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Advocacy

Understand your Adrenals Series

One of the main goals of this Foundation is to bring awareness to Adrenal Disease.

We are pleased to announce we have collaborated with the healthcare education site- ZUBIA ( https://zubialive.com/ )  to teach a 4 part webinar series designed to educate the world on the adrenals, what they do and bring awareness to adrenal issues.

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The videos are posted below-

Episode 1- What do the Adrenals do?

Episode 2- Adrenal Fatigue VS Adrenal Insufficiency

Episode 3-  Types of Adrenal Diseases/Problems

Episode 4- Keeping your Adrenals Healthy

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Test after test with no results.

One of the most frustrating things about having Addison’s Disease is the extreme exhaustion. I want to do things, but my body doesn’t allow for it. I have a life to live, but I can barely make it from my bed to the couch. I can’t explain what causes the exhaustion. I have tried to track what I have done, but no matter what it is, there is no consistency. One day I can rest all day long and the next day, I am even more exhausted. One day I can push through and get everything I need done and the next day have all the energy in the world. No matter what I do, I can never predict when I am going to have a bad day.
All the other strange symptoms that come with it as well. I have no clue where they are coming from or if it’s from Addison’s. I can’t tell if one day I will be able to walk, or have nausea, or extreme joint pain. I know that I have gotten worse and when I go to the Drs. they want to run tests to see what is wrong. And of course the tests all come back normal. Why are they normal, when I don’t feel normal? Is this my new normal? When do you stop going in for tests and just accept all the new, weird, painful symptoms? Can we do that? What are the risks for ignoring them? So many unanswered questions.
I just had my colonoscopy and endoscopy on Tuesday and that was hell. They ended up taking some tissue and sent it off, but everything else looked good. I have horrible pain, bloating, and nausea when eating, so why does it all look normal? I know this is not in my head. I want to be able to eat again, but if the results come back with normal results, what do I do? I am already vegan. This issue just started over a month ago so I am at a loss of what is going on.
I like to look through Facebook and Instagram to see if other Addisonians are having these same issues. I know every Body is different, everyone has multiple autoimmune diseases, so all the symptoms are different (a lot are similar though).
When will Drs. start taking us seriously? I wouldn’t wish this disease on anyone. It is such a difficult life to live. People don’t believe you…. Drs. don’t believe you. You feel like you are losing your mind and then start to question your own symptoms. No one wants to feel like this. No one wants to live with this kind of pain (at least I hope not).
I can understand when results always come back as normal. It’s hard to believe that something is going on when there is no proof. There is no proof of a lot of things, but people will search and search to find answers…. So why is it different when it’s a person’s body. I think that autoimmune diseases are known about enough for their to be more research done on it.
I recently watched Brain on Fire. It was like watching my own life (to a point). They ran test after test and said she was fine, but there was something wrong. She had amazing parents who wouldn’t stand for their answers and they pushed. Finally one Dr. knew something was missing and she went seeking help and found it. The Dr. worked hard and finally found out what was going on. I know if I was a Dr. I would want to exhaust every resource in order to find answers and then keep going. We are not guinea pigs, but to some extent I would be willing to try things in order to get answers and help the research in curing autoimmune diseases. There is so much out there on cancer, but autoimmune diseases seem to be just as common as cancers.
Even though your test results might not show anything, please don’t give up. There might be some Dr. out there that will look harder and find something that will change the game for all of us. Keep fighting and keep advocating for yourself. I know it’s exhausting, but we have to keep fighting.

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Top 5 Tips To Avoid An Adrenal Crisis…And What To Do If You Are In One

So, you have Adrenal Insufficiency and are completely steroid dependent for the rest of your life. As if that is not scary enough, NOW you have to make sure that your levels of cortisol are always under control so that you avoid an Adrenal Crisis and even worst, coma or death. Since I have unfortunately been there way too many times, I figured I would compile a list of the top 5 tips to avoid an adrenal crisis. Also, because we are all human, it is inevitable that at some point you’ll be in one, so I’ve included what to do at that point….

Top 5 Tips To Avoid An Adrenal Crisis…..

  1. Make sure your daily steroid intake is the correct dose for YOUR body. This may seem like a no brainer, but I see this all of the time. How much do you truly need?? Too little and you’ll have low coritsol symptoms. Too much and you’ll be over replacing. The best way to see how much your body needs is a 24 hourcortisol test. This can be a challenge, however. You really have two options. You can do a “day curve” test, which is highly recommended. Or…you can opt to take a 24 hour test on your own through urine. You then ship it off to the lab and they send you your results.
  2. Make sure your steroids are being delivered when your body needs them. Also seems like a no brainer. If you are on Prednisone, chances are pretty good that you are completely covered and don’t have to worry about it. However, if you are on Hydrocortisone, that is a whole new story. You have to take Hydrocortisone multiple times per day to mimic a body’s natural replication. So, how is this done? First of all, knowing your baseline is a good start. Also knowing how fast you metabolize the Hydcrortisone. Some need it every 4 hours, while other people can get away with going 6 hours. The best way to mimic the body’s “normal” is to do circadian rhythm dosing. That will assure 24 hour coverage and will give you a higher quality of life.
  3. Make sure your labs are up to date. When you first were diagnosed, they performed an 8am blood cortisol test. They hopefully also performed an ACTH test to show whether you are PAI or SAI. If not, you’ll want to find out. Other tests needed are a Comprehensive metabolic Panel, CBC Count, Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone or TSH, Autoaintibody Testing, Prolactin Testing. Imaging studies are also needed. You’ll want a chest radiograph done to show current evidence of TB. You’ll also want an abdominal CT scan. And an MRI done to show what is going on with your pituitary function. Another test I would recommend is a DNA test. You can order these through My Heritage or 23 And Me. This will show you what other health issues you may have.
  4. Stress Dose when needed. In a normal body, the body will create MORE cortisol when needed. When our bodies are under stress, whether it is good or bad, it doesn’t even know the difference, it lowers it. How do you handle this? You add more! How much will totally depend on how you are feeling. Some people need an extra 2.5mg, others need more like 20mg. It just really depends on the situation. Are you sick, do you have an infection, or are you just stressed out? Knowing your low cortisol symptoms are VITAL.
  5. INJECT!!!! NOW! When in doubt, ALWAYS inject 100mg of Soluctortef. If you even have to second guess this, it’s time to inject. Do you need follow-up hospital care afterwards? Not necessarily. It depends on the situation. If you can keep fluids down, you’re probably ok. However, if you have a stomach bug and are puking and have diarrhea, the best place to be is at the hospital being monitored and replenished with IV fluids.

Now, let’s talk about what to do IF you are IN an Adrenal Crisis….

First of all, breathe. You’re going to be ok! What I like to do is to ask myself “What do I need RIGHT NOW to take care of myself?” And I just keep asking myself that over and over again until I’m in the clear. Questions you may ask yourself are….

  1. How am I feeling? What are my symptoms? Do I need to stress dose or do I need to inject??
  2. How are my fluids? How about my supplements?
  3.  I need to call 911 or can I handle this myself? Is someone home that can help me through this?
  4. If you need to dial 911, make sure they know you have AI, are steroid dependent and need 100mg of Soluctortef when paramedics arrive.
  5. What if you’re not home? You need to start carrying a “to go bag.” The bag should include things such as your medications, your emergency injection, fluids, and lots of snacks, both salty and sugary. Also, you’ll want to include a letter to the ER from your doctor with correct protocol along with emergency contact info and a list of all medications and supplements taken.

Disclaimer: This is not intended to replace medical advice given from your doctor. Please consult with them prior to adjusting any and all medications.

Advocacy

Near death experience was a call to life- Jen’s story with adrenal insufficiency

February 23, 2017 will be a date that will forever be engraved into my life and the lives of the people closest to me. It’s the night that I died…three times…and came back to life to tell my story.

It was a cold, February night. I had been under a tremendous amount of stress. My ten year old had suffered a major concussion at school a couple of weeks prior. That led to several doctor’s appointments, a CT scan, a trip to the children’s hospital when his symptoms got worse, communicating with his teacher to get homework that he could safely do while he was at home recuperating, and a group of unneccessary text messages between his father and me, arguing about his treatment plan and the plan for our son to return to sports. Living with Adrenal Insufficiency has taught me that when I’m under any emotional or physical stress, I need to take extra meds in order to cope like someone who has healthy, functioning adrenal glands. However, when my cortisol levels drop to a certain level, I can’t think clearly and I don’t realize when I need to take the extra life saving steroids. My husband recognized it, but it was too late.

There is a block of time that I absolutely don’t remember. That block of time started right after I told my husband “I don’t feel right…” I was standing in the kitchen and I had just read a text message that apparently dropped my cortisol levels to a dangerously low level. My husband took one look at me, and told me to come lay down and he would get me some meds. To be honest, the meds I truly needed was my Solucortef Emergency Injection. However, it was sitting at the hospital pharmacy….all because…one, I didn’t think I truly had “that” bad of a case of Addison’s…I saw other people posting in our groups and they were constantly in crisis and having to inject, but that just wasn’t me. Also, it was $52 to pick it up and we simply could not afford it at the time. Please read that again. I could not afford my life saving injection that literally could have and would have SAVED MY LIFE!!!!! I started to walk towards him, and I collapsed in the middle of our dining room, not breathing and unresponsive. My husband told my ten year old to call 911 and he immediately started CPR.

It took emergency responders 14 minutes to arrive to our house. They attempted to revive me with no avail. I was in cardiac arrest. They couldn’t locate a good IV spot, so they chose to perform an emergency procedure known as an IO (Intraoasseous Infusion) where they drill into a person’s shin bone and are able to get an IV started. The problem is, the EMT who performed the IO drill led too far into my shin, so all of the medication that they pumped into my system went straight into the tissue of my leg. Since I was not responding like I should with the medication, they kept giving me more and more, not realizing the harm it was causing. A brand new EMT looked at my leg and asked if my leg was supposed to look the way it did. I apparently had compartment syndrome and my leg had ballooned up. Things suddenly took a turn for the worse.

My husband was on his way to the hospital, when all of a sudden I went into cardiac arrest again and my “spirit” visited him in his car. According to him, I told him that I love him and I was saying goodbye. Being the strong-willed person that he is, he told me to get back into the ambulance and start breathing. Although our wedding vows did not include “thow shall obey,” I left his car and started breathing in the ambulance. When he arrived at the hospital, he was met at the door by the hospital chaplain, who urged him to call my parents, as the doctors did not expect me to live. My husband was notified that I would require emergency surgery and they needed him to sign a release for them to operate. Knowing what surgery would do to my body, he insisted that the medical team give me 100mg of Solucortef prior to the surgery. It then became a battle of who would give in first. The person trying to get him to sign the release told my husband that I would die if they couldn’t operate qickly, and he told them that I would die if I did not have the emergency steroids on board prior to the surgery. In the end, my husband won the battle and after I was given the Solucortef, I was rushed into surgery.

love from all of us
Continue reading “Near death experience was a call to life- Jen’s story with adrenal insufficiency”

Advocacy

Is this pain for a reason?

I always wonder what causes my pain. I have it on a daily basis, but can never really pin point why I have it. I can come up with 100’s of reasons why I think I have it. I slept wrong, I worked out, I was stressed, I had to drive around, I ran errands, I ate something I wasn’t supposed to, I ran into an ex, my kids were driving me crazy, my husband and I got into a fight, blah, blah, blah….
Any one of these can cause me to have a flare or a crisis. But why the pain?
Our body is constantly at war with itself, which is a huge pain. It is battling against everything inside itself and on the outside. On a healthy person, this can take minutes, maybe an hour to fix itself, but with us…. It can take hours or it could take days.
I have gone to bed the last 2 nights in so much pain. It is easier for me to ignore it during the day. I can distract myself by moving around, but once my body lays down and tries to relax… That is when the pain can get so bad. I can’t get comfortable because everything hurts. I want to rip off my own skin most of the time, just to make the pain stop.. Not that I would actually do that.
Last night, while laying in bed, my body had that feeling you get when someone is poking you non stop and it gets really irritating, but you can feel it all through your body and you just want to punch the person…. I can’t punch the person and make it stop. All I can do is try to fall asleep and hope that it doesn’t wake me in a few minutes.
I often wonder, why God is making me go through this. There has to be a reason, and I know that he has one. I would just like to know what it is, so I can feel better about having to go through this. I want to be inspiring to others, but it’s so hard when you need the inspiration yourself. It’s hard when you spend days in bed or on the couch or just in your home because you are way to tired to do anything. That gets depressing and is a hard cycle to break.
Everything that used to sound fun to me, makes my skin crawl now. I hear all the ticket giveaways on the radio and start to think that would be fun, but then my mind goes to.. I would have to get dressed and there will be lots of people there, someone might be sick and they will touch me and then I’ll get sick. Will I be to exhausted to walk around or stand the whole time, should I bring my wheelchair just in case, are they going to have food there that I can eat, how late will this event be….. AHHHHH!!!! Do healthy people think like this?? I sure didn’t when I was healthy.
We have pain… daily. We are fatigued… daily. If you have your disease under control and managed… I give mad props to you, because 4 years into this.. I don’t. I feel like I start to gain control and then something else pops up. I see all these other Addisonians working out all the time, working, enjoying life with friends and family, and I wonder how they do this. Why is it so much harder for me? What am I doing wrong? Every.. body.. is different. Everyone experiences their illness in another way. So don’t let that get you down or discourage you. Your body is processing the disease differently and there is nothing wrong with that.
Keep fighting daily. Keep searching for answers. Keep raising awareness. I feel it’s coming soon.

Uncategorized

My FIRST Crisis Since Being On The Pump

I’ve been on the Adrenal Pump ever since my last hospital stay in June of 2018. It has been nothing short of a miracle in my life. Several events led up to me wanting a better quality of life. As a sat in my hospital bed, I lost a dear friend of mine, Kristy, to Adrenal Insufficiency. I gave my word to God to that I would not allow that to happen to another friend of mine. However, I KNEW that I had to get myself healthy again. I began my search and discovered the Adrenal Pump. To say that it has given me my life back would be a complete understatement. I’m living my life again!

Is it a “Plug and Go” and “Set it and Forget it” solution? No. It took a major learning curve, and I have to manage it every single day, in order to make it work for me. Is it worth it? Oh yes! Do I still have bad days? Yes, I do. Yesterday is PROOF that I still have Adrenal Insufficiency and it hit me like a TORNADO. I had my FIRST Adrenal Crisis since being on the pump. I learned several lessons yesterday.

The first lesson being that you can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to take care of yourself first before you can possibly take care of anyone else. Let me say that one again. You HAVE to take care of yourself FIRST before you can possibly take care of ANYONE else.

I have a very set routine each morning. I get up, I check my pump, take my supplements, take my vitals, make coffee, and then I get to relax and pray, put on some music and I get to work. And then I get to play and enjoy my day and “live.” Yesterday felt no different, except that I have been so busy lately enjoying life and working that I neglected to take care of the one person who really matters…ME. I completely broke my routine, and the sad thing is…I did not recognize it. I don’t want this to happen again and I certainly do not want it to happen to anyone else I care about. So…are you ready to hear about my day? Ok, let’s go.

First of all, the night before, I was on Facebook and I felt compelled to write an inspirational post to my online support groups. I wanted to get this done before midnight so that others who were struggling could see it right then and there or wake up to it. I accomplished my goal. I then decided to go to bed. I normally wake up everyday between 3am-5am, and average about 4-6 hours a sleep, depending on the night. However, my mind was racing and I just couldn’t go to sleep. I have a good friend in Tennessee, Ruth, who was awake and we were texting. She asked why I was still awake and I told her I just couldn’t sleep. So, she said “Hey, just get up and we’ll talk.” She and I were both friends with my friend who died and it brought us closer than ever. We talked about Kristy, about what had been going on in our lives and how much we missed Kristy. She was having a rough morning and I had had a few ups and downs this week, so we were comforting each other. She is also on the Adrenal Pump and we were talking about how we could help other people with Adrenal Insufficiency to live a better life, with our without the pump. But in the meantime, I completely broke my routine. Here’s how that played out…

  1. No sleep. Adrenals are a funny thing. They like sleep. It gives them time to heal and reset. I normally take Melatonin to sleep, but I had not taken mine. Mistake number one.
  2. I checked my pump. Ok, well that’s a check mark for good behavior. Go Jen!
  3. I did not check my vitals. Had I done that, I would have known that something was wrong before I even started my day. I figured I would “get to it.” I didn’t.
  4. I did not take my supplements. Again, I figured I would “get to it.” I didn’t.
  5. I made coffee and I drank a lot of it. I had a lot to do yesterday and I wanted to be refreshed. I didn’t drink my morning Vitamin C like I normally do, which helps give me a boost of energy and also helps protect my immune system. I decided I just needed MORE coffee. I had errands to run before I could work. My website had been down for 2 days and I had to get that figured out so that I could play some more. My “to do list” was long and being a Type A personality, I wanted to get everything done as soon as I could. So, I decided to go get more coffee and run my errands. I’ve been dealing with some lower back pain, which is a sign of low cortisol for me, but I bought a TENS unit to help alleviate pain and I normally wear it when I drive or work or just when I need it to help with pain. So, being the already “cyborg” I am, I hooked it up and left. First stop, Dutch Bros….a large 911 Freeze…which equates to 9 shots of espresso! Yes, not one of my best ideas. However, when Kristy was alive, I would treat myself to one and since I was missing her, I figured I would go buy one to honor her friendship, and continued with my errands.
  6. I came home and hopped onto my computer. I had to figure out what was wrong with my website and why it had been down. I contacted Go Daddy tech support. I was greeted by a very nice gentleman who explained that it was not a Go Daddy issue after all. It was actually WordPress. I was frustrated but he was so helpful. He e-mailed me the information I needed in order to contact WordPress to get me up and running. I asked him to stay on the line with me until I got the e-mail. He was gracious enough to do that. We started chatting and he told me he was a soldier and was kind of struggling. I thanked him for his service to our country and I also told him about someone that had helped me through my PTSD and told him I would give him her information, as she had helped me tremendously. He was so appreciative. After our call, I became very emotional. That was unlike me. Yet, it’s one of my low cortisol symptoms, and I completely dismissed it. I had so much to do..I had no time for crying, yet I could not stop. I cried a lot throughout the day. In bad and good ways. I should have “bolused” or “updosed” but I didn’t. Another huge mistake. I also should have set the rates on my pump to a higher amount to compensate for the day because I was clearly struggling, but I was having major brain fog (another low cortisol symptom), and instead, I decided to go DOWN in my rates. Huge huge huge mistake! My husband woke up and we were talking about my day so far. We have developed a good system and we have a good plan in place to keep me healthy. Communication is key between us and I had not done a good job and communicating my very poor decisions. We also have a code word for when I’m in crisis. I typically tell him “I feel OFF!” And he helps to get me through it, typically with a shot of 100mg of Solu-Cortef. He was working on our boat in the garage and I was in the house when the “tornado” hit me. My phone had died because I had been on it all day, so I couldn’t call him and I was going into crisis fast!!!!
  7. WARNING….Crisis approaching…. I thought to myself…”Self care, Jen…THINK! What do I need to do NOW???? You are NOT going to die! You have NOT come this far to DIE!” I realized that I had not taken any sodium that day. The weather was cooler and to be honest, I just had forgotten. I knew that my sodium chloride tablets were outback and I didn’t have the strength to walk out to get them. I was close to the pantry so I took out a jar of bone broth. I have a spoon next to it and I shoveled an entire spoonful of it in my mouth. That helped instantly, but it was not what all I needed. I “bolused” or “updosed” on my pump as much as I possibly could until it wouldn’t allow me to give myself any more. I prayed for guidance. “GOD….please tell me what to do. Please guide me to what I need RIGHT NOW!” I needed my emergency injection!!! I didn’t hesitate. I sat down at the table and I injected myself with 100mg of Solu-Cortef. It works fast and it saved my life. I still felt “Off” and I didn’t have the energy yet to go tell Mike. So I decided to turn on some christian music and lay down for a bit.
  8. Music and sleep is what I needed at that moment. I fell asleep quickly. Mike apparently had come in to check on me and was surprisingly happy to see me sleeping so he let me sleep.
  9. I woke up feeling better. Not great. But good enough to go out to the garage and talk to Mike. I told him what had happened. I completely confessed to all of my bad decisions. I cried. He was very supportive. But the day was not over and I continued to make poor choices.
  10. I had not been hungry, so I did not eat. Still no vitals. Still no supplements on board. Had I taken my vitals, I would have known that my blood pressure was sky high. When I go into crisis, my blood pressure goes high, which is not always typical in Adrenal Insufficiency. Had I taken my supplements, I would have had my electrolytes on board and it probably would have prevented what would come next.
  11. I started having lower back pain again and just felt “OFF” again. I had been texting my Dad and he asked if I was truly ok because my texts were not making sense. I thought I was. I was clearly not. I decided to go relax in a hot bath. Mike asked if I was ok, and I told him yes. I thought I just needed a “time out.” Another one of my poor choices. Soaking in a hot bath can drain cortisol and it did. I texted my friend, Ruth, and told her I could not think straight. My heart was racing, I had a headache, lower back pain despite the hot water, but as soon as she heard that I could not think for myself, she told me I had two choices…”bolus” or “inject” AGAIN. So, I bolused as I shakingly crawled out of the bathtub and got dressed so that I could go get another emergency injection, which was downstairs. I should have called Mike, but again, I was not thinking clearly.
  12. I drew up another 100mg of Solu-Cortef and I injected. I sat there for a few minutes and then decided to go get Mike. I was clearly making all the wrong decisions today and I needed his support and guidance, and I just needed him to wrap his arms around me.
  13.  We came in the house and talked and he wrapped his arms around me to see what I needed. I needed food, so he made me some. I needed potassium and magnesium, so he brought me my supplements. I also needed more sodium so he brought my bone broth to me as well. And then just rubbed my back until I felt better.
  14. I FINALLY felt better. I was able to avoid the hospital. Barely. I went to bed and was able to fall asleep and LIVE to see another day.
  15. What did I learn? You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of YOURSELF first. We have one life to live and today is a new day! Oh….and in case your’e wondering, I did follow my daily routine when I got up this morning and I feel really well. Today, we are going to take out the boat and I’m going to press “Reset” and enjoy my glorious “New Normal!”

If you’d like more information on what I do to take care of myself, message me. I would be happy to pass on what helps me. Also, here are some things that I use daily that helps me LIVE. Check them out, talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements or treatments. But friends, if you do not have an ample supply of emergency injections on hand at all times, don’t wait. Go get them today!!! It WILL save your life at some point! I’m living proof!!!

For Vitals:

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For Supplements:

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For Extra Support:

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“You Have Adrenal Insufficiency….”

Four words that would change my life forever….”You have Adrenal Insufficiency…”

Hi, my name is Jen and I have an incurable disease. How’s that for sounding as though I am at a 12 step program meeting? In March of 2016, I was diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency, also known as Addison’s Disease. I had no idea how four words would change my life so drastically. But my journey didn’t start there. Let’s back up a bit….

It was New Year’s Eve of 2008. My ex husband and I went to Los Dos with our best friends to celebrate. Before our drinks or food came, I suddenly got a stabbing pain in my stomach and had to run to the restroom so that I didn’t puke all over the table. We left the restaurant and I continued to puke for several hours. The pain was so awful that my ex husband decided to take me to the emergency room, in fear that I had appendicitis. The doctor ran tests, gave me nausea and pain meds, and said “I have no idea what’s wrong with you…” Little did I know that for the next 8 years, I would hear that sentence over and over again. Little did I know that when I woke up on December 31, 2008, that would be the last day I would ever wake up not sick. Little did I know that my life was about to change forever.

The next 8 years of my life were spent in and out of emergency rooms, doctors’ offices, specialists’ offices and more hospital rooms than I can remember. I felt like a human lab rat. Hundreds of tests run, multiple different medications given to me that didn’t work, and doctors that either guessed at a possible diagnosis or simply decided that it was all in my head and I was just drug seeking. I literally felt like I was dying. I constantly had nausea and pain in my stomach. I went through long periods of time where I couldn’t even keep down water. I had uncontrollable anxiety, brain fog, low energy and I kept passing out and not breathing, for no apparent reason. My ex husband left me, the majority of my friends disappeared, my career fell apart and I could barely take care of my kids, let alone myself.

Fast forward to March of 2016. I was admitted into the hospital. This was nothing new to me, as I had come to refer to the hospital as my second home. However, one thing was very new to me….a doctor that refused to let me leave without figuring out what was wrong with me. Her name is Dr. Lam and I honestly don’t believe I would be here today if it were not for her persistence. Unlike all of the other doctors who had treated me in the past, Dr. Lam looked at my records and decided to run tests that were not already run a thousand times before. I was cautiously optimistic for the first time. She decided to discharge me, while waiting for some tests to come back and promised that she would call with the results. And when that call came in, my life would soon be changed.

“You have Adrenal Insufficiency…” Come again?? She started talking about cortisol levels and how I needed to see an Endocrinologist and be placed on corticosteroids right away. It was as though she was speaking to me in another language, yet I was so excited. As she was talking, my brain started to race. Could it be that this is the answer? Will I really be better if I just start taking medications? Will I finally feel normal again? I hung up and called my doctor right away. She had me come in that day and started me on Hydrocortisone. She explained what Adrenal Insufficiency was and gently told me that there was no cure for it and that I would be on corticosteroids for the rest of my life.

I was ecstatic that I was finally diagnosed! If taking a few pills every day would make me feel normal again, sign me up! I gladly had my prescription filled. I told all of my family and friends and everyone who had known how sick I was for years about my new diagnosis. This was it….my prayers had been answered! I had no idea that those four words would change my life forever, and I was about to embark on a whole new journey that I refer to as “My New Normal…”