Plans can suddenly and unexpectedly change. We must be mindful of the stress that causes and adjust our medicine appropriately.
A day before my husband at the time was set to move to Reno, NV he received a voicemail from his new HR manager informing him that he needed to return her call as soon as possible. He stepped outside of the restaurant, and as I watched him on the phone I could tell something was wrong. He walked back in only far enough to motion for me that I needed to join him outside.
It was there that he broke the news to me.
A Change In Plans
The job that he had been hired for had been changed.
The German CEO had decided that the job should be in Germany, and not America.
His Reno position had been eliminated.
Instead of a new job, my husband at the time would be receiving a severance package.
There was nothing we could do.
A wave of emotions flooded through me, and I tried to handle them as gracefully as I could. He mentioned that both his new manager and his new HR were on the phone with him, and they both sounded distraught. They wanted him for this position. It was a perfect fit. But the German CEO believed that the job belonged in Germany. They gave us about twelve hours of advanced warning before his move.
A Panic Attack
We walked back into the restaurant where we were with my friend. When my food arrived, I couldn’t eat. I looked at my order and thought I was going to vomit. I knew I needed to leave the crowded restaurant and process the news. I grabbed my cell phone and informed my husband at the time that I was going to call my mom. As soon as I was outside of the restaurant, I sprinted out of sight. I felt a panic attack coming on. I found a random tree and sat down, failing at controlling my breath. One of the ticket scalpers saw me and attempted to comfort me by offering me his unopened beer. I’m thankful my mom had more practical advice.
“Amber. Take more hydrocortisone. Now.”
The National Adrenal Disease Foundation defines an Adrenal Crisis as “the result of an extreme physical or emotional stress that does not get the necessary steroid coverage to meet that stress.” My mom was determined to not let this unexpected extreme emotional stress spiral me towards a full blown Adrenal Crisis.
The Need for Additional Cortisol
Taking additional cortisol during that moment did not numb my pain. It did not reduce the shock of the news. What it did do was enable me to respond appropriately. The inappropriate response was my refusal to eat any food. It was the uncontrollable sobbing to the point where I could not breathe. It was that dangerous unsafe voice tempting me to hurt myself. That was my life before I was properly diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency.
With proper cortisol coverage, tears were still shed. The shock was still real. The hurt was still there. But the doom was lessened.
A Note on Self-Harm
I mentioned self-harm in the post above. I want to inform my readers that I am safe. I have a good network of support that regularly check in on me. Before I was properly diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency, I struggled with a dangerous voice inside my head that would tempt me to hurt myself. A few times, I would listen to it. A few times, my mom would have to come in and forcibly stop me.
With proper cortisol coverage, that voice is silenced.
If I am ever overwhelmed while running low on cortisol, that unsafe voice returns. I am learning to recognize it quicker and react. I seek out help. I speak openly about it. By speaking openly, I can have accountability. Through accountability, I can remain Clearly Alive.
If you are struggling, know that you are not alone and do not be afraid to seek help.
I want us all to remain Clearly Alive.