The difference is so distinct and so much better that it feels like a year since I hobbled out of the hospital. In reality, it’s only been a month. A few days ago, I had yet more tubes of blood drawn (which didn’t conjure up pleasant memories, but I guess I need to get used to it) and then yesterday, I had my one-month check-in with the endocrinologist.
What has the last month been like? Mostly managing fatigue, resting, taking some meds, resting some more and letting the body recover. It’s probably not unlike what people go through after a major surgery.
Here’s what a typical day has been like:
- Wake up, take a big handful of pills (besides the hydrocortisone of the Addison’s, I’m taking a number of other supplements to help with some other deficiencies all those blood tests showed)
- Help get the girls ready then drop them off at camp or day care (or the bus stop later in the month)
- Eat breakfast, many days this involved going out to the local diner. I left the hospital close to 20 pounds underweight, so I’m taking advantage and becoming a regular at the diner
- Go home and rest/work. For the first two weeks, I was off work then worked some half days. I’m back up to full days now
- Lunch, just at home
- Nap for an hour or so
- Take Dash for a walk, try to to overdo it
- Work or read
- Prep something for dinner
- Pick up the girls
- Cook dinner
- Take my second round of pills
- Do my best to help get the girls ready for bed, but I’m usually fading by this point
- Watch TV/read
- Lights out
The biggest adjustment was just learning listen and pay attention to what my body was telling me. To take my time and rest. Rest will now be a much bigger consideration than it used to be for me. It wasn’t like a rubber band snapping back after I got on the steroids. I am still far from my previous self. Maybe I get back there, maybe I don’t, maybe I surpass it. I don’t know, but it won’t happen fast. That much is clear.
For the first couple weeks, after the fatigue, it was my heart rate freaking me out a bit. My resting heart rate was pretty high, usually near 90, but that has also slowly gotten better. I’m learning given rest and the proper inputs, the human body is pretty good at resetting itself. By the time of my appointment, the RHR was down into the 70s. Definitely better.
At the appointment, all the numbers checked out normal, or as normal as it gets for someone with my chronic disease. She even made a crack about my rising cholestrol.
But she saved the best news for last: I’m cleared to start exercising again! I’m very excited to get back out there. Slowly, of course and with plenty of rest.