Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014, A Recap

As I sit back and ponder 2014, all I can say is wow. 2013 was extremely scary for me in terms of medical drama. Although 2014 did have a few scary moments, it was filled with so many amazing moments. I continued to prove to myself and to prove to the world how I am Clearly Alive. Below is my month by month recap.

January

Goofing off in the Desert during our Engagement Photo Shoot.
January 2014 started out much better than January 2013. There were no emergency room visits or near collapses. In fact, I actually traveled to Arizona and California to take care of some wedding things and meet my husband's family for the first time. I also participated in the very first Adrenal Insufficiency meeting in Addison, TX where eleven of us gathered for food and fellowship. I was reminded of how beautiful it is to be able to chat with others who can relate to my journey. We might live with a rare disease, but we do not need to live with it in isolation!

February

Too Cold To Hold.
SO MUCH COLDER than last year.
In February, I ran the same five mile race that I did last year. But this time my running buddy was at my side. In hindsight, I should have increased the total amount of HC I took for the race because that evening was rather rough. Given all of the stress that was rapidly approaching (a wedding, an international move, a new job assignment), I increased the total amount of HC that I took daily. And guess what? My constant stomach pain went away. Food no longer made me feel sick! My blood pressure and POTS stabilized. Symptoms that I was told repeatedly did not relate to my Adrenal Insufficiency did indeed directly tie back to improper cortisol coverage. I can now stand up without fear of blacking out! That in and of itself is a major victory.

March

The Husband and I.
On March 1st 2014, I married my best friend. We had purposefully chosen to have an outdoor wedding in the desert, but the desert had other plans for us. However, the wedding was absolutely perfect and the desert down-pour made for a more amazing story. Because my husband and I are insane, we left America exactly three days after the wedding to begin our six month adventure on the other side of the world.

April

The Husband and I in Singapore.
April 19th marked the one year anniversary of my nightmare. I had no concept of how long it would take me to recover and I can still openly admit that I have not regained my full strength. I also don't think I ever will. Each time I head towards an adrenal crisis, a bit of my life is stolen from me. However, I am in a much better place health wise. My husband and I also took a spontaneous trip to Singapore where we had the pleasure of meeting Kieara of Glee Kitchen. If you ever go to Singapore, I highly recommend you try her food!

May

Dinner in Hong Kong with a fellow AI'er and her support network.
In May, I began to show signs of too much cortisol and started the wean down to appropriate levels. Cortisol is a very interesting drug. The medical community must understand that those of us with Adrenal Insufficiency do not want to overdose or under-dose our medicine. I want to take the right amount for my body and my body will show me what that amount is if I listen. There is not one magical textbook dose. I also had the ability to meet Wendy and her family in Hong Kong. I used to feel isolated and alone in my journey, but that is so far from the truth! If you feel alone and isolated, please take courage in the fact that you are not. There are others who do understand.

June

FYI: IV's in the wrist or hand are one of the most painful spots for me.
But I was so dehydrated, this was the only spot the doctor could get.
In June, I had the opportunity to return to Korea for the first time in five years. While it was fun showing my husband some of the same spots from my study abroad, the stress of the trip (emotional, physical, mental) eventually caught up with me and I narrowly staved off an adrenal crisis with an emergency injection and IV fluids in the airport. One of my biggest fears actualized. And I survived.

July

Living a Dream in Thailand.
In July, we traveled to Thailand, Kuantan, and Myanmar. The trip to Thailand felt like a dream. We rode elephants, played with tigers, saw countless Buddhas and tasted amazing food. Yet the entire time I had to be extremely mindful of dehydration and physical exhaustion. In Myanmar, I had the ability to deliver a speech to a small village about my life mission to be Clearly Alive. We almost canceled that speech due to another scare at the airport. Through process of elimination, my husband and I finally realized that it was the Malaysia Airline's water that kept making me sick. I am not a fan of that airline.

August

At some point I'll share with y'all this experience.
Very thankful for my husband, my Malaysian Endo, and the A&E that recognized the urgency of my situation.
August marked the end of our six months in Malaysia. Just when I thought I had a handle on Malaysian food, I ate bad chicken. My last weekend in Malaysia was spent with a three day hospital admission. I must admit, this was not exactly how I wanted to end my six month international work assignment. However, it did make me all the more ready to return home and begin the next chapter in my Texas life.

September

The Olive Thief is happy I am back!
September marked a month of readjustment as my husband and I unpacked and settled back into our American life. Confession: every now and then, he and I still find ourselves walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk due to Malaysia. I also started in my permanent role as a Validation Engineer for integrated circuits. Although I am unbelievably grateful for our six month adventure abroad, I cannot express my gratitude enough to be home in Texas. The husband and I have no plans on leaving any time soon.

October

Got to see Big Tex for my birthday!
In October, I celebrated my 25th birthday at the Texas State Fair with friends. I had to actively monitor my self talk. State fairs are known for the glorious amount of fried foods. Because I am required to eat gluten free, I cannot enjoy any fried food. But guess what I can enjoy? TURKEY LEG!!!! May I continue to focus on positives and remember that no matter how many times my body tries to kill me, I am Clearly Alive. I also want to give a shout out to my husband. In October, he started at his amazing engineering job. He put his career on pause in 2014 so that we could wed and move to Malaysia. I am unbelievably thankful for his sacrificial love and support. I would not be where I am today without him by my side.

November

Little did I know that burger on my plate would make me sick just a few hours later.
November marked the two year anniversary of my blog. I am extremely thankful for the continual support from y'all. Thank you for investing in my story. Thank you for your encouraging words. I am not sure where this journey will lead, but I promise that I will always continue to fight to remain Clearly Alive. I also ate an under-cooked burger at a restaurant which lead to food poisoning and another emergency injection. It is a bit unnerving at how good my husband is becoming at stabbing me and saving my life. Turns out he would like me to be Clearly Alive as well! I am happy to report that we took the lessons learned from my August experience and I was only knocked down for 24 hours instead of the three days in a hospital. I am constantly learning how to live with Adrenal Insufficiency and constantly adapting so that the super scary experiences of the past need not repeat themselves.

December 

Want this shirt? Order here.
All proceeds will be donated to either AIU or NADF.
In December, my husband and I relayed the Dallas Marathon with three others. I ran the last leg which consisted of 5.7 miles. During the run, a woman approached me and asked where I had gotten my sweatshirt (I designed them, by the way. Want one?). She was running the full marathon and had been diagnosed with Addison's Disease in 2007. How awesome is that? Even when I thought I was running alone, I found someone who could relate to my journey.

We will always be diseased. There is no cure, and I will be on life-saving steroids until I die. But my disease does not define me, and I am far from isolated. I am so much more than the 251.44 code that I see written on every single one of my doctors' forms.

I am Clearly Alive.

I cried tears of joy as I sprinted across that finish line of the Marathon. I did it. I finished 2014 strong.

Bring it on, 2015.

I'm more than ready for you.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Drive to Kuantan

"Hey, do you want to drive to the other coast of Malaysia?"
PS- It really is Kuantan not Kuanta. The sign is broken.
My husband and I rented a car in Malaysia for one month. Before surrendering it, we decided to drive to Kuantan to see the other coast. If you are wondering, Malaysian road maps are crap. Perhaps it was just the English map we used, but the map did not give any useful information. It preferred to brag about the "beautiful" spot rather than show the roads to actually get there. In addition, we could not rely on Google Maps because neither my husband nor I had smart phones with data plans. We were at the mercy of confusing road signs.

AWAS means "Caution."
With other mishaps from this awful road map fresh in our mind, we knew to take the promises of beautiful Malaysian East Coast beaches with a grain of salt. However, I still was determined to see them. Unfortunately, we made a few mistakes on this adventure. Our first mistake was trying to travel during the month of Ramadan. Everything was eerily closed.

At the rest stop half way. No food during fasting hours.
We also left the safety of a major international city. Kuala Lumpur was very tourist friendly. Kuantan was not. While KL harbored people from all over the world, we were clearly the only non-Asian tourists in Kuantan that day.

I found kittens! They liked me.
I would like to point out that this was not the my first experience of traveling internationally as the obvious non-native. However, this was the first time I felt to be in such a hostile and unsafe environment.

A group of Japanese tourists saw that I had cheese and that the cats liked me.
I shared my cheese and they tried to make friends with the kitties as well.
I got such soul piercing judgmental glares from the few locals once we did find a beach. When I was retelling the experience to a native Malay coworker the next week, he just laughed at me. He informed me that Kuantan is located in one of the most religiously conservative states. The locals did not appreciate what they assumed was my blatant lack of modesty. I was dressed modest according to my standards, just not according to their standards. My coworker also pointed out how my naive blunder was made even worse by visiting during their "holiest" month. He explained that during Ramadan, they are supposed to purposefully abstain from all sinful thoughts and desires.

I have no idea what this sign on the beach says.
But I do know from the hateful glares that I was breaking their dress code.
I arrived in what they considered a completely inappropriate outfit. Their women are required to wear long sleeves, pants, and hijabs. I'm in a sleeveless shirt, bright blue shorts, and a baseball cap. My coworker could not stop laughing at me as I realized how I had goofed up. I honestly did not know any better. This was another learned lesson. Be mindful of local customs and cultures. It can help alleviate situational stress.

At least the stray cats were kind to me.
I felt so uncomfortable on that beach that it started to make me physically ill. On the drive back, I had a headache that was rapidly turning into a full blown migraine. By the time I reached the elevators of our hotel, I was shaking and afraid I was going to vomit. I did take extra HC, load up on gatorade, and take a zofran in a desperate attempt to stop a full blown Adrenal Crisis. But I was still knocked out for the day well before 8:00pm.

We saw it. We saw the other coast.
We dipped our feet in the water.
The emotional stress of the day zapped my cortisol. I felt judged and uncomfortable. I did not feel safe. After that experience, I flat out refused to travel to any other area of Malaysia that I was not already familiar with. Malaysia might have some supposedly beautiful landscapes, but I had absolutely no desire to see any of them. The spoons required were not worth it.

I have spoken about emotional stress previously and how I was able to handle it. What changed? Our adventure in Kuantan was much different because I was not prepared for it. It caught me completely off guard. I did not pro-actively increase my dose, and honestly I did not realize how bad I was doing until it was almost past the point of no return. I was at the onset of a crisis.

That's perhaps the trickiest thing about emotional stress. It sneaks up on you.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Of Buddhas and Naps: Thailand, Part 3

We booked our tour guide for two days of private tours. Day one was reserved for Tigers and Elephants. Day two was for a floating market, a train market, and the Grand Palace. Thankfully, it did not begin with another 4:30 am wake up call.

Husband and I at the floating market.
Although the floating market was fascinating, it was definitely a tourist trap. I absolutely abhor bartering and haggling at markets. Give me an honest price and an honest answer and I will make an honest transaction. Do not shove things in my face. Do not continue to shout at me as I walk away from your booth. My Adrenal Insufficiency does not appreciate sensory overload. Needless to say, I walked away from the market and let my husband purchase our small souvenirs.

At the second market. The market is literally located on top of the train tracks.
Once we left the floating market, we headed towards the train market. This was not geared for tourists, but rather it was the local grocery store. Fresh herbs and vegetables were for sale right beside raw frogs and large shrimp. It was so bizarre to watch the market be torn down and then instantly set back up as soon as the train passed. Pictures do not do the market justice, so I have included a video.


After the train market, we visited the famous Reclining Buddha. The three days of adventuring in the Thailand heat were starting to really take a toll on me. It is worth noting that even my husband was growing exhausted.

At the Reclining Buddha.
If you ever want to know how I am feeling, observe my eyes.
We then headed towards the Royal Palace. We took a brief air conditioned break as we went through a silk museum. With my Adrenal Insufficiency, I must be extremely mindful of the heat. I can quickly get overheated and dehydrated.

In front of another temple after the silk museum.
You can see it in my eyes how I am continuing to fade.
By the early afternoon, I was becoming increasingly nervous. Thailand was incredibly hot and humid. I tried to continue to be pro-active about hydration, food, and extra HC but we still ended up calling off the tour early and heading back to the hotel. I had a headache that was rapidly turning into a migraine.

My eyes tell you I am at the point of collapse.
We needed to head back to the hotel asap.
I was in bed by 4:00pm. I felt beyond awful that I did not have the strength to say goodbye to our wonderful tour guide. I barely had the strength to pop a zofran and some extra HC. My husband ended up going out that night to celebrate his birthday with my coworker. They had a nice steak dinner with a few other friends. I nibbled on half a rice cake in between my naps.

When our tour guide saw how sick I looked, she gave me these smelling herbs from her purse.
It did alleviate some symptoms as I desperately waited for the zofran to kick in.
Ignore the Olive Thief in the background.
Although I was unbelievably disappointed that I could not join my husband for his birthday dinner, I could not dwell on that. I purposefully chose to focus on highlights instead of dwell on my limitations. I rode an elephant! I walked a tiger on a leash! I saw a train market! We ate absolutely amazing food! Could I participate fully in every single activity? No. Did I have to adjust my plans and cancel some activities in order to keep me functioning and out of the hospital? Yes. But that is ok.

Before our flight to Malaysia, at the Airport. I was feeling much better!
You can see it in my eyes.
We left Thailand on an afternoon flight the next day. We made it safely back to Kuala Lumpur without any IV's at the airport or other scary adventures. Throughout the entire trip, I paid attention to the smaller signs that my Adrenal Insufficiency gave me. I had my husband constantly watching out for me. We took proactive steps through hydration, extra steroids, and calling off activities early. I proved to myself and to the world that I was still Clearly Alive with my broken adrenal glands.

Goodbye Thailand!
It was an absolutely amazing trip.

Read Part One.
Read Part Two.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"You're a successful member of the reference group."

The conversation happened well over a year ago, yet I still remember it vividly.

I was about a month post crisis when a co-worker stopped me in the hallway. She knew that my mom had moved in to live with me because I was extremely sick. She asked me how I was doing.

"A bit better, however I'm still incredibly unstable. I have to take it day by day, and some times even moment by moment."

Without missing a beat, she responded "Oh. Well, you should think of those worse off than you. You know, like those that have cancer. Or a chronic disease."

I paused for a second, in a bit of disbelief.

"Um. Actually, I do have a chronic disease. It is my chronic disease that has been making me so ill."

Congratulations my fellow chronically diseased people!
"Oh. Well, think of those worse off than you. Like those living with cancer."

I just forced a smile and walked away. Dear readers, please file this away as something to never say to anyone.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Of Tigers and Elephants: Thailand, Part 2

Through word of mouth, we learned of a company that specialized in private tours in Bangkok. We could hire a guide for two days for just my husband and I. She even promised to work with my dietary restrictions! It sounded amazingly perfect.

Our guide wrote a note explaining "gluten free."
This allowed me to easily eat at restaurants when she was not there to translate.
Our guide arrived at our hotel at 4:30 am on Sunday. We had to drive a few hours before we reached our first location.
After stretching our legs, we hopped back into the car and continued onto the second stop on our tour. THIS was the part I was most excited about. THIS was what I had been waiting for. I am ecstatic to state that my husband and I had the opportunity to play with tigers!

Yes, that is a baby tiger cub.
Although I loved this experience, I must admit that it was incredibly overwhelming. The temple had a large group of volunteers constantly making sure that the tourists were safe. I mean, these were real tigers after all. The volunteers would physically grab or push me if they saw something that made them apprehensive. Also, the baby tigers were constantly meowing. Their cries, the crowd of people, and the knowledge that this type of experience would only happen once in my entire lifetime made this event very emotionally stressful for me.

He climbed up onto my husband.
You can see the confusion and concern on my face.
I continued to take extra HC and eat snacks on a regular basis. I was constantly drinking bottled water. I needed to be extremely pro-active. There was absolutely no way that I would let my Adrenal Insufficiency ruin this for me.

If you're wondering, the tiger walks you. You do not walk the tiger.
Although the experience was incredibly overwhelming, it was also unbelievably amazing. I was so thankful that my broken adrenal glands did not prevent me from participating.

That is a big, lazy tiger.
After we were finished playing with tigers, we meet an elephant named Full Moon. I was actually more terrified of Full Moon than I was the tigers. I knew playing with the elephant involved swimming in a river. I hate cold water and after living in Arizona, I define cold water as anything below 90 degrees.

"Hi Full Moon. I'm scared. Please be nice."
I took extra HC because I felt myself getting shaky. I was incredibly frightened. However, I knew that if I sat this out I would regret it for the rest of my life. I refused to be paralyzed by my fears. I decided to wade into the river to join my husband and Full Moon.

Cold. So cold. My face is telling you that I am cold.
Also, the current in the river was quite strong.
Although I froze, I did not regret wading into that river. Playing with Full Moon was such fun. Have you ever heard an elephant purr? My husband and I have.

You can see her laughing at us as she sprays us with water.
After the elephant bath, we stopped at a restaurant for some amazing Thai food before starting the two hour drive back to our hotel. We arrived a little after 3pm. By this point, I was very shaky and could feel that dreaded low-cortisol migraine coming on. I drank large amounts of gatorade and continued to take more HC. I did not want to under-dose myself in Thailand. It had been a long day, filled with an early morning start, great deal of emotional excitement, and an insane amount of heat and humidity. All of these utilize cortisol.

Amazing Thai food in Thailand.
Both my husband and I were passed out asleep by 7pm. And we had yet another day of adventure lined up for us.

Read Part One.
Read Part Three.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Of Bikes and Tuk-Tuks: Thailand, Part 1

We ventured off to Thailand for my husband's birthday in July. The dates we picked coincidentally lined up with another co-worker's trip from the Philippines. Both flights arrived late Friday night allowing us to meet up at the airport and and split a cab to the hotel.

The hotel room greeted us with Elephant towels!
My face is ridiculously red from the exhaustion that comes from traveling.
After my adventure in Korea, I purposefully scheduled Saturday morning as a time for me to rest and recover. I knew Thailand would be a trip full of adventures and I wanted to make sure to have an ample amount of spoons stored up. However, my husband did not have the same physical limitations as me. He and my co-worker ventured off Saturday morning for a walking food tour of Thailand as I spent those morning hours resting in the hotel room.

Omelet at breakfast. Eggs are gluten free!
My co-worker and husband were going to do a bike tour of Bangkok that afternoon. I decided I felt well enough to join them. I was a bit nervous about biking around Bangkok in July given the ridiculous humidity and heat. I figured if I remained very pro-active about hydration and cortisol everything would be fine. I took several salt tabs, extra HC, and wore my camelback to guarantee that I always had access to water.

My husband and I outside a Chinese temple.
I am rocking that Camelback.
Although I greatly enjoyed the bike tour, it was physically demanding. I must admit that a couple of times, my adrenal insufficiency scared me. A few hours into the tour, I realized I was growing confused and dizzy. There was so much happening around me that it was difficult to take in everything. My brain started to fog over as I grew increasingly confused. I then realized the wisdom in providing everyone on the tour a lime green hat that said "Follow Me." At the beginning of the tour, I judged the hats to be unbelievably stupid. While riding around crowded streets battling brain fog, I loved the obnoxious identifier of our group.

Green hat? Part of our tour.
Very easy to spot.
A few times, we paused for a break. During these times, I actually had to sit down because I was too weak or dizzy to stand. I also realized that I critically miscalculated the amount of snacks I needed. I had run out of food and we still had another two hours left on the tour. Luckily, fruit was readily available. Our tour guide helped me purchase a bag of apples after I informed him of the urgency of my need for food.

I was too tired to keep standing, so I sat down.
I then found a puppy.
We ended up seeing a few churches, Chinatown, a flower market, old town Bangkok, and then crossing a river to see some temple. By the time we reached the temple, I had absolutely no energy to climb the stairs. My husband suggested for us to wait at the bottom of the temple instead of exploring it. While the rest of group headed up the stairs, he and I found a shaded spot with a large group of cats.

I missed my Olive Thief. I took every opportunity possible to play with the animals.
Although I was feeling a bit better after sitting in the shade for thirty minutes, my husband knew that I did not have the strength to finish off the tour. There was still over an hour of biking left and it was now the hottest part of the day. My husband pulled our guide aside and requested for us to leave early.

Preparing to ride in the tuk-tuk.
Our guide decided that the best course of action would be to send my husband and I back to the club house by way of tuk-tuk. We actually had to wait a while until we found a tuk-tuk that agreed to transport us with the bikes. I did feel awkward as the entire tour had to wait while the guide took care of my special needs. I hate drawing attention to myself in group settings and I absolutely hate admitting that I cannot complete every activity. Primary Adrenal Insufficiency does at times come with physical limitations. However, I had to remind myself that I was making this out to be a bigger deal than it actually was. The rest of the tour did not mind waiting while our transportation was being arranged.

The driver thought he attached the bikes well.
Five minutes into the ride proved otherwise.
We had to stop again as he reattached them.
By the time we reached the club house, I did not want to move at all. Our goal was to return to the hotel as soon as possible, but my body was moving no where fast. I continued to down water and we had Pad Thai delivered so that I could eat dinner without having to go anywhere. I sat in silence for about an hour as my body cooled off from the physical activity in the heat and humidity.

"You aren't going to smile for the picture?"
"No. Takes too much energy."
Once I was feeling well enough, my husband and I cabbed back to our hotel. We were both very exhausted. That night, I had to watch my self talk. I could have chosen to dwell on how pathetic it felt to state, "I cannot complete this tour. Please take me back." But that's not beneficial to me or those around me. I purposefully chose to focus my energy and strength on acknowledging how my limitations actually allowed us to have some extra adventures that we would have otherwise not experienced.

I made friends with more animals and got to ride in a tuk-tuk.

AND this was only day one in Thailand! Our private tour guide was set to pick us up from our hotel at 4:30am the very next day for an extremely early start on our next day of adventures.

Read Part Two.
Read Part Three.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

FAD402

At my engineering job, I have the potential to play with "high voltage." This requires extra safety certification to teach me important lessons such as if a coworker is being electrocuted, DO NOT TOUCH HIM! However, feel free to whack him with a wooden stick to dislodge him from the exposed wires.

FAD402 (a.k.a. Blood Born Pathogens, First-Aid Training, and CPR) is a four hour long, instructor-led, required saftey course that no one particularly looks forward too. The lucky employees are able to snag the 13:00 - 17:00 time slot, but those often fill up over two months in advance. The unlucky ones must sign up for the 20:00 - 00:00 class. This year, I fell in the middle. My class ran from 08:00 - 12:00.

I was absolutely dreading it.

I remembered taking the course a year ago. I was still working through the PTSD that accompanied The Nightmare. I struggled greatly when we had to "practice" what to do in an emergency situation. Person X must call for help! Person Y must ask "Are you ok?!" Person Z must begin CPR treatment immediately.

That simple role playing game triggers horrible flashbacks for me. Nurse X is yelling my name trying to keep me conscious. Nurse Y is attempting to collect my vitals. Nurse Z is running out of the room to call for help. This is all happening while I'm crashing closer and closer towards absolute darkness. I do not like practicing what to do in a medical emergency. I have lived through one too many myself.

A year ago, I realized that although what she taught applied to the general population, it would kill me. She repeated several times to never ever administer medicine found on a patient. I informed her last year that the protocol she taught as life-saving would end my life. I showed her my solu-cortef shot. I sank back in despondence as she responded, "See, I wouldn't give that to you. I'm not trained up on it. I could mess it up. No, I would refuse to give you that shot."

Dear readers, hear me when I say this: You cannot mess up the delivery of that shot. Even if the dose isn't exactly 100 mg. Even if you don't inject it in the exact correct muscle location. Even if the solution isn't 100% mixed up. It is better than the alternative. I will not be mad at you. I will be extremely grateful that you stopped the crash towards a crisis. That crash is beyond terrifying.

If you see me start to crash, inject me with 100 mg of solu-cortef immediately. I am clearly labeled. I tell you where my emergency injection is. I have printed instructions for how to administer it. I understand that you are scared. But you must understand my life is hanging on the line. Every time I crash, there is irreversible damage done to my body. Each minute delayed in delivering my medicine increases the potential for more irreversible damage.

If you try to just perform CPR on me without that emergency steroid shot, I will die.

CPR is used to address cardiac arrest. I don't want to reach that part of the flow chart.
Find the original chart by Prof Hindmarsh of the Great Ormond Street Hospital here.
I went into FAD402 this year better prepared. I saw how my conversations with her last year influenced her teaching for this year. Off of my feedback, she mentioned to look for medical alert bracelets. She never once stated to not administer patient medication. My conversations with her made a difference.

During one of the breaks, I went up and placed my solu-cortef shot right next to the epi-pens she had on display. She immediately stated, "I thought I recognized you!"

Epinephrine and Cortisol are both produced by the adrenal gland.
I produce epinephrine. I do not produce Cortisol.
She asked me if I had any more adventures like my Nightmare and I said a few. But luckily, my husband was close by to administer my shot. She loved my re-written medical alert bracelet with "Give Drugs or Watch Die." She remembered how last year she informed me that she would refuse to give me my medicine if I began to crash because she wasn't trained. This new wording would definitely encourage her to act.

A few others in the class were listening to our conversation. They wanted to know more about my disease and my story. I gladly handed out my business card with links to this blog with a goal to raise more awareness.

I will take horrible and dreadful situations and focus on the positives in them. I will use my experiences to help others. I will speak openly and honestly about my struggles while remaining positive. I want to show the world that although my broken adrenal glands make my life more complicated, they do not stop me from living life. I want to remind people that we can be Clearly Alive.

PS: I recently found a new video explaining our emergency injection. It's very well done. Just remember that by the time I require this injection I am incapable of administering it myself. Next time you see me, ask me about my emergency kit. I will gladly show you. May we continue to raise awareness to make our lives safer.