Friday, April 8, 2011

#57 - Eat the Carrot Diet & Be Healed!!!

When I was first diagnosed with Addison's disease, I had a couple of friends who just could not mentally absorb the magnitude of what it truly meant for my health. I guess this is why I didn't talk about it for so long, except to very few people. It's extremely difficult for a person who has never directly faced an immediate prospect of dying to comprehend how it feels when your body is failing you. Not the threat of it failing, but it actually going into the process of failure. It's something that is difficult to understand yourself, so how can we explain it?

The year of my diagnosis, I was a 5'2" woman right at 135 pounds who went regularly to the local state-of-the-art YMCA and actually bench-pressed approximately 185 pounds, more than most men who where lifting weights there with me. The trainers charted my progress with their computerized system that was connected to each weight-station and they were constantly amazed, wanting to actually watch me do a few because they were so amazed. Since I wasn't officially training in weights, this must have been something exciting for them to see. Simply put, I was gifted by genetics to have tremendously strong muscles for my size.

As I began to deteriorate, I forced myself to continue working out, but I was noticing growing weakness in my abilities. Then, I began to have a blanket of all-encompassing physical exhaustion wash over me more and more often. It was pulling me under. I was sinking into the earth, my legs were moving through mud and I could not figure out how to pull myself back upward. Nothing worked. Nothing. Every day it got worse.

My diagnosis came after multiple hospitalizations that were useless. My actual diagnosis was aided after I coded while in the hospital on the cardio-ward --- I was put on the cardio-ward because they could not figure out what the heck was wrong with me, but I was showing tachycardia. So, the monitor actually picked up the "Code Blue" and it was called on the entire floor through the loud speaker system --- the entire works. I heard it loud and clear, but I was drifting off into Code Blue Land and had no idea that it was me who was coding. Yes, I knew something was really wrong. My body was rocking side to side violently in the hospital bed as my heart was soaring so fast and beating so hard that it had become a powerful motor chugging inside of me. THAT I will never forget.

My blood pressure went so low that it was undetectable and my heart just kept chugging in a fruitless, furious effort to get blood through the vessels that were collapsing throughout my body. One of my last memories was of cuffs attached to both arms and both legs with nurse's yelling out that a blood pressure could not be measured, then one of the nurse's ripped off one of the mechanical blood pressure devices and began using an old-fashioned hand-pump version, which still caused trouble. Then, one nurse yelled that my pulse was over 220 and I remember my eyes fluttering open long enough to actually see the digital reading. The head nurse saw my eyes drift open and she hurriedly yanked the digital face of the machine away from my vision in an effort to protect me from the process of my body dying.

As my hospital room filled with medical personnel, I was fading in and out with some hallucinations that I would later discover were not actually happening. One was of a phone conversation I was calmly having with my brother on the phone, at midnight, as my room was crowded with a Code Blue response team. Yeah, I really thought I had spoken with him, it seemed so real. I guess the body protects itself by allowing your mind to float into another realm as reality becomes too harrowing. I think God is ultra-cool that way.

Anyway, after we received the news of my Addison's disease and had begun the treatment that would be required, I actually argued with the doctors. I tried to convinced them that I ALWAYS heal very fast and that it would NOT take at least a year to start stabilizing, as they "mistakenly" were predicting. I could not believe the medications would be required for a lifetime...all of it was so sudden, so weird, so unheard of, and so difficult for me to process.

Then, I began my medication routine and found that I was actually able to stay horizontal again! My body was able to stay upright. Miracles upon miracles!! I had deteriorated so severely for months before diagnosis that I was unable to drive, sometimes unable to sit and even feed myself; it had developed into a very serious situation and I was only 33 years old.

A friend came to visit after I was home from the hospital and she looked at my medicine bottle and said, "I'd absolutely refuse to take this medicine; it is nothing but poison. You need to research and practice holistic medicine and get off of this crap."

I sat there wishing she were right. In fact, I'd already researched the disease to the hilt and found that a "holistic" approach simply did not exist, not unless you wanted to "holistically" die.

To this day, this friend thinks that the medicine is unnecessary, but I am patient. I realize that if she were to borrow my Addison's disease for about a month and try to go without the required medicine, the only-option route, then she just might decide that maintaining consciousness, breathing and having brain function is worthwhile. It might be convincing enough to reach for a little pill that can work miracles for the body's inability to hold blood pressure.

I explain it like this to people who do not understand Addison's: Imagine your body sinking inward, unable to process begins to shrink, to wither and you are collapsing in on yourself no matter how much you drink. Soon, your vessels begin to close in on themselves and you are trapped within your body while being unable to make any movements and being unable to communicate. Your body is simply a container that is collapsing as the life is literally sucked out of it. Is this scary? Absolutely! This exactly why the medication is critical - it helps to plump things back up.

So, I think I'll pass on eating the carrot-diet because I know it doesn't have the power to heal me, but the thought sure is nice. Others have the luxury of remaining in their dreamworld while I must face the truth and possible consequences of not handling my disease properly. Since I've made it through multiple major surgeries and numerous Addisonian Crisis situations, I must really be on track or be hugely blessed, maybe both. Regardless, I am aware of the ugly side of this disease and maybe that is exactly what has helped me survive. Every day is a new day, I'll just keep doing my best and ignore well-meaning friends who are lacking a few common sense brain cells as they chew on their awesome carrot-diet.


  1. Yes, I've had someone advise me to try something more natural as well.

  2. A close friend of mine was the same way to me. She was so disapproving, and I couldn't make her understand that this was the way it had to be for me. I also had my chiropractor tell me that they had some adrenal support supplements I could take. I told him no, that's not how this disease works. thanks, but no thanks.

    The thing is, I hate putting "chemicals" into my body as much as the next person. Adjusting to taking medicine every day was hard for me, but now I'm so thankful for it all. Every last little pill... :)


Your comment will be posted soon after - having to moderate comments because of some SPAM getting through. So, post your comment, like usual, and I will publish it as soon as possible. blog readers often give me inspiration for subsequent blog posts, so I thank you in advance! Thanks for reading this blog; I'll enjoy reading your comments.