Tomorrow I get to collect samples for a lab test to determine if I have adrenal fatigue. It’s a fun little process: four times tomorrow I get to spit into a vial until it’s half full (no hocking!). But the instructions are ve-e-ery specific! First off, no caffeine, alcohol or cigarettes tomorrow (only the no alcohol might be a challenge). I have to spit at certain times (between 6 – 8am, 12-1pm, 4-5pm and 10-midnight), and I’m not to eat or drink anything but water for an hour before spitting. Also, be forewarned that it may take up to ten minutes to drool out a half a vial-full. As soon as the collection is collected, I’m to make a note of the date on the handy little label and put the spit-vial straight into the freezer, nestled in alongside the two freezer bags that have to have been frozen for at least 36 hours before shipping. Leave the vials in the freezer overnight, then ship according to the very clearly outlined directions. I have a huge mailing pouch for my four tiny vials, because they have to be kept frozen during shipping. The pouch has layer upon layer of insulation, and the four spit-vials (after they’ve been appropriately labelled and sealed into the plastic biohazard bag) are to be sandwiched between the two thick freezer bags, then wrapped in the silver insulating wrap, then slid into the white insulating wrap, then put into the white shipping bag which must be sealed just so and then punctured in four different places (being careful not to puncture the white insulating wrap inside) so that the outermost bag will inflate fully (oh, and do not forget to put all the paperwork in there somewhere before you start sealing things up!). Then that all gets put into the final blue, brown and grey UPS Laboratory Pak. Then quick as ever you can, rush the whole shebang to UPS and drop it off. Oh, you can schedule a pickup, but I wouldn’t want to risk that with the close-to-100 degree temps that expected are Tuesday. And be sure to do my collection so that I can ship Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, because if I ship Thursday or Friday, I’ve wasted my time and my money and my spit; it’ll be in transit too long. I’m not making this up!
If I don’t have adrenal fatigue before I do all that, I may by the time I’m done!
This is just one more step on my healing journey, one more diagnostic tool to try and narrow down my multitudinous options of what all might be causing my annoying chronic symptoms. It’s actually all pretty interesting to me. I had to look up adrenal fatigue to find out what it even is, how it affects a person. Quick answer – chronic fatigue. Oh, right, well, I’ve had that for about a hundred years now. The adrenal glands produce hormones that respond to pretty much any and every stressor one experiences (they produce cortisol, for example). So if a person has had a long period of stress, chances are good that the adrenals are a bit tired. Hmmm, does fourteen years of trying to get pregnant count? Howzabout chronic depression and anxiety and H. pylori and leaky bowel syndrome, do those count? How long is “a long period” exactly? Do you think forty or so years would be considered long by my li’l ol adrenal glands?
In other news, my body is doing weird stuff. My appetite is way off, and I find myself wanting to go ahead and eat the “bad” things I normally eat, just because, after all, it’s my habit. But right at this moment, chips or chocolate or wine or even my old favorite, a Moscow Mule, just sound awful to me. My four big food vices, and not one of them is appealing to me! I forced myself to eat a little egg salad, a few almond-stuffed olives and several cherry tomatoes for dinner because I need to take my dinnertime handful of supplements with food. But really? Ugh.
This whole process is definitely not a straight line. My mood remains slightly better than what had become normal, and I’ve managed to get through some packing in the last few days, which is great because packing and otherwise going through and sorting stuff is extremely anxiety inducing for me. I feel bloated a lot, which I hate, and my weight is definitely up higher than it’s been in a few years, which I also hate. And still, my mood is pretty much okay, though I have been angry a lot in the last couple of weeks. But I find that it’s a relief, feeling that I don’t have to do anything other than what I’m doing (taking a zillion supplements and putting one foot in front of the other). I don’t have to judge myself, I can just observe and be curious: will this change as my body heals? Will that?