One of the annoying things about Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency and Hypopituitarism is that a sick day isn't just a sick day for me anymore. I can't just die quietly on the couch binge-watching episodes of Supernatural like any normal person.
No, what would be a regular sick day for you is now me monitoring myself carefully for any kind of change. I have to alter my hydrocortisone because my body no longer naturally produces that, and that kind of kick starts your body to do stuff. Important stuff like you know, fight off bacteria and viruses. The irony is that a lot of the sick day symptoms are what I feel every day all day. So I have to make a judgement call and it's stressful. The goal is for me to be on the lowest dose of steroids as tolerated because this is a lifetime of medication.
Last week I got my first test into this when on Wednesday I started feeling shaky. At first it was just an annoying shake that was periodic, much like when you get a chill. As the day wore on it got a little worse until eventually, it was full body shaking and I had no control over it. I wasn't cold at all but I put on extra clothes, turned on the heat and hoped for the best. As precaution, I took my sick day dose of medication just in case and I headed to bed.
I woke up at 3 a.m. shaking so hard my teeth were rattling. I woke Matt up and told him I needed to get to the emergency room because my fear is that I was going into an adrenal crisis, which is serious and life threatening. Matt, not so nicely, let me know he was too tired to get up and couldn't I just wait until morning?
I'm not going to lie, I was pretty angry but I was also pretty hurt. It's not like I want this for the rest of my life. It's not like I enjoy feeling the daily stress of managing my medication just right or I could get seriously ill or worse, die.
So I called my mom, who was here almost immediately. And wouldn't you know, it had rained and froze so everything was sheer ice. My mom is literally a saint and I am so grateful for her. I would be absolutely lost without her.
By the time we got to the emergency room I was shaking a lot but I didn't feel any symptoms (no fever, vomiting, or diarrhea) to give me any hint as to what was wrong with me. Nothing more scary than a doctor who really doesn't know anything about the medical conditions you have and when you hand over paperwork explaining it, he says, "Wow, too many words.". It's disconcerting at best. He told me he was going to have to look it up and figure out a game plan but in the meantime, I'd be having a bunch of blood work done, including my blood sugar, and then a urine sample. I never did get the results of my blood work, but my blood sugar was just fine, my blood pressure was high, and my urine screamed of sever urinary tract infection.
Which is weird because I didn't have any symptoms of that. I've had UTI's before and it burns when you pee and generally uncomfortable, so you call your OB and get an antibiotic and you're fine. This doctor said that because I had the chills that is indicative of it being in my kidneys so he gave me a pretty mega dose of antibiotics for a week. I was really shaky the rest of the day and hardly slept at all that night. But the next day (Friday) I was less shaky, only dealing with it in small bouts but it wasn't anything like the day before.
I'm really hopeful I'm over this bump in the road because tomorrow? Well tomorrow I am going on a last minute, spur of the moment, early birthday trip with my best friend Tammy to Las Vegas! My therapist and my psychologist have been really pushing me to get away from home, family, responsibilities, and just relax. I think they are right and it's becoming abundantly clear to me that I haven't had any time to just..... do nothing. I came home and was thrust right back into my role as mom and wife and I haven't processed what life has been like for me, what life is going to be like going forward and everyday I feel like I'm on the verge of giving up and jumping off of the bridge. We found the cheapest vacation while booking basically last minute, so our options were limited to cold places of Vegas. I've been to Vegas but Tammy hasn't, so it'll be fun. .We are going to have a nice time, relax by a pool in the sunshine, read books and maybe find some fun things to do that don't cost a lot. I'll be gone for five nights, I can hardly wait.