As Aprils Adrenal Insufficiency Awareness Month comes to a close I want to post this one more time.
I wrote this and posted this to my Facebook one year ago, oh the things I have learned since then! This letter is a compilation of things from groups and my own experiences. A long read, an important to me read:
“I was told early on in my Adrenal Insufficiency (Addison’s Disease) diagnosis that I needed to educate the people in my life about how life threatening this can be, but I didn’t do that because maybe I didn’t truly understand the severity or the dangers of my own lack of knowledge.
My doctor told me to avoid anyone who had colds or flu symptoms, told me to ask before I visited with people if they had been sick. I did not realize the importance of his warning. A couple of months ago I joined an Adrenal Insufficiency support group online and in those couple of months we have lost several members due to Adrenal Crisis! One started as a flu, one as a cold, and it happens quickly! I’m watching one mother heart breakingly face her daughters vegetative state due to a crisis induced cardiac arrest, her daughter didn’t feel well and sometime during the night the vomiting started! Her daughter was not expected to ever recover (however is in home care now.)
Seeing the severity and dangers made me want to tell you the truth about this illness, for my safety and your understanding.
It is DANGEROUS and escalates quickly! I’m posting this because it could save my life. As many of you know I have Addison’s Disease, Adrenal Insufficiency. In healthy individuals cortisol is produced throughout each day and is released in response to any sort of stress. Even lifting your arm uses cortisol.
I do not produce cortisol the way I should. For me, the fibromyalgia (and other previously diagnosed illnesses) intensifies the risks I face with Adrenal Insufficiency because of the stress, pain, depression, and many other symptoms that can in turn cause low cortisol & even crisis! Even a broken bone from the Osteoporosis can send me into crisis and be fatal.
I take medication several times a day to put in what my body does not make on its own, I have not missed a dose, but I do know that not taking it on time will make me terribly sick! (At this time I have missed doses and can attest that I do indeed get very sick!) An adrenal crisis is a LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY and must be treated aggressively! In addition to the daily struggles Adrenal Insufficiency is very dangerous for me, especially if I get sick or hurt, If I become ill, unconscious, or am in a car accident, etc., it is almost guaranteed Crisis! I am asking that if you are with me and I become ill, am vomiting or unconscious, that you do not hesitate to call 911 (and give me my injection immediately) I am required to wear Medical Alert bracelets and keep my information updated on them. Without the extra dose of medication (either by IV, Injection, or by pill) an adrenal crisis causing shock, heart failure, coma and even death can occur very quickly.
Thank you, friends. Please do not hesitate to talk to me about this, in fact I appreciate the questions because to me it shows not only that you read this, but that you do want to know more. I deal with adrenal insufficiency on a daily basis and it is on my mind almost all the time. I appreciate you helping me. Hopefully emergency precautions will never need to be used by one of you but I would rather be safe than sorry.
Thank you for reading this all the way to the end! 😘”
That was written as I started to realize the seriousness of Addison’s Disease! When you see me you may think I appear healthy, some days are good and some are bad, but a good day can turn bad very quickly. You may see me start to shake, fumble for words, loose my balance and think it is funny, I assure you, it is not funny- it is a WARNING SIGN!
Since my diagnosis I have seen so many loose their life and come too close to loosing their lives to this Disease! I know spreading awareness may mean nothing to you, and I pray it never does, but what if it did? What if it was your loved one?