2019 enabled me to celebrate several two year anniversaries. Could it be? Is my life actually stabilizing? Am I able to put down roots and not fear the next massive major life upheaval?! And to that, I say it is about time!
I have lived at sixteen different addresses in the past eleven years, with six of those addresses in the past three years. But I only had one address for 2019. I plan on staying here for the foreseeable future, and that fills my heart with so much joy. I have the hope of stability.
And now on to the monthly recap!
I started out the month of January by partnering with a fellow adrenal insufficient athlete to relay a 50km race. It was an honor to be a part of the Clearly Alive Taper Tribe, although I was definitely not trained for it! That did not stop me from “running” another eight mile trail race a few weeks later with another friend. I was also taken by ambulance to my local ER towards the end of January. That particular experience was not the best, which was an anomaly for a normally excellent ER.
In February, my endo and I tried to answer the question “Why all the frequent ER trips?” We noticed a trend where my potassium dipped below normal range and stayed there. My endo wanted me to try to cut back on my fludrocortisone. That experiment did not work. In the end, we added in a daily prescription potassium pill and did not modify my fludrocortisone dose. I do feel better on this new routine. I also splurged with the purchase of my robot vacuum, Trevor and I finally got around to taking down my Christmas tree.
In March, I was taken by ambulance to the ER again due to a nasty 24 hour virus. We must be very careful with any illness because our body does not respond “normally.” That being said, I still ran a 3.21 Dash for Down Syndrome only twenty-seven hours after being released from the ER. But perhaps the most exciting thing that happened in the month of March was the reintroduction of gluten into my life. ALL THE DOUGHNUTS PLEASE!
In April, I ran another 5k. I also attempted to complete an en plein aire painting workshop at a botanical garden, but I had to cut that short due to not feeling well. This resulted in me sleeping through Easter and canceling multiple plans. Our life is unpredictable, we just have to learn to embrace it. I also had the privilege of speaking at the AIU conference on traveling with Adrenal Insufficiency. Unfortunately, I had to cut my time at that conference short in order to prepare for my international work trip.
In May, work sent me to China! This was my first time hopping that small pond since living in Malaysia in 2014, and it went surprisingly well. The timing of the trip also allowed me to spend Mother’s Day in Texas with my mom. At the end of the month, I headed to Austin for a work conference, which allowed me to reconnect with another friend from college.
In June, I ended up in the ER again from an extreme hike where I messed up my cortisol basal rates. However, the ER doctor was incredibly encouraging. I also traveled with a few co-workers to present at a conference in San Antonio. At the end of the month, I threw an huge party to celebrate one year of having keys and a mortgage. Hello adulting! What I did not tell people at that party was the fact that I was released from the ER only a few hours prior to them arriving. Towards the end of the month, my parents dropped by for a visit.
At the start of July, I was struggling and I did not understand why. I practically slept through all of 4th of July. The answer became abundantly clear when the ER diagnosed me with mono less than 12 hours before I was supposed to fly to speak at the Magic Conference. Thankfully, my mom was able to both fill in for me at the conference and visit me immediately after she spoke. This allowed me to sleep, a lot. That mono fatigue is still one of the strangest things I have ever experienced. It was different than Addison’s fatigue. I feel like I lost several months of my life. But, that ER trip in July marked my last ER trip for 2019.
August consisted of more resting. Though one of the first social activities I did participate in was speaking at a local diabetic support group. Y’all, with whatever you are dealing with, find your tribe. Seek out others who are in a similar position as you. Find support. This can be online, but there is something powerful in also having an in person network. You do not have to walk your journey alone.
In September, my parents were able to stop by for another visit. We also had to say good-bye to our family cat Missy, which marks a very distinctive close of a chapter in my life. Towards the end of the month, I took a painting trip to the coast to strengthen my en plein aire painting skills. At the very end of the month, my wonderful endo gifted me a CGM so that I could play around with the data.
I started out October with strong intentions to complete Inktober! I completed twelve drawings, which is pretty good for my first year. And while I celebrated TWO years at my absolutely amazing engineering job, I also TURNED THIRTY. I typically do not broadcast my age on the internet, but this was an important enough milestone that I broke my rule. To help celebrate my birthday, my brother flew out for a visit. The birthday celebration continued with a trip to Cabo, Mexico to meet up with my parents at the end of the month.
In November, a dear friend from college visited. I also celebrated Thanksgiving with the same friends as last year. Now this is the first time I am mentioning this particular piece of news to my Clearly Alive family, but in November I met with head of department for graduate school to discuss the opportunity for me to return to school Fall of 2020. He asked why I was waiting so long and that I should try for a January 2020 start. That meant I had three days to turn in my application. But I was able to submit it before the deadline!
In December, I received my official acceptance into graduate school with orientation on January 9th, 2020. Y’all, that is SOON! I also walked one of the most fun 5ks ever with friends. Later in the month, I flew to DFW to spend a week with both friends and family. As an adult, I understand better why Christmas is such a big deal for some. Although I had seen all my family members throughout the year in different locations (and sometimes countries), Christmas Day marked the one and only time we were all gathered together in the same room. That was such a welcomed ending to an incredible year.
I am loving this new life that I am creating. But they do say that everything is better with 2020 vision. I am excited to test that out!