More Than Writers Block

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I’ve been playing hooky from my blog. All. Summer. Long.

I’d love to say that I had writer’s block. But that’s not true. I’ve actually been writing, and have started several posts.

The truth is, I was emotionally and glandularly worn out. My adrenals were not coping well with everyday life. Which is a mix of 4 very active kids, keeping up digging my house out of the pit I had allowed it to slide into, cooking, homeschooling, shopping, menu planning, taking care of my family’s health needs, etc. You probably know this. You may live a life that is similar. Even a great life can be a stressful life.

At first, I was fired up about getting it all back in line, blog included. I would devote my summer to producing impressive chore charts, digging into the bowels of the basement and releasing lots and lots of junk, developing recipes and writing posts, and sometimes just sitting around the pool with friends watching the kids play. I would strive to get back into balance. I bought a beginner ‘big girl’ camera, and have started trying to learn how to use it. I had plans!

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<This is what happens when I INSIST that he puts his underwear on. Oy…this kid is my VIKING! And I love him to pieces!>

Not Just Writers Block

But somewhere along the way, I started noticing that I was losing the string that strung my thoughts together. Words would fly away from my mind, and I’d stammer, embarrassingly…”what is this called?”
“It’s ground beef, Mom.”

Maybe if I stop putting pressure on myself to blog…if I just dive back into living this life of mine, maybe things will even out. Maybe? “Some of that is normal,” I kept telling myself. 

Turns out, not so much. I could hold things together, but emotionally I was like a raw nerve, and my brain was just not cooperating. I felt like I was losing my marbles. I finally decided to do something about it.

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Getting Help

Boy did I struggle with this decision! The thing that made me pull the trigger on getting some help was this: my hands would forget where the keys were on the keyboard. That’s not a memory issue. That’s reflex. I’m old enough to have taken *typing* class in high school. Back when you learned on typewriters. We had the state of the art digital typewriters too! So it’s not like I’ve just picked up keyboarding last week.

I asked around and called an alternative Dr. And a lot of my summer has been doling out supplements, and mixing up various (and not so appealing) smoothies.

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If you’ve hung out here much, you know that I am a big nerd, and LOVE to research medical stuff. But when the old brain is not firing on all cylinders, it’s not a time to start shooting in the dark. Plus, shooting in the dark is sort of expensive. And not always effective.

I really wrestled with the idea of getting help. Not so much because I don’t trust the guy I’m seeing. He’s really great! It’s because I struggle with being “the Mom”…the one who takes the slightly burned chicken off the grill. The one who makes sure that everyone else has what they need, and if there is anything left over, it gets squirreled away “just in case”. I am frugal to a fault. I’m independent, and don’t want to be a burden to my family now or ever.

But I decided that I am at a point with my health (and having just crossed the bridge into my 40’s 6 months ago) that I didn’t want to just roll over and accept a brain that is failing. I want to fight to be the best Mama and wife I can be, for years into the future.

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So. That’s where I’ve been.

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<and fixing self-done haircuts like this beauty>

Based on my labs, I have stage 2 adrenal insufficiency. I would love to blog more on that, because if you’ve ever looked into it, there is a school of though that considers it a “made up diagnosis”. I have a few choice words for those who preach this…if I can just remember them. :) And speaking of blogging…

Me and Blogging

I apologize for not saying something sooner. I didn’t want to say goodbye. Because I just flatly refuse to. I love to blog. I’m keeping on with creating recipes and posts whenever I’m inspired to do so. But adding blogging as a “MUST DO” activity had to take a back seat. And I’m still slogging through the photography learning curve. (So enjoy the smattering of phone pics in today’s post!) But after hooking arms with some blogging friends, I think I’m ready to start enjoying blogging again.

I sort of need this. It’s therapeutic for me, and it’s a place to come when I need to connect with others outside of my life bubble. It’s a place to ask for prayer and help and ideas. It’s where I work out my ideas and thoughts, and launch them out into a bigger pond. 

And I just really like you guys.

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How About You?

And I know many of you ‘get’ this. I know that many of you are fighting back too…working toward being well. I know because you write to me and tell me, and ask me questions. Most of the time, I don’t have answers. I wish I did. But I’m right here with you, and I’m still healing, learning, and searching as well.

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Do you ever want to cut corners on your own health care? At what point would you consider seeing someone (that you respect) to help you heal? If so, are you happy that you did so?

Comments

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  1. Melanie says

    Praying you start to feel better. It is not easy to take care of health issues, when you are the caretaker of so many. Baby steps. You and your family come first.

  2. Tori Lindberg says

    Missed you terribly! So happy you are healing. I self-diagnosis and have a pile of supplements, essential oils and recipes for adrenal fatigue – I am sure you do too! My fave though is the Singing Canary – I know you know that one! Thrilled you are back!

  3. Michael Ann says

    You may not believe this, but I almost messaged you last week to check on you! I was concerned that you had been gone for so long, but I didn’t want to be stalkerish (I feel like I know you, but I know you don’t know me!), so I prayed for you and didn’t write. Know that you were missed! I’m glad you’re back, and I pray that God will continue to heal you. Sounds like you’ve been in a tough place.

  4. Carolyn Kelleher says

    You are so treasured and you are one of the wisest people I have ever encountered and I praise God for your presence here on the web. Your description of your symptoms sound like mine and we moved this summer to a farm and though I am a master gardener I can barely lift a finger to transplant the hundred perennials waiting , I can’t even remember their names… So I have located a Naturopath and an herbalist I want to begin with~~ but because summer is so busy and we are family central ( a farm 20 minutes from the beach is a great way to vacation~ if you and your family ever need a free vacation just email!) I have put my health journey on the back burner so I can get through the immediate needs of others. That never ends though so your post has helped me decide to begin now. Thank you, Gwen. I will be lifting you up and will write your name in my bible so I keep you in prayer. Thank you for including us in your journey. Seriously, until I read your blog I didn’t even know what was wrong with me had a name or recognized symptoms and in the past year of reading what you have written ~ so well researched and balanced~ I have learned bucket loads and feel hopeful. Thank you so much. I am thrilled you are staying. Please let me know how to pray. In Christ, much love and gratitude. Carolyn Farrell Kelleher

  5. Aunt Susie says

    Thank you for sharing. Did you forget your old Aunt who prayes for you? Now that I am sort of up to date, I will pray more specifically. I am so glad you are getting help.You know how long I tried natural stuff before I went to the doctor. Sometimes that is the path God has for us and it, too, is good. Just keep following His lead. He will direct your steps even when your mind fumbles….I know since I still deal with chemo brain some. I love you and can’t wait to see you.

  6. Jen Griffin says

    Big cheers that you are back! You know I love you and am praying. I do so understand the health issues, as you know.

  7. Shannon says

    I was supposed to have returned to my NP a few months ago to retest (hair mineral) but honestly I cannot afford the supplements. I have stayed on food enzymes and probiotics that I can order myself, but I just CAN”T do $150 a month.(Not to mention the hour and half drive to get there.) All of my levels are tanked. Where can I research to find self help? I guess I should just call the NP and be frank with her…ask her to prioritize my needs. Of course I’d feel better if I stuck with the diet she put me on. (Eye roll here…at myself of course)

  8. Tracy Scott says

    HI Gwen, I am a high-functioning business lady and mom who can accomplish many things and I am relating to you. Six years ago I slowly ground to a halt mentally and physically after being on and off anti-depressants. My girlfriend had been trying to get me to a naturopath for years but I poo-poo’ed it. One day all I had to do was make a bean salad for a church picnic and one other thing. And I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make a list or mind map my way out of it and I didn’t think I needed antidepressants so I went to the naturopath. No supplements – just a food plan. One month later my mind was clear and I was full of energy – and now I know what to do when I find myself slipping. So good for you for getting help to get you back on track – and for sharing your journey!

  9. FannyMae MotherofAngels says

    No wise words… but I LOVE your blogs and the pics!! LOL!! and I’m hoping that you’ll be healing quickly and completely. You look fabulous,btw!

  10. says

    I hear you, it can be exhausting. With 4 small children at home, you prioritize them! Good for you. When you have something to say to us, we’ll be here to listen. Cheers

  11. says

    You are a very gifted writer. Very genuine and honest. It is easy to get caught up in blogging or whatever and get side tracked from the blessings God has placed in front of us. May God grant you peace to know when to write, and when to “be still.”

    • Gwen says

      Thank you, Grace <3
      My sweet children prevent much stillness in my life, even when my blog is silent, but I did choose to step back from the added internal pressure to blog this summer in attempting to simplify. Life comes in seasons <3

  12. Cynthia Raitt Devereaux says

    This was like “deja vu all over again.” It is amazing how your story can transport me back 40 or so years to the time when I was feeling like you do. At 70 I found THM through the daughter of a friend and I am hooked!

    I was a different kind of mother in the 70’s and 80’s – only 2 children, volunteering for everything in their lives, working with children and families, going to graduate school – but always felt like I should be doing that much more to be person God had equipped me to be.

    The good news I have for you is that you can put life back in balance and find it so much richer. I just retired completely and am finding a slower-paced life brings joys that I missed before. Enjoy the moments as they come your way and you will be surprised at how rich your life can be if you only move ahead remembering that life is a journey and not a destination.

  13. Laurie Schmidt says

    Just began my THM journey and found you on here, Gwen. I loved reading your anniversary story – praise God for all the healing He’s done in your life! Your family is beautiful! I am 45 year old homeschool Mom and young grandmother of two precious ones! I have been frustrated with my own brain fog and memory problems and am feeling a lot of hope that I may find help through this new wonderful way of eating (on day 5 and have lost 4 lb. already) and also through hormone testing. My husband is a veterinarian and we lived at the vet clinic for ten years when our children were young. I think that fun, but crazy hectic life really depleted our cortisol levels. Thank you for sharing your story. You have inspired me to care enough about my family to take care of myself and at least seek a doctor to get testing done. My the Lord bless you as you serve Him and your precious family.

    • Gwen says

      Thank you, Laurie! I may do a follow up post with some questions that I’ve been asked about doing THM with adrenal fatigue. I do think it’s important to really listen to your body for the nutrients it needs when you’re dealing with deeper health issues. :)

  14. Marg says

    God bless you, Gwen. Thank you for being real! I pray that you will be strengthened on this journey and it will be to His honor and glory!

  15. says

    Hey Gwen, So glad you wrote this! I’ve been wondering. :-) Dealing with the same thing here. Praying for you woman! God has you in His hands and He is healing you. He desires for you to be completely whole in every area of your life. I am so proud of you to take the rest that you need to be fully healed.

    I have cut corners with my own health, to my detriment. And it is certainly something that I can easily do repeatedly. SO, I have to be very careful and watchful. I regularly ask the Lord to show me what’s going on and where I might be over committing. I also have yet to learn to say no like I should. But I am working on that!

    The point at which I finally asked someone to help me heal, was after I thought I had a stroke and was actually (finally) taking my daughter in to see a Dr. about a mole that looked cancerous! Yes, not good to wait so long. It was after the visit with him for my girl that I found I could trust and respect him. Thank you Jesus! He is a really great Functional Medicine Dr. who listens and uses food and herbs with Rx if needed to heal. So thankful!

    Yes, I am happy that we followed that path and forever grateful to the Lord for leading us this way :-)

    HUGS! Amanda

    • Aleah Cronk says

      I so glad to hear this, Amanda! You are an awesome lady and I’m very blessed to know you. :)
      God bless you and your family.

  16. Drenda Wayland says

    My kids are up and grown. I have hashimoto’s. So I understand some of the symptoms you suffer.
    A wise pastor’s wife once told me that if we don’t take care of ourselves first our whole family suffers. We are the ones to make sure our household runs smoothly. When we’re out of sync so is it. I was told to stop being the “martyr”. We all know moms put ourselves last but we can’t when it comes to our health. What if it had been more serious? How could your family cope without you “if” you could’ve prevented it by getting help?

  17. Heather Lee says

    Glad to see you back! Yours is one of my favorite blogs. I learn so much here. I hope you are finding your way back to health. I am experiencing very similar symptoms but I’m still in the questioning myself phase. I can’t seem to figure out why I can’t just get myself together. I’d love to hear about some of the things your Dr. had you taking and doing this summer and what do you think has helped the most? Thank you for being here!

    • Gwen says

      Hi Heather,
      Thank you SO much! I love blogging. :)
      Right now, I’m still working my way through the different stages of treatment, and my body is not responding nicely right now. I think it varies a LOT based on how easily your body handles just everyday detox stuff. My body is very slow and grumpy about detox. I’ll check with Dr. Rob and see if he’d do an interview on Adrenal issues for my blog. :) He’s super nice, and really good at what he does.

  18. Michelle says

    Gwen, you look great. I’ll be praying for your adrenal issues. My father-in-law had the opposite, his adrenals were overactive and after that we discovered a host of other health issues. Take care of yourself. I’m so glad you’ll be blogging when you’re up to it.

  19. says

    Gwen, I’ve been lurking for a while. You’ve been a blessing to many people besides myself in this THM journey. I’m particularly interested in some of your other health stories and am encouraged by the very real reminder that every body is different and many health issues are rather mysterious.
    I would be grateful if you’d post about this adrenal-healing season one day. My husband particularly, has severe adrenal fatigue and it’s made worse by sleep apnea (we recently discovered) and that’s merely one among other issues which make daily function difficult.
    I’ve decided that adrenal support may be one way I can proactively help him. I would love to read what things you’re doing and what you find helps.
    I hope you’re able to cross this one more bridge to fuller health Gwen!
    Keep keeping on.

    ~Analene

    • Gwen says

      Analene, I’m speaking with my alternative Dr. about doing some interviews for my blog…I’m looking forward to this, as he is so knowledgeable and I know you guys will get a lot out of what he shares. :)

  20. Sheila says

    I was so excited to see your new post!. I am a longtime reader and was taken aback at your photos after not having seen some in a while. Wow! You look fantastic. I learned so much from you when starting THM. I had also been diagnosed with adrenal burnout and what a struggle the recovery is. I just want to get well! Is that so hard. Apparently it is. I am on year three of recovery and keep plugging along. I have had alternative help and am happy with it. Putting myself first has been hard but the key to getting better. I am so looking forward to hearing about your journey. I am so glad that you are going to continue on the blog. I have gleaned so much from your writing. Good luck on your path to healing.

    • Gwen says

      I don’t participate or purchase MLM products, Gina. I know the quality is great in most cases, but I don’t jive with the business model.

  21. Stephanie says

    I have the same issues you do. I discovered your blog last fall when I was feeling my worst. I was able to homeschool and occasionally make dinner. My husband had convinced me to pull out of all other activities until I could “take care of my own family”. He was so right. I finally went to an alternative MD. He told me that I had “the best case” of adrenal fatigue he’s seen in years. I was also depleted of hormones, deficient in B vitamins(I have a mutation) and severely anemic. I am doing so much better, but I still have to take care of myself and make sure I don’t overdo. I was off my medication for the adrenal issue for about 8 months, but just started on it again. What a difference. I’m learning to pay attention to how I feel. I’d love to know what you’re doing to heal yourself- especially the detox part you mention. Thanks for sharing.

    • Gwen says

      Stephanie, I’m talking with my Dr. now about doing a series here on adrenal fatigue and recovery. I’m SO excited to have him share with you guys!

  22. says

    Thanks for checking in and letting us know what’s going on. You’ve been a blessing to me (and I know many others as well!) and will be praying that you can get some answers as you continue your journey to optimal health

  23. Sheri says

    I just read this post and “Your Breakthrough” post. I knew I liked your blog before, but, wow, now you are someone who knows how I feel too! I have recently been diagnosed with Candida overgrowth, leaky gut, casein allergy and homozygous for MTHFR. My labs are still out for pyroluria. I have not felt well in several years, but I too have the “mom syndrome,” and never got checked out. I have also been detoxing and have had some of those “wonderful” symptoms. It’s been a few weeks since these posts, so I hope you are still doing well. If you are like me, you have good and bad days. I will be in prayer for you.

    • Gwen says

      Oh, wow, Sheri! We do have a lot in common. :) Yes, good and bad days, but overall I’m moving in the right direction and feeling better and better.

      I think that as people become more aware of MTHFR and start asking to be tested that doctors will discover that it’s far more common than they are aware of. A few of the doctors who specialize in this area test routinely if patients have the risk factors/family history (heart disease, diabetes, autism spectrum disorders, miscarriages, etc.), and they are finding between 40-50% of their patients have some form of MTHFR mutation.

      I’m SO glad I knew my status, because a light bulb went off for me when I read that B12 was a key player in detoxing. Once that clicked into place, I’ve felt a LOT better!

  24. Peggy says

    I’m just beginning my THM journey, and have been struggling for about two years now, towards better health. I completely get it, with the health not getting you where you want or need, to be. I have a 2yr old and 3yr old. My body is so very worn out, worn thin, worn to the bone…Glad you’re back! :)

    • Gwen says

      (((hugs))) I so get that feeling. And those are some of the hardest years with little ones too. Praying for you to find strength and healing. ♥

  25. Rhonda says

    Gwen, I can relate so much! I’ve been diagnosed with Lyme disease (yes, that is also something that is an actual ailment!) and know what it feels like to have that raw nerve :) Thankfully, those raw nerves are few and far between anymore thanks to the supplements I take! I’ve just started on THM 2 weeks ago, and I’ve found your website to be so full of information and I appreciate that you let the real you show! :) I see you love researching medical things – me too! Guess I’ll claim the NERD statice too! LoL But seriously, since you like checking things out, check out Epigenetics (the study of gene expression) and Lunasin (one of the most heavily researched and scientifically supported nutritional compounds available today) AMAZING STUFF! Email me too if you have questions. I hope your health continues to improve, your detox isn’t always that bad, and that once again, your family will have the “new and improved” Gwen back. Praying for you!

    • Gwen says

      Hi Rhonda,
      Fun! Nice to meet you. :) I have read some on epigenetics! The Lunasin looks promising for some things but I am not a big fan of surpressing cholesterol long term. How are you using it? I can think of several instances where I think it would be a fantastic short term approach for clearing neurotoxins. :)

  26. Virginia Jones says

    Hi! I truly appreciate you heart to share the journey you are on. I too am a THM homeschooling mom, so it blesses me to find someone with whom I have several things in common.
    I wanted to share with you that after I turned 40 I had the same thing happen to me. And although I’m sure my adrenals are fatigued, the Lord first led me to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Apparently, testosterone is the hormone that gives us energy, clear thinking, deep sleep, stamina and many other important functions. AND after we turn 40 we only have half as much testosterone as we did in our 20’s. Who knew? My initial blood test showed a t level of 25. My doctor said it should be around 80. So, every 6 months I get a blood test to check my levels and then a pellet of bioidentical testosterone is implanted under the skin of my hip. It has truly changed my life. And my husband says he would pay a million dollars for me to have that pellet :). It truly has made a phenomenal difference.
    I know I need to have my adrenals addressed because I do get burned out too easily. But, I wanted to share my story with you in hopes that it could maybe help you too.
    Abundant blessing,
    Virginia Jones

    • says

      Thank you for sharing, Virginia! :) My hormone picture tested out differently than yours did, so I’m pursuing different options right now. But I’ll keep this in mind, and it may be a help to others!

  27. says

    I followed the link here from A Season of Years, and I would really like to heard more about the memory issues. I have gone through some seriously scary stuff the past few years…forgetting where I am going while driving, and how to get there–to a familiar place–is the worst. Many times I have forgotten the main purpose of a short trip that included a few other errands, like running to the bank on the way to pick up a child, then forgetting to pick up the child. Usually, these lapses aren’t really dangerous, but it’s a very scary out-of-control feeling, and I have worried about early-onset Alzheimer’s. And there are always the conversations with family where everyone else remembers something happening, but I have *no* recollection of it. :( It seems to have gotten better the past couple of years, since I have shaped up my diet (THM) and I have heard some murmurings about adrenals before, but as you said, many seem to think it is a made-up diagnosis, so I don’t know how to even approach it.

    • says

      Hi Ronda,
      Oh…so much to say. :) I have similar issues as you’re describing. I’ve read both sides of the “adrenal fatigue” issue, and I somewhat agree with both sides. Addisons disease exists…it’s a real disease where the adrenals are burned out and no longer functional. But conventional medicine at this time doesn’t recognize any sort of sliding scale for “fatigued” adrenals that are on their way to being full blown Addisons. So, *technically* there is no recognized conventional diagnosis. They’re right.

      HOWEVER, the natural health community generally recognizes cortisol level ranges as reliable indicators of how your adrenals are performing. I think the natural health community places too much emphasis on the glands themselves as being the culprits, when in many cases, they are simply responding appropriately to a stressor (internal or external or both.) A functional medicine provider can test your cortisol levels in a 24 hour cycle and will know from that if you’re at risk and what level your adrenals are functioning. A *good* functional medicine doctor will dig deeper with a personal profile and labs to find out why.

      For me, I had an underlying infection that was a-symptomatic, except that it kept my adrenals in a constant state of stimulation, which was really taking a toll on my overall health. After losing nearly 50 pounds with THM in six months, my liver was also overtaxed and my symptoms became much more serious to the point I knew I needed to get help to correct them.

      I finally decided to see a functional medicine doctor here, and testing revealed what was going on. I would never have been able to figure out all of the connections or treatments on my own (ESPECIALLY with the brain fog/memory issues) without Dr. Rob’s help. It’s been a year of supplements and ups and downs to get me to a place where I’m feeling normal again. SO worth it! :)

      Sorry to write a book, but hope some of this helps you in your journey to health. I’m excited to have Dr. Rob posting here soon to share insights on adrenal fatigue and other health challenges!

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