After three months, I went back to work, despite being highly emotional about leaving my tiny baby at a preschool. I elected to work half days for the first two weeks so that I could manage with the discomfort of feeding and to ensure my baby adjusted to the new routine. On 1 February 2012, my first full day back at work, I had a cold and was feeling awful. I didn’t feel justified in staying home, given the fact that customer billing was due in the first few days of the month. Mid-morning an irate family member attacked the office with a hammer and a screwdriver as a result of a marital dispute.
Being the only person of authority around, I had to confront her to try to calm the situation down and to mitigate the damage to the business. Furniture was thrown around, computers smashed, signage ripped off the front gate, pot plants tipped over and various places smashed with the hammer. When I confronted her I was verbally abused and the hammer was smashed against the wall within a metre from my head. By the wild look in her eye, I was concerned about not surviving the day or being permanently brain damaged. I thought of my little baby and how my husband would manage with our two kids in the event of my death or disability. The violence of the situation was truly a traumatic event, at a time when I was already fragile.
For the six months or so that followed the event, I had a series of colds and flu that hit me with regularity that was disturbing. I picked up every conceivable virus that came my way due to exposure from a little child at preschool and a weakened immune system. I literally had a few days in between illnesses where I was OK and then I would get sick again. I was obviously under a great deal of stress in dealing with the situation itself and the aftermath in the office.
I had regularly visited a chiropractor to assist with my minor running injuries and alignment. I went to see her for the tension in my neck and shoulders as a result of the stress. I had told her about the traumatic event that I experienced and I was telling her all about my susceptibility to colds and flu while she treated me. She suggested that I might have adrenal fatigue and recommended that I visit a homeopath.
“Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress.”
The adrenal glands on top of the kidneys are part of the endocrine system and they secrete adrenaline as part of the body’s response to stress. This article discusses the fight or flight response: http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/fear2.htm Part of this response to stress is to shut down the immune system in order to deal with the immediate danger.
I was sceptical about homeopathy but interested in her evaluation of my health and how she could treat me. She felt my pulse and looked at my tongue, punctuated with writing a few strange symbols on her notepad. She confirmed that I had adrenal fatigue and provided me with medication to treat it. I spent months treating the condition and slowly started to improve enough to resume running.
I had been to my standard doctor many times and the treatment for each cold focussed on only the one incidence and merely on the symptoms, not the underlying cause. As much as I think western medicine is important and cannot be abandoned, I had discovered a solution and was being treated holistically for the first time.It is no surprise for me that a diagnosis of Graves’ disease is a malfunction of the endocrine system, also where the adrenals fall, and an auto-immune disease initiated by stress. I had been heading towards the diagnosis this year even as far back as 2012.
I’m open to new experiences and I find them energising. With such a serious diagnosis I have been more than willing to investigate and explore as many alternative healing practices as I can. I have found some treatments more effective for me personally than others but I believe it is a matter of what resonates with you and also what ails you. In the coming weeks I’ll be doing a series on healing practices to share my experiences.
Particularly for the sceptics, you may get a kick out of this fun clip poking fun at homeopathy.