A few weeks after the birth of my second child, I felt terrible – as if I were dying. My OBGYN patted my knee and said, “Typical case of postpartum depression. You’ll get over it.”
A few months later, I was feeling much worse than terrible. Extreme and unrelenting exhaustion, nausea, and insomnia were just a few of my symptoms. At this point, I was left to find my own answers, after standard tests showed I was in the normal range for every area. It was highly suggested my problems were “All In My Mind.” And perhaps I should see a counselor.
Why didn’t the doctors just dig a little deeper? Why didn’t they order more extensive testing? Why? I simply didn’t fit into their line of thinking and the philosophy of the popular medical adage, “If you hear hoof beats, think horses – not zebras.” Generalizing this means, a patient is most likely to have a common problem rather than an unusual disorder.
I wonder if the following quote of Dr. Robert Lambert from A Letter to Patients with Chronic Disease doesn’t give some wonderful insight?
“But chronic unsolvable disease stands square in our way. You don’t get better, and it makes many of us frustrated, and it makes some of us mad at you. We don’t want to face things we can’t fix because it shows our limits. We want the miraculous, and you deny us that chance.” http://distractible.org/2010/07/14/a-letter-to-patients-with-chronic-disease
After becoming my own patient advocate, and by the grace of God, I discovered what my problem was – Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. Not adrenal failure which would have been easily diagnosed from standard tests. I simply had low-functioning adrenals. By this time I had suffered for over four years. It was a lonely and confusing journey for me, the chronic, unsolvable patient.
It may have been easier to dismiss me to a counselor than to look for zebras.
You can download a free adrenal fatigue symptom matrix at http://www.jenbusch.com/readMore.htm