Tuesday, March 9, 2010

013 Down to Last Klonopin Pill

The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

March 9, 2010

It's been 4 months since I've updated this blog on what's going on with me and the benzodiazepine withdrawal. I have 7 months left to go until I'm benzo free. This past week, I got down to my last .5 mg pill (I began tapering about 2 1/2 years ago off 3 mg.).

I am wanting off this drug so badly, I'd just about give anything to be off it. I'm water titrating with 250 ml of water and removing 1 ml a day. I was using 200 ml for the past 6 days, but the withdrawal symptoms have been so bad this past week using that amount that I can't stand the pain, anxiety, paranoia, tremors and all the fun things that go along with being addicted to this nasty medication.

My prayers are still that doctors will have their eyes opened to what they are doing to people every day by giving them these horrible medications. Why not ask them about nutrition, check for hormone imbalances and vitamin and mineral deficiencies? I realize there's not much money in doing the right thing, but at least the patient wouldn't end up addicted to a medication which causes these symptoms.

Anyway, enough of my rant against prescription drugs and the doctors who give them. By my calculations, I will be off the Klonopin in 224 days which will be around my son's 22nd birthday. Now that is something to celebrate!

Tamara Slack


Monday, February 1, 2010

Resources for my Supplements, Toiletries, Foods, Videos, Books


So many people have called or emailed asking where I get my supplements, what do I use instead of makeup and shampoo so I don't get toxins and hormones into my body from the storebought stuff, and how much it costs to deal with my illness. So, I am posting it all in one blog post so that the resources can be found here. So here goes:

SUPPLEMENTS (vitamins, minerals, herbs, glandulars, etc.):

ConcenTrace Mineral Drops I use 60 to 70 drops per day. The link to this only shows the product. I don't buy it from Amazon because I can get is straight from local health food store for $18.99.

Isocort I am currently tapering off this glandular and will slowly start using ACE (Adrenal Cortical Extract) under my doctor's supervision. I purchase the Isocort from Natural Healthy Concepts online for $28.00 and get free shipping with their minimum purchase requirement.

ACE (Adrenal Cortical Extract) $32.00 from Clymer. I have not started this product, but will this week to replace the Isocort. It's an adaptogen so it will help me make cortisol when I need it and lower it when I don't need it.

Vitamin E (Unique E) is $40.50 from Clymer. I've looked all over for a better price, but this is it! And this is by far the best Vitamin E I can find.

Magnesium Malate I use both this product and a transdermal magnesium for now. I might switch to transdermal completely, but then I'll be missing the malic acid for my fibromyalgia. I use 3.5 tablets of this product daily, but get about 1,000 mg. more from the transdermal, so I'm loaded up on magnesium! From Natural Healthy Concepts for $5.39 each bottle and there's free shipping when I order $50 or more at a time from them.

Ancient Minerals Magnesium (the transdermal magnesium). I don't actually get mine from their website. There's a seller on eBay who sells it for the same amount but free shipping. $55.00 for the flakes and more for the acutal "oil" which is just pure water. I really want to get the book, "Transdermal Magnesium Therapy" by Mark Sircus. If anyone has a copy and wants to let me borrow theirs, let me know!

Pregnenolone Pure Encapsulations I'm taking 2o mg of this now, but started out the first 5 weeks on only 10 mg. It costs about $20.00 for a 3 month supply for me.

Seriphos $20.00 for each bottle of 100 capsules. This is the most expensive of the products I buy. My husband and I found that the best price is if we get it at Natural Healthy Concepts because if we buy 3 or 4 bottles at a time, we get free shipping and the bottles are a tad cheaper anyway. My doctor had me start using about 5 of these a day for panic attacks (adrenaline rushes from my HPA not working properly) and insomnia. We've moved me up slowly to 15 capsules a day (sometimes I need only 9), but it's something that has helped me get off the benzodiazepine and help with sleep and panic attacks. And just imagine... it's all natural. God made it... fancy that huh? I have had no problems with this company and wish I could buy all my supplements through them! If I'm not well, I need about 450 of these capsules a month which means over 4 bottles of it. As my HPA Axis calms down more (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal Axis), I'll be able to use a lot less of this product.

Symplex F by Standard Process This has been a great product for me to help heal the hormonal problems and support for my adrenal glands. The doctor has me taking 3 each day. Found that I get 2 weeks free if I buy it in bulk from Amazon for $49.50 plus shipping.

Pantothenic Acid my doctor has me taking 3,000 mg. a day to balance my hormones. It's just Vitamin B-5, but has been helpful. I was buying it at the local health food store, but my doctor is sending me a bottle of what they have because it has ingredients that are more helpful (apparently more of something I'm neeeding in it). The cost is higher, so I'll see if I can get the same brand elseshere unless his is the least expensive.

Thymuril I cannot say enough about this product for me! We are even getting my husband on it. It's boosted my immune system greatly. If I could get only a few products into my system, this would be at the top of my list for sure. I found the best place to get mine is through PlanetRX for $11.14 for each bottle (they have free shipping with a minimum order too). I use 3 tablets or 6 capsules (the tablets have twice the amount of supplements in it). I am not struggling nearly as bad with chemical sensitivities now whereas before the Thymuril, I coulnd't breathe, my chest would tighten, and I would get very dizzy and confused if I even smelled perfume, much less nasty soaps and bleach!

Vitamin C Buffered 500 mg. I am trying to find a good Vitamin C, but for now, I have een using what my doctor has which is a buffered Vit. C for $13.50. I'm taking about 2,000 mg. a day of Vitamin C to boost my immune system.

Vitamin D Thorne D-5000 60 Capsules for $12.00 is what I use. Doctor has me taking 10,000 IU a day. This is good for my Calcium and Magnesium and helps with depression caused by hormonal problems.

Licorice Root Powder $16.00 to raise my cortisol in the mornings to "get going." Nice instead of coffee. This is organic and tastes great. One bottle lasts me about 3 months.

Passionflower Organic Powder I get in bulk and buy the vegetable caps and use this for insomnia. It does not have an effect on benzos or benzo withdrawal for me and from what I understand, it doesn't take the same CYP Pathway as Klonopin (benzo). They do sell non-organic powder, but I prefer knowing I'm not putting pesticides in my body, so I definitely get the organic and so far, the middle sized bag has lasted us 4 months and I'm sure I have another 4 months to go. This is a very inexpesive way to get passionflower.


Flax Seeds I buy from our local health food store in bulk. I crush them up in a coffee blender and use 1 to 2 Tb. a day.

Psyllium Husks I'm starting this week for a soluble fiber which I found will pull out the extra hormones (especially extra adrenaline), toxins, sugars, and all the bad stuff from my body by binding to the bile that needs to get out of my system. The BEST information I have ever seen on this is found HERE.

KAL Organic Stevia Extract is awesome! I've used stevia instead of sugar for a couple years now, but there's always a little aftertaste, but then I found KAL Organic and oh my! What a difference. I spend $9.85 plus shipping for this and it lasts a while.

Coffee Substitute I use instead of coffee because 1. coffee is very hard on the adrenal glands and all systems really, 2. it's hard on my blood sugar levels with the hypoglycemia, and 3. it is known to have pesticides that I don't want to consume which is hard on the liver (though there are organic coffees that use a Swiss Water Process). I use Kaffree Roma as a substitute buying at our local health food store and the canister lasts one month for me.

Ezekiel Bread I use because 1. it's organic, 2. I actually know what is in the bread (go look at your loaf of bread and see the sugars and words you can't pronounce!), and 3. it is good replacement of the bad breads for hypoglycemics and diabetics as it's lower in carbs and there's good fiber in it. I buy mine at the local health food store.

Redmond RealSalt is what my husband and I use now after reading what's wrong with regular table salt and what's right with the stuff God has made. Here's a good book on this subject called "Salt: Your Way to Health" by Dr. David Brownstein. It was such an eye-opener about the lies I've been told, "don't eat too much salt!!!" Now I understand and my doctor has me drinking saltwater in order to raise my aldosterone levels (kind of a "duh" moment for me when I read this book). Book can be found HERE. I think the next book on my list as far as nutrition and getting over this illness is going to be on Iodine which can be found HERE or HERE

Wonderslim Fat Free 99.7% Caffeine Free Cocoa Powder I've not tried this yet but have heard great things about it. I don't know if they use a good water process to remove the caffeine or do what most companies do and use formadehyde. I ordered the Wonderslim recently, but have yet to try it.


Body and Hand Soap I use the Natural (Fragrance-Free) (Milky White Soap) from Sappo Hill Soapworks as it doesn't have toxins and hormones in it like storebought soap. $1.65 per bar of soap.

Tooth Chips I use instead of toothpaste. Toothpaste has fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate, dyes, artificial sweeteners, silicates (sand), stabilizers or an addition of 60% glycerin found in it. What's all that? Google the words on the back of your toothpaste and see if that's what you want in you and your family's mouth each day! *smile*

Makeup (other than mascara and lipstick) I buy from a lady who makes mineral makeup.

Lipstick I use Ecco Bella so I don't get the toxins and hormones into my system with my makeup.

Macara is Ecco Bella also because I can't stand using mascara with carcinogens which is "is any substance, radionuclide or radiation that is an agent directly involved in the exacerbation of cancer or in the increase of its propagation."

Laundry Soap is handmade by my friend Dana. If you want laundry soap that doesn't have carcinogens in them, contact here HERE or email me and I can get you contact with her. She makes the soap and it lasts and lasts and lasts and I don't have to worry about harmful chemicals for my husand and I.

What I use for shampoo is baking soda and for conditioner, I use vinegar. They both work fine and there's not nasty chemicals that cause cancer in them.


Power Mixer for my benzo withdrawal water titration I have to do each day to get off this medication. This is the best little blender for doing this. I spent $11.75 plus shipping for mine.

The most helpful books I've read to help me understand my illness, how to get better, and overall how to live healthy even if I wasn't sick are:

1. Chronic Fatigue Unmasked 2000 by Gerald Poesnecker, N.D. (free chapter can be found HERE)

2. Salt: Your Way to Health by Dr. David Brownstein

3. Benzodiazepines: How They Work and How to Withdrawal by Dr. Heather Ashton (free online)

3. The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D.

4. Sugar Blues by William F. Duffy

5. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause by Dr. John R. Lee

6. When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada

The most helpful videos I've found have been:

1. Karen Hurd's LECTURES

2. Videos done by the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights HERE.

3. The Birth of Modern Psychiatry 1 through 4 found HERE.

4. A man going through Klonopin withdrawal without tapering slowly and addressing the other problems related to withdrawal such as adrenal insufficiency (this video is what commonly happens when getting off of benzodiazepines... it happened to me too). It's important to learn how to taper safely. Video HERE and HERE.

5. Ruth's Story of getting off (safe... yeah right) antidepressants.

6. Peter Breggin reports on psychiatric drugs HERE.

7. Food, Inc. was the most helpful in understanding our foods.

8. Super Size Me was helpful in knowing how the body responds to good food and bad food. This man had tests done to see his levels prior to eating fast food. The doctors are in this video too!

9. The Future of Food ... the title says it all! A must see if you are still breathing and require food to exist!

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE.

Tamara Slack


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving My Proverbs 31 Friends

I've thought all morning what I can be thankful for this year. I talked with the Lord quite a bit about it! There's just too much to be thankful for, so I chose to thank Him for my friends in whom I see Proverbs 31 being worked out in their lives.I'm thankful for...

Dana, my good friend with whom I have a special friendship that never ceases to amaze me as we have seen many different phases of life for the past five years. I know I can trust every corner of my heart with her. A wonderful blessing! She truly lives out much of Proverbs 31, but especially "She looks well to the ways of her household." - Proverbs 31.27 and her earthly reward, I see, is "[her husband] praises her: "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."" - Proverbs 31.28-29

Mindy, whom I've known the least amount of time of all my friends, but with whom I share much in common. I'm thankful to the Lord who continues to strengthen our friendship though we live states apart. I'm grateful for the vast knowledge the Lord has given her and discernment about how to keep our bodies healthy. The Lord has given her a generous heart that yearns to see the hurting suffer less, wanting more of God and less of her. "She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy." - Proverbs 31.20

Renee H., a long distance soul sister with whom I share a great deal in common regarding our "geeky" ways with books and anything we can get our hands on regarding doctrine and evangelism. We can go for months without talking on the phone then pick up as if we hadn't skipped a beat. That's a huge blessing! I admire the strength the Lord has given her in times of trouble and thank Him for granting her endurance. "She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong" - Proverbs 31.17

Betty, a woman after God's own heart. I thank the Lord for her love for Him, her testimony before this lost world, and her humility and gentlesness. Her gentle words to opponents of the gospel humble me and make me want to be more like her. "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." - Proverbs 31.26

Sarah, a good friend who I can count on when I have good day or a bad one. I thank God for her transparency and diligence in warring against sin wherever she finds it in her life. Tired of being decieved in life about her Lord and how He works, she is diligent in keeping her life loving the law of the Lord, staying faithful in her fear of Him. "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." - Proverbs 31.30

Marla, another long distance friend from whom I glean much truth. Most of us show many struggles in many areas if we look to Proverbs 31, but if there ever has been a woman whose life shows all of Proverbs 31, I would say that it has been Marla. The Lord has blessed her with much joy and such a carefree spirit, one who has a wonderful balance of grace and truth that it's difficult not to covet the gifts He has given her. "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come." - Proverbs 31.25

Angela, the woman I look to for godly advice about how to be a wife. I'm thankful for the wisdom God has given her as she has grown so much in such little time. I'm thankful for the gentle rebukes she gives me because she wants my best before God and my husband and for the many hours we spend on the phone laughing, praying, and just chatting. She truly is a picture of "An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain." - Proverbs 31.10-11

The Lord has blessed me with many other friends, but I would be here all day typing if I listed them all. I have not forgotten anyone... Julie, Patte, Loretta, Rhonda, Terry, Shana, Deb, and others. You're all a blessing! Having all these friends, now that is something to be thankful about for sure! I asked God three years ago when He forgave all my sin, past and present, to give me friends since I had not known friendship with other ladies for over fourteen years as a false convert. Well, I had one friend, Dana, with whom I shared our false convert ways! The Lord granted Dana salvation at the same time He did for me, so He continued our friendship which has grown deeper.But most of all, I'm thankful to the Lord who has the power in a word to create big things like galaxies and small things like me. I'm thankful to Him for answering my prayer for friendships, but in bigger ways than I thought to ask. I'm thankful He did not choose to look at me when deciding to make me born again, but He looked at His Son so that I would never get the credit for salvation and so I would be continually be kept in awe at His awesome works. I'm thankful that He keeps His promises and will make me endure to the end while the road is bumpy and narrow. And I'm thankful to Him for granting me friends who will walk this path with me."

I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me." - 2 Timothy 1.12

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!


Friday, November 27, 2009

012 Began Mil Adregen, Seriphos, and Symplex F

To visit blog home page and comment on this entry, click HERE.

November 27, 2009

Been really sick lately. My body doesn't do well with change and there's been some changes! Low blood sugar has been bothering me along with an abundance of histamine in my body (itchy, itchy!) and a general feeling of weakness has come over me. Your prayers are always appreciated!

1. November 10, 2009. Began using Mil Adregen per Dr. Neville's advice. By the next day, my husband and I realized it's not for me! Poor Roger. If anyone needs prayer, it's my husband. He is so good in caring for me though. What I experienced: brain fog, anxiety (like climbing the walls kind of anxiety!), iching and prickly skin, breathing problems, on edge, anger, crying, very alert, feeling ramped up and could run a marathon. Within fifteen minutes of taking one of the pills, this is how I felt. Took it for two days, called the doctor's office and they said to stop taking it, but to give it a try very slowly in a few days (not at 3 pills a day, but 1 a day). I did so, but it again didn't work out well. Same symptoms, but not as bad. Tried this for three days, then doctor said to quit and sent me Symplex F and Pregnenolone to try something different. Apparently this glandular support can be too much for some people as Clymer's website says, "Mil Adregen is our standard remedy for adrenal gland support. The only caveat is that it is such a potent remedy that some patients find they are sensitive to some components. For these we have other remedies, like Isocort and Adrenal Cortex Fractions."

2. November 16, 2009. Began Seriphos (All natural Phosphorylated Serine and Ethanolamine) to help with the anxiety and insomnia (still sleeping 4 - 6 hours interrupted each night. I think I would do okay if it was 6 hours straight!). Supposed to take 1 at 2pm, 5pm, 8pm, and bed, up to 8 a day though. Within a few days, I was up to the 8 pills a day. At the time of writing this, I am finding that 9 pills a day (every 1.5 hours from afternoon to bed plus one each time I wake in the middle of the night) helps with the anxiety and gives me a deeper sleep though not much more than 6 to 7 hours, interrupted. I also find that if too much cortisol and adrenaline starts up (giving a panic attack), if I take one or two every 15 minutes until I feel better, that gives some relief to my adrenal glands.

3. November 27, 2009. Began Symplex F made by Standard Process. This is extracts from bovine ovary, adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid glands. I started with one pill at 9am with meal. I have no idea how this is going to work out yet as I just took it fifteen minutes ago.

However this all works out and whether I get better or not, the Holy Spirit has given me this little gem to meditate on lately which is recorded in Matthew 11.28-30:

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." - Jesus Christ

I wish I could say I believe that all the time and rest in it continually. I wish I could just "suck it up" and "pull up my bootstraps" too, but I'll tell ya, I would trade this hormonal illness with just about anything else. One adrenal patient was healed after a long time of going through this same stuff and after living a "normal" life for a while got breast cancer. She sighed in relief that it was only cancer and said she thought the doctor was going to tell her it was Chronic Fatigue Illness again. Yes, it's that bad to prefer cancer over this! Like she said, at least there's something you can do for cancer. (I realize people die of cancer all the time and no one is guaranteed to get better from cancer. I tell that story only to get across how severe CFS / Hypoadrenia is in comparison to such a horrific disease as cancer.)

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE.
The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Forgiven much,
Tamara Slack

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

9 Minutes of Your Time, Please?

Two videos of people going through Klonopin withdrawal. Please take 9 minutes of your time to watch and listen to what these people are saying. This is exactly what I went through when I stopped Klonopin cold turkey (had to go back on to taper down safely later though). I know it's a lot to ask people to stop and take 9 minutes to understand what's going on with people who are trying to get off medication they trusted doctors with, but please do it. If you know doctors who can start learning about benzodiazepines, please forward these videos to them. Hopefully one day there will be more doctors who are willing to say that this is not okay. There are many videos, but I just picked out two for now:

For the next one, you might have to turn up the audio:

The videos can be found HERE and HERE.

Please also pray for them and for anyone suffering through benzodiazepine withdrawal. It can last months or years. It's much worse than any street drug and is killing people too. A helpful resource is The Road Back Program where you can learn to taper off benzodiazepines (and other psychotropic drugs) safely. Thank you for your 9 minutes.

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE.

The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Coram Deo,
Tamara Slack

Friday, November 13, 2009

011 Encouraging Letters

To visit blog home page and comment on this entry, click HERE.

November 13, 2009

Several people have sent emails to me saying they are praying for my recovery and for endurance for me. Some have given me Scriptures and wonderful words to hang onto while enduring the long days of suffering with the adrenal problems.

In one email, a brother in Christ wrote to me:

"Thanks for sharing. I don't understand all the stuff but I've been trying to explain to my wife that years of drinking and meth and smoking weed has an effect on the body and that doesn't get fixed just because we have a regenerate heart. Diabetics don't quit insulin when the Holy Spirit comes in, so those of us who have physical ailments need to deal with the consequence of sin in general, and often our own sin is what caused the physical changes that pain us today so much. I was reading in Answers magazine the other night about how the brain creates connections and drinking and drugs will mess those connections up, that's at least one reason why we can love the Lord and want to be sober, yet still have thoughts or even cravings for drugs or alcohol.

Thankfully, my spirit is such that I do not succumb to these temptations, by the grace of God, for a while now.

Anyway, I'm sorry to hear about all the bad advice you get. It's sad to me how people are so influenced by our society (professing Christians, I mean). Psychology, psychiatry...all based on lies. Lies meant to put people in the prison of self and ultimately keep them from a knowledge of the grace of Christ. Sad. I've been diagnosed bipolar twice, all I needed to do was quit drinking it turned out. That's even before salvation, just quitting that terrible behavior changed my diagnosis.

We love you Tamara and are happy you are in our lived, (me and my wife). I trust your suffering doesn't compare to the glory to be revealed in you, and I know you already know and cling to that.

God Bless you.

Now that is what I call encouragement! I thank the Lord for people like he and his wife. A thousand words of bad advice and being told that my illness is due to psychological reasons rather than physical ones are nothing in comparison to true, loving words from a friend. It's like a healing balm, a foretaste of what the Lord has for me once this body fails completely.

And another came yesterday from a dear friend:

You have been on my mind alot lately and I was reading my daily Spurgeon I
thought about you and wanted to pass it along...love you!

"The trial of your faith." --1 Peter 1:7

Faith untried may be true faith, but it is sure to be little faith, and it is likely to remain dwarfish so long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: tempests are her trainers, and lightnings are her illuminators. When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship moves not to its harbour; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too. Let the winds rush howling forth, and let the waters lift up themselves, then, though the vessel may rock, and her deck may be washed with waves, and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway towards her desired haven. No flowers wear so lovely a blue as those which grow at the foot of the frozen glacier; no stars gleam so brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky; no water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity. Tried faith brings experience. You could not have believed your own weakness had you not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God's strength had you not been supported amid the water-floods. Faith increases in solidity, assurance, and intensity, the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too.

Let not this, however, discourage those who are young in faith. You will have trials enough without seeking them: the full portion will be measured out to you in due season. Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the result of long experience, thank God for what grace you have; praise Him for that degree of holy confidence whereunto you have attained: walk according to that rule, and you shall yet have more and more of the blessing of God, till your faith shall remove mountains and conquer impossibilities.

May the Lord bring a peace and grace that only He can give to you if you are needing it today. He says He will not break a bruised reed nor put out a smoldering wick.

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE.

The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Coram Deo,

Tamara Slack

Thursday, November 12, 2009

010 Help with Anxiety, Insomnia, and Klonopin Withdrawals - Seriphos

To visit blog home page and comment on this entry, click HERE.

November 12, 2009

Going back over my conversation with Dr. Andrew Neville with the Clymer Healing Center which took place on November 3, I wanted to make note here of how the Seriphos is supposed to help me with insomnia, anxiety, and hopefully even the detoxing of the Klonopin. Right now, my body is only able to handle 3% cuts of the Klonopin every 14 days (and that's pushing it!) which will take another 12 months or so. If there's anything to help me get off this horrific drug, I will be grateful! It's so difficult knowing I have to put a benzodiazepine in my body so that I won't have seizures, or possibly die, yet it's a serious toxin! If you've never been on a psychotropic drug and don't understand the seriousness of it, imagine knowing you must drink a teaspoon of bleach ever day for three years so that you won't be in serious withdrawals, yet at the same time, you know that the bleach is also making you very sick. Add on top of that some people who might call you a bleach junkie! A bleach junkie... ha! Now that was kind of funny, you have to admit!

So, here's what the doctor said to me:

Doc: Your cortisol levels should never be going up through the day. If they are going up, that means there's stimulation either from within or external stimulation. Your body is ramping up, so just the elevation, though your 4:00pm is not overly high, can cause the same anxiety and heart palpitaitons as well as theat evening cortisol being too high that will feed the insomnia. So we have to settle that down and there's some things that we can do to help to balance this out especially with the elevated leves of cortisol. Seriphos is good for elevated cortisol and adrenaline. It's the elevation of cortisol and adrenaline which often contributes to the insomnia. There's a couple other reasons why people won't sleep, but that's the primary one that I find. So because the Seriphos helps with controlling excess cortisol and adrenaline, it helps with things like insomnia, anxiety, palipitaions, the stress responses. Some people will take it if they are going out throughout their day and they are just overwhelmed, overstressed, they can take a little bit during the day and it takes the edge off. Anything that takes the edge off is going ot be useful. It has a calming, quieting effect.

Me: Will my body get addicted to it though?

Doc: No. And I often use the Seriphos to help people with regard to the Klonopin and to help reduce the need for Klonopin and maybe it will ease the transition off of it.

I am supposed to start the Seriphos (a natural product containing only Phosphorylated Serine and Ethanolamine) after we get another product figured out (an adrenal glandular product), but my system is so sensitive right now that the Mil Adregen that the doctor wants me to switch to from the Isocort is causing severe anxiety and all sorts of reactions. I'm sure it's fine for most people as I've read up on this product, but for me, so far, my body cannot tolerate it yet. We are working on small doses this coming week and then I can try the Seriphos! I'll see if the heart palpitations, anxiety, panic attacks, and insomia go away or at least lessen! Wouldn't that be wonderful? Apparently it needs to really be monitored because it's dealing with the HP Axis and sometimes people need less, sometimes much more, and sometimes it doesn't work for the person.

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE.

The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Coram Deo, Tamara Slack

Saturday, November 7, 2009

009 Second Consultation with Doctor and New Supplements

To visit blog home page and comment on this entry, click HERE.

November 8, 2009

How is my body doing, doc? "The debilitation from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is far greater than those with cancer, diabetes, heart disease. It's profound. You have a severe hormonal imbalance."
Five days ago, I had my second conversation with Dr. Neville from the Clymer Healing Center. We had to go over my ASI Test results which showed elevated cortisol (in comparison to February's low cortisol readings).
I'm not yet sure where I am on the Hans Selye Chart, but it seems I've been vacilatting between the Resistance and Exhaustion Phases. I definitely was in the Resistance Phase when we first moved here to Missouri as I was having very few symptoms, but had no idea that inside my body, I was very, very sick and then on July 7 (just 4 months ago), it all fell apart (again!). My hormones were completely out of control which put me in a position of not being able to do anything: total bedrest and could barely care for myself. Had I understood the Seyle Chart prior to July 7th, I would have known that the energy I had was a false energy. I was depleting my adrenal glands of all they had to give and became sicker than when I was in the first stage which was bad enough.
Going through the results, Dr. Neville explained that I should not have all three symptoms of fatigue, depression, and anxiety together. He's said he is not at all worried about the fatigue and depression, but says that the anxiety (and panic attacks) should not be happening if I have the other two. He says the fatigue and depression will go away as my adrenal hormones balance out over the months and years to come, but we need to get me to a place where I am no longer having anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia (I am sleeping on average 4 to 6 hours a night which are interrupted by frequent wakings). So, he is putting me on some different supplements and reducing others while I still taper safely off the Klonopin at 3% every 14 days.
For cortisol problems:

  • Isocort. Decrease Isocort, taking only 2 pills in the morning (this is a drop from 6 pills throughout the day; he thinks the Isocort is too strong for my body right now).

  • Licorice Root. Keep Licorice Root at the 1/4 cup in the morning so that it will still balance the cortisol, but not increase it.

  • Mil Adregen. Begin taking Mil Adren 1 three times daily. This is an adrenal gland support like Isocort.

Vitamin D deficiency:

  • Vitamin D. Change my Calcium / Magnesium / Vitamin D pill to just Vitamin D at 10,000 Units. I should be getting enough Magnesium in my Vitamin C pills, the Trace Mineral Drops, and various foods I eat though I am deficient in Magnesium and would like this tested at a later date.

Dehydration / Sodium-Pottasium Balancing:

  • Salt Water. Continue drinking salt water using Sea Salt at 1/4 tsp. twice daily and continue heavily salting my food until I no longer get lightheaded and my urination is down to five or six times a day instead of ten to twelve times (I had no idea I was suffering from dehydration all these years due to my sodium / potassium not being balanced from low aldosterone). As Dr. Neville says, "In adrenal patients, low aldosterone means low salt, low salt means low water. Now your heart's not getting the right electrolytes to it which can throw out palpitations sometimes. It will make us chronically dehydrated."

Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and Insomnia:

  • Seriphos. I'm to take one pill four times daily: 2pm, 5pm, 8pm, and bed (trying to target when my body is making the most cortisol). This is supposed to help with anxiety, panic attacks, and the insomnia and is commonly used when withdrawing from benzodiazepines, so he said it's safe for me to be withdrawing slowly from the Klonopin while taking this. It is a natural product: Phosphorylated Serine / Ethanolamine. It's supposed to work with the HP Axis to keep it from overstimulating the adrenal gland which is causing the surge of adrenaline and cortisol (fight or flight response). Since my body has been out of balance for 20 plus years, it's going to be a while before I don't have the anxiety, but one day I won't need the Seriphos and will be able to handle everyday stresses in life without getting sick. He's going to monitor how this one goes for me as some people can use a little, some need a lot, and for some, it just doesn't work. With me detoxing from the Klonopin, it may be different than other people, but I really hope to not have panic attacks and get some sleep some night!

Immune System:

  • Thymuril. This is because my immune system is so bad. In my doctor's words, "Your immune system is shot, guaranteed. But that's because of your adrenals. If we restore your adrenals, your immune system will kick back in."

  • Vitamin C. Change my Vitamin C to a Buffered Vitamin C, taking 1,000 mg. three times daily (this is a switch from a non-buffered form)

Along with these new supplements, I'm to basically do three things: rest, rest, and then when I'm tired of resting, rest some more! I'm a pretty driven person and so it's difficult for me to rest, but by God's grace, I will rest! I'm to contact him within 10 days of starting the Seriphos to see how it is going with me. I need to ask him about Pregnenalone and Symplex F for the PMS (oh, it's horrific!). He mentioned that these are very gentle things I can add while I'm healing so that I won't suffer the PMS so much.

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE.
The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Coram Deo,

Tamara Slack

Friday, November 6, 2009

008 Part 2 of Chapter 4 "Patient and Family Responsibilities"

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November 7, 2009

Here's more of the story of one of his patients who was a pastor from Part 1 of this post (book notes in brown, my notes in black, without that bad, complaining attitude I've had:

"At other times, he had became so weak that he had to spend two or three days flat on his back in bed before he could carry on with his work." (pg 71)

Stop! This so reminds me of Charles Spurgeon's problems with depression. You can read the "Anguish and Agonies of Spurgeon" HERE. Continuing on with the book:

"He was, however, as are so many CFS patients, a definite overacheiver. As soon as he was able to get out of bed, he was out working on church duties, giving lectures in different parts of the country, attending parishioners and planning new projects. Since he lived about six hours from our Clinic, it was not possible for us to see him frequently, so every attempt was made to find a physician in his local area who was knowledgeable about CFS. As previously reported, those who would accept him as a patient seemed to have little knowledge of CFS, and those who were knowledgeable refused to accept him as a patient... He had to give up as many of his external church duties as possible and delegate wherever possible his internal church duties. Eventually, once he was able to regenerate his system, he could gradually return to his various duties. However, I do not believe that even under the best circumstances he should ever return to the full intensity of activities he was fulfilling when I first saw him. Admittedly, such an opinion is not what a patient wants to hear. In fact, this patient has had a difficult time accepting our diagnosis of CFS. Nature has a way of helping truth, however, and once he again fainted during church services, he had little choice but to accept the condition." (pgs 71-72)

"Probably the most common question asked me by those with CFS is, "Will I ever be normal again?"

His answer, in part:

"Your problem happens to be a weakness in the neurohormonal mechanism. Luckily, it is one we understand, one we can control, and in most instances one we can correct. It is necessary, however, for you to live more cafefully in regard to the various stresses of life than the individual with a stronger neurohormonal mechanism, somewhat in the same way that the individdual who has inherited a mild diabetic condition must watch his diet so that he does not ingest too much sugar." (pg 75)

"Unlike the true neurotic or basic nonachiever, the adrenal victim wants nothing more than to be able to do all the things his friends and relatives are extolling him to do. The fact is, he is physically incapable of accomplishing these tasks and will remain so until the basic underlying condition is remedied." (pg 76)

"... the most well-meaning friends and family members hasten the development of this disease. In fact, from my many years in treating this conidtion, I have concluded that the most difficult to resolve and the most prolonged of all stresses imposed on the CFS patient are those place there by friends and amily who are truly trying to be helpful." (pg 77)

What family and friends can do: Understand, Encouragement, Reinforcement.

"Friends should let him know that they understand his problem, that they appreciate his suffering, but that with the proper treatment and care he will improve. They should let him know that although he will have ups and downs - for this is the nature of the condition itself - he must not give up, but must continue his treatment... There is no end to the value of encouragement for the CFS patient, no end to the need for constant assurance that he is going to get better... When friends and relatives ask what they can do to help the new CFS patient, I reply that there are three things which they should give in full measure: encuoragement, encouragement, and more encouragement." (pgs 80-81)

"Because of the lowered blood pressure, and therefore lowered nutrition and oxygen available to the brain of the CFS patient, he has difficulty making decisions and discriminating among types of thearapy." (pg 81)

"if he becomes quiet and withdrawan, if his eyes start to look somewhat vague and glassy, he is being exhausted." (pg 85)

"He needs encouragement in the same way that a woman in love wants to hear the words, "I love you." A woman can never be told "I love you" too often, nor can the CFS patient be given too much encouragement. Even if you have told the patient an hour before that he is going to be all right, tell him again because it is on these words that he must live during an important part of his therapy program.... Let the patient know that he is on the right road." (pgs 87-88)

This last paragraph reminds me of how much Chrisitans need to hear the gospel over and over again. We don't hear it once, repent of our sin, and never need to hear of God's love and forgiveness for us. No! We need to remind ourselves of the gospel daily, sometimes hourly as we journey through this life before being with Christ. I think it's the same thing when someone we love is very sick. We don't try to ignore the problem at hand, nor do we brush it off and change the subject. We comfort, try to understand, and encourage. We don't give the Law, but Grace!

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE.

The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Coram Deo,
Tamara Slack

Sunday, November 1, 2009

007 My Bad Attitude and Forgiveness

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November 4, 2009

I lied! I said I would continue with the notes from the book today, but I'd like to address this pattern of anger, frustration, self-pity, and ingratitude I'm seeing in me as I work on this daily post. Yes, I am angered that the doctors I've seen over the years have been incompetent, misdiagnosing me, and making me worse from the years of medications that were detrimental to my health. See Mark 5.25-29. My complaining attitude, though, in light of what God has done for me is unacceptable. He has forgiven all my sins and yet I still complain (remind you of some Isrealites for 40 years?!).

I need to learn how to handle the injustices done toward me by those who have done it intentionally or not. I realize that the many doctors I have seen just flat out don't care. I'm sure there are good, competent doctors out there who will take the time to understand CFS and Adrenal issues without thinking everything is about psychology and psychiatry, and really look into the endocrine system, but there's nothing I can do to change the fact that most will not.

Forgiveness is tricky though. Over the years, I've heard Evangelical Christians say we should forgive everyone whether repentance is involved or not. It's caused a lot of confusion for me as I try to apply this statement to the gospel (where repentance is necessary for forgiveness) and to such incidents as, say, rape. Let's say someone raped your wife or mother tonight. Do we, as Christians just forgive the matter and require nothing of the person? Just sweep it under the rug? Heavy thoughts! And this is why I want to learn what biblical forgivness is. I have two books on order to learn about what God requires of His children in the area of forgiveness. They are "Unpacking Forgiveness" by Chris Brauns and "Bold Love" by Dan Allender.

As I'm looking through God's Word, I'm seeing that Jesus did not pray for all to be forgiven. If He had, that would be Universalism. The Father does not deny the Son anything and we know not all are forgiven because Jesus said there will be many in Hell. Forgiveness does not mean "what you did doesn't really matter, let's just live life and forget about it." No, that's not forgiveness (but I have thought that from years in church), nor does it leave room for true reconciliaton. In reading a review by Tim Challies on the book, "Unpacking Forgivness" by Chris Brauns, I read:

How, then, does God forgive? Brauns defines God's forgiveness in this way: "A
commitment by the one true God to pardon graciously those who repent and believe
so that they are reconciled to him, although this commitment does not eliminate
all consequences." We see that God's forgiveness is gracious but not free; it is
conditional (meaning that only those who repent and believe are forgiven); it
lays the groundwork for reconciliation; and it does not eliminate all
consequences. And this model of forgiveness, exemplified so clearly and so
amazingly in the cross, is the pattern we are to imitate. Human forgiveness,
then, is "a commitment by the offended to pardon graciously the repentant from
moral liability and so to be reconciled to that person, although not all
consequences are necessarily eliminated."

Another good blog post that Tim Challies wrote was on this topic of forgiveness which can be found HERE about whether forgiveness is conditional or is like I've always been taught, unconditional.

I do need to learn the biblical way of forgiving people and I know not only will I be obeying God in doing so, but it will bring relief to me and deliverance from some bitterness I've accumulated over the years. I hate to admit that, but that's what it is and my God knows it and is helping me. I think part of this is because I thought that forgiveness all this time was to just allow things to happen to me and not deal with them (you know, turn the other cheek and just let abuses continue to happen). It will also make room for possible reconciliation. In all this, I am actually very grateful to Christ for this illness (though in the posts on this blog, I've not shown that. I'm sorry, Lord.). I am thankful to Him because:

  1. This is what He used to bring me to Himself so I could receive forgiveness of sin as I've cried out for mercy,

  2. He has used it for good and provided a way for me to come closer to Him and further away from an ungodly worldview,

  3. It has actually strengthened my marriage, growing my husband and I, not breaking our marriage down,

  4. It has allowed me to show compassion and care for others who are suffering (not always Adrenal Syndrome sufferers, but all types of people) and helping me to live out 1 Corinthians 1.3-7

  5. He has helped me to be grateful for the little things in life that I can do,

  6. It makes the cross look really big and wonderful when I see that my suffering isn't nearly what it should be which would be eternal death instead of eternal life with some afflictions while still in this body.

"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."

- 2 Corinthians 4.17-18

So, I'm sorry that my attitude stinks sometimes. God is working on me regarding sinful attitudes. Don't give up on me as I progress not only in this health journey, but as the Lord sanctifies me more and more, especially in being less self-centered. I'll continue on to PART 2 of Chapter 4 of "Chronic Fatigue Unmasked 2000" by Dr. Gerald Poesnecker tomorrow.

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE.

The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Coram Deo,

Tamara Slack

006 PART 1 of Chapter 4 "Patient and Family Responsibilities"

To visit blog home page and comment on this entry, click HERE.

November 1, 2009

Continuing with some words from "Chronic Fatigue Unmasked 2000" by Dr. Gerald Poesnecker, I have to say this is one good chapter! It's called "Patient and Family Responsibilities" and has already helped my husband, Roger, and I to see what we both are supposed to be doing during healing of this illness. I sure thank God for him! It's a rough road, but he is staying the course with me. One of my good friends agreed to read this chapter when she gets time. That's one of the most comforting things - to know I have a friend who will support me by doing her best to understand how best to do so. You know who you are if you are reading this - know I love you and thank God for you! Quotes from the book are in brown. My notes are in black:

"The patient with this problem is usually intelligent, highly motivated, responsible, with a great desire to achieve. The difficulty is that he has neither the glandular nor the nervous strength to carry out these deisres and ambitions... Put yourself in his place for a moment, and perhaps you will see the degree of frustration that is produced by his condition. You are an individual of intelligence and character. You have desired to do useful and productive things with your life, and yet every time you attempt to do something, you become more and more exhausted. Every attempt at productive activity is met with strange nervous anxieties or, as one patient put it, "agitated depression." The only thing that even remotely seems to help is rest and withdrawal from all the fascintating events of life. You are like an athlete who is trained to run the hundred-yard dash, but who collapses after a few yards each time he attempts to run. Soon you stop trying and wonder if there is any sense in training or in trying to accomplish anything because fatigue, anxiety and failure have become the essence of your existence. Here, of course, is where your friend and family come to your aid. They entreat you: "Now, come on, don't be lazy. Keep going, keep trying," they tell you. "It's all in your mind. Tell yourself you are going to succeed and you will." The more of such admonitions and encouragement you receive from your family and friends, the more guilt you accumulate when you are not able to accomplish what they extol you to do." (pg 77)

If you are reading this and do not have Adrenal Syndrome (CFS), please, never take your health for granted. Use it for the glory of God... it is a gift I wish I had.

"Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) requires more patient cooperation and responsibility in its mastering and cure than any other medical condition known to me... The physician, no matter how accomplished, cannot cure CFS by himself. All honest treatment of CFS requires a great deal of work and dedication on the part of the physician, the patient, and especially those around the patient, both friends and family." (pg 65)

"It is not always easy for the CFS patient to comprehend his condition as readily as a more stable person might, because by nature CFS causes mental clouding, poor concentration, and inferier memory rentention." (pg 68)

"To understand the patient's difficulty, let us reconsider the nature of the condition, the nature of the CFS patient and the advice of the various physicians the patient may have consulted before us. In past years, most of these patients had been diagnosed as neurotic or just plain lazy. But they know that something is really wrong with them, and so most have fears that some strange, undiscoverd disease is gradually eating away at their vitals." (pg 69)

"Just yesterday, one of my CFS patients told me how she startled a surgeon, who had just told her she had breast cancer, by saying, "Boy, am I glad that's all it is, I was afraid it might be another manifestation fo CFS." "After all," as she asserted to me, "They do have a treatment for breast cancer." (pg 69)

One word about the last two statements above: EXACTLY!

"I once had a young minister from Pittsburgh as a CFS patient. His condition had become so severe that he had fainted in the pulpit while delivering a sermon. This reaction, not all that uncommon in CFS patients, occurred because his low blood pressure delivered a deficient amount of oxygen to his brain." (pg 71)

The story goes on about this pastor, but I want to stop at this point and note that in all the years I've seen doctors (which has not been in the past few years because they just want to send me to psychiatrists and not treat the real problem), they always said that my low blood pressure is fine, nothing to worry about. Why then have I always been faint? Why have I fainted? Why is this okay? It's not. It's dangerous and yet the medical community thinks, "Oh, well it's not high blood pressure, so you are better off." They ought to read their own material. Here is what the Mayo Clinic says in part:

for many people, low blood pressure can cause symptoms of dizziness and
fainting or mean that they have serious heart, endocrine or neurological
disorders. Severely low blood pressure can deprive the brain and other vital
organs of oxygen and nutrients, leading to a life-threatening condition called

The first time I fainted was when I was 11 and it was even in a hospital. You would think from 11 on, someone in the medical field would test my endocrine system or heart. Now I have a competent doctor and he and I are working on getting my blood pressure up so that I can get oxygen to my brain. I know these posts are long, so I'll stop here and move onto the rest of this pastor's story in tomorrow's post and finish up the rest of the portions of Chapter 4 too.

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE.

The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Coram Deo,
Tamara Slack

Thursday, October 29, 2009

005 Snippets of Chapters 1 - 3 of Chronic Fatigue Unmasked 2000 Book

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October 29, 2009

I thought I would post some of the highlights of the book I'm reading on Adrenal Fatigue / CFS. It's called "Chronic Fatigue Unmasked 2000." It was written by the doctor who taught my doctor (Dr. Neville in PA) all about this disorder. The author is Dr. Gerald Poesnecker. So here's some snippets I've gleaned from this book that have been very helpful (the quotes are in brown below):

"Whereas six years ago most CFS patients were still considered to be malingering or just downright lazy by most physicians, they are not looked upon as "depressed" and placed on a variety of antidepressants. The use of antidepressants in CFS is like the use of NSAIDS in arthritis. They treat the symptoms but do nothing to correct the real cause of the condition... Thank goodness that there are medical men like Drs. David S. Bell, Paul R. Cheny and Charles W. Lapp who do understand CFS and know that it is not just another form of depression." (pgs ix-x)

Ha! Not just by doctors have I been considered lazy. I've got a host of people who have me down as "lazy" or "crazy" or "depressed" who have given up on me. Good thing Jesus never gave up on His promise to take care of me now and throughout eternity! He cares for the weak and sick. He tells us that He actually chose the weak and despised to inherit life. See:

1 Corinthians 1.26-29: "For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God."

Also see my post about HOPE.

"The more these patients are given regular treatment, the worse they eventually become." (pg xi)

"I don't know if it's practical to attempt to differentiate between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction. The mere fact that a virus is the stress factor that triggers the Chronic Fatigue reaction does not seem to me now to be such an imortant distinction." (pg xiv)

"The most common symptoms produced by this condition are unexplained exhaustion sometimes alternating with spells of anxiety or panic, a tendency to be oversensitive and/or allergeric to certain substances or environments, a lessening of the ability to reason rationally and to make decisions readily, a tendency toward low blood pressure, sensitivity to cold, poor circulation (cold hands and/or feet), and brain fog or other mental aberrations which can mimic a large variety of mental diseases." (pg 1)

"Personally, I think that much of this medical apathy has been produced by the general vagueness of this disease's character, by the neurotic-like symptoms of its victims and by the slow and tortuous path of its correction even with the best and most advanced therapies. " (pg. 2)

"The "scientific" physician, when confronted with a patient who displays the symptoms of CFS, has a ready answer: "The patient is depressed, neurotic, mildly psychotic, unmotivated or just bored with life." This that self-satisfied stance that can be a "badge of our trib," the patient is given a tranquilizer, antidepressant or both, and with the fatherly advice to stop worrying and to go to work he is sent home. It is just as impractical to tell a tubercular patient to go and play football as it is to tell a CFS patient to stop worrying. Am I exaggerating? Am I a little too hard on my medical contemproaries? One has only to remember that a short time ago patients were literally bled to death in an efford to satisfy this medical ego." (pg 3)

Here's what Wikipedia says about George Washington:
"George Washington asked to be bled heavily after he developed a throat infection from weather exposure. Almost 4 pounds (1.7 liters) of blood was withdrawn, much of it without a doctor's supervision, contributing to his death in 1799."

Yeah! And now docs are telling us to take a bunch of anti-anxiety (benzodiazepine) drugs and anti-depressants which are killing us. See videos HERE.

"Most chronic CFS patients are considered by their friends, relatives and health practioners - the people from whom they seek aid - to be suffering from some form of mental or psychological disturbance... One of the first and most important tasks of our therapy is to convice them that this is not true. Unless we accomplish this, treatment is difficult and sometimes nearly impossible. Many of these patients are called schizophrenic, some paranoiac, some manic-depressive, and most are called neurotic... chronic CFS can mimic the symptom patterns of all of these medical conditions." (pg 53)

I've been diagnosed with everything under the sun by doctors who never tested anything in my body. I was given about 12 different kinds of drugs including the very addictive drug, Klonopin for nearly 15 years, hospitalized (yes, mental hospitals!) and told I would probably kill myself. Had they just looked into the endocrine system and asked, "why is this happening?" they would have seen I've been very, very sick for a long time and needed their help, not their destructive drugs.

"Counseling, even by the best of physicians, often has little effect on these patients. About the only help at the present time for this patient is an active treatment of the general adaptive system to improve the oxygen-carrying power ot the tissues of the brain so that it can again function in a more rational manner." (pg 57)

"Somewhere in the life of a CFS patient there has to be a rock-stable person to offer support and sustenance, or his whole existence is built on constantly shifting sands... One of the most common symptoms of the chronic CFS patient is a feeling that he has an illness that no one can understand ant that no one has had before. Friends and relatives assure him that they have never heard of anything like it." (pg 60)

My husband, Roger, is that rock-stable person the Lord has given me. He does everything he can to alleviate the stresses in my life, even if that means he has to cook something for me and let me lay in bed or hold me while I'm crying and in pain. He defends me when his family members have called me names and laughed at me. I love him very much for all the sacrifices he has made on my behalf.

"Many individuals who are drained of energy by those around them feel that they are victims of agoraphobia, that is, fear of crowds, mainly because when they are in a crowd, they find they they grow weak and anxious. Generally this is not true agoraphobia, but merely the draining effect, or what I call the "leeching effect" that crowds have on CFS patients. This is one of the earliest symptom patterns I usually notice in CFS cases... If there is a function the CFS patient wishes to or must attend, however, we suggest that he remain for as short a time as possible... even events and circumstances that the patient enjoys or that might be a happy surprise fatigue and weaken him. A surprise birthday party, a visit from a long-forgotten friend, or a telephone call from a sweetheart - all of these things strengthen the body and spirt of almost everyone except the CFS patient. This is perhaps the saddest component of the entire condition." (pg 61-63)

It is interesting that agoraphobia is one of the first things I had from my late teens on through the years. It's even worse now, but now I realize it's produced from weakened adrenals (that will heal!). Psychiatrists always said it was fear I had and that I could talk myself out of it. For over 15 years, I tried what they said. Fail! It didn't work. I would tell them it wasn't until I got into the group of people or whatever that I started feeling drained and anxious. Anyway, now I know what's going on in my body. My weakened system just can't handle the normal stresses of life (even good stresses) until I heal these little adrenal glands. Then I will be able to handle the normal stresses that non-adrenal patients can handle. Until then, I cannot put myself in those situations because I would be going backwards in my healing of my body.

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE.

The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Coram Deo,
Tamara Slack

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

004 Received ASI Test Results October 2009

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October 28, 2009

Long post! I apologize, but it was necessary for the ASI Test results. My internet has been down, so I have not been able to post on the Daily Post until now. Look at it as if I held all this info back for several days and voila! Lots of CFS info all at once *smile*

Well, the test results are different than I thought they would be, but that's the nature of the condition of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome anyway: lots of strange endrocrine changes and stresses on the body that are uncontrollable by the person with CFS. My February 2009 test results showed low cortisol whereas yesterday's results show high and normal cortisol. You can see the Seyle chart HERE which explains a little, but each individual chart with cortisol and DHEA levels are shown HERE beginning with "normal" all the way to Stage 7. Those are must-read charts for anyone suffering with this disease or who know of people who do. I must have Dr. Neville read my lab results when we are able to have another appointment with him, but from my test results in February and this past month, it looks like I moved from Stage 6 to Stage 4 which could be a good thing.

Tamara Slack
Collected: 10/18/2009

Received: 10/20/2009

Cortisol Readings (in parenthesis is "normal" values):
06:00 - 08:00 AM (13-24), Result: 17 Normal
11:00 - Noon (5-10), Result: 7 Normal
04:00 - 05:00 PM (3-8), Result: 8 Normal
10:00 - Midnight (1-4), Result: 5 Elevated

(NOTE: Not only has my cortisol increased into "high," but the normal reading at the 04:00 - 05:00 PM was at the highest normal there is. We'll have to talk to Dr. Neville about why I'm showing so much cortisol and yet I feel sicker with more fatigue and have so many panic attacks without much stimuli.)

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone):
Reference Value 3-10, Result: 4 Normal

Falling in the reference zone does not preclude the occurence of high or low cortisol at any specific time on the circadian.

Fasting <3 (Normal is 3-12)
Non-Fasting <3 color="#ff0000">Depressed (Optimal is 5-20)

Depressed Post-prandial insulin within four hours after meal. This may becaused by a small carbohydrate load in the preceding challenge meal or areduction in pancreatic insulin release or synthesis. Consider a closer examination of challenge meal composition to rule out pre-diabetic tendencies.Why Test for Insulin?Insulin activity is affected by the stress and cortisol responses. Chronic stress with cortisol elevation antagonizes insulin, and may cause functional insulin resistance. Furthermore, chronic hypercortisol causes hyperinsulin responses to carbohydrate intake. Chronic insulin resistanceand overproduction lead to pancreatic exhaustion.

(NOTE: Let me say, I'm so tired of this hypoglycemia! I was diagnosed with it years ago and the doctor said, "just have some raisins and nuts in your purse at all times." Yes, that's the help I received at the time. Dr. Neville said in my first appointment that once my adrenal glands are under control, the hypoglycemia will go away. That, my friends, is great news!)

P17-OH 17-Progesterone
Optimal is 22-100, Results: 23 Normal

(NOTE: Compare with April 15, 2008 which was off the charts low at 18 and on February 22, 2009 which was 342. Something is seriously wrong with how my body makes progesterone.)

MB2S (Total Salivary SIgA)
Normal is 25-60. My results: 6 Depressed

The main functions of SIgA include Immune Exclusion, Viraland Toxin Neutralization, Plasmid Elimination, and Inhibition of Bacterial Colonization. SIgA immune complexes are not inflamatory to the mucosal surfaces.

F14, Gliadin Ab, SIgA (saliva)
Borderline is 13-15, Positive is >15. My resulte is 6 Negative

So basically, my cotisol numbers have changed. making me in a different Selye Stage than before. My immune system is shot, which I already knew, but now we have test results to show this.

I'm in bed more than 50% of my day now with a mixture of fatigue and panic / anxiety, depression, low blood sugar, tachycardia, and insomnia that I hope to get help with soon. No, my dishes and laundry cannot get done. No, I cannot drive, visit anyone, do the grocery shopping, etc. I am unable to do just about everything now including making food for myself or my husband (my hope is that my doc is right and that I will be well in about year). Please pray for my husband as this, I'm sure, is a strain on him, though he never complains. Any type of plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas are non-existent, but hey, I would much rather heal and have a normal Christmas next year and every year and let go of this year completely! It's really not fun to be this sick and not be able to serve my husband or do anything "worthwhile." But I read a lot! I don't think I can handle hearing one more person say that I should stop thinking about this illness, go get some fresh air, or ask if I can at least do this or that. My body is not functioning. It has nothing to do with choice; I cannot choose for my HP Axis, adrenal glands, and thyroid to work or not. I cannot choose for my Hypothalamic Pituitary Axis to not overstimulate my adrenal glands at this time. My body is too whacked out for that right now! Sometimes too much epinephrine will be produced and cause a panic attack or sometimes I'll have a lack of hormones which causes severe fatigue or depressed emotions.

I rest in knowing that God created this body of mine and He surely can handle all the misfiring my glands are doing! He knows my house is a wreck and that I can't make it to church on Sundays. He doesn't require me to be a stoic and "pull up my bootstaps" to get better. He doesn't require me to adhere to Epicurian philosophy which looks for peace of mind by not letting things bother me by having a stoic kind of mind. You know the mentality for boys: "son, take it like a man!" and for girls, "can't you stop crying like a sissy?" This is not what Christ taught at all! He taught that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that peace comes from Him alone, not from anything within (especially not faith in faith which is what I was taught in so many churches before God opened my heart to His true Word). By the way, if you do believe in stoicism and call yourself a follower of Christ or born again, be sure to read the Psalms and see how many times David wept on his bed at night. Not much of a manly kind of a guy, 'eh? No, just a man after God's heart. My aim is the same, to be that be that bruised reed or that messed up rose that is accepted by Christ. You can see a beautiful portrayal of what that rose looks like HERE when accepted by God and not by man.

So, if you would like to help me with advice, encouragement, or to "just be there" while I go through this, please read this article (a chapter from the book) and buy the book, "Chronic Fatigue Unmasked 2000" by Dr. Gerald Poesnecker. It will help anyone understand the nature of CFS. Thank you and forgive me if I sound harsh. I truly care about people's advice, but usually I find it's based on psychology rather than the true nature of this illness and I'm pretty much done with what psychology and psychiatry has offered me seen HERE. Some have asked how I am doing and said they are praying and then they change the subject; I'm sure it's from a lack of knowledge, feeling uncomfortable talking to me, and just want me to get better. Thank you to those who have stuck around and showed your care for me. I know it's only coming through some phone calls and emails, but it makes a HUGE difference to know I have friends who would do anything for me and not require anything of me except to be me! Not one person in my family except my son has shown any care over the many years with this illness and so I appreciate my friends all the more!

I believe I've vacillated between Stages 3 through 6 of the Selye for over 20 years now being misdiagnosed with mental illness which is common for the CFS patient as CFS mimics many mental illnesses including bipolar, anxiety disorders, schizoprenia, etc. It's a very (very!) sad fact that those who suffer with Adrenal Insufficiency are being treated as if they are crazy in mental hospitals and on lots of medications that are not only not needed, but very harmful to the CFS patient. I was one of them since age 24, but more on being misdiagnosed at a later date. (If you would like to see a list I've compiled for adrenal fatigue symptoms from various doctors, click HERE)

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE. The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Coram Deo,
Tamara Slack

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

003 Current Supplements List

To visit blog home page and comment on this entry, click HERE

October 23, 2009

Some have asked what supplements I need to take for the adrenal problems and Klonopin withdrawl. Ready for a long list? Okay, here's what I mailed to my doctor last month. He agreed I should be on all of them except maybe the fiber (which I've deleted from the list) and the Beta 1,3D Glucan (for immune system) which I did cut out of the regimen. There are a couple notes I've made about which supplements I no longer take all the time such as the protein powder, but the rest of the list is what I take daily.

We did add the Licorice Root Powder four days ago which I put at the bottom of this list. I hope this helps someone out there who is looking for resources about where to purchase good supplements. Our cost to keep me "going" is a lot more than I'd like it to be, but there are no other options. My body is a wreck from this disease and from the withdrawals so here goes (I provided the link to where I purchase my supplements; just click on the name of the product):
  • Klonopin. At 0.75mg a day now; have been tapering for a year and a half now. I am able to taper 6% each month without going through seizures and such. It will take many months to get off at this rate unless I can support my adrenals more – that may help me get off it at 12% - 16%. I have no doctor to refill prescription so that I may continue withdrawing safely; I’m hoping I’ll get help with the adrenals and thyroid so I can taper faster and get done with this.

  • Isocort. 2 pellets 3 times daily spread out throughout the day evenly. (Bezwecken)

  • Vitamin C. Every 3 hours (TRB product: “Nature’s C”) NOTE: In October, I changed to a Vitamin C that is less expensive for me. It's probably not as good, but it's what we have to go with right now. I get a Vegetarian Vitamin C from our local health food store and take 500mg every 3 hours.

  • Vitamin E. 800 IU daily. (Product: “Unique E”). This bottle lasts a few months.

  • Pantothenic Acid. 500mg 3 times daily.

  • Calcium / Magnesium / Vitamin D3. (TRB product: “CalsiumD”). My lab results from February, 2009 showed low Vitamin D3 and another lab result prior to this date showed low Magnesium.

  • Omega 3. 4 daily. Per softgel: Omega 3 Fatty Acids 630mg, EPA 400mg, DHA 200mg

  • Beta-1, 3D Glucan. 2 daily for helping immune system. (TRB product: same name). Per my doctor's advide, I am no longer taking this. It's a great product though. Here's some information about how it helps with the immune system and helps with anxiety.

  • Organic Passionflower Powder. 200mg every 4 hours or as necessary for nervousness and insomnia. (Mountain Rose Herbs). I purchased an 8 oz. package and it will will last many months. I use vegetarian capsules I purchase at my local health food store for this bulk herb.

  • Tart Cherry Concentrate. 1 tsp. every 4 hours or as needed for anxiety / withdrawals. At bed and at 4:30am, I take almost 1 oz. (Pure Planet product). I purchase this for $6.00 less at my local health food store.

  • Trace Minerals Drops. 20 drops daily. Equals ¼ C Sea Water, sodium removed. (Liquimins ConcenTrace Ionic product)

  • Protein. 1 tsp. every 3 hours or as needed for hypoglycemia (TRB product: “Essential Protein Formula”) NOTE: Now taking this only when my blood sugar has dropped too low, not every 3 hours.

  • Sea Salt. ¾ to 1 tsp. daily. Helps heart palps (Product: REAL Salt)

  • Progesterone. 10-15mg daily 10 days prior to menstruation. (Women’s Therapeutic Institute: Progestelle)

  • Licorice Root Powder. 1/4 C in the morning (Clymer Healing Research Center)

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE. The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Coram Deo,

Tamara Slack