Last year at this time, I was sitting in a paper gown, answering questions, feeling my heart pound, and holding my husband's hand. My surgery was scheduled for 11:30.
My surgery went smoothly and I woke up in the recovery room, dreaming of my childhood basset hound, and missing my left adrenal gland.
It had to go. It had grown a mass. It was kind enough to make it a benign mass, but it was creating extremely elevated cortisol (stress hormone) levels and jeopardizing my health and longevity.
It has been a long year. The offending adrenal gland had been so over-producing for so long that my remaining adrenal gland had stopped working. Well, much like an under-paid, under-appreciated employee who suddenly receives double duty, the under-utilized adrenal gland does not rush back to production. It took months for the stubborn little gland to come back to life, and, while I took enough cortisol in pill form to stay alive, a cortisol deficit is quite debilitating. For months I felt fluish and weak and exhausted and cold. Then I improved to just weak and exhausted and cold. By the time I improved to just exhausted and cold, I was quite grateful. I am now almost back to normal, but a normal I have not known in years, for that over-active adrenal gland has marred my idea of normal.
I still feel cold almost every minute, and tired is always right behind me like a shadow. But I am better. And I am alive. And, I am told, I am healthy.
Now to get my head to believe it.
I have spent so much time being sick, and then more time feeling sick, that now I don't seem to believe that I am no longer sick. And so I apologize to all who are sick. I know how lucky I am. My condition was reversible. It has been reversed, and I am all but totally recovered. Now I just need to grab hold of life and live it again. To begin again. Without any grudges.
So here I go. I am closing out the year of feeling unwell and monitoring every symptom. Of not trusting my body. Of focusing on its limitations and shortcomings. I am going to trust my body now, enough to focus on living my life, and leave the day-to-day running of things to my body again which is healthy and is trustworthy and is strong.
I begin again.
Thank you for listening.
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