A Decade of Diagnosis

A Decade of Diagnosis

When I was reorganizing my medical binder (which is HUGE by the way), I discovered something: My diagnosis of Adrenal Insufficiency officially came in May of 2005.

Original doctor's notes as he explained the adrenal glands to my mom and I during my initial diagnosis of Adrenal Insufficiency.

Original doctor’s notes as he explained the adrenal glands to my mom and I during my initial diagnosis of Adrenal Insufficiency. May 2005.

I still remember my endo frantically drawing that picture as he explained to my mom and I how my adrenal glands were performing less than ideal. He explained how the adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys and are responsible for several key hormones absolutely critical to life. He explained how cortisol is supposed to peak in the morning and then slowly decrease throughout the day allowing the body to both wake up and go to sleep. He also explained that I would be steroid dependent for the rest of my life.


It is now May 2015.

I have reached a Decade of Diagnosis. That is, in my mind, a pretty big deal. I am going to throw a party.



I absolutely love how these invitations turned out.


Diagnosis vs Disease

The word choice is deliberate. I could celebrate a Decade of Disease, but that puts the emphasis on the wrong thing. I want to celebrate a Decade of Diagnosis. A Decade of Answers. A Decade of Living with Addison’s Disease. A Decade of being Clearly Alive.

I’m not celebrating the fact that I am diseased.
I am celebrating the fact that I am Alive.

I was given a tremendous gift, and I am forever thankful.


But this party is not just about me.

I want to also thank those who have walked along side me throughout my journey. Those who knew me before I was diagnosed. Those who encouraged my mom when she was terrified to see each day her daughter slipped further and further away from her. Those who have had to take me to the ER. Those who have witnessed my anxiety and panic attacks. Those who have seen me so incredibly irrational due to low cortisol. Those who are willing to look past my social flakiness due to the unpredictability of my fatigue. Those that give me a friendly reminder that I might need a little bit more HC because I’m not being myself at the moment. Those willing to drop everything to drive me home because I don’t trust myself. Those willing to share their experiences so that I can learn from them. Those willing to share my story in an effort to raise awareness. Those willing to encourage me when I hit my down days. To those that invest in my life, and my journey.

Thank you.

With the help and support of y’all, I am able to remain Clearly Alive.

Now let’s party.

Amber Nicole is Clearly Alive