Saturday, January 14, 2012

# 106 - Living it Up --- With a Plan

Since Addison's took up residency in my body, I've found that the little cold that had once been a pain in my rear had become a serious drag to confront, even with stress doses. It appears that it takes me longer to kick a cold and my body becomes much more run down, for a more extended period of time than it once had in my pre-Addison's days.

I am not afraid or ashamed to admit that when I get around someone with a bad cold, I instantly head the other direction. I take steps to protect myself. Of course, we can't always avoid germs, but I do my best to keep them from latching onto me. I am kind and understanding to the other person's discomfort and suffering, but I have surely learned to put my health first and this has helped me to stabilize my health to a large degree. You must be proactive and not feel bad for taking care of your health. If we're down and out, we often need the help of others, so it's better to be careful to not let yourself be exposed to too much risk.

Regardless, the past two weeks has been a tough one because I came down with a terrible cold that has been hard to shake. However, this time around, it did not develop into pneumonia. For the past few years, I have had pneumonia 1-2 times per winter season and it lasts for up to three months as we try to battle it with various strong anti-biotics.

So, I made it through 2011 without getting pneumonia, and I am throwing a little celebration party for myself at this second. Okay, I'm finished.

My long-time doctor is finding that Addison's makes it tough to combat bacteria in my body, and I will automatically need a longer anti-biotic dosing regiment. It's great that he takes careful notes and makes judicious observations on how to best treat my ailments while considering the Addison's part of the equation.

But, the worst part of being worn down physically for me is the emotional drag that comes with it. A person just can't be happy-go-lucky when they are battling an obvious sickness. It gets you down when you don't have the energy or the strength or the wellness to do the things you want to do each day. If someone disagrees, then maybe they should be a ra-ra cheerleader themselves during the flu ---  I'm talking authentic flu, not a 48-hour crude bug --- I don't think they'd do such a good job of putting on the cheer as their joints feel like they're going to explode. When you have Addison's/Adrenal Insufficiency combined with an can feel as if you are trying to pick yourself up after the Addison's-Mac-Truck has run you down and keeps backing up to make extra tire marks.

Sometimes, when I am sick, the only thing that I can do well is get lots of rest. Usually, when I'm not feeling well, I am still content because I simply spend extra time blogging here on this site and on my Farm Life lessons blog.

To be honest, I focus heavily on my other blog because it takes me away from the drudgery of having a disease that impacts all areas of my life.

For those of your who don't read my other blog, we are moving to the country. It's a huge move for us because we live in a greater metropolitan area...just outside of Houston, Texas. Our acreage is expansive, beautiful, forested and rural. We've owned it since the girls were young. We purchased it the year I became sick with Addison's disease.

Me and my two daughters on our land, at our lake.
I've had so many people in my family and so many friends tell me that they are terrified that I'm moving out there, especially with this condition. But, I do not live in fear. Also, I am usually prepared for emergencies, but living in the country will heighten my level of preparation...I plan to:

1. Personally visit the local EMS group and to discuss my rare disease and its treatment during a crisis, sort of like an introduction to the local gal on one of her good days and while she can maintain consciousness to have a decent conversation. I hope to not have to call EMS, but I need them to know my regular state of health can wildly fluctuate.

2. Tape an emergency kit with injection and instructions at the back door.

3. Keep walkie-talkie radios on us at all times as we are several acres apart during the day, we do this now during our visits to our property.

4. Keep my cell phone on me at all times and I already have 911 set on speed dial as "#1" to make it even easier to dial.

5. We plan to make our land easily accessible for emergency vehicles and direction signs for the land marked out with novelty signs so that if I am possibly at a distance from the house, they can still find me with relative ease.

6. Maintain a routine of daily check-in phone calls or texts to keep the husband's worry at bay.

Last week while on our land.
As for the EMS in the country, they are great. Here at my house, if I take an ambulance to the hospital, there are just a few hospitals that I'd allow myself to be taken due to reputation concerns that are valid. With Houston's traffic, constant intersections and construction, any ambulance ride to downtown will take at least 30 minutes. From our land to the nearest hospital that is worth visiting, it will take about 40 minutes. If I let them take me to the local hospital in Livingston, it would only take about 25 minutes.

But, my point is...the difference in the ambulance ride is not staggering. Yes, it's a few minutes, but if I address my condition with aggressive treatment at home and know when to call 911, then I should have an advantage during a crisis episode.

Most importantly, I do feel as if moving away from the chemical-laden air from the refineries surrounding our home will be healthy for me. Breathing in country air is always a delight.

And being in the country environment does miraculous wonders for my emotional and physical well-being. We will also have room to grow a massive vegetable garden, so I know that I will be eating better and better while living in the country. I plan to also learn to can our veggies and process our own be raised organically.

Regardless, there is something healing, calming, nurturing and delightful, to me, about being in the country. I adhere to the saying, "If you want to get closer to God, get closer to nature." That about sums up my feelings with country living.

My family and friends do not realize that living in the city does not lessen the dangers associated with Addison's. Day by day, it is a disease that requires personal vigilance so that I can make it to the next day and be feeling good. I won't be afraid to go on vacation or to travel here or there simply because of this disease. I am cautious. I am prepared. But, I am also enjoying and savoring every good day that comes my way.

Soon, I'll be enjoying more of those days in the country. I can't wait.

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