“Call it!” Grandma Diane died one evening in New York. She was 53 years old.
Getting a diagnosis for Addison’s Disease is difficult. It takes years. Most are misdiagnosed. This was the case for Grandma Diane. Originally diagnosed with Lupus, she was placed on Prednisone, but as her symptoms changed, she was formally diagnosed with Addison’s Disease. She still led a good life. She was happy. She had had a successful career, she had two kids, and two grandkids. She now enjoyed going antiquing and researching family genetics. She had a boyfriend named Bob and life was going well. Until it wasn’t.
Grandma went to a family gathering one evening. A couple of family members had come down with a stomach virus. To an Addison’s patient, your immune system is compromised so much that you’re more susseptible to catching a cold or stomach bug when you come into contact with it. And low and behold, that’s what happened. The flu bug.
Grandma went home and rested. But that flu bug decided to rear it’s ugly head. She became very sick. Home remedies did not work. One evening, she was on the phone with Bob, her boyfriend of several years. She felt very weak and ill. She decided to take some Prednisone but after attempting to look for it and not finding it, she just decided to sit and talk to him. And then the phone dropped….silence. Bob immediatly called 911 and rushed over to her house.
She was transported to the hospital. Uncle Doug and Uncle Derek were called. She was in a coma and fighting for her life. And then our phone rang. Uncle Doug let Mom know of Grandma’s medical situation. She immediately booked a flight to New York. For three days, Mom didn’t leave her side. She was stable but still fighting. They were treating her stomach bug but no one looked at her medication list to see that she was on Prednisone. No one asked what medical conditions she had. This is all too common in the hospital and something that needs to change.
Day 3…vitals are good. Still in coma. No signs improvement. The day turns to night. All the family members were there. Mom was sitting right next to her, talking to her. Then…Grandma woke up. She sat up, looked Mom in the eyes….into her soul…almost like she was trying to tell her something, and then she layed back down, and her heart stopped. “Call it.” Grandma Diane was 53 years old. She was surrounded by family.
There was no autopsy to be done. No point really. Grandma Diane died of an Adrenal Crisis. Yes, Addison’s is hereditary. Mom tested postive for an autoimmune disorder. She will be tested for Addison’s very soon. I am having my children tested. If this disease has taught me anything, it’s taught me to take good care of my health, to educate myself on when I need more meds and how to handle when I do get sick. And it has taught me that life is short. So now I’m living my best life….🦋💁🏼♀️