Dear Clearly Alive Family, please increase your Cortisol Dose if you find yourself getting symptomatic. I know I am on elevated basal rates to handle the news.
I think I first “met” you online somewhere around the early 2013 mark. Did you know that wasn’t long after I had actually discovered the online community for our disease? For most of my life, I thought I was completely isolated. But then in late 2012 the world opened up to me when I discovered online Facebook support groups. Heck, it was one of strongest motivations for starting this blog. I could communicate with others that walked a similar path! I was not alone! Oh what a beautiful feeling that was!
I remember our chats. You had so much spunk. An ex-pat Brit living in Honk Kong for over twenty years! What a unique adventure that must have been. But, the adventure wasn’t always pretty. I remember my rage with a helpless feeling when the public Hong Kong hospital botched one of your surgeries due to their incompetency. I forgot what year that was, but I do want to say it was before I visited you.
Oh yes, remember that visit? I sure do. I remember being so thankful to finally be on your side of the pond when I lived in Malaysia. You finally had another Addy in your time zone! And I was only a “short” flight away. I remember our video chats, and how you were able to maintain your distinct British accent even after all the years away. Then the opportunity came up for me to actually visit Hong Kong in 2014! Oh what a treat!
Although I had other coworkers visiting Hong Kong at the same time, hands down I had the best accommodations. While they were staying a hostels, you graciously opened up one of your rooms to let me sleep in. That was also the first time I ever experienced 100 GB internet! So fast! Those speeds are still just faint dreams over here on this side of the pond.
I had the ability to meet Angela, the amazing caring woman who dedicated many years of her life to helping you. Joanne was not yet in your life, but she quickly became another one of your angels here on this Earth. I was able to meet your beautiful daughter Katie. We chatted about art, as she showed off several of her sketches that were currently being worked on. I am sad that I could not meet Matt, and still a little embarrassed that I accidentally stole his house key.
Oh Hong Kong and their fancy keys! It wasn’t like you could just run to Home Depot and pay $3USD to have a key duplicated. Nope. These were expensive house keys that reminded me of the new ones that are used for the fancy new cars. Ya know? Those push to start? There was no duplicating this key. There was only rapidly couriering it from Malaysia back to Hong Kong so that your son could unlock his front door. Oops. But we worked through it!
You know you saved my life in Malaysia, yes? Multiple times too. The first time was when my cortisol pump broke. I was terrified and did not know what to do. You reached out to your Hong Kong Medtronics rep, who routed the message to the Singapore Medtronics rep, who then called up the local Malaysian Medtronics rep. Suddenly, I had a local Medtronics rep sitting across from me, with a loaner pump and the ability to purchase a brand new pump and supplies. I used that pump until I had the opportunity to upgrade to my 670G.
The second time you saved my life was through your generosity. I had not prepared for the Malaysian heat and humidity and I was going to rapidly run out of fludrocortisone. Although I was supported by an endo in Malaysia, I was unable to refill my stock before I ran out. In Hong Kong, you had the ability to buy Florinef OTC. You restocked my supply, empowering me to be able to handle that Malaysian heat and humidity.
When I think back on your life, I will always remember your generosity. You would be in extreme pain with your body shutting down, and yet you still wanted to make sure you were helping and serving others. I have absolutely no idea how many care packages you have distributed all over the world over the years. But if the amount of things you sent me is any indication, it has to be quite a bit!
You had a passion for making sure people did not feel alone in their journey. You wanted to make sure they succeeded. I smile as I think back on all the students you tutored over the years. And can we chat about your Mediwonderland series? Good grief, woman! I stand in awe of that ministry. You would be in the hospital bed, writing these books and dedicating each one to a specific individual in order that they would feel comforted and not alone.
I can only hope that I leave such a legacy. That my words can be used to comfort people and let them know that they are not alone.
In tears, I write this. In tears, I wish I could tell you so many more things. Such as how you were an amazing inspiration and even in your passing, I want you to know that you did not give up. I am thankful that our last messages included how much we loved each other. I will cling to that, along with the knowledge that you are free, my beautiful Addy sister.
You are finally free.
With much love,