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.
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
- Not Yet
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.
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.
- Korea: An E-mail Update
- Korea: FI-TING!
- “WHY are you in Chicago?!”
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 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
- 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. I had desired for my life to reach some sort of stability, however my abusive husband remained determined to not allow that to happen.
- On Moving, Anxiety, and 50k Blog Hits
- A Plan of Action
- 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
Less than a year after returning to America, my abusive husband informed me that if he remained in Texas he “would die.” It was “crushing his soul” and he “had to get out.” Trying to be the supportive wife, I told him that he could find a job anywhere in the country. I would follow him (although I was the breadwinner). He found a job in Nevada and actually lost it before we moved. But still forced us to relocate and required me to lie about our situation.
He remained unemployed for eight months, while I was able to secure work two months after relocating.
This chapter in my life marked a drastic increase in his abuse. I was so thankful on the day that the judge signed the decree granted me the freedom to be me. As the only reason I moved to Nevada was due to my husband’s demands, I decided to leave the state and secure a brighter future far away from my abuser.
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, Part Two, Part Three
- 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
- 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)
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.
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.