Blog changes

Thanks to everyone who followed Training Because I Can! over the last nine years. This blog started with Addison's Disease, hypothyroidism and a crazy idea of doing an Ironman distance triathlon. My life has changed and so has this blog. I am using this blog strictly for Addison's Support topics from here on out. I hope to continue providing people with hints for living life well with adrenal insufficiency.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A brief break from the rants

Because I'm back to running/waddling/hiking, it's time to share the beauty of Idaho and a couple of funny pictures.
Aspen Trail

Fall foliage on Aspen Trail

Aspens on Aspen Trail

Fall harvest

Tetons in the background, harvest in the foreground

Only in Idaho do you have a horse drawn carriage on the side of the highway!

Dolly takes an unusual and tipsy seat when we go for a ride

This is a fish feeder at another client's ranch (not the one I previously mentioned where 3 bears were trapped), it's being raided by bears.  Here's my attempt to slow the bear's consumption of fish food.  That's a ratchet strap around a railroad tie that's bolted to the deck.  I'll post pictures next week of the aftermath!
Yesterday was one of the top ten days of 2010 in Eastern Idaho.  I took a panoramic view from my back deck.  If you listen carefully, you will hear Sandhill Cranes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Lucky", yet another rant about Quality of Life and Addison's

What I really wanted to do was post my goals and stuff.  Self centered, I know.  You're saved from that with yet another rant.

I read other Addison's forums in addition to my own forum. This morning I saw a post on another forum accusing a high functioning, non-martyr Addison's person (Jim) of being "lucky" with his health.  Jim is really active, takes his meds 6X a day and has a great quality of life.  He's also not afraid to speak his mind about Addison's facts and treatment.  I wish more people would emulate Jim and try his techniques instead of whining that taking meds that often is too much work.

From my experience with Addison's, luck has NOTHING to do with quality of life.  Those of us who have good Quality of Life work damned hard to get to where we are.

Common denominators in us "lucky" people with good quality of life:

  1. We research our conditions
  2. We proactively work with doctors instead of following doctors blindly when it comes to our treatment
  3. We replace hormones that are missing 
  4. Almost everyone I know who has a good quality of life is on less steroid than they need on a regular basis (Lymes peeps included) and consistently underestimates their needs, we rarely over replace
  5. Speaking entirely for myself on this one.  Instead of relying on HC sometimes to keep me going so I can do more, I take the opportunity to use it to rest my body
  6. We take our bioidentical meds physiologically.  If our doctor has given us different instructions, we tend to keep that in the back of our mind and experiment with amounts and timing
  7. I think everyone I know who has a good quality of life is on HC as opposed to a long acting steroid (if you are the exception, that's awesome but for the most part HC is the thing for people with good QoL)
  8. We don't drink diet soda or regular soda for that matter
  9. We sleep enough and regularly
  10. We eat well and regularly with more protein and salt in our diets than the usual person
  11. We get exercise regularly or get activity during the day like walking 5 dogs at once (for you L xo)
  12. If we're not feeling well, we take a look at all factors and don't blame the Addison's first

Yes, there are people who do all of this and their QoL still sucks.  Guess what?  They are usually the most educated and spend an incredible amount of time on 1 & 2.  Eventually, they will feel like their Quality of Life matches the effort they are putting into their health.  These people are, by no means, "lucky."

As you can see, much of QoL is not "luck," it's hard work, lots of research and a healthy lifestyle. Secondly, it's taking bioidentical meds (particularly HC) in a physiologic manner.  Yes, it's hard work to go to bed when everyone else is watching movies, it's hard to set up pills for a month, it's hard to make sure there's good, healthy food on hand at all times, it's hard to get regular exercise (especially with chronic medical conditions) and it's hard to take meds multiple times a day.  Give it a try and see if your Quality of Life improves.

Hard work does NOT equal luck.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Additional thanks

I don't know how I forgot the following awesome friends in my post where I thanked people...Heather, Ashley and Linda.

My brain is short circuited.  I probably forgot others too...THANKS TO YOU ALL that I did and didn't mention!

Really, how hard is it? (An Addison's rant)

Really, how hard is it to split your doses of hydrocortisone in a physiologic manner?  Not very is my answer.  There are some people who want to be on longer lasting steroids because it's "too hard" to take hydrocortisone in split doses.

Yes, there are exceptions to this.  People with other diseases (Lyme, lupus, colitis) tend to do better with some or all long acting steroids.

Most people with Addison's will have a better quality of life with split dosing of hydrocortisone (look up the studies on Google Scholar, PubMed or Medscape using the key words "Quality of life, Addison's".  Split dosing means taking 2/3 of the dosing before noon in two doses and 1/3 after noon.  One example of this might be:
10 mg HC upon waking
5 mg HC at 11 am
5 mg HC at 3 pm

"It's too hard..."
PLEASE, SPARE ME!!!  It takes 3 easy steps...

#1  Buy a pill organizer and fill it ONCE A MONTH

Yes, it's a pain in the butt to get everything out and fill 124 little compartments.  It's worth it.
Once it's all completed, it's easy for the rest of the month!  I keep track of major med changes in the little red notebook.

#2 Set your alarm
Here's a cell phone with the alarm set.  Do it once and you won't have to do it again until you change your dosing schedule.

#3  Put your daily pill holder somewhere you will find it.
I start out by putting my before bed meds in one little cup and my first thing in the morning pills in another.  I promptly take the pill holder and ...
Put it in my pants pocket or my purse. Work at a desk, keep it in your desk drawer  When my alarm goes off (you can set yours to vibrate if you're self conscious), I take the pills.  Sometimes I hit snooze and take the pills 10 or 20 minutes later.  In recent years, my alarm has gone off, I have taken my pills by snapping open the lid and throwing back the pills no matter who I am in front of.  PEOPLE NEVER COMMENT OR EVEN SEEM TO NOTICE.  All that bullshit about, "people will discriminate against me so I can't let people know I am taking pills" is just that, bullshit.  People only care about themselves, not you. 

Just in case I manage to not have my pills with me, I keep a small stash in my wallet.  In this stash, I keep a couple thyroid pills, florinef, lots of HC, a migraine pill, a Zofran and some ibuprofen.  Yes, all that in something 1/2 inch thick and the size of a quarter.

Take care of your body, use bioidentical medications when possible.  Take your meds in a physiologic way.

It's not hard to take meds multiple times throughout the day.  If you feel bad and take a steroid other than hydrocortisone, take your meds once or only twice a day, try this.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


In the month or so since I last posted, I've been super boring.  I rested from the bronchitis and stopped coughing last week.  I've gone for one hike.  I've caught up on house cleaning, paying bills and work.  Getting caught up made me realize that the last three or four years of running have taken a toll on other parts of my life!  I was really behind.

Starting tomorrow, I will be back to running and training.  I'll post a list of races I'm going to commit to.

Thanks so much to my wonderful friends who have sent me unexpected gifts (Donna and Elise!) and those who have emailed me (Leigh, Wanda, Elise, Jason).  I know I've been in a funk and it would definitely be a much deeper funk if I wasn't treated so kindly by my friends.

I'm thankful for my friends, my health (which overall is pretty good), warm weather down here in Teton Valley and for having a flexible job that works around the other things in my life.

Recently, one of my caretaking clients noticed a bear at the ranch.  Click here for some video of the bear walking around the pond and a local news story. Fish and Game brought a trap.  They caught 3 bears, not one.  I was lucky enough to see the last one trapped.

Here's what it sounded like!

 Here it is being released by Fish and Game.  Picture is from the local paper, the Teton Valley News.

 A frozen spider web.

 Looking into a creek

 Looking at Buck Mountain from the trail.

 Bugs have carved a mountain scene in an old log.

 Amber waves of grain.

My baby starts his junior year of Teton High School.