Sunday, March 22, 2009

Health Update
The Verdict: Sleep it Off!

I recently did another Adrenal Stress Index (ASI) test, to check my cortisol levels and see how they compared to those in my original labs. Unfortunately, the results were very troubling-- it came back worse than the first. Of course, this was incredibly discouraging. Before letting me get too panicky about it, my naturopath followed it up with a blood test to see if those lousy results would be confirmed. Fortunately, the cortisol level in that test came back completely differently.

Without going into a big biology lesson, I will try to briefly explain what this means. As I have mentioned before, cortisol is the stress hormone, and chronic high levels can be very damaging. However, we need a certain amount of cortisol in our tissues in order to have energy to do normal stuff every day. The ASI test I took indicated that I have very little cortisol in my tissues (close to none)-- which is obviously why I feel so lousy. On the other hand the cortisol in my blood test was actually high. What this translates to is that I always feel quite keyed up like I need to run from a bear, but I don't actually have the energy to do much. The important issue now is to get the adrenaline out of my blood and into my tissues-- which would help me feel more calm and energetic.

My ND consulted with with some other doctors about this unusual situation, and the first thing that came up was my quality and quantity of sleep-- both of which have been poor. Apparently, that is the missing link for getting the cortisol where it belongs. I was so excited when she told me that I would have to start taking Benadryl on nights when I am unable to sleep. This is seriously awesome news for me, something I have been fantasizing about-- just knocking myself out until I'm all rested up! Other parts of the ASI showed improvements in my hormone production and immunity, so once I can get enough rest I should be in pretty good shape.

The other good news is that I am no longer on exercise restriction. In fact, the other part of the cure for high levels of cortisol in the bloodstream is exercise. I am very very happy about this, since exercise has always been a key stress management tool for me. Plus, all of this sitting around resting and trying to eat more has inevitably led to some extra weight I am looking forward to working off.

It's been a bit of a roller coaster in the last month with all of this stuff, but I am so encouraged overall. Leaving the Dr.'s office with orders to sleep and exercise made me cry with relief most of the way home. Especially since I was afraid that the news was going to be much worse!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Portland Daily Weather Checklist:

Giant Snowflakes.... Check!
Pileup of Hailstones... Check!
Rain, Rain, Rain... Check...
Beautiful Blue Skies.... Check!
Sleet... Check.
Mystery and suspense... Check and check!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Sweetest Papa Ever...

I came home from the grocery store to a real tea party, complete with crackers, hot tea, guests and music (Amelia chose Emmylou Harris.)
The guests of honor were not dolls or animals, but letters. This is a kid who loves to read! I have a feeling that cow was really hoping to be invited, but trying not to mtake it personally.
Amelia has a special Chinese tea set that she got for Christmas from her "Tita," my dear friend Dorothy.
When all of the roiboos tea had been sipped, they closed the festivities with a reading of some A.A. Milne poetry, and thanked their guests for attending.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Let me just say...

That I was indescribably relieved to check the mail and find a contract renewal for Jeff's job for the 2009- 2010 school year. If you remember, he missed the pink slips by two people last year-- it is always a bit dicey when your employer makes these decisions not based on merit, but on seniority-- and Jeff is the relative newbie. Whew!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Making up for a lack of pictures....

I think we may be getting to an age where I can get some reasonable pictures of Amelia-- especially now that she "gets" what I'm doing and realizes that she may have something cute to look at later if she cooperates. "Smile" still doesn't really work, but "Show me your teeth!" does!

Yesterday we went downtown for a long walk. This papier mache horse was a fun discovery! Then we almost knocked it over onto the fancy car in the background.
This one does really look like she's just showing us her teeth. She has a really interesting bite that will hopefully not end up being too expensive down the road. In the meantime, I love the big spaces between her teeth and this is just as good as a smile!