As is sit here thinking about the implications of my current condition, and the other chronic conditions I have I'm wishing for a charm bracelet with little ribbon charms for each one. Right now I'd have 5. But if I included things my children and grandchildren have! oh my! Extend that out to extended family and friends, and there would be a rainbow of ribbons.
It's pretty amazing because I've always thought of myself as a pretty healthy person. Migraines and painful, long periods aside. I never ran to the doctor for much of anything, and didn't get annual physicals annually.
It wouldn't have helped any of my current conditions. One of the hard things about chronic health issues is that they can sneak up on you. Sometimes over the course of years. Decades, even. Small, subtle changes that are easy to disregard and wouldn't alert your doctor to anything because they are vague and non-specific for any one disease.
As I was looking at a new hyper pigmented spot I discovered last night, one sign that is pretty much flashing a "it's your adrenals" sign, I remembered that I have had a pigmented spot on my leg that comes and goes for most of my adult life. One of those things that, looking back, might have been significant, but who knew? I've certainly had many times where I was so exhausted it hurt, but eventually, with rest, I got some energy back.
That is until my thyroid started getting attacked by my immune system. That didn't get better until my doctors figured out what was going on. Then I had a few pretty good years. Until my postural hypotension kicked in with a vengeance. That set me back into no energy land and exercise intolerance. I gradually worked up my endurance to the point of being able to take a 40 minute relaxing walk most days.
But my immune system has not stopped it's offensive, and now it seems bent on destroying my adrenal glands as well. This is the most likely cause of my suspected adrenal insufficiency. Around 70% of adrenal insufficiency in the developed world is due to autoimmune disease. And having one autoimmune disease increases your likelihood of developing another.
Since I already had two and possibly 3 autoimmune conditions before, I'm betting on an autoimmune cause here. How about a cure for autoimmune disease? That would be totally amazing.
So yeah, I want a charm bracelet. Mostly as a reminder that we can survive a lot, and we are fragile at the same time. And that we are all lucky to be alive.
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