About Me

About Me

ME, MYSELF & I

I have a love for travel, fashion / makeup & I adore hanging out with my mates. However more recently my focus switched to Health & Wellbeing due to a temporary forced pause, when diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease. This site is my place to let you in and share what I'm learning along the way. Helpful insights that all women need to know- sick or full of exuberance. The detective in me was set to investigate & I've learned some interesting things.

Tammy Wiley

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  • Mémoir 5~ Exhaustion & Adrenal Fatigue

Mémoir 5~ Exhaustion & Adrenal Fatigue

Recap: I’m furious- I seriously want to set fire to the joint AND take legal action….. none of which I do 

It’s hard for me to remember exact time frames now because my memory was so terrible due to brain fog, this is a real thing by the way, in my case caused by low thyroid hormones & inflammation.  Around 6 months later, I wasn’t responding as well to the thyroid medications and a few other things as I should have been, so the Dr tested me for something else she suspected and it turned out I had something else in the mix.

I must also point out that this GP was a Functional Practitioner and did numerous other tests on me, I had a lot of intolerances, one of them being lactose (I never had any of these before I got sick) severe histamine intolerance & MTHFR.  This meant that I was unable to take the standard $12 prescription pharmacy medications for Hashimoto’s & Hypothyroidism as they have lactose in them which I now react to, it’s one of the contributors to my reflux and swollen foot. 

This means I have to take the $150 ones, specially made for me by a Compound Pharmacy & end up spending tens of thousands of dollars on my way back to health.

I have Stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue, also known as Adrenal Dysfunction

I’d never heard of the adrenals and didn’t know anything about their function however I quickly learn they are important glands and mine are no longer working properly. 
Probably due to the fact that they have been picking up the slack when I was anaemic and when my thyroid packed it in.   This has put them under significant duress. 

Fast forward 2 years and my cortisol levels are still very low, which leads to investigations for Addison’s Disease, an Autoimmune Disease where the adrenals fail to make cortisol. 

Thankfully I get the all clear from this – no Addison’s Disease but still low cortisol.  Having low cortisol levels presents with many symptoms in the body, one of them fatigue.  I’m running on half the energy of a “normal” person + anemia & low thyroid.  Having these 3 energy centres out equals extreme fatigue and explains why I can no longer function normally.

Due to the length of time I spent bouncing around from Dr to Dr to Specialist (it’s nearly been 2 years) my adrenals are exhausted & they don’t recover quickly.  I’m given a time frame of 2 years for the adrenals to heal. 2 YEARS!

My Doctor explains the process of the thyroid, hormones, iron and adrenals and gives me an analogy.  The human body is similar to a factory production line.

When one part in the process isn’t functioning properly it affects other things and eventually the other things are also unable to work properly. It’s like driving a car with a flat tyre- if you fix the tyre straight away, you’re ok, if you drive around on the flat tyre, you’ll destroy the tyre, then the rim of the tyre, then the car won’t drive at all. I’m now at the not driving at all stage. Which explains exactly how I’ve been feeling.

I’m told to follow all of the Doctor’s recommendations or it could take even longer. I have to say, I’m in awe of this Dr and forever grateful for finding her- thank god, I honestly don’t want to think about what would have happened if I hadn’t found her (I lose her on and off as she travels and lives in other countries, which I think does slow down things a bit more).  I’m furious again and want to set fire to that Endocrinologists building AGAIN! I mean how does this happen in the 20th century, it’s ridiculous to me.

I’m pleased to let you know I don’t commit arson 🙂 but given my mental state, I actually think I could of.

I’m not me anymore. I don’t look like me, sound like me, think like me or feel like me- who the bloody hell is this?

I take on all the recommendations the Dr gives me & do my absolute best to follow it 24/7 – Looks like I’ve still got some WILL left ♥

I am determined to get well and also have 42kg to lose, which totally pisses me off.

I have resigned myself to the fact that I just have to do it. I was hoping that when my thyroid was working again that it may just come off….. like it just CAME ON – but NO, I’ll have to lose it and this for me becomes a never ending battle.  Anyone else who is sick loses weight but no not me, my body refuses to let go of any of it.  Which believe it or not, my Doctor told me would happen, weight will be the last part of my healing.  You can imagine how I feel about this!

So onwards and upwards, I finally give myself a break and forget about the weight- as per Doctor’s Instructions, which isn’t easy, the weight gain literally sent me around the twist. I remember once jumping on the scales and I’d gained 6kg in 4 weeks, whilst exercising and eating like a rabbit and I nearly put my fist through the bathroom window, and I’m not joking.

I think I can speak for all women here when I say any female would be miserable if she gained lots of weight really fast, (whilst dieting and exercising) lost half of her hair, the end of one eyebrow & eyelashes. Her feet will swell so much she can only wear thongs, feel like vomiting 100+ times a day, including when trying to sleep. Then know it’s going to go on for years, THEN all going well, will have to embark on a massive weightloss journey to lose the 42kg gained weight. Which some Dr’s have told me is an impossible task. Not mine of course 😉

Lucky I don’t believe the weight loss in an impossible task however it will be a steep mountain to climb and one that can only be done when my body is working at its’ optimum!  Fast forward 2 years and my body still isn’t at this point but even with the self hate talk, I do know I can be a determined little bugger and I do believe when my body gives the green light I will jump into GO and do what ever it takes.

So my focus switches (as per Doctor’s orders) and we get to work on all these other things that need attention before I can even look at getting the weight off.  You need a working metabolism, stable blood sugars amongst other things working properly in your body to lose weight. 

I don’t have these yet, my body is working against me.  At the moment my body is so fatigued it’s holding onto everything to keep me going.  This means restricting calories & exercise is not going to help me and the reality is I’ve stopped exercising as I’m now so exhausted it’s not physically possible.  All of my energy is taken just to get to work and back each day.

Have I mentioned I’m broke- this is costing me thousands of dollars.  All my money is going towards this & buying bigger clothes.
This is where I START
  • Organic Food – no pesticides. Easy to find now- hard to find in 2014 & really expensive when I had to start eating this way.
  • Reduce Toxic load in everyday living– a big learning curve that opens up a minefield of staggering facts, I didn’t even know I had a high toxic load. Check out my free eBook here
  • Not allowed to restrict calories or “diet” – I’ve been eating too little calories for over 2 years and my body needs the fuel for energy.
  • No traditional exercise– so nothing I’m used to, movement is to consist of short strolls & Tai Chi, if and when I feel I have the energy – which I don’t, I have none.
  • Follow a Paleo Autoimmune Eating Protocol – You probably have seen these around now, I’d never heard of it 6 years ago. If you don’t know it’s basically no gluten, nightshade vegetables etc. It’s a very restrictive diet based on removing all foods that may cause inflammation to the body.
  • No dairy– I’m reacting to lactose so dairy is out
  • No sugar– cut sugar from my diet completely including fructose
  • Sleep– 8 hours of quality sleep per night – I’ve been getting around 3-4 every night for over a year, if I’m lucky, due to reflux.
  • Remove all Stress– I don’t think I’m stressed at this point as I feel a lot calmer and are a lot better than what I was a year ago lol lol lol, I’m highly stressed,  but only because of what’s going on with my health. I have no other stressors.

I implement everything, have an Iron Infusion, Vit D and B12 Injections to get me up and running, haha – I wish. ( I end up having these over and over again and never feel much better, maybe 15% at a stretch). I have a list of medications, prescription and naturopathic and we start giving my body thyroid hormones and other hormones, as everything is out of whack.  

I had no detectable amounts of Testosterone, DHEA levels are very very low etc, etc…  the list goes on and on. All of these medications are made for me by a Compound Pharmacy as the ones from the chemist have lactose and “other things” in the fillers and I’m reacting to everything. 

My system has become highly reactive even to some medications and supplements.  I nearly end up in emergency for eating too much spinach, my throat swelled.  I had a histamine reaction.

The Compound Pharmacy is the most frequent place I begin to visit as I do what’s called the thyroid dance, to find the unique dose my body responds best to. So for me, this means some of those $150 bottles went in the bin as the dose needed to be adjusted, annoying, however your regular GP probably won’t go int this much detail to ensure your levels are hitting perfect. It involves blood tests every month and an inventory from me on all symptoms and things are tweaked based on this.  It’s the only way to get it right.

I resign my self to the fact that I’m not going to be back to the old me & have lost all the weight by the end of the year and feel deflated. For some reason I was hoping I’d be nearly done but I’m still, just so exhausted.

6 months into my protocol and I’m still so exhausted, I have to resign from my job, this is devastating. I can no longer drive 3 hours per day to get there or have a normal functioning brain to complete the tasks required.  Soon after that with no income, I have to end my lease early, pack up my things and move back into mum and dads, yep back to the olds.   This is how desperate the situation has become. 

I have improved a little but are still incredibly fatigued.  Packing of my house ends up with lots of items being thrown in the bin as I am ruthless in this adventure, I just don’t have any energy.  I know when I unpack it all again I’ll be searching for things I’ve tossed in the bin.

What does it look like to have this degree of Adrenal Fatigue?

The simple things become not so simple for example.  Blowdrying my hair will put me into bed for 2-3 hours, chatting on the phone for 30 mins will do the same.  I can’t complete a weekly grocery shop, I’d have to leave because I would feel like I was about to drop to the ground with exhaustion. This means I have to go every couple of days & just get a few things.  My visit to the Dr (every 2 weeks) is a 1 hour return trip with a 30-45 minute appointment, this would finish me for the entire day. 

I get up in the mornings between 6 and 7 am and will be back in bed by 11 am for 2-3 hours.  Basically, it makes it incredibly difficult to function and for me, this lasts for over 2 years.

I’ve never felt fatigue like this ever.  The fatigue lingers regardless of how much sleep or rest you have, so you wake up and feel exactly the same, you don’t gain any energy from anything.  It’s very draining and very low vibe and for me having Hashimoto’s & Anemia also impacts my energy levels. I don’t have any.

I just feel terrible, day in, day out, EVERY DAY! Is this ever going to end?
To be continued…..
NEXT- Memoir6~ Some Progress

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