First it was low blood sugar, then high blood sugar, followed by symptoms pointing to a less than optimally functioning liver. Today, in addition to the aforementioned, I am coping with adrenal fatigue.
Whereas as certain “medical syndromes” such as PMS, are unfortunately rubriced as “one off” when they are actually evidence of normal function, other corporeal manifestations necessary deserve such categorization as such naming has the power to draw attention to compromising and compromised states of health. Adrenal fatigue, one of several end products of prolonged stress, deserves such an identity.
Sometimes, it seems, and in my case, in seems so in hindsight, that matters of nutrition, sleep, and exercise, or the lack thereof, do not necessarily cause all health problems, but are caused by them. I had no idea that my peaks and valleys of wakefulness and of exhaustion were being driven by a hidden motor. I did wonder, though, why, after a lifetime of low salt or salt free eating, I was repeatedly reaching for the shaker.
While my acupuncturist can needle what’s considered to be “kidney points” during my regular sessions with her and whereas I can elect to continue to engage in push-aways (from the table) as a means to temper some of my unsavory eating habits, the constellation of illness that is adrenal fatigue needs more subtle, more long term, responses.
Specifically, I will have to, for upwards of a year, elect to engage not only in more sleep, in more exercise, and in more sane eating, but also in more fun, and in more premeditated rest. It seems that I don’t so much need dietary supplements as I need additional portions of pleasure.
Suddenly, reading a book, fashioning a painting, or chatting with a friend has taken on new meaning. For me, all at once, naps are no longer luxuries, but health aids. Periods of daily meditation, too, have become vital.
I’m not entirely sure I can embrace such a change in lifestyle. I’m deeply identified with my productivity. A mother nurtures. A writer creates text. While a lump on the sofa can be both a mother and a writer, so, too can a puppy, a mismatched sock, or an imaginary playmate.
We’ll have to see what evolves. I don’t appreciate this challenge.