Confession: Sometimes I feel truly blessed to have Addison's Disease. For one, it's fairly manageable, and for two (the best reason), I have met some amazing people through this connection!
I use "met" loosely because I have yet to physically meet any of these women, but they all sound so wonderful on social media! And I hope one day I can hug each one and compare drug prescriptions and medical alert jewelry while swapping ER stories.
Alycia: I found Alycia on Instagram when I scrolled through the hashtag #addisonsdisease last year. After wading through endless pictures of dogs (fun fact: dogs get Addison's Disease and I swear the world knows more about the canine disorder than the human one. Nope, not bitter), I stumbled upon a picture of a race to raise awareness for Addison's Disease. Being a runner, I was instantly intrigued and decided to creepily comment and ask Alycia about it. She informed me that it was in Australia, where she lives, so that was a downer, but she provided me with her email address so that we could talk more. She's the one that introduced me to several Addison's Disease Support Groups on Facebook.
Lisa: Lisa is the admin of one of the support groups that I belong to on Facebook and she was very welcoming when I first requested permission to join. She is truly inspirational as she lives with a number of other health problems besides just Addison's Disease. She is tirelessly interested in every member of the group and has private messaged me several times to check in, which means so much!
Camie: I found Camie on Instagram and I don't remember exactly how it happened, but we wound up exchanging emails. We have emailed back and forth for a few months now and I think the best part of following her on Instagram and talking with her is that we both like to focus on our lives outside of Addison's Disease. Yes, Addison's Disease is our connection, but we both partook in color runs this year and encouraged each other in feeling healthy and being active when it's always easier to take a nap.
Marlli: I reached out to Marlli when I saw her join one of the Addison's Support groups. I noticed she was around my age, which is really rare for Addison's Disease so I like to snag friendships right up! I think this disease makes me bold in my relationships because I didn't hesitate to message her and strike up conversation. She was only recently diagnosed, but her story is very similar to mine. I'm happy to know this Georgia peach who recognizes that Jesus is still in control. Even when a disease doesn't make sense.
Summer: Summer found me on Instagram and traced my name to Facebook, messaging me soon after she was diagnosed about a month ago. Technology and social media is so awesome. I am infinitely blessed to be conversing with this girl. She has big dreams and Addison's Disease is only a speed bump.
The encouragement that I get from all 5 of these relationships, even when I don't talk to the ladies everyday, is so fulfilling. Knowing there are women (and men!) all over the world that face the same struggles of forgetting to take pills on time or getting unpleasantly cranky when sleep is a foreign concept is comforting. Endocrinologists come and go, but Addison's patients are for life.
A Very Lucky Girl is happy to be a lifer since these are the people I get to share that life with.