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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
And I had my mom by my side, witnessing it all.
I am Amber Nicole.
And I am Clearly Alive.