A Triumph and a Setback

A Triumph and a Setback

I will never outgrow Addison’s. It is something I must live with every day. Like everyone else, my life has good times and bad times. I have triumphs and I have setbacks. I’ll share one of each here.


The Triumph

With Addison’s, I’m considered a “salt loser.” My body does not retain sodium. I have to take extra precautions to make sure that I remain properly hydrated.

I’m also a runner. Running dehydrates a person fairly quickly. I probably could have picked a sport that is kinder on my body but where’s the fun and challenge in that?

On Thanksgiving Day 2012, my parents and I participated in the Turkey Trot race. My parents decided to complete the 5k (3.07 mi). I wanted to push myself. I wanted to test the limits of my disease. I wanted to complete the 8 mile race. I knew this was going to be hard on my body. Could I do it?


The 5k and 8mi shared the first couple miles together. Then we had to face a choice. Turn left and finish in 1/2 mi, or continue straight and run another 5 miles. I continued straight.

I am proud to say that I finished the 8 miles! I ran 8 miles in 1:19:50. I had proven to myself that I had a handle on Addison’s. I had this under control. Go me! I even felt the need to brag about it on Facebook.


Black olives are high in sodium. I normally eat an entire can to quickly re-hydrate.


The Setback

I spent about 2 hours in the ER on November 28th, 2012. What started out as a headache turned into extreme nausea. I didn’t want to move at all. Then came the upset stomach. Then the uncontrollable shaking. Once I started shaking I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t walk, I was too dizzy. I knew I was slipping into a crisis. I needed help. It was time to go to the ER.

I was so thankful that I could call up my friend who lived close and he could drive me. Actually, he had to escort me down the stairs of my apartment because I was too dizzy and weak to walk on my own.

At the ER, the doctors ran some tests and gave me extra cortisol and fluids. It’s pretty standard protocol. The doctor said that there is a nasty virus going around, and when it hits me, it just hits me harder than others. I was free to go, but I had to take it easy for the next couple of days.

ER confession

Yes. Going to the ER at 8:00pm is totally how I wanted to spend my Wednesday night


The Reality

I would love to be able to pretend that I have this disease 100% managed. But nothing in life can be managed 100%. We plan, we prepare, and then something completely unexpected comes up. Six days after I celebrate my two year ER free anniversary, I find myself hooked up to an IV and shaking uncontrollably under three blankets in the emergency room. Go me?

So now what? I pick myself back up, celebrate the fact that I did manage to stave off an Addisonian Crisis for two years. That is an accomplishment. I will focus on my triumph, but acknowledge my setback. Such is life, be it a healthy life or a life with Addison’s Disease.

Amber Nicole is Clearly Alive