So this is my life after death. I was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease almost 2 years ago. I knew I was sick for many years before that but trying to figure out WHAT was wrong with me was a whole other ball of wax. I almost died in my doctor’s office one day but didn’t because of the amazing attention and care I was given by my doctor. She is female and only a few years younger than me so I think that is why she actually cares. She also specializes in Women’s Studies so I think that is what also makes her a better physician.
I spent a lot of time in bed hovering between life and death. The side effects from the meds made me even sicker but I had to take them to stay alive. Every single one of them listed weight gain and nausea as major side effects. My thick beautiful hair turned white and fell out in clumps. The meds also increased my blood sugar levels. As I watched my body bloat and I no longer recognized myself in the mirror my world became very dark very quickly. I was in for the fight of my life and I didn’t know if I had it in me to keep on trying. I just wanted to close my eyes and go to sleep forever.
But then my son moved back home after getting hit by a Mack truck and needed help to rebuild his life. My life had a meaningful purpose again. I knew it was going to be the toughest road I’d have to walk in order to not only survive this disease but also conquer it.
I’ve been thin my whole life and my body type was not built for carrying any extra weight. It took about a year but once my vitals became stable I started the slow agonizing process of weaning myself off of a lot of the meds I’d been put on. I did it under close supervision with my doctor. The hardest part was pushing myself through the physical pain I felt with every step I took. I felt every extra pound on my joints and spine. A lot of the weight has come off but I still don’t feel like me. I don’t know if I ever will again but I hope so.
I was really sick for almost 2 years but I didn’t give up. And now that I’m finally starting to see a light at the end of this tunnel, we’ve been inflicted with this pandemic. I worked in the health care field for many years (as a PSW, Nurses Aide and Medical Office Assistant) and if I wasn’t in the high-risk category I would be working the frontlines like I did through the SARS outbreak. Instead, I have mostly isolated myself so that I don’t get infected and die.
I don’t know how this whole saga will play out but I do know that I’m stronger than what I give myself credit for. I am a survivor. As horrible as this coronavirus is; it gives me a small degree of comfort to know that (almost) everyone is taking precautions to prevent further infections and death. Before this all started I had always been very hyper vigilant about using PPE to safeguard myself and my children from any diseases and viruses I could potentially pick up from patients at work. But, I’d watch in horror as other people casually exposed themselves to germs. Now, we are all in the same boat and risk losing someone if we don’t protect ourselves.
Being raised in a doomsday cult has in some ways prepared me for the apocalyptic world we now live in. It’s probably the only good thing to come out of that whole experience.
Stay safe everyone!