-Herb Rehmannia
  • 2 teaspoons in water of powdered Turmeric (natural antihistamine)

At the 6 week mark, I stop the dessicated adrenal and Dermatrophin PMG and switch to Drenatrophin PMG for 6 weeks (also by Standard Process). After that I take Drenamin for a year and then retest everything and re-evaluate (lots of those supplements will get tweaked / eliminated as we go).

It’s a lot, but it’s helping and so that’s motivating. For me, the monster rash seems to have a direct correlation to my cortisol spaz attack. With adrenal support, I’m down to just 3 Benadryl every 8 – 12 hours. This is AWESOME. I have various degrees of welts and facial swelling most mornings, but after taking my bowlful of supplements I’m usually fairly comfortable by the afternoon (comfortable for me is not, probably, going to be comfortable for you — you get sort of used to a certain level of misery).

I am perfectly capable of having / running our homeschool from the sofa or bed, but we are still very cautious (due to the POTs symptoms though those are improved) of me doing much more. I do not have any church or community responsibilities, and friends are still helping with grocery shopping and errands. I am able to run the kids to dance classes, but they are very nearby.

There is a link between adrenal function & thyroid and low iron & thyroid. We’re hoping that as I continue to get my iron & adrenal glands in line, some of my thyroid problems will resolve, or at least be easier to treat.

Oh my gosh, just one more thing and then you are FREEEEEEEE

I made a mistake last time this happened: I abandoned everything (supplements, testing, doctor visits) once I felt better. I am realizing more and more that my body is a delicate flower. What I need to do is remain vigilant even when I start feeling like a human.

Mad Eye says don't stop taking care of yourself

I’m going to need to stay on top of having regular blood work and the gross saliva tests. I need to remember that I probably can’t just dance off into the sunset and abandon my resolve to maintain my iron levels just because I can go to the grocery store without help. This is going to be an ongoing regular-checkup sort of thing. Some of you are probably like, “Uh, no duh?” But really, once I feel semi-normal it’s super easy for me to forget all about everything until I wake up with a Bratwurst sized lip.

Okay then. I think that’s all. Can you guys appreciate why these posts take longer for me to put together than I think they will? I mean the obvious need for an editor aside, it’s kind of a lot to figure out how to present in a semi-digestible fashion. I hope I did okay. Holler if any of it is confusing.

xox-forever

p.s. GAH! I left out a couple of illustrations & took the time to edit for clarity (and sanity) in a couple areas. Friends don’t let friends hit ‘publish’ after they’ve taken their melatonin for the night.