(warning: I'm here to catch you up on almost 7 months of Tucker's Tales, so it might take you a few minutes to read, but I think you'll find it worth the read!)
Diagnosis X 2
In between all this craziness, I'd been learning much about this condition called Adrenal Fatigue. For a great summary, you can check out www.adrenalfatigue.org. I started taking a few supplements, and as each test result came back, Dr. Jackson would add one or two more to my list. Thankfully I was able to do all pursuant appointments over the phone, saving me from the extra stress that travel causes.
For me, I began digging into the book Dr. Jackson had recommended. I felt like someone had sat down and wrote a book all about me. I learned that Adrenal Fatigue is the result of the adrenal gland being overworked too hard, for too long, until it doesn't know which end is up, and over-produces the cortisol I need to handle stress. I also learned that stress doesn't always mean mental stress. The adrenal gland is meant to handle anything that causes fight-or-flight situations. Basically, when I went to Bible college in 2001-2002, I lived and breathed adrenaline. I was taking 18 credits, pulling honor-roll, in student leadership and choir, and working four part-time jobs at a time, and loved doing it. However, I would get to Sunday night and be exhausted and depressed facing another week of minute-to-minute adrenaline rushes of tests, projects, responsibilities, friends, and excitement. Once I "got" Adrenal Fatigue (or AF), I couldn't get rid of it without giving my body a chance to heal, which of course, I wouldn't do anyway!
AF causes me to have a much lower tolerance for stress in the first place. People thought I was crazy when I would get stressed about a situation and say "I'm not stressed in my head, but my body won't believe me!". I really could rationally tell you that God was in control of a situation, and know and believe it whole-heartedly, not meditate on it or consciously worry. But I would be exhausted and get sick. I would get so frustrated as a staff member for the week-long (Saturday to Friday) training for teens every June. I was one of the youngest staff members for a number of years, yet the load would kill me by the middle of the week, long before the senior staff-members, and I would get sick before I ever left. I began to learn that my defense system would be weakened as a result of AF, and the mucosal linings (nasal and intestinal) were so thin that it was an open invitation to all sickness, disease, and infection. Thus, my frequent illness. Even from my Bible college year, I had been sick every holiday or vacation.
Learning to Cope
"Through"Gaither Vocal Band
When I saw what lay before me, Lord, I cried what will you do? I thought He would just remove it. But He gently led me through Without fire there's no refining, without pain no relief, Without flood there's no rescue, without testing no belief. Through the fire, through the flood, through the water, through the blood Through the dry and barren places, through life's dense and maddening mazes Through the pain and through the Glory through it all we'll tell the story of the God whose power and mercy will not fail to take us through