The Realization of a Dream

The Realization of a Dream

I adopted my mom’s love of the beach at a very young age. There is something soothing about standing on white sand while staring out into the vast expanse that is the ocean. It is refreshing. It is rejuvenating. It is where a soul can find peace.


2012. Florida Gulf.


Adrenal Insufficiency and the Beach

Living with adrenal insufficiency makes beach going more challenging. The heat alone requires extra preparation, and care must be taken in order to prevent sunburns, which are extremely dangerous to us.

At the end of almost every beach trip as a child, I would either vomit, pass out, or be in a really foul mood. My family did not understand the cause at the time.


2007. Hawaii.
Note the dead look in my eyes.
My adrenal insufficiency did not play nice during this particular vacation.


Medicine or Water. Not Both.

Even after diagnosis, I struggled at the beach. Oral pills take a while to kick in and I never figured out how to adjust them optimally. With the cortisol pump, I gained greater control over my medicine; however, my first pump was not waterproof.

I became terrified of the water. I could either choose to have a good supply of medicine and not touch the ocean or I could revert back to a less effective form of treatment but get wet.


Either have good medicine or touch water. Cannot do both.
2014. Singapore.


A Waterproof Pump

In October of 2016, I obtained a waterproof pump. It was an exciting moment, full of endless possibilities. No longer did I have to choose between less effective medicine and avoiding the water. I was eager to swim in the ocean with the new device that enabled freedom from fear of the water.




Can we go to the beach?

But, I was unable to travel. After regaining my freedom, I booked a flight to join my mom on one of her trips to Florida. I had one main request for our joint trip: Can we go to the beach from my childhood?


My parents have been taking me to this particular beach since I was in diapers.

We were able to make a trip to the beach.


My mom’s love of the Florida Gulf is contagious.

I was able to walk into the Gulf of Mexico without fear.


Wading into the beautiful water for the very first time with the cortisol pump.


… And yet…

I cried as the gravity of the situation sank in. This was a dream that I had given up on. It was something that I had previously viewed as unobtainable. It was just a fact of life. And yet, I was accomplishing it. I was able to swim knowing that I was still receiving my medicine.


Is this dream really coming true?


Never Give Up

I never want to give up on my dreams. I never want to believe the lie of “That is impossible. You have adrenal insufficiency. You can never do that.”


“Look mom! I can swim!”

Perhaps, instead of the lie “No. You can never do that” I should state, “Not yet.


Don’t ever give up on your dreams.


I am Clearly Alive

I will continue to live my life embracing this Clearly Alive mantra.
I will continue to believe in Not Yet instead of Never.
(I will also continue to apply sunscreen.)

Amber Nicole is Clearly Alive