As I post more, I believe it will be beneficial to have one page that lists every post in a chronological order. If you are new to my blog and would like to read every post, start here.
At the end of every year, I publish a month by month recap. These serve as encouraging reminders of tangible proof that I remain Clearly Alive regardless of whatever life throws at me.
These posts deal with the novel coronavirus that caused a global pandemic.
- Let’s talk about COVID-19 and Addison’s Disease.
- Three tips on how to keep calm during a pandemic.
- Let’s talk about cloth face coverings.
- I went to the ER during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- How should I calculate risk?
- Using the Scanwell At-Home COVID-19 Antibody Test Kit
- I received the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine.
- Immunocompromised vs Immunosupressed
Miscellaneous posts are ones that I feel warrant being pulled into a separate category instead of necessarily being read chronologically. My two personal favorites are The Importance of Perception and Fix It.
- Why Blog? Why Now? (with my mom’s response)
- The Importance of Perception
- The Beast
- The Importance of a Story
- Fix It
- Steady State
- Addicted to Steroids
- Not Yet
- Plan Contingency
- My Cortisol Detection Cat
The Cortisol Pump
I was able to obtain a cortisol pump in 2014. This is my main method of treatment for my Adrenal Insufficiency. Below are the posts specifically regarding the cortisol pump.
- The Cortisol Pump
- My Journey
- Beauty in the Desert
- Five Years on the Cortisol Pump
- Using a CGM with Adrenal Insufficiency
- Thoughts on a CGM after one week
- Conclusions from the CGM
I also was part of a team that created the Ultimate Cortisol Pump Reference Guide. Check it out at thecortisolpump.com !
I am an engineer constantly collecting and analyzing data on everything. Sometimes, this even includes analyzing data on myself in order to obtain a higher quality of life. Here are a few experiments I have conducted on myself over the years.
- Blood Sugar: Part One, Part Two, Conclusions
- Sugar: Introduction, Shopping and Meal Prep, Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five, Day Six, Day Seven, Conclusions
- Fitness Tracker
Although I was not properly diagnosed until I was 15, I spent a good amount of my childhood battling this undiagnosed disease. These posts contain some of my early reflections.
I received my diagnosis of Primary Adrenal Insufficiency during the summer in between my freshman and sophomore year of high school. Much of my high school experience was centered around discovering who I was as a woman living with an incurable disease. The posts below outline the timeline for that journey.
- Band Camp (with my mom’s response)
- Hypoglycemia (with my mom’s response)
- The Diagnosis (with my mom’s response)
- Cortisol Dependent
- What is Hunger?
- No Tea! (with my mom’s response)
- A Dangerous 5k – Estrella Foothills (with my mom’s response)
College marked another chapter in the journey of discovery as I continued to wrestle with who I was as “Amber the diseased girl.” How much of my identity should be wrapped up in my diagnosis? Should I down play it and ignore it? Should I focus on it? As I reflect back on my college experience, I am honestly quite shocked that I survived it as well as I did.
I graduated from a small private school in East Texas with B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering in 2012. That fall, I began working full time as a Product / Test / Validation engineer at a semiconductor company located in Dallas, TX. While I was first determined I would not mention my disease at all to my employer, I realized that had to quickly change as soon as I ended up in the ER only two months after beginning my employment.
- “My Bah-tee Bah-tee”
- My Bad
- A Triumph and a Setback
- A 15k?!
- The Spoon Theory
- Wait, What?
- To Be Continued…
- The Half Marathon
- A Brief Update
- The Nightmare (with my mom’s response), (Revisited, with Answers)
- Cinco de Miler
- “You’re a successful member of the reference group.”
- When You Cannot Run
- Starting Over
- Testing the Limits
- 10,000 Hits
- Awareness Shirts
- Blogging for a Year!
- The Beauty of Community
I almost died at the age of 23 due to an Adrenal Crisis. As I was recovering from that nightmare in a weakened state, I was targeted by a textbook narcissist. We dated long distance for four months, and we were engaged long distance for five months. This was not enough time to see behind his mask. Our marriage was held on March 1st, 2014. The insidious abuse continued to escalate until it reached critical mass, just shortly after our third wedding anniversary. The judge granted me my freedom on May 11th, 2017.
- The Wedding Dress (with my mom’s response)
- Wedding Flowers: A Calculated Reduction of Stress
- An Open Letter to an Abusive Husband
Three days after my wedding, I was on a plane to travel to the other side of the world in order to live and work in Malaysia. This was an incredibly trying time. I was learning a new method of treatment for my disease (the cortisol pump), working in an international manufacturing environment as a female, and dealing with a husband who’s unpredictable rage and emotional instability consumed way more of my cortisol than I care to reflect. Similar to my college experience, I am not quite sure how I survived this chapter in my life.
- Welcome to Kuala Lumpur!
- The Elevators
- Chef Rock
- Hong Kong
- Korea complete with an IV at the Airport!
- Thailand: Part One, Part Two, Part Three
- The Drive to Kuantan
- Myanmar: The Flight to Yangon, A Speech to a Village, and Playing Tourist
- The Last Weekend In Malaysia: Part One, Part Two, Part Three
- Adios KL!
Back in Texas
My international work assignment only lasted six months. Afterwards, I returned to Texas to assume the role as Lead Validation Engineer.
- On Moving, Anxiety, and 50k Blog Hits
- A Plan of Action
- How I improved the Curriculum in a Safety Course
- The Wisdom of a Manager
- On Insurance, Computer Systems, and Pharmacies
- When You Cannot Run, Part 2
- Dallas Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon Relay
- The Corporate Track Meet
- A Decade of Diagnosis
- Weight Gain and Work Pants
- Badass Brazos 10k
- My Brother’s Wedding
- 2015 Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon
- The Wisdom of a Manager, Part 2
- A Panic Attack from Unexpected News
I briefly spent some time living in Northern Nevada.
Who am I now that I am a divorced, diseased woman with a couple of cats? These new adventures reflect me now. I am Amber Nicole and I am Clearly Alive.
- California – Part One (Six Flags Magic Mountain), Part Two (Venice Beach), Part Three (Disneyland)
- Florida – The Realization of a Dream, A Trip to the ER for IV Fluids
- An Open Letter to the TSA
- On TSA, Paramedics, and a Failed Pump Site
- The Retrieval of the Olive Thief
- Happy Birthday to Me: 250,000 Blog Views
- A 5K with a Mission
- Clearly Alive: Five Years Later
- A 5K in the Cold
- Introducing Henry Glitch , One Year Update
- The Christmas Tree
- A Modification of Plans
- The Christmas Cruise – The Realization of a Dream (Part Two), To Hell and Back
- Good-bye, Buddy
- A 15k, Five Years Later
- An Ambulance Ride, Five Years Later
- The Nightmare, Five Years Later
- The Realization of a Dream (Part Three)
- From Santa Monica to Venice
- Cafe Gratitude
- Meet Trevor, my new Robot Vacuum
- The Perfect Storm, Take Two: An Adrenal Crisis in a Dental Office
- Did You Say Mono?!
- The Benefits of Therapy
- Good-bye, Missy
- Happy Birthday to Me: An Important Milestone
- My Trip to Mexico: Checking a Suitcase, Zip Lines!
- Why I Chose to Start Grad School
- Thoughts on Ignoring my Grass Allergy
- Why I Filed a Formal Complaint Against a Doctor
- Clearly Alive: Ten Years Later
Living that Port-A-Cath Life
Published Articles / Interviews
Occasionally, I am approached to have my work featured on other sites. Below are a few of my published articles.
- When I Told My Boss I Feared Being Weak Because of My Chronic Illness. 17 July 2015.
- 5 Things I’d Tell Someone Recently Diagnosed With a Chronic Illness. 18 August 2015.
- To the Person Who Reminded Me Others Have It Worse After My Hospital Stay. 25 September 2015.
- 10 Things I Wish My Employer Understood About Working With a Chronic Illness. 11 November 2015.
- 3 Things I Want the Parent of a Child With Adrenal Insufficiency to Know. 8 December 2015.
- 5 Ways to Manage Your Chronic Illness at Work. 29 June 2017.
- Amber’s Experience with Vitassium and Adrenal Insufficiency. 28 December 2018.
- How to Advocate for Yourself in Today’s Healthcare World. 26 March 2019.
Adrenal Awareness Resources
This section contains resources that were either created by me or one of my friends within our community. May they help educate and encourage y’all.