My 17-year-old wrote today’s post about living with an autoimmune disease.
Dear Addison’s disease,
Thank you for shutting down my adrenal glands, thyroid, and other body parts.
Thank you for making me tan.
Thank you for making my scars darker, legs weaker, and eyes heavier.
Thank you for the endless doctor visits and hospital gowns.
Thank you for making me special.
Thank you for the medical bracelets.
And, if I’m thanking you, we can’t forget the 12 vials of blood that gets taken from me when prescribed. I’d like it, though, if you could make me less tired, and let me occasionally have enough energy to curl my hand into a fist. Because it’s actually scary when you can’t. And I’ll never forget the time when–because of you–I got diagnosed with two other diseases, and asked my mom after seeing the doctor “Mom, why do I keep getting diseases?” Because although that’s scary on one hand, it gets quite confusing when later you’re told “you’re fine. Go run a mile” when you know you really and honestly can’t.
And while we’re at it, thank you for scaring my parents when I get to the point where I can’t walk or talk because one little white pill is a bit off. School is already hard, so why are you trying to make it harder? How bad are you, and why can’t anyone give me a clear answer about it? It’s hard enough to wake up to go to school, but that’s not enough for you, is it? No, you have to make it so I don’t have cortisol or energy in the morning to even stand a fair chance.
But, Addison’s, here’s the kicker: I kind of love you. You’ve made life hell, but you’ve made me special. No one understands you, so no one can make assumptions. But, could you ask people to stop asking what it’s like to go on a roller coaster without adrenaline? Cause I don’t really know anything different.
So, here we are in our twelfth year of living together. You know me, I know you. What are we going to do now?
PS send help