health

What Everyone with Adrenal Fatigue Wants Their Friends to Know

The thing about living with adrenal fatigue/insufficiency (if that word is foreign to you listen to the truecast) is I look fine when you see me, so it often feels like I am lying when I say, I am sick. Sometimes I wonder why my body just can't do the job it was built to. Why I didn't know any better when I was younger and take better care to manage stress, stop living off of caffeine and adrenalin and get assessed for food sensitivities sooner. All of these things could've meant we would have avoided this, maybe.

Nowadays if I achieve the task of getting out of the house or inviting people over then I know that in those few hours I can survive, I can genuinely enjoy the time with you and I have the energy to be present with the people we adore. This is the quality of health you know me as.

It isn't until a while after you leave, and before you arrived, I was experiencing something far different. The fatigue that makes it difficult to think straight or keep my eyes open. The brain fog that when I try and run errands in this state I spend most of the shopping trip trying to keep the cart from bumping into aisles because I cannot seem to keep it rolling straight. The bed that calls my name more often than it calls my own children to sleep. The idea that my body is failing me. Those of us living with this, we want to be involved, we want to pour into our children's and friend's lives, and when we muster up the energy and strength to do so, we do it with flying colors. It reminds us of our old selves. We love every minute. We do this so well in fact, no one knows we're unwell.  

You see when you live with adrenal insufficiency/fatigue your body only has so much juice to power it up. So when you burn it all at a playdate, or a work function, you have very little to go on for the rest of the day or even sometimes, the rest of the week. You save up for the moments that mean the most, the ones you just have to participate in to maintain your level of sanity. 

The hard part is, maybe you knew me before this condition started. So you are perplexed. It can also look a lot like postpartum depression, or anxiety or a really horrible ability to handle stress. This can set on seemingly overnight but really over years and years of time has slowly been crowding in until one day it just snaps and your adrenal glands stop. When the juice runs out in me I also snap. You haven't seen this. You've never witnessed rage, or sadness, or me talking as if I were drunk when I am not. Only my family has. Because when I see you I make sure I am healthy, for the time being. I save up my self to spend time with you because you matter to me.

When my child too has this, sure he looks great when he is awake and sticks to his schedule so that he does not get over tired. But when he is off his schedule, when he skips a nap or pushes one off for too long, my friend, you aren't home to see him and I crying at night, all night because his body doesn't know how to calm itself down. It can't calm down so he starts scratching himself until he bleeds. He looks happy and healthy and growing. But inside, his organs are just surviving. His brain is a fog and the way he walks one could argue is developmental but one could also see he is so tired his legs wobble. He has enough juice to run until he doesn't. 

So when I stop calling, or stop showing up, or keep being that annoying person who refuses to hang out during nap time, I feel awful. I wonder when will this stop being so hard? But then I remember all of the things that with my first child were hard or for my friends are hard.

Hard is hard, regardless which kind of hard it is. If it weren't this kind of hard this time, it'd be a different hard. What we do in response to hard is what counts. We choose to seek out help in all sorts of ways, to learn, to make our pain our purpose, or we don't. I choose to get better. But this takes time, who knows when I will feel like myself 100% again if ever. This frustrates me more than you can imagine, or that my behavior may ever frustrate you. 

So instead of feeling guilty for being a less than consistent friend, I am trying to embrace that I have some more peace and quiet than I used to forced upon me to keep my body going. I am learning so much about how to heal the body and figure out where exactly things are going haywire. I am passionate about spreading awareness of adrenal fatigue/insufficiency for mothers and professional athletes particularly because many of them think their depression stems from their brain and when the meds don't work they give up. They just aren't looking at the right organ. I am learning that everyone is doing their best. I may not know why that is their best, but trust that it is, just like I hope you trust that I am doing my best too.

What Organic Really Means

Don't be fooled by companies who tell you that they are "Organic" or "Natural". Buyer beware especially when it comes to skin care and cosmetics.

You may appreciate knowing that water cannot be certified as Organic. Most skincare companies make water based products; therefore, any claims made to being organic are inaccurate at best.

"Organic Skincare" Some interesting facts about what it really means, and why I choose to promote only Arbonne products for the entire family. 

The botanical ingredients used in Arbonne's products are organic, from the perspective of having been grown without harmful chemicals or pesticides. Not all ingredients are available as organic which is why we cannot make such a claim that all ingredients are organic or that our products are certified organic.

The raw material used in Arbonne formulas is organic certified by the country of origin. In the case of Arbonne Cosmetics, for example, the country of origin is Swiss. USDA certification is for foods produced in the United States only. Arbonne finished products are not organic certified, thus there is no need to involve USDA.

There are numerous product organizations across America and Europe. From vegan and natural ─ to organic, kosher, Halal, etc. ─ there may be as many as 100 similar organizations in total. The reality is that there is no harmonization among the different organizations and one does not qualify or support the next. Arbonne’s standard is our own internal commitment, as describe by our Ingredient Policy, which is available online at www.arbonne.com and is also printed in the Product Catalogue. We believe our standard captures the best practices of all of the various organizations.

All of our other products cannot be claimed to be 100% organic - our policy is to use organic ingredients whenever possible. Sometimes, we find that the best quality ingredients are not the organic ones, so we use the ingredients of the higher quality which are not organic in those cases.

Arbonne Product Development’s line of thinking along these lines is to heighten our environmental awareness. When available, and sustainable without shortage issues, organic will be better. Organic does not guarantee purity or safety, but is more beneficial to the farming environment. Science, and testing to ensure purity and safety, is critical. So we need to proceed forward on many fronts. Certain ingredients will never be Organic. They are wild crafted, such as, for example, Eucalyptus in Australia. So in short, Arbonne will continue our plant-based science enhanced commitment. The key is traceability from soil to our bottle.

People often ask if Arbonnes products are ORGANIC. Here are some interesting facts about what that actually means.

(1) Organic standards GREATLY vary around the world.

(2) Soil has been tested around the world and the only TRUE CLEAN soil is in Antarctica and the Swiss alps.
(3) Testing product before AND AFTER formulating to ensure purity/safety is VERY expensive. Most companies only test before. We do both.

Basically, we go above and beyond the US standard of organic! Feel free to create your own exclusive online account and shop retail or at a discount, or contact Meghan for a free skin consultation at meghancenriquez@gmail.com 

Redefining Health LIVE Panel Discussion January 2016

Event starts at minute 12

Facilitator: Meghan Enriquez

Panelists from left to right:

Monique Washington Jones of Karate4Girls in Columbia MD; Sarah Bofinger training to qualify for 2020 Olympics in Swimming; Kimberly Kandra of Kimmotion Pilates Studio and mother of 5; Dr Joseph Gennusa III author of Average Joe, Registered Dietician and Research Director at Johns Hopkins