Old Town cardi is back at the top of the back panel:
I’ll just start knitting on it again. No pressure.
I wouldn’t mind a bit more pressure though. Adrenal Insufficiency has left me with permanent low blood pressure and last week it got extremely low, due to the tropical temperatures we had in the Netherlands.
pic by Julian Lim
The heat made my blood vessels dilate and as a result my blood pressure (BP) dropped below functionality and I’ve spend two mornings in bed, unable to think or move for hours. My usual supplement of hydrocortison and salt water did not have any effect (apart from preventing me getting worse).
pic by Tomasz Stasiuk
It’s very weird, not being able to think, to speak. I was slurring words. Didn’t find the right words and didn’t mind anyway. I only wanted to sleep. But it wasn’t sleep. It was… something else. Where you just… exist? But not consciously. You just lay there. Not even breathing consciously, just letting the parasympathetic nervous system run things, I guess. I did think a few things but they were slow and dream like and not very coherent nor interesting.
Just being. Not even in a profound way.
pic by Scott Johnson
I’ve been like this before, a few years back, when I was really really ill. Then too I could not get out of bed in the morning. Couldn’t even lift my head. Couldn’t think, couldn’t talk. Each morning my husband had to put something salty in my mouth before I could lift my head. The thing was: he usually woke up before me and would be down stairs, sipping coffee. So I had to summon him to help me but I couldn’t call him. Each day it would take all the concentration and will power I had to initiate the action to knock on the side of my night stand to make some sound and “call” him that way. He’d hear and come up and ask what I needed and I’d lay there, trying to make him read my mind and feed me some of the salty cracker that was on my night stand. This went on for about 2 years I think.
That was really bad hypotension. Or maybe just adrenal problems. And we let it go on for too long. But we were surviving back then, we weren’t thinking straight, we didn’t know what it was.
I should have told my doctor sooner. I thought I had described it to him but apparently I hadn’t, not really. I remember that when I eventually did, my GP got pale and stared at me and wrote out a prescription for cortisol without breaking eye contact. It was surreal.
It made me too scared to ask how bad these episodes had been.
pic by Jeff Eaton
Nowaways I cruise at a BP of 90 over 60 with a heart rate of 60 bpm when resting and 80 when standing. The daily doses of hydrocortison (= cortisol) insure my body is up and running again -or at least sitting and knitting- and there’s enough to get me through the day 24/7. I no longer have those weird zombie spells.
pic by Josh Wedin
A blood pressure of 90/60 is still too low for me, it’s hypotension. It should be 120/100 at least. One of the troubles is there’s not enough pressure to push nutrients and sugar and oxygen into tissues, muscles and brains. Because that’s what blood pressure is for. It’s not for keeping your arteries nice and round.
This failing to deliver goods to important places results in malnutrition of organs, in weakness in muscles (including bad coordination) and mental symptoms where you cannot think properly. I still struggle to notice when these things present themselves, due to the brain fog it brings. Also I have no solution for this low BP, I cannot get it up. I take salt by the bucket, straight out of the shaker and with everything I drink. I drink a lot. And I once experimented with taking higher doses of cortisol but that didn’t raise it either.
pic by Pascal
Last week with the hot weather temperatures rose to 35 degrees. I didn’t recognize fast enough how vulnerable I am too heat. I had two of “those mornings” again. You just have to lay there. There’s nothing else you can do. Head full of cotton fluff. So tired, so tired. Clammy skin. All you want to do is sleep. But it’s not sleep, it’s existing, without time or plan.
pic of blood measure by Tunstall
It would get better around noon, as the natural cortisol levels of the circadian rhythm lessen. I’d get out of bed and write on the legal report I have to submit next week. I’d forget about the morning, too busy to catch up on the day. After two days I recognized that this was not good. We tried to take my blood pressure but it took a whole other day for me to remember where the meter was (in my night stand, where it has always been but I was sure I put it somewhere else and I didn’t even check. That’s how messed up the brain gets.)
Anyway, on the day it got cooler I found my wits again and was able to sort things out. I got out of bed, got dressed, found the meter, BP was 79 over 57 with a heart rate of 57 beats per minute. Ridiculously low. But I was functioning.
Got to the (new) doctor, asked for a mineral corticosteroid called Florinef (= fludrocortison) which solely busies itself with raising blood pressure. Got it. Felt better.
Then felt worse. Because one of its side effects may be depression.
Oh please! Give me a break!
pic by Benjamin Lehman
Today I ruled out it is anything else apart from the Florinef making me sad. That it’s not from something I ate (vanillin, vanilla essence) or a shortage of Progesteron or Zinc or vit D or Lithium (the mineral, not the drug) or Choline. I have a whole array of things that can cause acute depression in me and it’s driving me mad!
I established that yes, it is indeed the Florinef causing my depressive mood. Well, that’s new.
Luckily my husband read online that this may be caused because Florinef uses up a lot of the Kalium which is supposed to be in balance with Natrium (= Sodium = table salt) to keep your BP up. And also the brain chemistry of ridiculously sensitive people.
I ate half a banana (chuck full of Kalium) and the doom and weepiness seemed to lessen.
Tomorrow I try again. Take Florinef, see if depressive feelings rear again, see if I can curb them with half a banana. So I can be happy (or just merely OK) and do some knitting or other stuff.
I’m sorry. I don’t usually post these things here, I hope, with al this grievance and so little knitting. But it’s on my mind now and it colours my every day and it explains why there are few knitting blog posts these days.
I’m so tired of this shite. All these variables and this sensitive, sensitive system I’m working with.
I wouldn’t mind one bit to be a robust extrovert for a month and just enjoy things!
pic by ingridf
(Luckily I match my list of chemical imbalance culprits with a list of tactics to get rid of them. But today I feel the need to gripe about it all and couldn’t keep it away from the blog. Sorry about that.)
PS I did do some knitterly things today. I knit four rows on the Old Town cardi and then I saw I’d better go down a needle. My gauge has changed since I knitted the top of the back panel. So at the moment I’m in the middle of trying to pick up stitches four rows below where I am but this is fiddly and needs a bit more brain power than I can muster in my free time.
Instead I spend an hour making a new ravatar for Tour de Fleece, carefully choosing the right shade of pink for the cat’s wig:
Tour de Fleece starts in week. Sshh! I haven’t finished that blue Shetland I wanted to finish before. Haven’t carded the Swifter fleece I want to spin so bad during TdF either! And also… before TdF starts that court document I’m writing must be submitted. Oh man… the heat is on.