The Realization of a Dream, Part Two

During the summer of 2012, my mom and I took a cruise in the Caribbean and stopped at the Cayman Islands. We had signed up for a stingray / snorkeling adventure, but it was pouring rain! Although many excursions were cancelled due to weather, our tour still continued as planed.

snorkeling

My mom and I soppin’ wet in the Cayman Islands.
Photo from May 2012.

I wanted to enjoy this “once in a lifetime experience” of swimming with stingrays, but in all honesty, I was miserably cold and struggling greatly with my Addison’s disease. I wanted it to be over.

snorkeling

We are quite skilled at faking feeling well.
Am I feeling ok in this picture? Is the Caribbean sea blue in this picture?
There’s your answer.
Photo from May 2012.

After the cold swimming with the stingrays in a crowded place, it was time for snorkeling. The boat took us to a less crowded area to explore the world underwater. I remember jumping out of that boat and diving under. Although it was still raining, the sea was much warmer. There was also a calmness. I thought to myself, “I absolutely love this.”

snorkeling

Photo from May 2012.

December of 2017, my mom and I had an opportunity to revisit the Cayman Islands when it was not pouring rain. I remember thinking “Oh, this is how the water is supposed to look. It is actually blue.”

snorkeling

Do you see how blue this water is? I was in the same spot as before.
Photo from December 2017.

This time, I had my waterproof cortisol pump. This time, I had the ability to swim without fear of my oral medicine not kicking in soon enough. This time, I was free.

snorkeling

Medtronics, thank you for finally providing a piece of equipment for active pump users.
Photo from December 2017.

I used Grif Grips to secure my pump site to my stomach with Mr Koala Bear and an arm band to hold my pump while I explored.

snorkeling

Without the Grif Grip, the site would have fallen off.
I’ve had that happen before.
Photo from December 2017.

Once again, I cried as the gravity of the situation sank in. This was another 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, once again here I was accomplishing it. I was able to SNORKEL knowing that I was still receiving my medicine.

snorkeling

In this picture, you can see my medical alert bracelet, my cortisol pump, my HR monitoring watch, my pump site protected by Mr Koala Bear.
Photo from December 2017.

And I had my mom by my side, witnessing it all.

snorkeling

We make up an amazing team.
Photo from December 2017.

I am Amber Nicole.
And I am Clearly Alive.

Amber Nicole is Clearly Alive

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