We moved a lot, so I went to ten schools in twelve years. I was always the new kid.

Take it from me, most teachers are a whole lot less than delighted when the new kid turns out to be a loud, energetic tomboy who doesn’t pay attention, but still scores the highest test grades.

As if that weren’t enough, I exhibited a symptom of my whacked-out adrenals (a problem yet to be discovered) that few people know about: I sighed a lot. Totally involuntary. I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

Well, you can imagine the thrill teachers got from hearing me sigh as I didn’t pay attention to whatever they were teaching.

It got me into a lot of trouble.

My tenth grade English teacher kept me after school one day to ‘talk things over.’ As we talked, her whole body jolted as if I’d hit her with a cattle prod.

“Why do you do that!” Eyes blazing. Kinda screaming. All but frothing at the mouth.


“You sighed!”

“I did?”

Knowing my sighing was an involuntary habit and not an editorial comment helped some, but it was a hard year.

The connection between the adrenals and sighing came up in my research years later. If I had known in time to tell the teacher, it might have paid big dividends in sympathy, but who knew?

I thought I had the sighing business under control, but one day, while waiting in line at the grocery store, the couple in front of me all of a sudden started apologizing and offering to let me go ahead of them. It appeared they needed me to forgive them for living.

I realized I must have heaved one whale of a super-sized sigh. So I asked if I had sighed, and they–wide-eyed and mute–nodded in unison.

Well, I don’t ever want to give an I’m-better-than-you-so-why-are-you-breathing-my-air impression. Some people seem to think it’s great fun, but I don’t want to be an attitude polluter.

So I apologized and explained my problem. The line was long, and we drifted into a friendly conversation. They probably repeated the story of my strange reason for sighing to their friends. And it is kind of weird.

Why do I tell this story? The endocrine system has a gazillion symptoms. Our bodies tell us what’s going on, but we have to understand what they’re saying to make any kind of progress in getting everything to march in the same direction.

So now you know.

Author's Bio: 

Bette Dowdell has studied how the body works–or doesn’t–for years so she could dig herself out of the ditch when doctors didn’t help so much. Now she offers an e-zine to share her knowledge with you–what’s good, what’s bad and what’s the difference. Discover how to get your energy back so you can take on life with enthusiasm by subscribing to her free, weekly e-zine at http://TooPoopedToParticipate.com