Recovering from a virus, recovering from adrenal exhaustion

I awoke sick Saturday morning. I had a sore throat. I thought it was strep. Drank lemon echinacea Throat Coat tea, sprayed a throat numbing liquid, and took two Alleves. Ate breakfast.

As the day progressed, I began to feel achy and chilled. Not much nasal congestion, and my throat became less sore, so it was probably not a cold. Pretty sure this was some type of influenza. First stop, tonsils, right? They fought hard, thank you very much, but were overpowered by a virus.

Sigh. Who knows how long this will last?

I did whatever I could think of to boost my immune system. I drank Tulsi tea, then made tea from fresh ginger and drank that. I ate a clove of garlic! I did EFT three times. I did the thymus thump often. I took three long naps. I had no appetite at all, but stayed hydrated with teas and water.

I finally remembered I owned a thermometer and took my temperature Saturday night. It was 102.2 degrees F.

That evening was the worst of it. I couldn’t lie still. Kept needing to flex and point my feet and circle my ankles, changing position often. All I can figure out is that these movements were activating meridians and moving lymph.

I’ve learned in my studies of trauma recovery to let the body move as it needs to, unless it’s dangerous.

Sunday morning I felt a bit better. Took my temperature twice that day, 99 in a.m., 100 in p.m. Aches and chills were gone, and my appetite came back somewhat later in the day, but my energy was low. I decided to stay home yesterday (Monday), believing that resting would speed my full recovery.

It seems I had a mini-virus, a two-day bout of illness. I have no idea if what I did shortened the duration of it, or if it would have been a 48-hour bug no matter what I did. You’d need a scientific experiment with a control group to determine that, and there could still be variables unaccounted for.

Still, it just feels better to know that I did what I could to boost my immune system.

Today (Tuesday) my temperature was normal! I went out and did a few things that couldn’t be postponed (I’m moving on Friday, after all), but I still feel weak and not quite back to myself.  I’m accustomed to feeling well and having a nice level of energy.

I have so much to do this week, it’s imperative that I recover quickly. I need to clean out my shed, get boxes, pack, and work three days this week. I need to get well. I made an acupuncture appointment because it helps.

~~

Postscript, July 9, 2012. Hindsight is such a great teacher, bringing the gifts of perspective and insight.

When I look back on the time when I originally wrote this post a year and a half ago, I can see that I was stressed about selling my house, moving, and starting a new contract job. That’s when I got sick.

Stress weakens the immune system. If it goes on too long, you can suffer from adrenal depletion or exhaustion.

That happened to me this spring. I had just just studied very hard for and then passed the national certification exam for massage and bodywork, and I was stressing about money and work. A friend suddenly showed distinct signs of mental illness, which freaked me out. I experienced a fight-or-flight reaction, which means the adrenals are producing copious amounts of stress hormones, keeping the sympathetic nervous system activated.

I took another contract job at a technology company, working in a group that was experiencing a lot of chaos, with an hour-long commute. Much stress and misery.

No wonder, when I saw my acupuncturist after the job ended, she told me I was suffering from adrenal exhaustion.

She advised me to take over-the-counter rhodiola and eleuthero as directed on the bottles to recover from the adrenal exhaustion. I’ve been doing that for about a month now, and I feel much better.

As a massage therapist, obviously I recommend frequent massage to help the body carry less stress. A relaxing massage helps the nervous system begin to regulate itself again instead of being stuck in sympathetic mode. This helps you recover from stress more quickly and experience the deep relaxation (and strong immune system, better digestion, better sleep, stronger sex drive, more playful attitude) that occur when the parasympathetic nervous system comes back online.

Also, see my post about preventing illness and recovering quickly.

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About MaryAnn Reynolds

Blogging about body, mind, heart, spirit, and well-being at The Well: bodymindheartspirit. Offering bodywork and changework at The Well in downtown Austin. Serving as a volunteer editor for the Truth Be Told Community blog.
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